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Your Family Finances
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News and articles related to family finances.
News and articles related to family finances.

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The Financial Pitfalls of a DUI
For most American families, financial stability is a very fleeting thing. In fact, according to recent statistics, one-third of us are living paycheck-to-paycheck, which makes us vulnerable to financial emergencies. In many households, a “financial emergency” may arise if a child comes home and asks for $20 for tomorrow’s field trip.

You may be able to take care of the field trip fee by digging deep into your wallet and raiding a piggy bank, but expenses related to a DUI are not nearly as easy to pay. Even for a first offense, the fines and court costs alone can easily exceed $1,000. Sadly, after that bill is paid, the other expenses are just starting to roll in. Read more: http://ow.ly/sQwB1

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The Hidden Financial Consequences of Divorce
Most people are prepared for the obvious financial consequences of a divorce – for example, paying alimony and child support or splitting the house and cars – but what about the less obvious financial consequences? Preparation is a key to successfully managing your family finances, so don’t lose the key at this critical moment.
Divorce is already bad enough for your purse or wallet: But according to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) after a divorce, household income drops by up to 45%. “Overall, the authors find that the family-income costs associated with growing up in single-parent families are not temporary, but largely persist until a marriage or remarriage occurs… Further, if family income does play an important role in determining a child’s later success in life, then policies that encourage two-parent families may be justified.” http://ow.ly/sQwom

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6 Things Retirees Should be Grateful For
Over-consumption of mass media can cause emotional whiplash. So, I unplugged from mass media and cleared some headspace to consider what my fellow retirees and I have to be grateful for.
1. The annual gift tax exclusion and the combined lifetime exemption.
2. Ted Benna and Subsection 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code.
3. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
4. Increased longevity.
5. Time.
6. The option to enjoy a second career post-retirement.
For complete info on each of these, see: http://ow.ly/sQvWa

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Whenever you take out a loan or create some form of debt, you must pay interest. Interest is considered the cost of doing business. It compensates the lender for the use of the money. You can think of it as the rent you are paying for the use of the money. The interest rate that you’re charged is based on the principal amount borrowed, on your individual credit score (your creditworthiness), the length of time and other factors.

Interest can become a problem for borrowers who take out a loan, use a credit card, or engage in other types of debt activity (i.e. payday loans) especially if you only make the monthly minimum payments. Often interest compounds so outstanding debt accrues (grows) additional interest. By making small or minimum payments it can result in a larger payment of interest than the original principal amount owed.

Thirty-nine percent of Americans carry credit card debt from month to month and in 2012, the average credit card debt among low- and middle-income households carrying credit card debt totaled $7,145, down from $9,887 in 2008. According to many credit counselors, you need to understand how debt works and how making minimum payments may not be in your best interest. http://ow.ly/sQtpd

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Arranging the Perfect Holiday Vacation
Managing to book the perfect vacation at a reasonable cost can be a difficult challenge for most holidaymakers, whether experienced or planning their first holiday. There are many different packages available, all at different costs, and it can be overwhelming for someone to choose where to go or which package to book. Comparing offers can be stressful and the result of getting it wrong could spoil your whole holiday, so many chose the easy route and end up booking a local holiday or something rather more simple and miss out on memories of a lifetime. http://ow.ly/sQpGL

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How To Lower Your Car Insurance Premiums
How Much Car Insurance Do I Need? For many drivers, car insurance premiums can be one of their biggest monthly expenses. If you’re like most people, saving money on insurance can may make a huge difference to your bank account at the end of the month. Unfortunately, many automobile owners are over-paying on their car insurance premiums because they don’t know the tricks to getting lower rates.

Before purchasing or renewing insurance, here are a few ways to save on your car insurance policy: http://ow.ly/sQpzk

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Is a Health Savings Account Right for You?
What is a Private Health Savings Account? A health savings account is a special account that individuals in the United States can use to pay for certain medical expenses. It is ”tax-advantaged” similar to an IRA. The idea of the health savings account (HSA) is to help offset high-deductible health insurance plans and thus allow people to pay lower premiums while still having health coverage. The tax advantage offered by the account makes it possible for U.S. taxpayers to not only put money aside for future health insurance claims, but also allows individuals to avoid taxation on a portion of their income. Let’s look at the benefits of private health savings accounts to determine if an HSA is right for you. http://ow.ly/sQpot

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Finding the House of Your Dreams
Buying a home is one of the biggest financial investments you can make in your life but looking for a home is stressful. You know the payoff will be great, but the agents and the time spent on drive-bys can feel like a chore. You also get tunnel vision, where you’ve seen something so many times you lose objectivity. The day you move in is a bad time to realize that the house you thought was your dream home actually has problems you didn’t see coming. The house of your dreams should be the house you move into. http://ow.ly/sQpfQ

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Road Safety in Scotland
The Transport Minister for Scotland has announced that the Scottish Government will invest over £58 million in infrastructure and training to improve safety for cyclists. The announcement came after statistics confirmed that cycling casualties had risen while other road user casualties had fallen. There was also a commitment to improve motorcycle training and encourage all road users to be attentive to the vulnerability of pedestrians.
While a lot is being done to make Scotland’s roads safer for all users there were still 186 deaths on the roads shown in the latest available figures (2011). Serious accidents accounted for 1,875 casualties. Apart from the personal loss and grief, this has enormous financial impact on the emergency services. http://ow.ly/sQp4B

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Pursuing an Asbestos Claim
Dealing with a family member’s cancer illness can be stressful, traumatic and expensive. Dealing with the knowledge that they got Cancer due to exposure to hazardous chemicals at work can add to the stress. One common exposure is Asbestos which causes a type of cancer called mesothelioma. Often it can take as long as 40 years to develop after exposure.

If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should meet with an attorney from a law firm with a proven track record to discuss whether you are entitled to compensation. Mesothelioma patients can often recover damages from insurance companies and Worker’s Compensation Insurance based on the severity of their condition and the negligence from the company involved. Some claims are worth more than $2 million, allowing a family to cover medical expenses and be financially secure for life if they are able to recover the money from their claim. http://ow.ly/sQoN9
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