Knowledge is the critical first step for your financial future.

2015 Outlook

February 17, 2015

Last year left the U.S. in decent financial shape. Oil prices tanked and the U.S. dollar surged. Inflationary pressure is low, and the stock market ended the year strong. The analysts at Fidelity believe this positive environment should continue at least early into 2015. The economy is in a mid-cycle expansion with solid employment gains…

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Where Does the Money Go?

February 10, 2015

In December, Congress passed the federal budget for fiscal year 2015 at the last possible moment, avoiding yet another government shutdown. You have to wonder why this is such a difficult process. Within our own households, there are often two people — sometimes with diametrically opposed opinions on how money should be spent — who…

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American Pride

February 3, 2015

Bye China. Bye India. Buy Trenton. Who can forget the catchy 1980s union advertising jingle, “Look for the union label”? You can check out one of those ads at the link below — it’s almost worth a look for the retro-fashions alone. [CLICK HERE to view, “Look for the Union Label 1981 classic ad,” from…

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City Burbs

January 27, 2015

The housing market continues to experience mixed results, depending on the area of the country and demographics. For example, while the homeownership rate for seniors is 80 percent, about 40 percent of those over 65 were still making house payments in 2010, according to a 2014 report from the joint center for housing. While many…

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Low Oil Prices: Who Wins, Who Loses?

January 20, 2015

The national average price for a gallon of gas is less than $3, with further decreases expected. But that’s nothing new. Bear in mind that oil is a commodity, so its price varies according to cycles of supply and demand. For example, in 1986 and 1998, oil dropped below $10 a barrel. In 2008, prices…

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Retiree Ingenuity

January 13, 2015

For many, the mind stays sharp as long as it continues to be challenged, and the trend of retirees working and living longer proves just that. Take Hugh Lyman, for example. When he retired, this small business owner pursued a long-standing passion as an inventor. Fascinated with the possibilities of using 3-D printer technology, he…

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Is Your Retirement Just a Number?

January 6, 2015

Throughout our lives, we are identified by numbers. Social Security number. Employee ID number. Driver’s license number. The amount of money that you make. The number of children and grandchildren that you have. The value of your home. Fortunately, those numbers are simply points of reference; they don’t truly define who we are. Our personal…

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Mortgages and Real Estate

December 30, 2014

Real estate appears to be rebounding slowly but surely. There’s even a push from government regulators to lower the down payment requirements for new mortgages. New analysis shows few borrowers are granted 3 percent to 5 percent down payment loans on their homes, and those that do have excellent credit. The percentage of people receiving…

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How Year-End Politics May Affect You

December 23, 2014

The changing of the guard in Congress has begun: out with the old, in with the new. As the GOP prepares to take a majority presence in both the House and Senate, one question looms: Are we in for even more gridlock moving forward? It appears that much is on tap for the lame-duck session…

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Sleigh Bells Ring

December 16, 2014

The holiday season kicked off early this year, with a big winter storm in parts of the country. Beautiful, yet treacherous, photographs emerged of cars and neighborhoods entirely submerged in snow; roofs, windows and doors collapsing from the weight of the precipitous precipitation, and once again motorists were stranded on highways and byways. The season…

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