New Steps Announced to Combat Tax-Related Identity Theft & Fraud

Even though tax fraud has been around for years, it's becoming a bigger problem. Identity thieves are becoming more sophisticated and can use stolen personal and financial information to claim tax refunds. For example, if a criminal has your social security number, they could file a tax return and have a refund sent to them. You may not know that it has happened until you file your return and the IRS informs you that the refund was already made.

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Make the Most of Your Financial Resolutions for 2016

What are your financial resolutions for 2016? Most people want to save more, spend less, and pay down debt, according to a recent survey from Fidelity. These are great financial goals, but making them a reality is not so easy. Why? First, the goals are vague–without a plan that has specific action steps, the goals will remain just nice ideas. Second, achieving the goal of saving more requires most people to spend less and reduce debt. So an effective plan must address all three goals in concrete ways. Here are some tips to help you get started.

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Three 2015 Resolutions To Enhance Your Financial Well-Being

Have you made any resolutions for 2015? Typical January goals include ways to enhance your physical well-being, such as losing weight, getting in shape, or eating a more healthful diet. I’d like to recommend setting three goals for the new year that can enhance your financial well-being.

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What You Need to Know About Recent Social Security Changes

In late October as part of the budget bill, three social security options for claiming benefits were eliminated. These options are file and suspend, restricted applications, and retroactive lump sum payments. The elimination of these options do not affect how Social Security benefits are calculated.

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Are You Kidding? You're Not Thinking About Retirement Yet?

What's your vision of retirement? Freedom to do what you want? Travel? Fishing?

"Retirement" is about having the freedom to control your own life when you get older. It's a time in your life when you shouldn't have to depend on a job to live your life.

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Seven Tips for Getting Better Customer Service

Dealing with customer service for products and services is a fact of life. A recent Consumer Reports survey found that 88% of survey participants had dealt with customer service at least once during the year. Most found it a time-consuming and frustrating process.

Needs for customer service range from repair requests for utilities, services, and products to help with troubleshooting new devices, to correction of faulty bills. The holiday season also brings gifts of new toys and products that increase the need for customer service.

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Do Fitness Apps and Devices Protect Your Health Information?

Do you have a wearable health or fitness tracker? Do you use health or fitness apps? Are you giving someone a fitness tracker or other gadget this holiday season? If you answered yes to any of these questions, read on.

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Young People and Taxes!

Regardless of what job or career you may have during your life and what country you may live in—the U.S. or abroad—you're going to be paying taxes. In most situations, you may already be paying taxes.

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Don't Get Caught by These Phone Scams!

We lead busy lives. In the hustle and bustle of each day, we use our phones to keep in touch with family and friends, make appointments, gather information, and much more. Scammers hope to take advantage of this to steal our money and/or identity. There are many ways scammers use our phones both old and new.

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November's Time to Consider Health Plan Re-Enrollments & Savings for 2016

Each year November marks the middle of the time to enroll, re-enroll, or make changes to your health-care plans for the coming year. These plans include health insurance provided by your employer, health insurance you buy individually on the Health Insurance Marketplace (state or national), Medicare, and various tax-advantaged health savings plans. Take time now to consider what you and your family need for 2016. It can help you get the best coverage and benefits while saving money where possible.

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What Is a “Credit Score” And How Can It Affect Your Credit?

altWhat is your credit score? And why is it important? In this report, we give you some basic facts about credit scoring that highlight its importance to your financial health. Credit scoring is a system of statistically analyzing credit reports that provides a simple three-digit score comparing an individual's past and current credit performance to that of similar consumers. Your credit score provides lenders, or other potential creditors such as insurance companies or landlords, a quick, fairly objective way to assess your creditworthiness—or likely ability to pay back a loan or mortgage or pay the rent. Knowing your credit score (along with regularly checking your credit report) is a smart thing to do.

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Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

credit_consolodateWhether your credit is already good or could use some improvement, managing your personal finances in ways that enhance your creditworthiness is always smart. Adopting sound practices that enhance your credit score is a good place to start.

The topic of credit scores has been in the personal finance news since credit reporting agencies began to make such scores available to consumers several years ago. This event has opened the door to a number of Web-based companies that offer to provide your score — along with outrageous fees — for what may be inaccurate information. You can get all this information yourself for much less. The FoolProof Report, "What's Your Credit Score, and How Can it Affect Your Credit?" explains credit scoring and tells you how to get accurate information about your score for a reasonable fee.

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It's Time to Tap Year-End Money-Saving and Tax-Saving Tips

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When December arrives, thoughts turn not just to the holidays but to steps you can take to maximize year-end savings, particularly on the year’s taxes. As you enjoy the season’s festivities, take a moment to consider the following potential ways to save.

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Do You Have These Important Planning Documents in Order?

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If an incapacitating illness or accident were to strike suddenly, would your family (or other designated person) know where to find important documents related to your finances, health care, and personal information and assets?

An important part of managing all of your assets is making a plan that details what you’d like to happen in the future under various life circumstances. These range from illness or accident to death. This process is usually called "estate planning." And doing this planning is important whether you are young and just starting out or older and reaching retirement age. Even if you haven’t made a formal plan, you have assets and documents that ought to be organized for your use and so that your spouse, children, or designee can find them easily in case of an emergency.

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    • Financial Well-being


      Want to improve your credit score? Want to cut your tax bills?  Like to tear up hundred dollar bills? (You're probably doing that). How about this:  want to wake up retired and without money?  Your Financial Well-being rules your life.  We put you in charge of the rules.

       

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    • Privacy Rights

      Every worry about identity theft?  Worry about young people and the dangers of the web? Mind if I read your private emails?  Or browse through your medical records? This section takes you into the scary world of privacy, fraud and identity theft.  FoolProof gives you the information you need when it comes to identity theft and privacy issues.   

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