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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.

Spending Smart: Choose your payment methods wisely for holiday shopping 12-08-14
With holiday shopping gearing up, a plethora of stressful decisions includes not only what you buy and how much you spend but how you pay.
Generic drug prices skyrocket in past year 12-01-14
CHICAGO ó After calling for a routine prescription refill, Craig Elliott got a rude shock: His bill was going up fivefold.
Retailers' data breaches could get 'ugly' during holiday season 12-01-14
SAN JOSE, Calif. ó Hold onto your credit cards ó cybercriminals are eager to hack them, and this holiday shopping season, there is a good chance they will be successful.
Pamela Yip: Don't wait to prepare for financial life without a spouse 11-24-14
Malea Anderson has been dealing with the financial fallout of her husbandís death. "Iím a mess," said Anderson, of Dallas, whose husband died in a plane crash in September. "We were on the verge of opening a business.
Best day for holiday deals? Not necessarily Black Friday 11-24-14
CHICAGO ó Those who would rather choke on a wishbone than forgo pecan pie for Thanksgiving Day sales or venture into the Black Friday madness might be happy to hear that the weekendís deals may be just the tip of the iceberg.
Spending Smart: Common heating myths that can raise energy bills 11-17-14
Advice about saving money on home heating costs abounds this time of year, but some of it is oversimplified, marketing hype or just plain wrong, while some long-standing myths persist about keeping warm on the cheap.
The Journey: Risk tolerance matters when making cash-flow decisions11-17-14
Q. Iím retired, 71, and living on my Social Security and a pension totaling $3,200 monthly. I have an IRA worth $412,000 sitting out of the stock market and another $38,000 in a savings account. 
Generic drug prices skyrocket in past year 11-17-14
CHICAGO ó After calling for a routine prescription refill, Craig Elliott got a rude shock: His bill was going up fivefold.
More health insurance changes on the way 11-11-14
Employers are increasingly pushing enrollment in high-deductible, low-premium health insurance plans, according to benefits experts, which means it might be time to break out the calculator and reconsider current policies.
Spending Smart: Simple antenna can help kick costly cable TV habit 11-03-14
As more people rethink ways to get television programming outside the traditional cable and satellite companies, the unsung TV antenna is becoming a fundamental component of their cord-cutting strategy.
Learn your loved one's end-of-life wishes while you can 10-27-14
Itís the most serious of responsibilities to be bestowed upon you: the power to make medical decisions for your loved one in case he or she canít.
Planning a move? Let a personal shopper find deals on utilities 10-20-14
DALLAS ó Moving can be a pain. Thereís an endless list of tasks, such as making sure you have electricity, cable, Internet and other utilities that make a house hum.
Spending Smart: Frugal ways for singles to save on food costs 10-20-14
Single people, who now make up the majority of American adults, often have spending and saving concerns that differ from those of married folks. 
Affordable rents slipping away 10-20-14
Like a growing number of renters across the country, Christene James of Jackson, Miss., is near the end of her rope
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. 



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