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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.

Shocked into reality by the Great Recession 07-07-14
Anna Newell Jones knew she was living well beyond her means when the Great Recession struck: She was $24,000 in debt. 
Gail MarksJarvis: When shareholder's meeting goes far afield, raise and eyebrow 07-07-14
If you buy stocks on your own but arenít confident you are proficient enough with financial data to spot threats to your investments, hereís one easy test that even a novice can master: Watch if a company you own schedules its annual meeting far from its headquarters.
Spending Smart: Avoid fear factor in financial decisions 06-30-14
Fear is a powerful motivator for consumers, and it underlies more of our spending decisions than weíd care to admit.
Retirees resume their moves to less taxing climes 06-30-14
Steven Ramos, a retired letter carrier, estimated his cost of living would drop 80 percent when he moved from New York to a rental community in central Florida.
Spending Smart: Life insurance doesn't have to be a mystery06-23-14
The topic of life insurance doesnít have much going for it. First, itís about insurance, which many people find boring and complicated. Second, it can involve paying money for something you may never use.
Getting Started: Despite low rates, you can find best savings accounts 06-23-14
Interest rates on savings accounts have been close to zero for a while. But if youíve been building an emergency cash fund or got money as part of a graduation gift this spring, you need to put those dollars somewhere.
Pamela Yip: Make sure your financial adviser is worth what you're paying 06-16-14
I recently wrote a column about how important it is to pay attention to fees and costs when investing.
Susan Tompor: Old savings bonds, gift cards can bring extra summer cash 06-16-14
Everybody needs a rainy day fund to cover a broken water heater, an out-of-the-blue blowout on a car tire and other fiscal fiascoes.
Medical debt can lurk on credit reports 06-16-14
At 67 years old, Carl Gasper still is juggling a fair share of debt. He has a mortgage on his three-bedroom Green Tree, Pa. home, car payments on his Chrysler 300 and several credit cards with balances he carries from month to month.
Gail MarksJarvis: How to keep student loan payments manageable 06-09-14
Your first glance at your student loan debt after college is likely to be a nauseating encounter. So if you are like a lot of graduates, you may stick the paperwork in a drawer and try not think about it.
Microchips in our passports and credit cards: Are they safe? 06-02-14
U.S. passports have them. And these days, many more U.S. credit cards are starting to carry them, too.
Understanding the annuity: Complicated financial product should get investors' scrutiny 06-02-14
People give him a funny look when he admits he has one, said Shane Fischer, 37, of Winter Park, Fla. Itís a trap, they warn him. The fees will eat you alive. And besides, arenít you too young?
What to know about rising student loan interest rates 05-27-14
Interest rates on federal student loans are set to rise July 1. Itís not the first time the cost of borrowing has gone up for students, and it likely wonít be the last. Still, experts say, federal loans remain a good deal.
Retirement savings rebound, but it's still important to plan 05-27-14
On the plus side, a new study shows, Americansí retirement savings has rebounded from the depths of the Great Recession.
Insurance coverage dictated by needs 05-27-14
PITTSBURGH ó How much insurance you need for your personal property comes down to what you need to insure.
Use credit cards with care while traveling 05-19-14
Itís May: The school year is winding down; summer travel plans are revving up. Whether itís a road trip on the nationís freeways or a jet flight across the world, chances are youíll be using a credit card on those travels.
Students find creative ways to pay for college 05-19-14
Alex Ramirez is the first in her family to go to college. In August, sheíll start classes at the University of South Florida.
Young adults need saving strategy, experts say 05-12-14 
She is only 27 years old. But she has a list of "somedays" to check off her list. "Someday, I hope to be married and have kids," said Shekinah Monee, a model and publicist in New York City. "And, someday I want to retire and be able to play."
Q&A: Clearing up Medicare mysteries 05-12-14 
Since 1966, residents 65 or older have been able to sign up for Medicare, the federal governmentís health plan for seniors.
Moving in with parents a wrenching necessity for some middle-aged jobless 05-05-14 
Debbie Rohr lives with her husband and twin teenage sons in a well-tended three-bedroom home in Salinas, Calif.
Marijuana legalization give penny stock a wild ride 04-28-14 
The news releases began to flow in February. A Mission Viejo, Calif., penny-stock company announced it was leaving behind the world of nutritional supplements to enter "the growing billion-dollar marijuana industry."
Financial experts put emphasis on educating the next generation 04-28-14 
Parents across the country say in survey after survey that one of their top parenting worries is teaching their kids about how to handle money.
Student debt holds back many would-be home buyers 04-28-14 
Sarah Luna wants to buy a home in up-and-coming northeast Los Angeles before itís too late. At 31, she has a masterís degree and earns more than $70,000 as a court reporter and freelance editor.
For gay couples, downside of marriage is snarled taxes 04-21-14 
Even wedded bliss canít dull the sting of tax season. When the state wonít recognize your marriage, thereís nothing easy about a Form 1040.
Retirement assets are making a comeback 04-21-14 
Retirement assets at the end of 2013 were the highest on record, a strong indication that many savers have seen their investment accounts bounce back from the financial crisis of 2008 when the stock market fell so hard it lost nearly half its value.
Tax deadline can spread panic, experts say 04-14-14 
OK, procrastinators, hereís a friendly reminder: Time is running out. In less than two weeks it will be April 15, the deadline for filing your federal and state tax returns.
Gender split seen in styles of investing 04-14-14 
Whether itís relying on a spouse to handle household finances, being afraid of doing something risky with their money or just not feeling confident, women are less likely to take an active role in investing their savings.
How to ensure broker's honest 04-14-14 
When New York financier Bernard Madoff was sentenced to life in prison for masterminding one of the biggest investor Ponzi schemes in U.S. history, it was an unnerving reminder that entrusting your money to a professional can be risky.
Target's credit-monitoring offer not enough to protect consumers, experts say 04-07-14  
It was the data breach that shook the retail world. When Target Corp. announced in December that 110 million of its customersí payment and personal records had been breached, the news was unsettling ó both because Target is such an iconic brand and because the breach was so invasive.



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