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Global Study Reveals Path for Improvement

By Jason Alderman One of the first global financial literacy tests administered to 15-year-olds identified a critical element among top performers: students persevered and showed openness toward problem solving and schools had the freedom to customize lessons. That is one of the striking conclusions of the inaugural financial literacy portion of the Program of International Student Assessment (PISA) test, which evaluated the skills and knowledge of 29,000 15-year-olds in 18 …Read More

If Economic Recovery is Passing You By, You’re Far From Alone

By Stacy Johnson Has the U.S. economy recovered? Some of the key indicators, including improvements in the housing market, unemployment, and stocks point to yes. Even so, many Americans are looking at their lives and asking, “What economic recovery?” A new report, released by the Corporation for Enterprise Development, found that millions of Americans have essentially been bypassed by the economic recovery in the United States. “Not only are these households …Read More

What Is Wrong With My Industry? Part One

By Gary Silverman Over the next few posts  I’d like to discuss with you what I think is wrong with my industry (well, more a lecture as you don’t get to talk back). While there are many things wrong that affect me, I’d like to mostly stay on problems that affect you, the “normal” people. A lot of what I am going to talk about I’ve known for quite a …Read More

Why Did I Receive a 1099-C From My Credit Card Issuer?

By John Ulzheimer By now you’ve probably started receiving your tax-related forms. Most of you will receive form W2, which is sent by your employer and memorializes your income earned for tax year 2014. Some of you, like me, will receive one (or several) 1099s. A 1099 is sent to people who do contract work as a non-employee. And some of you will unfortunately receive form 1099-C.   What is …Read More

A Fresh Start

By Kristine Gamm-Smith I have discovered in working with people on managing their personal finances that most are looking for a fresh start.  They want a chance to begin anew in how they handle their money. Some say they would change the way they budgeted their money in the past. Some want to change their specific money attitudes and behaviors that have led them down the wrong path; things like not …Read More

Federal Government Unveils New Retirement Tool. Is It For You?

By Gary Silverman Last January, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum directing the Department of Treasury to create myRA. And that’s about the last I heard about it. Sure there was a flurry of articles in my industry about it, but the conclusion was that the kind of folks that become clients of investment professionals wouldn’t be using them. So what are myRAs, who can use them, who are they …Read More

How Credit Counseling Can Save You $10,000

By Kimberly Rotter Credit counseling is an educational process (free or low-cost to those who qualify) wherein a qualified counselor helps the consumer learn how to budget, manage or get out of debt, and maintain a healthy credit score. Most consumers who seek credit counseling are in the throes of financial difficulties or overwhelming debt, or have poor credit and limited knowledge of how to improve their standing. Counseling is …Read More

Credit Counselors Coach You in Your Effort to Defeat Debt

By Drew Kessler When you’re struggling with increasing debt and aren’t having any luck getting your creditors to work with you, it may be time to reach out to a certified consumer credit counselor. Meeting with one is often free, and as your third-party advocate, they can offer the support and expertise you need to conquer crippling debt. What Does a Credit Counselor Do? “When people deal with credit card …Read More

Yours, Mine and Ours: Planning Stepfamily Finances

By Jason Alderman The Pew Research Center reports that four in ten American adults have at least one steprelative, defined as a stepparent, a step-or-half sibling or a stepchild, in their family. While the Pew study says that many stepfamilies operate harmoniously, it also notes that adults “feel a stronger sense of obligation to their biological family members than they do to their step kin.” That is one reason why …Read More

Recovering from Holiday Overspending

By Mark Foster Uh oh. You’ve blown it. You overspent on the holidays, and now it’s a struggle making ends meet in January. The fallout from spending too much can be expensive and painful. But now the big question is how do you get back on-track? Make a game of it. For one month, try not to spend money on anything that isn’t a necessity. No way? At least try …Read More