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How the average person can save money quickly and easily

Best Home Equity Loan Strategies

A home equity loan can be your best bet whenever you find yourself in a financial crunch. However, the financial crisis proved more than a few things about consumer spending habits. One of its major lessons is that the majority of home equity borrowers spent their lines of credit in wasteful or haphazard ways, buying new expensive cars, vacations and even jewelry. The benefits can be huge, with cheap closing costs and quick access to money, but using the best home equity loan strategies is key to successful financial planning. While second loans as home equity lines are often called, may often get homeowners into serious financial trouble, there are also choices that can be helpful. Home Renovations Using your line of credit for a home improvement project can be a win-win situation. Not only will you enjoy better...

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Top Tips on how to Save on Taxes

It’s hard to find anybody who doesn’t dread tax time and we all want to know how to save on taxes. After all, most of us don’t expect the IRS to be the nice or friendly type when it comes to paying taxes. But there are a wide variety of deductions that are major avenues to save on taxes. Planning in advance is the key to tax savings for most workers. A survey conducted earlier this year found that 54% of Americans think saving on taxes is the most important financial issue. The increasing prices of groceries, utilities, health care and education make it tough to save much of anything, leaving little room. There are smart moves that consumers can take advantage of to pay less in U.S. federal taxes. 1 -Earn Tax Free Income Not all kinds of...

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Vital Signs of Financial Good Health

When we go to a medical doctor, there are a few things that are almost guaranteed. A fairly long stay in the waiting room, a check with a thermometer, stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. Except for the time in the waiting room, these are instruments to measure your vital signs, which are the physician’s rudimentary road map to your overall health. Financial good health also has vital signs. As it turns out when it comes to money matters, financial good health isn’t that much different from the physical signs. Credit Score = Thermometer, Except in Reverse: The higher your FICO, the healthier you are for right now. If your credit score is low, you are financially ill. But you don’t have to stay that way. Take the necessary steps (a credit card that you pay off every month. Responsible...

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Removing Obstacles to Retirement

It’s Wednesday afternoon. The weather is sunny but with a hint of Fall coolness in the air. You are at work, and you would rather be anywhere else that doesn’t involve a dentist’s drill. You are somewhere between 50 and 55 years of age. That’s close enough to have a glimpse of retirement, but for too many not close enough. Retiring at 65 is becoming a distant dream for many Baby Boomers as 70+ is the new normal. Does it have to be this way? Is it too late to even dream of retiring early? Surprisingly enough, the answer is “no.” But the worker who wants to retire at 62 must take the steps removing obstacles to retirement. $75,000 is your magic number. Get to 75k, and you should have enough to bridge the gap to full Social Security....

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The Biggest Five Financial Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. Remember the perm that your girlfriend talked you into the day before your driver’s license picture was taken? Who knew that driver’s licenses are good for five years in most states? GettingMoneySmart.com doesn’t judge you or your curls. We found the biggest five financial mistakes that trap almost everyone at some point in their lives. “I do” Without a Frank Discussion of “The F Word (Finances isn’t what you were thinking)” The average wedding in this country costs $30,000. That is a lot of money, but it isn’t necessarily “a mistake.” One of the most grievous financial mistakes before taking the plunge into marriage is hiding from your partner the condition of your finances. Everyone knows that money is the most frequent fought-about topic short of mayonnaise or Miracle Whip. To lie (and to withhold a truth...

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Fee Based Financial Advisors over Commission

Financial advisors are increasingly moving from a commission based model to fee based as a result of the financial crisis. However, both types are still readily available for consumers to decide which type is the best for your financial planning needs. Fee based advisors usually charge clients based on a percentage of assets under management, while commission based financial advisors receive a commission for buying and selling investment products to clients. Naturally, a change from a transactional based compensation model to one based on assets-under-management has big implications for both Wall Street and investors. Wall Street brokerages have encouraged their financial advisors to transition clients to a fee based relationship in order to reduce their dependence on transactional revenues and to retain clients in the fallout of the financial crisis. The latest Wall Street brokerage to encourage this change...

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