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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 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.

Susan Tompor: The hidden costs of burial 11-05-18
Wanna hear of an eerie impulse buy? I sort of hate to admit this one. But earlier this year, I bought two gravesites ó one cemetery plot for me and another for my husband.
Frustrated with health insurance costs, some turn to religious plans: ĎFor us itís been a godsendí 10-29-18
Sarah Barazza doesnít have health insurance, but money was the last thing on her mind as she and her 15-month-old son raced to the hospital in an ambulance last year.
The Journey: What ever happened to the Ďhealth dividendí? 10-29-18
Retirees are getting the fattest Social Security raise theyíve seen in years, but many are likely to spend it all in one place: their doctorís office.
Susan Tompor: New job perk thatís luring employees, helping them cut college debt 10-22-18
Jamie Cummings, 41, faces $93,000 in student loans, the kind of college debt that could keep anyone awake at night.
The Journey: Unclear if new legislation will boost retirement savings 10-15-18
Political efforts to boost Americansí savings are gaining steam. At the end of September, the House of Representatives passed a bill that eliminates required distributions for retirement accounts totaling less than $50,000
Susan Tompor: 3 ways to protect your kidsí college savings if the market falls 10-15-18
The record run for stocks ó along with ongoing trade and election jitters ó has some parents on edge about college nest eggs.
Susan Tompor: Social Security and Medicare scam calls heating up: What to expect 10-08-18
Hang up and keep hanging up. Or better yet, just donít answer. Scammers are hitting mobile phones and landlines with all sorts of wacky pitches ó including false claims about what you need to do to get a new Medicare card.
The Journey: Minister enjoys retirement on modest pension, Uber gig 10-01-18
As he prepared to celebrate his 80th birthday recently, Michael Halleen reflected on several career reinventions, including one heís making now.
Susan Tompor: Credit freeze: A misunderstood freebie that you actually want 10-01-18
Just one year ago, consumers woke up and discovered that hackers had one heck of a field day with their Social Security numbers and other information in a massive data breach at Equifax.
Susan Tompor: Credit freeze: A misunderstood freebie that you actually want 09-24-18
Just one year ago, consumers woke up and discovered that hackers had one heck of a field day with their Social Security numbers and other information in a massive data breach at Equifax.
A decade after the financial crisis, many Americans are still struggling to recover 09-24-18
WASHINGTON ó Amid the chaos after Lehman Bros.í collapse, the big banks got hundreds of billions of dollars in bailouts.
Susan Tompor: Are we or arenít we looking at another bubble? 09-17-18
Just 10 years after the financial crisis, many people find themselves asking the same odd question that a friend asked me last week when we met for coffee.
Lessons from the crisis still relevant a decade later 09-17-18
The single best explanation for why we had a terrifying financial crisis 10 years ago goes back to how easy it seems to be to take risks when itís someone elseís money.
The Journey: Retirement clock running down? Time to act 09-10-18
Some of us are earning more and saving more for retirement than we were five years ago, but is it too little, too late?
Susan Tompor: Finding a lost life insurance policy: 3 ways to get started on your search 09-10-18
As we mourn the high-profile deaths of soul icon Aretha Franklin and Arizona Sen. John McCain this past week, itís not a bad time to put a spotlight on dreaded topics, such as end-of-life paperwork.
Susan Tompor: Aretha Franklin didnít have a will, but you should 09-03-18
Aretha Franklinís legacy could include teaching consumers yet another word: W-I-L-L. Get one. Franklin ó like Prince, Pablo Picasso, and others before her ó reportedly died without a will or a trust.
Fewer people are using cash, which means fewer tips. And workers are hurting 09-03-18
MIAMI ó Julio Valdez, a valet at a major hotel chain on South Beach, has parked cars for more than a decade. 
How reverse mortgages can hurt, rather than help, aging Philly homeowners 08-27-18
Tom Selleck never explains the fine print. And thatís a problem, some critics say. In a commercial hawking reverse mortgages, the TV actor doesnít tell people how they could get into trouble with the product, a special kind of loan that allows borrowers aged 62 and older to convert a portion of their homeís equity into cash.
On Philanthropy: 6 tips for effective business giving 08-27-18
In 2017, U.S. corporations donated $20.77 billion to nonprofit organizations, an increase of 8 percent over the prior year.

Susan Tompor: Borrower beware: Soon it will be tougher to unload college loans 08-20-18
Hereís a good reason to think twice about taking out piles of student loans after watching a catchy TV ad for a for-profit college.

Need a loan? Forget the corner payday lender ó your boss has you covered 08-13-18
Your employer might contribute to your retirement account or help pay for health insurance. But will it help you set up an emergency fund? Or offer you a loan of a few thousand dollars when your transmission breaks down?
Fidelity fires fee salvo vs. Vanguard, launching two new mutual funds with zero fees 08-13-18
The mutual fund giant Vanguard has led the way in cutting costs for retail investors ó until last week.
The Journey: Paying off mortgage quickly is not always the optimal retirement strategy 08-06-18
Q: I will soon make our final mortgage payment. My wife will retire in two years and I will work to age 67.
Susan Tompor: No, Tyler Perry isnít paying your tuition: Donít fall for this and other college scams 08-06-18
Entertainment mogul Tyler Perry does not have a scholarship sitting on the sidelines just waiting to help you go to college. No matter what you might spot on Facebook.
Millennials really do have it tougher ó compared with 1977 08-06-18
Is life more expensive for Americaís millennials? We may hate to admit it, but yes. New data reveal millennials donít earn as much, pay more for higher education and put off home purchases longer than Gen Xers and baby boomers did.
Econometer: Should people with student loan debt be allowed to declare bankruptcy? column 07-30-18
Question: Do you think Congress should make it easier for those with student loan debt to declare bankruptcy?
Why donít more people shop for health care? Online tools exist, but most donít use them 07-30-18
CHICAGO ó At Rush University Medical Center on Chicagoís West Side, the median charge for a vaginal birth was $16,703 last year.
Susan Tompor: 5 tips if youíre packing a credit card for college 07-30-18
Back in 2009, college students seemed to have a love affair going on with their credit cards. About 84 percent of college undergraduates had at least one credit card, according to a study then from Sallie Mae.
The Journey: Social Security Administration is shortchanging survivors on benefits 07-23-18
Widows and widowers who were shortchanged on Social Security benefits by an estimated $131.8 million wonít get any of that money back, despite an Inspector General report calling for action.
Susan Tompor: Students arenít the only ones crushed by school debt 07-23-18
College debt is building and, increasingly, parents are on the hook. Where do you turn when youíve maxed out on federal student loans? Ask Mom and Dad to take out some parent loans, too.
United Airlines joins other carriers in peddling credit cards to passengers 07-23-18
If you hate unsolicited sales pitches, your next flight on United Airlines might be a bit irksome.



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