personalfinance.gif (15885 bytes)

Business Page






On a budget
Each phase of life comes with its own set of financial circumstances, goals and necessities. The question is, how should we be spending, or saving, our income as we move through different stages?

Local Investing
Locally grown. Locally sourced. These days it is all about going local. But what about investing? Can a portfolio be locally sourced? Is it a good idea?

Crowdfunding as collateral
So you want to start a business, but donít have the start-up money or the collateral to ask the bank for a loan? And you donít want to ask friends or family? Do the next best thing ó ask a stranger. 

Planning for your retirement
Is your retirement plan on track? How do you know? According to a survey by Employee Benefit Research Institute, 60 percent of Americans arenít sure theyíre on track to retire successfully. Unfortunately, many of them may be right.

Credit card hacking
Although credit card companies and financial institutions are becoming smarter about protecting peopleís personal information online, credit card fraud and identity theft are still very real threats.
Millennials and managing money
While millennials have been labeled with negative stereotypes like materialistic and entitled, the reality is that crippling debt and lack of employment opportunities have significantly impacted this generationís financial future.
Estate essentials
"Picture this. Youíve been invited to a meeting; when you get there you realize itís the first meeting after your own death. You canít say anything. You can only observe. What do you see? Is your family celebrating your life or are they sitting there helpless not knowing what to do or whom to trust." 
In the hot seat
If youíre an aspiring entrepreneur seeking money from angel investors, youíd better be prepared with a snappy pitch to get their attention.
The new normal
With the Great Recession becoming a distant bad memory, people are once again thinking about the future ≠ó including retirement planning. But the recent economic setbacks have left many wary of the market and the security of their retirement investments.
Fiscal fitness
When it comes to wealth management, there are several ways good intentions can go awry. Our panel of experts outlines five common mistakes and advises how to avoid them. Knowledge is power, and in this case, itís profitable.

Creative Sisterhood
Growing up in Glendale with six siblings in a single-parent household, the Bendfeldt sisters learned to be resourceful at an early age. "We were forced to be MacGyvers," says Amy Bendfeldt Barnum. "If there was something we wanted, we had to get creative."
Hot jobs
Gaining employment in todayís marketplace depends on the ability to offer relevant skills, especially those considered "nonroutine analytical," says Dennis Winters, chief economist for the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Managing your wealth
Most of us have financial goals, whether it is to retire at a reasonable age, fund our childrenís education, do some traveling or simply manage debt. While overall plans havenít changed, peopleís attitudes have gone through a period of adjustment ó and thatís occurring across all age groups, local industry experts say.

$1 million in retirement savings might run out before you do 04-30-18
If you could retire with $1 million, would you rather move to a city where your money lasts longer, or would you choose for a place with more activities, access to more services ó and a higher cost?
The Journey: Families and money can be a troublesome combination 04-23-18
When it comes to money and family, is there ever a "right" answer? A widow with a toddler child recently confided that her late husbandís family contacted her right before this monthís tax-filing deadline.
Susan Tompor: Becoming a 401(k) millionaire 04-23-18
Steve Horaney has two kids in college, a home in South Lyon, Mich., and every other excuse people can roll out for not saving for retirement.
Susan Tompor: How will you spend your tax refund? Many use it to buy used car 04-16-18
Tom Staperfenne, 34, isnít ashamed to admit that he went out and spent most of his familyís income tax refund for 2017 right away.
Financial planners set fiduciary rules with investors in mind 04-16-18
Certified financial planners nationwide plan to adopt tighter rules that, in short, disclose the best interest of their clients in all matters while federal regulation on the issue remains in limbo.
Taking the mystery out of stock picks for young investors 04-16-18
ST. PAUL, Minn. ó Appo Agbamu recently quit a $75,000-a-year job at U.S. Trust, a dream job for a young associate portfolio manager.
The Journey: Retirement planning is basically the same, but there are new wrinkles 04-09-18
A few retirement rules of thumb die hard, but keep in mind they may have new twists.
How much do I need? Many experts still recommend saving at least 10 times final pay, but some have boosted that number to more like 12 times to account for todayís lack of pensions and employer-sponsored health care.
Susan Tompor: Con artists take their IRS scam to the tax preparers 04-09-18
The final rush before this yearís April 17 tax deadline puts everyone on edge ó including tax professionals ó making people easy targets for scammers.
5 things Federal Reserve interest rate hike means for your wallet 04-02-18
Consumers tend to pay far more attention to the swings in their March Madness brackets than the latest moves by the Federal Reserve.
The Journey: Midlife transformation begins with bold decision 03-26-18
Midlife can be a minefield. Gray divorce, death of a partner, sudden illness, age discrimination or brutal corporate downsizing, to name a few potential triggers.
Susan Tompor: Drive for Uber? Deliver for Amazon? Here are tax rules to know 03-26-18
The nasty secret of being a new entrepreneur is that your tax bill might be way higher than youíd imagine.
On Philanthropy: New study outlines unprecedented financial risk to many nonprofits 03-26-18
Across the United States, more than 1.5 million nonprofit organizations engage in remarkable work to transform lives, communities and the planet.
How old are your kids? The answer could determine your tax bill 03-19-18
NEW YORK ó Earlier this year Jay Charlesís twice-a-month paycheck jumped by $65, a result of the new U.S. law that cuts taxes almost $1.5 trillion over the next decade. Then he did the math.
Susan Tompor: 5 ways to get best car loan deal, especially as interest rates rise 03-19-18
Interest rates on new car loans have hit high levels not seen since 2010, driving up the need for consumers to work a little harder when shopping for the best deals.
Like zombies, 3 tax breaks return from the dead to further confuse filers 03-12-18
Feeling smug that you already filed your federal income taxes? Well, thereís an odd chance that you might get an even bigger tax refund, if you qualify for some special tax breaks and take the time to file an amended return now for 2017.
Susan Tompor: Social Security benefits stolen by hackers, leaving families with bill 03-12-18
Tim Sagert has been enduring the pain of a double-whammy of identity theft. First, a crook used his stolen ID to claim Social Security benefits last spring.
The Journey: List of best 401(k) plans doesnít tell whole story 03-12-18
Airline workers have the best 401(k) retirement plans, a new study claims, but thatís little comfort to Capt. Mike Burr, a 60-year-old American Airlines pilot still on the job after years of contract concessions, pay cuts, a pension freeze and a 2011 bankruptcy filing.
Annuities may offer a security blanket in uncertain times 03-12-18
Our friends are starting to retire, and we get to celebrate with them and hear all about their exciting plans. Yet often enough I hear about sleep-killing money anxiety, too, even from the best-prepared.
Susan Tompor: Tax scammers use refund ruse  03-05-18
Wait, what? You didnít file your income tax return yet but suddenly, somehow you spotted a bunch of money in your bank account from a refund?
Susan Tompor: Taxes: What you need to know to deduct medical expenses 02-26-18
Some retirees are grumbling that young families are getting a better deal under tax reform. But seniors could be overlooking some good news for deductions for medical expenses.
On Philanthropy: 2018 is ideal time to focus on strategic corporate philanthropy 02-26-18
Businesses must play a more strategic and integral role in efforts to solve the most pressing problems of our local, national and global communities.
Susan Tompor: Love doesnít have to bleed your bonus 02-19-18
Show her how much you care for, say, $20. Sure, some people could be tempted to splurge this Valentineís Day after receiving cash out of the blue. Major automakers are giving out sizable profit-sharing checks
Q&A: Youíll likely get more money in your paycheck this month, thanks to tax changes 02-12-18
The new federal tax plan is now in effect ó and itís going to mean more spending money for most people, at least in the short term.
How soon can I get my tax refund? 5 things to know 02-12-18
Got your 2017 tax return filed yet? OK, you still have some time. But hereís a reminder that the tax season just kicked off Jan. 29, as the Internal Revenue Service began accepting returns.
Susan Tompor: Pockets of angst ó and higher interest rates ó cloud picture for car sales 02-05-18
The big economic headlines scream about a better jobs picture, one-time bonuses and a ginormous rally on Wall Street. All good things that could keep driving car sales.
Tax season confusion: What you need to know before you file this year 02-05-18
Confused about how the new tax law will affect you? Youíre not alone. With the ink barely dry on a new tax law, uncertainty abounds on what moves to make or even what to ask a tax preparer.
Hereís why banks arenít paying more for your savings Ö unless youíre wealthy 01-29-18
The economy continues improving, but hereís one thing thatís not: what banks pay ordinary savers for their deposits.
In the military? You may be eligible for a new retirement plan 01-29-18
If you serve in the military, you may have an important decision to make in 2018: whether to stay in the current retirement system Ė the federal governmentís Thrift Savings Plan ó or opt into the new Blended Retirement System (BRS).
Credit card defaults on the rise as holiday bills come due 01-29-18
Americans are defaulting on their credit cards at the highest rate in nearly a year. Experts blame the improving economy: Consumers are feeling more confident in their overall financial situations and theyíre loosening their purse strings because of it.
Susan Tompor: How do you pay off all that credit card debt? 01-22-18
Like the holiday pounds, credit card debt doesnít just melt away ó especially after the latest binge.
The cold reality is credit card debt hit a record $1.02 trillion in November, according to figures released by the Federal Reserve.
The Journey: Social Security numbers to know 01-22-18
The 2 percent cost-of-living hike in Social Security benefits this year isnít the only number affecting workers and retirees.



bottomcorner2.gif (430 bytes)