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General

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17 Oct Valid reasons to cash out on your 401(k)

Maybe you’ve changed jobs and forgotten about that 401(k) along with the names of your old coworkers’ kids. Or maybe you haven’t quite forgotten about it, but you thought it was best not to touch it. But life happens, right? As much as we’d all like to save money for the golden years and retire like royalty, as the one and only Mick Jagger put it, “You can’t always get what you want.” I’m going to go into reasons why you may not want to touch the money in your 401(k). And then I’ll talk about reasons that may justify it....

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19 Sep Student loan forgiveness program guide

For many, student loans represent a significant investment in an individual’s future. Borrowing to complete an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree program is often the only means to pay for the cost of higher education, as the price tag continues to increase at public and private institutions alike. Currently, more than 44 million Americans have outstanding student loan debt, totaling over $1.4 trillion among them, and these figures make it hard to fathom how student loan balances will ever be paid off. Fortunately, some student loan borrowers have access to valuable forgiveness programs that offset the burden of paying for student debt...

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13 Sep Aretha Franklin didn’t have a will. What can we learn?

Aretha Franklin had a net worth of $80 million at the time of her death. Yet despite her fame, wealth, and lawyer’s attempts, she left no will or trust. She was divorced with four grown children, one who has special needs. What are the consequences of leaving no will or trust for your loved ones? If we look at Franklin’s case, it could mean that her four children won’t receive the inheritances as she wished, family squabbles over who feels entitled to what may delay payments, her estate could receive a large tax bill, it will have to address royalties and copyrights,...

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07 Sep 7 ways to save money while paying back credit card debt

Excessive credit card debt can put a hold to anyone’s finances. At the worst of times, you may be forced to put your life on hold. At the best of times, it’s an annoying thorn in your side. It can be a costly problem above all. There are many ways to pay off credit card debt. The question is how to pay off credit card debt without going broke. It’s not easy, but it is possible to do it and save money. It can be done in several different ways. Each method requires you to be resourceful and smart about your...

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31 Aug Build your credit from scratch

Build your Credit from Scratch   Think of your credit like your financial resume. And whether you’re applying for a new house, car or just a new cell phone plan, experience is the most important thing. While that simple fact puts a lot of pressure on your financial past, the good news is that if you’re starting from scratch, building credit doesn’t have to be complicated. And improving your credit doesn’t have to be a headache either. Take some simple steps now so that a globe-trotting vacation or low insurance rate becomes more than just a pipe dream. 1. Get a credit card I know...

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17 Aug Improve your credit score

Improve Your Credit Score   True or false: Your income influences your credit score. I know what some of you are thinking. A lender looks at your income to see how much you can borrow, but that’s another story. What about that three-digit score? False. Your income doesn’t influence your credit score. If you answered differently, you’re not alone. In fact, many Americans don’t quite understand what factors determine their credit score and how to improve it. What most of us do know is that a high credit score helps us get lower interest rates, avoid deposits on utilities and cell phones, and obtain faster approval...

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10 Jul Facts about Peace Corps student loan forgiveness

Facts about Peace Corps student loan forgiveness   The Peace Corps has long held a reputation for allowing young people to see the world while giving back to local communities. Through this government-run program, volunteers are placed in far-flung locations for an initial period of two years. These volunteers work in a variety of fields, from education, to business, to technology, to agriculture, and the environment. Most people join the Peace Corps after college graduation, leading to an important question: how can volunteers pay back their student loans while working abroad for a small stipend? While there are options for deferring student loans...

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28 Mar Top 8 estate planning mistakes

Top 8 Estate Planning Mistakes   Perhaps you have heard the expression: “If you fail to plan then you plan to fail.” This statement was never truer than for estate planning. By some accounts, 70% of adult Americans have no will or trust in place for their loves ones. Furthermore, others who initially did prepare an estate plan have failed to update it in light of changing circumstances in their lives. You can benefit from avoiding the 8 most common estate planning mistakes that I have seen people make. 1. FAILURE TO PRESERVE YOUR INHERITANCE FOR YOUR GRANDCHILDREN SHOULD YOUR SON/DAUGHTER DIE AND THEIR SURVIVING SPOUSE...

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22 Mar Is it time to #DeleteFacebook?

IS IT TIME TO #DELETEFACEBOOK?   Birthday reminders, family pictures, memes for that mid-afternoon comic relief, or maybe recommendations for local businesses. However you use Facebook, it’s undeniable that this social network has seeped its way into our lives, into multiple generations, and influences how we see the world. So when the news comes out that over 50 million users’ private information has been accessed and used to influence the elections, many of us are left thinking … so what now? Who’s viewing my information and how is it being used and protected? And the million-dollar question: Should I get off Facebook? First, let’s...

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28 Feb Want to buy a house? Here’s how to save for a down payment

Want to buy a house? Here’s how to save for a down payment Thinking about buying a house within the next 3 years? Or a bit farther down the road? Timing is everything and it turns out that simple question makes a difference. According to Zillow, the median home value in Diamond Bar is $697,000. So how much of that should you put down? Down payments vary depending on the loan type, but in general they are: 0% for VA loans 3.5% for FHA loans 20% for conventional loans Or use this handy down payment calculator to help you 20% is the recommended down payment on a...

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