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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 don’t have the start-up money or the collateral to ask the bank for a loan? And you don’t want to ask friends or family? Do the next best thing — 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 aren’t sure they’re 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 people’s 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 generation’s financial future.
Estate essentials
"Picture this. You’ve been invited to a meeting; when you get there you realize it’s the first meeting after your own death. You can’t 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 you’re an aspiring entrepreneur seeking money from angel investors, you’d 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 ­— 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, it’s 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 today’s 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 children’s education, do some traveling or simply manage debt. While overall plans haven’t changed, people’s attitudes have gone through a period of adjustment — and that’s occurring across all age groups, local industry experts say.

The Journey: Overconfidence leads to mistakes in retirement planning 05-13-19
Among 55-plus working households, four in 10 have saved at least a quarter-million dollars for retirement, according to a long-running retirement confidence survey.
Susan Tompor: ‘One Ring’ phone scam comes in middle of night, luring you into costly callback 05-13-19
And now the scammers are calling in the middle of the night — repeatedly. A wave of what’s called the “One Ring” phone scam has been waking up consumers at night and trying to prompt them into making a costly callback.
Susan Tompor: Elizabeth Warren’s plan for student loan forgiveness: Don’t bank on it 05-06-19
Caution: If you’re someone who grabs money management tips after a quick read of a headline or two on Twitter, take note. Don’t bank on getting a big break yet on your college debt.
Pop star of personal finance, Dave Ramsey uses gruff love to lead others out of debt 05-06-19
Ordinary financial advisers can’t get Minnesotans to pay $19 to $149 to hear them speak. Most are lucky to attract people to a free meal at a local steakhouse.
In major shift, Vanguard says it’ll allow active fund managers to vote independently 05-06-19
For decades, Vanguard Group appeared to exercise its voting rights, in companies where it holds shares, as a monolith.
The Journey: Facts to know about survivor’s benefits 04-29-19
Choosing the best time to claim Social Security benefits can be tricky, mostly because we don’t know precisely how long we’ll live to collect.
Susan Tompor: Need to adjust your W-4? Here’s how to do it 04-29-19
Wait, don’t just stuff a copy of your 1040 in your files now that April 15 is over. You may want to sit down right now and do a paycheck checkup.
On Philanthropy: Giving to charity in the last third of your life 04-29-19
Today, the U.S. population includes nearly 50 million adults over the age of 65. Members of this demographic control substantially greater assets and net worth than any younger generation.
Susan Tompor: These must-have apps can help you save money online 04-22-19
The thrill of shopping on your phone or online, of course, is that it makes stocking up on groceries, buying a rug for the apartment or even shopping on a Friday night after a glass of wine or two all that easier.
The Journey: Are socially conscious funds a good bet for retail investors? 04-15-19
Investors are throwing more money into funds with a social mission, but do these funds belong in your retirement account?
Schafer: Have low investment returns become normal? 04-15-19
The Federal Reserve just signaled that the financial world is not going back to normal, not yet anyway.
Broker websites expand health plan shopping options while glossing over details 04-15-19
Some websites consumers use to buy their own health insurance don’t provide full information on plan choices or Medicaid eligibility, and appear to encourage selection of less comprehensive coverage that provides higher commissions to brokers, according to a report released in March by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Online lenders put small banks in a bind 04-08-19
The boom in internet lending is taking a toll on traditional commercial banks, especially smaller ones, suggesting that they’re going to have to have to find ways to adjust to the changes wrought by financial technology.
Susan Tompor: How student loans can fatten or shrink your tax refund 04-08-19
Most of us know we need to pay attention to things like our mortgages when doing our taxes. But who would imagine that student loan debt could possibly help you get a bigger tax refund?
Susan Tompor: No, you can’t pay to remove ID from the dark web. Here’s what to do 04-01-19
Lately, we’re all worried about what crooks might find out about us on the “dark web.” Given high-profile data breaches at places such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Health Alliance Plan, as well as Marriott and Equifax, it’s not surprising that consumers are running scared.
Financial advisers flock to ETFs 04-01-19
Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are usually passive investments, because they automatically track an index or a basket of assets. 
How to override your bank and make 40 times more on your savings account 04-01-19
Since 2013 consumers have been squeezed with savings rates hovering near zero percent. Many banks still aren’t paying much more than 0.05 percent even today on savings, despite several recent interest rate hikes by the Fed.
Susan Tompor: IRS warns: That windfall in your bank account might not be yours 03-25-19
Fraudsters are rolling out a glut of legitimate-looking but fake text messages, emails and social media posts this tax season, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
The Journey: Is your adviser steering you into fee-heavy 529 plan? 03-18-19
Retirement savers with kids should pay attention to a new crackdown on brokers who sell college savings plans.
Susan Tompor: Millennials buried in debt can’t buy into American Dream 03-18-19
Amanda Hill, 27, deals with big student loan debt by doing everything she can to keep her other bills small.
Susan Tompor: With credit card debt up 7.5 percent, next financial disaster could be you 03-11-19
We all seem to be on the lookout for clues that we’re on the verge of another widespread financial crisis.
Vanguard effect? SoFi launches ‘free’ ETF as fee war flares among brokers 03-11-19
Anyone paying down student loans may recognize the name SoFi from ubiquitous mailers and Super Bowl ads.
The Journey: Investors in or nearing retirement should pay attention to the markets 03-04-19
The very young and very old needn’t worry so much about market turbulence, we’re often told. Over a long time, volatility smooths out quite nicely for the young. Older retirees, hopefully, have tamped down enough risk in their portfolios that a stock shock shouldn’t cause much of a blip.
Susan Tompor: Online romance scams cost victims thousands 03-04-19
Although Valentine’s Day candy is nearly gone from store shelves, romance –– and the scams that go with it –– goes on year-round.
Susan Tompor: Smaller tax refunds darken an already grim consumer debt picture 02-25-19
The U.S. economy may be strong. But we continue to see signs of financial stress that indicate that just having a job may not be enough to pay the bills.
The Journey: New post-retirement job: making the world a better place 02-18-19
Retirement experts often recommend working longer as a way to make savings outlive the saver, but it isn’t always easy.
Susan Tompor: How to avoid the Social Security scam that makes you out to be a criminal 02-18-19
Maybe con artists are inspired by the movie “The Mule” where Clint Eastwood plays an octogenarian who hauls cocaine shipments in a Lincoln pickup for a Mexican cartel.
Living paycheck to paycheck? This San Diego startup wants to help you shop 02-18-19
SAN DIEGO — Buy now and pay later. It’s an irresistible offer, especially for cash-strapped Americans living paycheck to paycheck.
Susan Tompor: New tax deduction cap could turn big refund into big tax bill 02-11-19
The big tax question of the year: Will you get a super-sized refund or suddenly discover that you’re going to end up writing one monster check?
The Journey: Where is the safe haven for retirees? 02-04-19
Q. My wife and I are both 66. She has retired and started Social Security; I am working part time, receiving a small pension from a previous job, taking dividend income from a rollover account where I put my 401(k) funds, and putting off starting Social Security.
Susan Tompor: Tax refund advance often too good to be true: What to know 02-04-19
Plenty of people would jump at the chance to speed up getting some of their tax refund cash, especially in light of the government shutdown, job cuts and other financial headaches.



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