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Financial Education for Everyone

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PMM Articles


Don't Be Surprised by Retiree Healthcare Costs

Retirement isn't cheap. Even though you're no longer drawing a paycheck, you still must pay for housing, food, utilities, transportation and healthcare, to name just a few expenses. As prices continue to escalate, it's not surprising that the ages at which...

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Social Security to Resume Mailed Benefit Statements

Call it a paperless experiment that didn't quite pan out. In 2011, a budget-strapped Social Security Administration (SSA) stopped mailing annual benefit statements to workers over 25 in order to save $70 million on annual printing and mailing costs. In return,...

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Will Your Kids Inherit Your Debt?

Many people finally get around to writing a will in order to safeguard their assets for their heirs. But what if you've got the opposite problem: Your nest egg was decimated by the recession, bad investments or simply living longer than...

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Identity Thieves Target Kids as Well as Adults

I'm sorry to report that child identity fraud is alive and well in 2014. If anything, the problem may be worsening as identity thieves devise new methods to steal – and use – children's personal information. Most commonly, they'll harvest kids'...

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Here's Credit 101 for Your College Freshman

To parents with a freshman entering college this fall: You're probably expecting to shell out major bucks for tuition, room and board and a million other necessities over the next few years. But before you send your kid off, make sure...

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Consumer Reporting Agencies Follow Your Moves

By now, you've probably heard about the Big Three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), which monitor your financial history and issue credit reports and credit scores to potential lenders. But did you know that there are dozens of other specialty...

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The Ins and Outs of 529 College Savings Plans

For many people, their biggest expenses in life are funding retirement, buying a home and paying for their children's college education – or a portion of it, anyway. Setting aside money for these and other financial goals is difficult, especially when...

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Don't Let Back-to-School Tasks Sneak up on You

Parents, if this is your first time at the back-to-school rodeo, let me share a few lessons my wife and I have learned the hard way. Chances are you'll be spending the next few weeks filling out piles of pre-enrollment paperwork,...

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Divorcing? Protect Your Finances, Personal Data

No doubt you've seen many warnings against sharing personal or financial information with strangers, but what about your spouse – or ex-spouse? A recent study by McAfee uncovered some unsettling results:Although 96 percent of adults surveyed trust their significant other with...

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Read Contracts Carefully Before Signing

If you always stop to read the fine print before signing anything, congratulations – your parents trained you well. If you don't, beware: Your signature could commit you to a long-term gym membership you don't really want, an apartment you can't...

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Claim a Tax Credit for Summer Daycare Expenses

For harried parents, the definition of true panic is realizing in April that you forgot to enroll your kids for summer day camp and now all the slots are filled. Cut to: as the school year ends, you're feverishly trying to...

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What to Do if You Inherit Someone's 401(k)

Talk about good news wrapped in bad: In the midst of grieving the loss of a loved one, you learn that you were named beneficiary of their 401(k) plan. Chances are you've got too much on your mind to make any...

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Make Sure Your Family Has a Disaster Plan

June 1 marked the beginning of hurricane season. Meanwhile, across much of the Western U.S., major droughts have greatly increased the danger for summer wildfires. And don't forget last winter's record-breaking winter storms – or the ongoing potential for earthquakes, tornados,...

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Job Search Tips for New Grads

To the roughly 1.6 million college graduates in the class of 2014: You have my heartiest congratulations – and my sympathies. I graduated during the early 1990s recession when finding a decent job was very difficult, so I have an inkling...

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Financial Advice for New Fathers

Each year when Father's Day rolls around, I'm reminded that I wouldn't trade the experience of raising my two kids for the world. But when I think back to how naïve my wife and I once were about the costs of...

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Don't Fall Prey to Medical Identity Theft

By now, most people know about the perils of identity theft, where someone steals your personal or financial account information and makes fraudulent charges or opens bogus accounts in your name. Lately, a not-so-new twist has been getting a lot of...

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Explore Medicare Before You Turn 65

Each day, approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 – and thereby become eligible for Medicare. But becoming eligible for and actually enrolling in Medicare are two very different things. In fact, if you miss the initial window to sign up for...

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Keep a Lid on Vacation Costs

Summer vacation is right around the corner. I'm not a big believer in pre-planning every single detail – sometimes the best vacation moments are spontaneous. But unless your rich uncle is paying for the trip, you'll need to do a certain...

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Providing Financial Literacy to the Unbanked

In today's world of Internet banking, smartphone shopping apps and web-based access to investment accounts, it's easy to forget that billions of people around the world – including millions in our own country – lag far behind when it comes to...

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