Valley Bargain Book: Money And Finance

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5 Reasons Why You Need a Financial Plan Before a Recession

(StatePoint) With speculation swirling that the U.S. economy is heading for another recession, you might be wondering what you can do to protect yourself from feeling the pinch of a slowing economy.

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Recent Headlines

Wednesday 11/13/2019
Thinking About Refinancing? 5 Things to Consider
Posted: November 13, 2019

(StatePoint) Mortgage rates have recently hit near-record lows and Freddie Mac predicts rates will remain low for the foreseeable future.

Monday 11/04/2019
Navigating Cancer Costs? Consider These 3 Steps
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - The rising cost of cancer care affects virtually every patient undergoing treatment for cancer, including patients who have health insurance. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), a global leader in the fight against cancer, has found that patients experience the financial burden of cancer care for many years following diagnosis, as survivorship typically involves continuous treatment and follow-up care.

Closing in on A Killer
Posted: November 04, 2019

(NewsUSA) - Lung cancer is the nation's leading cancer killer, expected to claim more than 142,000 lives this year alone. That is more than the lives lost due to breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.

Creative Ways to Budget for a Cheery Holiday Season
Posted: November 04, 2019

(StatePoint) The holidays are fast approaching, making now the time to consider some wise strategies to get the most out of the season, without wreaking havoc on your personal finances.

Wednesday 10/30/2019
Let Work Incentives Work For You
Updated: November 02, 2019 - 3:43 am

(NAPSI)—If you receive Social Security disability benefits and want to work, Social Security Work Incentives can allow you to keep your healthcare (Medicare and Medicaid) and, in some cases, cash benefits as you begin working. These Work Incentives are designed to encourage and support beneficiaries who want to return to the workforce or work for the first time.

Monday 10/28/2019
Kick Off Your College Financial Aid Game This Fall
Posted: October 28, 2019

(NewsUSA) - Fall is here, and high school seniors (and their parents) are in the thick of the college application process.

Future-proofing Tips For Texas Building Owners
Updated: October 31, 2019 - 2:44 am

(NAPSI)—Texas is a great place for companies to do business and developers are building fast to keep up. Texas also experiences extreme weather and forces property owners to think seriously about how their new facilities can endure these extremes.

Thursday 10/24/2019
Get hitched without a hitch!
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - Your wedding is one of the most memorable days of your life. To pull off the big day of your dreams, it is important to have a plan in place.

These Behaviors Make You A Scam Target
Updated: October 26, 2019 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—If you spend a lot of time on social media sites or looking for great online deals, you may wear a bullseye when it comes to scammers hunting for prey, according to groundbreaking fraud research from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust and the Stanford Center on Longevity.

Thursday 10/17/2019
6 Tips to Celebrate Within Your Means This Holiday Season
Posted: October 17, 2019

(StatePoint) For many families, the holiday season is the most expensive time of year. Americans spent over $707 billion dollars during the 2018 holidays, according to the National Retail Federation, and it would be no surprise for spending to increase in 2019.

Wednesday 10/16/2019
Explore Work With Confidence
Updated: October 19, 2019 - 3:00 am

(NAPSI)—With unemployment at a 50-year low, companies are eager to draw talent from a diverse pool of job seekers, and organizations have recognized the inherent value in a diverse workforce that includes qualified employees with disabilities.

Tuesday 10/15/2019
Study Shows Gift Cards Can Give A Boost To Small Businesses
Updated: October 19, 2019 - 3:00 am

(NAPSI)—If you own or run any of America’s nearly 31 million small businesses, recent research reveals gift cards can be a real gift to your bottom line. According to a 2019 Small Business Gift Card Study commissioned by First Data, now Fiserv, gift card programs help small business owners bring in more sales, attract new customers, and build relationships with their customers.

Saturday 10/12/2019
Are Millennials Paying Enough Attention to Their Credit Scores?
Posted: October 12, 2019

(StatePoint) Millennials are no strangers to watching numbers. Lives today are affected by a vast number of online and social media statistics -- likes, followers, scores and ratings. However, a new survey suggests that despite the time and attention this generation devotes to social media, they are more focused on the importance of a very different number: their credit scores.

Friday 10/11/2019
Investing tips for smart and steady growth for Connecticut residents
Posted: October 11, 2019

(BPT) - From mobile deposits to apps that transfer money in the blink of an eye, financial technology (or fintech) is disrupting the financial marketplace in new ways. The latest example is an innovation in the annuity marketplace that expands online access to a conventional retirement product, offering a smart tool for savers, even those years out from retirement.

Traditionally, people have thought of annuities as set-it-and-forget-it insurance products designed to supplement retirement income. The idea was to leave your money in the annuity and then eventually receive steady payouts over time, but there was the potential for harsh penalties if you withdrew your money early. But not all annuities are the same. Now, there's a new type of offering for Connecticut residents — a short term fixed annuity you can buy directly online — that provides a new option for saving.

These fixed deferred annuities are brought to you by Gainbridge, a new savings platform that offers streamlined, simplified annuities with clear fees, terms and conditions. These products, as an addition to a well-rounded financial plan, provide straightforward, high-yield, simplified growth without the complexity traditionally associated with annuities.

The business offers fixed deferred annuities that can be withdrawn as a lump sum or as a stream of payments at the end of the investment period. Here’s how it works:

  • Smart returns: Customers earn higher interest rates (3.75%-4.00% as of September 2019) because the company eliminates complexity and maximizes efficiency by offering products that are simple, intuitive and backed by smart and secure technology.
  • Investment terms from three to 10 years: Customers can pick their investment period to lock in a guaranteed fixed rate. At maturity, they can choose to renew the annuity for another term or withdraw their investment as a lump sum or as a stream of monthly payments for five to 10 years.
  • The power of compounding: Since deferred annuity returns are taxed only when withdrawn, investors benefit from a three-times compounding effect: interest on the initial investment, interest on earned interest, and interest earned on money that would’ve gone to taxes if that money had been invested in a product that’s immediately taxable, like a CD or high-yield savings account.
  • Access to your money: High rates are offered with the expectation that investors will maintain their contract for the entire investment period. But life happens. Investors can withdraw up to 10% of their account value every year, after the first year, without penalty. New investors can cancel their contract up to 30 days after purchase with no fees or questions asked.
  • Peace of mind: These annuity rates aren’t subject to the market’s ups and downs — your rate is guaranteed, ultimately giving customers peace of mind and principal protection compared with investments in stocks, bonds or mutual funds.

Fixed deferred annuities can be a great savings tool if you’re approaching retirement or a bit further out and focused on accumulation. You should know that if you withdraw funds at an age younger than 59 and 1/2, you may face IRS penalties of 10% on your earnings (not on your principal). Many investors find this does not create a significant dent in the interest they earn.

Now available in Connecticut, along with 22 other states, including AZ, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, NC, NJ, NV, OH, OR, PA, TN, TX, VA, WA, and WI, Gainbridge was developed by Group1001, a family of companies striving to make investment products more useful and intuitive for everyone and the official sponsor of the Indy 500. An annuity is a steady way to grow your money — whether you need it in just a few years or much further down the line. If you’re looking to invest for three or more years, it offers more flexibility and better rates than CDs, smart tech that puts the power back in the hands of the consumer and a guaranteed way to balance risk in a portfolio. All without the usual fuss and hidden fees. Find out more by visiting

The Gainbridge multi-year guarantee and immediate annuity products, form numbers GB-SPIA-01 and GB-MYGA-01, respectively, or variations of such, are issued by Guggenheim Life and Annuity Company (d/b/a Guggenheim Life and Annuity Insurance Company in California; NAIC#83607) ("Guggenheim Life"), a Delaware-domiciled insurance company with its principal office in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gainbridge annuities and/or certain features may not be available in all states. Guggenheim Life is currently licensed and authorized to do business in 49 states (all states except New York), the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Investing tips for smart and steady growth for Texas residents
Updated: October 12, 2019 - 2:55 am

(BPT) - From mobile deposits to apps that transfer money in the blink of an eye, financial technology (or fintech) is disrupting the financial marketplace in new ways. The latest example is an innovation in the annuity marketplace that expands online access to a conventional retirement product, offering a smart tool for savers, even those years out from retirement.

Wednesday 10/09/2019
Feeling Ready For Work? This Could Be Your Year
Updated: October 11, 2019 - 2:34 am

(NAPSI)—Whether you’re looking for a job for the first time or trying to return to the workforce, you don’t have to do it alone.

As The Cost Of Long-Term Care Increases, It Pays To Know Your Options
Updated: October 12, 2019 - 2:55 am

(NAPSI)—According to AARP, there are 10,000 people turning 65 every day—a figure that is expected to be consistent until 2030. As these Americans continue to prepare for and enjoy their retirement years, more and more are factoring the cost of aging into their financial plans. For good reason: The Administration for Community Living, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, estimates about seven in 10 people turning 65 will need some type of long-term care services either at home, in their community, or in a facility.

Monday 10/07/2019
5 vehicle upgrades worth the investment
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:31 am

Buying a car, truck or SUV is a big investment. To protect that investment, most people make sure they keep up with the necessary maintenance and safety recalls, as well as getting sufficient insurance coverage.

Wednesday 10/02/2019
Key Questions to Help You Choose a Medicare Plan
Posted: October 02, 2019

(NewsUSA) - If you're one of 56 million Americans eligible for Medicare, it's important to understand coverage options when selecting your health plan for 2020.

Tuesday 10/01/2019
Free yourself from living paycheck to paycheck
Updated: October 02, 2019 - 2:40 am

(BPT) - About 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, often struggling between paydays. If this is a challenge for you, here are three easy ways that can help you get from one paycheck to the next with ease, avoid financial pitfalls, and even come out ahead.

Do You Need Flood Insurance? The Answer Is A Resounding “Yes”
Updated: October 03, 2019 - 3:09 am

(NAPSI)—Floods are the most common and costly natural disasters occurring in the United States today. They can impact anyone, anywhere, at any time. Yet only 15 percent of Americans choose flood insurance, leaving countless properties uninsured. Just one inch of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage.

Do You Need Flood Insurance? The Answer Is A Resounding “Yes”
Updated: October 06, 2019 - 2:39 am

(NAPSI)—Floods are the most common and costly natural disasters occurring in the United States today. They can impact anyone, anywhere, at any time. Yet only 15 percent of Americans choose flood insurance, leaving countless properties uninsured. Just one inch of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage.

Monday 09/30/2019
H&R Block can offer solutions to taxpayers who have or will receive an IRS letter or notice
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - In addition to its typical cadence of taxpayer correspondence, the IRS has also begun sending roughly 10,000 letters to taxpayers with virtual currency transactions that may have been unreported or misreported, as well as another tranche starting in late September to taxpayers with estimated tax obligations. This is in addition to the 720,000 IRS letter audits, 2 million math-error notices, 3 million underreported income letters, and 13.2 million letters on delinquent accounts and liens and levies that the IRS sends annually. While the cryptocurrency and estimated tax notices may garner extra attention, H&R Block (NYSE: HRB) cautions taxpayers that the volume of IRS letters and notices show that the possibility of needing to interact with the IRS after the April tax filing deadline is much more common than taxpayers realize.

Thursday 09/26/2019
Tips to Get Empowered and Take Control of Your Financial Life
Posted: September 26, 2019

(StatePoint) Consumers face major financial decisions at every stage of life. But experts say a basic understanding of financial concepts can help you make better decisions related to money management and reduce your stress at the same time.

Friday 09/20/2019
Estate Planning: Most People, Alas, Fail to Make Crucial Decisions
Updated: November 05, 2019 - 2:31 am

(NewsUSA) - How best to put this delicately?

Thursday 09/19/2019
With tax extensions up, October tax deadline nears
Posted: September 19, 2019

(BPT) - The IRS projected that more people than ever before — 14.6 million — would file an extension. That estimate may have been conservative, given how tax reform influenced people to delay filing as they figured out what tax reform meant for them.

Would you like the power to own your own home? Here are 4 steps to follow if you want to make your dream a reality
Posted: September 19, 2019

(BPT) - For many people, a monthly mortgage payment may be manageable, but their biggest obstacle is the upfront expense — namely down payment and closing costs — of buying a home. In fact, according to the Bank of America Spring 2019 Homebuyer Insights Report, 69% of prospective homeowners say saving enough money for a down payment and closing costs is the biggest challenge they face.

7 Traits to Look for in a Financial Planner
Posted: September 19, 2019

(StatePoint) When looking for a financial planner who can bring all the pieces of your financial life together and put you in the driver’s seat of your own financial future, experts say it’s important to look beyond his or her resume.

Saturday 09/14/2019
How to Protect Yourself From Financial Fraud
Posted: September 14, 2019

(StatePoint) There are more than 300,000 professional financial advisors in the U.S. It’s fair to say that a majority are dedicated to helping their clients achieve their financial goals. However, some unethical individuals seek to take advantage of clients’ trust and lack of financial knowledge to benefit themselves.

How New Tech Could Help You Manage Your Money
Posted: September 14, 2019

(StatePoint) From fitness apps monitoring daily activity to calendar apps that send appointment reminders, having high-quality, real-time information in the palm of your hand can be an effective way to stay accountable to your goals. So if you’re looking to better manage your money, it may be time to consider how an app can help.

Thursday 09/12/2019
Yes, There May Be A Positive to Come Out of the Student Debt Crisis
Updated: October 29, 2019 - 3:16 am

(NewsUSA) - Are all those stories about crippling student debt having an effect on college campuses? Just ask post-Millennials now trying - albeit not always successfully - to avoid being saddled with the same heavy burden of debt as their predecessors.

Could You Pay Your Mortgage on One Income? Here’s What to Know
Posted: September 12, 2019

(StatePoint) For many people, getting married and buying a house is still part of the American Dream. That’s reflected in the numbers. The homeownership rate among married couples in the U.S. is 80 percent, according to recent data reported by Statista. But what if something were to happen to you or your spouse? Would the person left behind still be able to afford the mortgage?

Wednesday 09/11/2019
Exciting Changes Coming To The Advanced Placement Program
Updated: September 14, 2019 - 2:32 am

(NAPSI)—The Advanced Placement (AP) Program gives students a chance to experience college-level classes in high school and opens the door to earning college credit before they ever set foot on campus. Students get to dig deeper into subjects they love, while building the skills and confidence they need to succeed in college. There are more statewide and system-wide AP credit policies than ever; over 99 percent of colleges have an AP credit policy in place.

Meeting The High Cost Of Higher Education
Updated: September 14, 2019 - 2:30 am

(NAPSI)—If you or someone you care about is—or hopes to be—a college student soon, a few facts and stats may prove educational:

Adulting: Financial Tips for Gen Z
Posted: September 11, 2019

(StatePoint) As more states nationwide adopt laws requiring high schools to offer personal finance classes, a new survey suggests that generation Z is on board with the trend.

Friday 09/06/2019
Study Shows College Kids Hide Debt From Parents
Updated: September 10, 2019 - 2:51 am

(NAPSI)—For college freshmen looking to manage their own finances—often for the first time—heading to college can often mean a lot of unexpected expenses and even new debt.

How to Prepare Young Adults for Financial Independence
Posted: September 06, 2019

(StatePoint) As you prepare your young adult for college and beyond, it’s important to talk about the road to financial independence, which includes building healthy credit. This is vital for big life moments like getting a car, apartment, house or job, and your child’s credit report will be the financial resume necessary to help him or her achieve these goals.

Thursday 09/05/2019
For A Purpose-Driven ROI, Partner With Those On The Front Lines
Updated: September 10, 2019 - 2:51 am

by Rick Shadyac

Tuesday 09/03/2019
A New Way to Benefit From the Competition For Your Money
Updated: October 12, 2019 - 2:52 am

(NewsUSA) - You win.

Friday 08/16/2019
What Money Tips Would You Tell Your Younger Self?
Posted: August 16, 2019

(StatePoint) As we age, we sometimes regret those life lessons that might have served us better when we were younger. If you could roll back the years, what would you tell your younger self about money? 

Thursday 08/15/2019
Ticket To Work Helps People Regain Independence
Updated: August 20, 2019 - 2:35 am

(NAPSI)—Millions of Americans get Social Security disability benefits yet want to work. They may be glad to know about a federal program that can help them enter the workforce while maintaining access to benefits. Thanks to Social Security’s Ticket to Work program, free employment support services help people prepare for work, find jobs or progress in their careers.

Monday 08/12/2019
Worried about saving for college? California is giving money to parents to help jump start their savings plan
Updated: August 20, 2019 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - If you’re like many parents, one concern at the back of your mind is whether you’ll be able to help with your children’s education costs once they graduate from high school.

Wednesday 08/07/2019
Put Your Home To Work This Winter
Updated: August 15, 2019 - 2:51 am

(NAPSI)—Here’s an idea many homeowners may warm to: Rent out your place as a vacation home.

Wednesday 07/31/2019
How investment in public transportation boosts the economy
Updated: November 16, 2019 - 2:31 am

How to discuss money with your date
Updated: September 19, 2019 - 2:32 am

Smart Ways To Save For Your Future
Updated: August 02, 2019 - 3:09 am

(NAPSI)—According to the Federal Reserve Board, four in 10 adults, if faced with an unexpected expense of $400, would either not be able to cover it or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money. If you’re ever among them, or the 78 percent of American workers who live paycheck to paycheck, you can assist yourself. It can pay to consider these six hints that can help you save:

Wednesday 07/24/2019
Unscrupulous financial advisors undermine public trust
Updated: August 20, 2019 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - Financial advisors are supposed to help you achieve your financial goals by providing expert guidance and strategic recommendations. Most truly want to see their clients succeed and work hard in your interest. But what about when they put their interests ahead of your own? Unfortunately, unscrupulous behavior from financial advisors and brokers is more common than you might think. This results in not only financial hardship for victims, but it can undermine confidence in those entrusted to protect our most important assets.

Tuesday 07/23/2019
Students Learn to Steer Their Farm Through Ups And Downs This Fair Season
Updated: August 23, 2019 - 2:44 am

(NewsUSA) - Although school may still be out for summer vacation, learning opportunities are all around us - even at county and state fairs.

Students Learn to Steer Their Farm Through Ups And Downs This Fair Season
Updated: September 10, 2019 - 2:50 am

(NewsUSA) - Although school may still be out for summer vacation, learning opportunities are all around us - even at county and state fairs.

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