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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.

Putting survival mode in the rearview mirror 10-13-14
Jason and Rhionna Watson are very good at making their money go a long way. They have to be. On a modest combined income the couple have raised three children, earned college degrees, started careers and remained steadfast contributors to their church.
Money and mission: When investments conflict with philanthropy 10-13-14
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation last month made headlines around the nation for unveiling the latest winners of its "genius" grants.
Spending Smart: Working through phone warranty options 10-06-14
When it comes to insurance products, extended warranties are the black sheep of the family, regularly derided by consumer advocates as being too expensive for the protection they provide.
Pinched consumers going on saving spree, looking for deals 09-29-14
Squeezed between flat wages and rising prices, many middle-class consumers are feeling poor.
Spending Smart: What you can do with your old phones 09-22-14
With consumers rushing to buy the new iPhone 6, Moto X or any other late-model smartphone, a related industry is bustling: recommerce companies that will buy your old smartphone, sometimes for hundreds of dollars.
Credit cards are back, but in a more sensible way 09-22-14
WASHINGTON ó Americaís torrid love affair with the credit card appears over. In its place is a less passionate, more stable relationship.
Gail MarksJarvis: Benefits, not just paychecks, have fallen on hard times 09-15-14
Paychecks have been disappointing investors for years, but thatís not all thatís been putting pressure on household spending.
Spending Smart: Are airport security fast lanes worth your money? 09-09-14
Convenience vs. cash. We pay for all sorts of services to avoid hassle and stress. Should paying for TSA Precheck to speed through airport security screening be one of them?
The Home Economist: Is it really a bargain? 09-02-14
Like most of us, Michelle Levy, 44, loves a deal. So after the president of a DJ management company heard about a good facialist ó and then saw that same salon selling the service on a group discount website ó she clicked quickly.
Spending smart: Information you can bank on 08-25-14
In the bustle of everyday life, it can be difficult to keep up with all the trends and issues that affect your wallet as a consumer.
Habitual saver prepared for retirement 08-18-14
Jean Tsou, 35, enjoys her career as a research-and-development engineer for a medical-equipment maker in the Seattle area. 
Gail MarksJarvis: Considering taking a loan out of your 401(k)? Read this first 08-18-14
Q: My wife stopped working and started staying home when we had our little ones. Now we have a lot of credit card debt weíd like to get rid of. 
Back-to-school shopping a chance to teach financial tips to kids 08-11-14
Ready or not, Labor Day is a few weeks away, which means so is another school year.
Cut out these little life luxuries and save money 08-11-14
We are programmed to believe "the more things we have, the better," said Louis Manza, psychology professor at Lebanon Valley College, Annville, Pa.
Preserving online accounts after death 08-04-14
DOVER, Del. ó When Donna Johnsonís father died suddenly of a massive heart attack, her mother tried to get access to his email account and digital photo repository. 
Pamela Yip: All families need to have the financial 'talk' 07-28-14
Itís the conversation that many families put off. And then put off some more. Itís the talk between elderly parents and their adult children about the parentsí finances. 
Deciphering the alphabet soup of advisers 07-21-14
Susan Cohen and Barry Berg, of Maplewood, N.J., handled their own finances for years. But when their special-needs son, Julian, turned 18 in 2013, they had a docket of financial decisions to make for the young man, born with Fragile X syndrome. 
Parents' 'stuff' can be a burden for boomers 07-14-14
Losing a parent is an inevitable hurdle in life. And for baby boomers, whose aging parents are often in their 80s and 90s, itís an imminent one. 
Experts agree debt is a double-edged sword 07-14-14
To use credit, or not use credit? That is the question. The answer really depends on whom you ask. Even the experts donít always agree.
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.



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