Morgan County Herald: Money & Finance

Money & Finance

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3 tips to landing a PPP loan that works for your business

(BPT) - COVID-19 has sparked unprecedented impact across industries and has changed the way almost every business operates. And while many of these businesses have probably sought funding in the past — whether business loans for expansion, venture capital to launch or otherwise — the concept of a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that so many businesses raced to apply for, and have since relied on — just to survive — is a first.

  • icon Posted: January 14

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Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

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Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




Recent Headlines

Wednesday 01/13/2021
How to solve the puzzle of paying for college [Infographic]
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - If your family is working to identify funding sources to finance a college education, there are a lot of options and resources to consider. From FAFSA and scholarships to grants and student loans, learn more about how the puzzle pieces fit together.

Tuesday 01/12/2021
Digital tools can help kids build safe money habits
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - The earlier kids start learning basic financial skills, the better their financial health in the long run, according to research.

Friday 01/08/2021
Money Management for Kids Pays Off in Adulthood
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(NewsUSA) - As we enter a new year, it's not too late to give your children a gift. Consider a gift that lasts a lifetime -- financial literacy.

Thursday 01/07/2021
The sun is setting on swiping at the pump
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Among its downfalls, 2020 was a fraud-heavy year. However, there is one type of fraud that can be thwarted in 2021: pay-at-the-pump fraud using cloned payment cards, also known as counterfeit fraud. This happens when cybercriminals skim cards and steal payment card data at fuel pumps or buy them from the dark web, print them onto counterfeit payment cards, and use them at older fuel pumps that do not have an EMV® chip or contactless card reader.

Tuesday 01/05/2021
Uniformed Services Members: Help Protect Your Family With The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program
Updated: January 13, 2021 - 2:30 am

(NAPSI)—The prospect of needing long term care may be far from your mind today, but circumstances can change. A long term care event can happen at any age, and the potential financial and emotional strain that comes with it can have an impact on you and your loved ones. 

Did you know millions of Americans require long term care during their lifetime1, which includes the need for either cognitive or physical assistance with simple tasks like bathing, eating, and dressing—trivial things most of us do every day without a second thought? Unfortunately, traditional health insurance plans—including TRICARE For Life—do not pay for the chronic, ongoing assistance with daily living that is most often associated with long term care. 

In fact, the long term care benefits offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are tied to specific triggers, including service-connected disability, available funding, and even your ability to contribute to the cost of care. 

Long term care can be expensive, and service members often rely on the VA to cover the associated costs. Depending on your eligibility status in the VA program, the level of coverage available to you may not be enough. For this reason, you may want to research standalone long term care insurance like a plan offered through the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP). 

Since its launch in 2002, the FLTCIP has offered active and retired members of the uniformed services the opportunity to help take control of their future long term care needs. Designed to provide solutions for a range of financial situations, this employer-sponsored program offers comprehensive coverage for more than 270,000 enrollees. 

Many members of the federal family are eligible to apply for coverage under the FLTCIP, including active and retired members of the uniformed services. Certain family members, or qualified relatives, are also eligible to apply even if you do not. Qualified relatives include your spouse, domestic partner, parents and parents-in-law, and adult children. 

Coverage under the FLTCIP 

The FLTCIP is designed to reimburse for qualified long term care services and can lessen or eliminate an individual’s reliance on a loved one to provide hands-on care. As you assess the FLTCIP’s value, consider these important benefits: 

• The FLTCIP offers coverage in a variety of settings—at home or in a facility, such as an assisted living facility, an adult daycare, or a nursing center—and your choice of caregiver. 

• If home care is your preference, the stay-at-home benefit includes a range of services that support care in your home, helping you maintain your quality of life in familiar surroundings.

• Informal care provided by friends and family members, as long as they do not live in your home at the time you become eligible for benefits. (Note: Benefits for care provided by family members is limited to 500 days.) 

• The program’s care coordination services offer enrollees and their qualified relatives information about long term care resources, such as local care providers and relevant community programs, as well as valuable support to your family and friends. 

Talk candidly with your family members and tell them about the FLTCIP. Starting the conversation prior to needing care can help you prepare for the unexpected. 

Visit LTCFEDS.com/militaryfamily to learn more about the benefits of applying for the FLTCIP. For personalized assistance, call 1-800-LTC-FEDS (1-800-582-3337) TTY 1-800-843-3557 to speak with a program consultant. They are available to answer any questions you may have and can walk you step-by-step through the plan design and application process. 

Note: Certain medical conditions, or combinations of conditions, will prevent some people from being approved for coverage. You need to apply to find out if you qualify for coverage under the FLTCIP. 

More about the FLTCIP 

Established by an act of Congress in 2000 and overseen by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the FLTCIP is designed to meet the specific needs of the Federal family. The long term care insurance under the FLTCIP provides industry-leading benefits and offers flexible options that allow enrollees to tailor coverage to meet their needs. 

The FLTCIP is sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, insured by John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Company, and administered by Long Term Care Partners, LLC.

 

1 Center for Disease Control and Prevention. “Long Term Care Services in the United States,” www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nsltcp/long_term_care_services_2013.pdf (accessed September 2017).

 

Thursday 12/31/2020
5 tips for starting your own business
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - There’s no doubt the pandemic has hit small businesses hard. Even in its early weeks, February to April 2020, the number of active businesses plummeted by 22%, according to a report from the National Bureau of Economic Research. And unfortunately, the consequences of the early shutdowns impacted minority-owned businesses even harder, with Black-owned businesses seeing a 41% drop, Latinx businesses 32%, Asian businesses 26% and women-owned businesses 25%.

Wednesday 12/30/2020
Make Money Management Your New Year's Resolution
Updated: January 05, 2021 - 2:32 am

(NewsUSA) - So much changed in 2020.

Tuesday 12/29/2020
6 financial goals for 2021 and how to reach them
Updated: December 31, 2020 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - With a fresh start upon us, it's the perfect time to set goals and look forward to the possibilities of a new beginning — especially after 2020. The start of a new year is a great time to review your finances, realign your budget and make big plans for the coming months.

Top Tips for Organized Tax Filing
Updated: January 09, 2021 - 2:31 am

(StatePoint) 2020 was a particularly stressful year -- but filing its taxes doesn’t need to be. With the following tips, you can stay organized and cool-headed throughout the process.

Sunday 12/27/2020
Need Insurance After Job Loss?
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Uncertainty is a fact of life and for millions of Americans that includes losing their job at one point or another. It’s a particularly stressful time because many find themselves without their primary source of health insurance when they lose their job. But job loss doesn’t mean you can’t stay insured. And VSP Vision Care is here to help with information and resources so you can regain the coverage you and your family need — in a time when you might need it most.

Tuesday 12/22/2020
Finding fulfillment: Is this the right time to switch careers?
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted people in countless ways. From quarantine and social distancing to remote working, furlough and job loss, many people are reassessing how they spend their time and make money. Turning proverbial lemons into lemonade, people of all ages and backgrounds have decided to pivot their careers to do something that they truly enjoy.

Monday 12/21/2020
10 Days, 10 Ways to Spend Remaining 2020 FSA Funds
Updated: January 07, 2021 - 2:31 am

(NewsUSA) - As 2020 comes to a close, the rush of the holiday season will soon turn into a scramble for flexible spending account (FSA) users who have a December 31 deadline. An FSA is an employer-sponsored, tax-advantaged account you can use to pay for eligible healthcare expenses. However, money left at the end of each plan year (or after any applicable deadline extension) is forfeited back to your employer. And there are hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars left on the line for many American families this year.

Need Mortgage Relief Due to COVID-19? Here's What to Know
Updated: December 29, 2020 - 2:31 am

(StatePoint) As the pandemic continues to affect Americans across the country, many are facing financial hardship.

Friday 12/18/2020
Why Long-Term Care Should Be A Retiree’s Top Concern
Updated: December 23, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—For many Boomers, retirement may involve taking vacations, taking up a new hobby, and spending more time with family, friends and the grandchildren. 

In anticipation of these activities, Boomers work diligently to build up their next egg. But as Boomers age, and as healthcare costs rise, one item they must account for is care in retirement. Unfortunately, too many are failing to prepare.

According to the Center for Secure Retirement and Bankers Life, 79% of middle-income Boomers have no money set aside specifically for their retirement care needs. 

With this in mind, they should take the following steps to help protect their nest eggs:

1.Keep moving. Good physical health can lead to a more active life, improved mental and emotional health, and reduced medical expenses. By keeping yourself healthy and fit, you may be able to lower your premiums and potential future costs. Set time aside each day to stay active—your health and your bank account will thank you.

2.Save, save, save. It’s never too early to start financially planning for retirement care. Recent data from the Center for a Secure Retirement and Bankers Life shows that more than half (54%) of working adults say their retirement planning has taken a hit amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Protect yourself from further unforeseen impact by taking advantage of tools and resources that can help you better prepare for the high costs of long-term care.

3.Talk to your children and family members. Although it can be difficult, it’s important to have conversations about how you want to be cared for as you age. You may want to stay in your home and receive care in-place, or you may expect loved ones to provide this care. It’s helpful to include a financial planner in these conversations to provide an unbiased answer to your family’s questions. Sharing preferences and developing a plan can help make the transition easier and give you and your loved ones peace of mind. 

It’s never too late—or too early—to seek help and to better understand your financial plan and current healthcare coverage to try to prepare for unforeseen situations in the future.

Learn More

For further facts and tips on planning for retirement, visit www.bankerslife.com.

• Bankers Life is the marketing brand of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Medicare Supplement insurance policies sold by Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company and select policies sold in New York by Bankers Conseco Life Insurance Company (BCLIC). BCLIC is authorized to sell insurance in New York.

 

Wednesday 12/16/2020
How to plan for your child’s college costs
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - If your son or daughter is a high school senior this year, you're probably in the midst of applying to colleges right now. There’s a lot for everyone to think about — where to apply, the steps involved in the application process and of course, the finances.

Don't Underestimate the Power of a Good Financial Planner
Updated: December 29, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NewsUSA) - In the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, many people are looking to cut costs and better manage expenses. Some may view financial planners as an unnecessary expense, but in reality, a smart relationship with an experienced financial planner will save you money in the short- and long-term, and will help you weather the challenges of a changing economy.

Thursday 12/10/2020
How Small Businesses Can Successfully Stay Connected
Updated: December 17, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NAPSI)—According to the Small Business Administration, there are some 30 million small businesses in America. Lately, too many of them have been beset by big problems. 

Good News 

Fortunately, there’s one thing companies can count on: quality, reliable broadband. Businessservicesconnect.com is helping small businesses rise to the challenge with multi-location business networks, reliable business internet, voice, video and local support whenever and wherever they need it. Here’s how: 

Their networks, your gain. They work with local broadband companies that own and operate their own networks. That means your small business traffic flows over modern, ultra-reliable data and communications networks your provider builds, operates and maintains. And that means more reliability and more accountability. 

They’re as local as it gets. Those logo-ized vans and vehicles are living proof that these companies operate right in your market, with service, support and on-the-street technicians who live and work where you do business. No provider is more aligned with your marketplace. 

They deliver. Published service guarantees, 24x7 support and local agents are some of the reasons they’re growing fast in the business category, with customers that run the gamut from small, solo offices to large, multisite enterprises. 

Low-priced packages. You can bundle various combinations of business voice, Internet and television services for signifcant savings. 

What you want, they’ve got. From single-line business voice solutions to carrier-grade networking options for large, multi-location enterprises, they exceed legacy providers for sheer breadth of service. 

Find a Provider 

To learn more—or if you’re not sure which cable provider offers business communications services most conveniently for you, or if your business operates in multiple locations—visit http://www.businessservicesconnect.com

 

Top cities for servicemembers transitioning to civilian life
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Are you a servicemember preparing to transition to civilian life? If so, you probably have a lot of questions, including where you should live after transitioning from service. If you are like other surveyed servicemembers this year, you are prioritizing low cost of living, low crime rates, and access to outdoor activities. What’s more, you probably are looking for somewhere that that fits with your personality and can give you a sense of community. You want a place to call home and grow roots.

Wednesday 12/09/2020
How Hackers Could Use the Pandemic and Technology Against Us in 2021 [Video]
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

New Report Outlines Path to More Inclusive Financial Planning Profession
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(NewsUSA) - More than 600 diversity and inclusion experts and leaders of financial services firms recently came together for a virtual discussion about how to increase racial and gender diversity in the financial planning profession.

Tuesday 12/08/2020
Annual Christmas Price Index Reflects Pandemic’s Economic Impacts
Updated: December 09, 2020 - 2:31 am

(StatePoint) In a year marked by unprecedented shocks to the economy, PNC’s 37th annual Christmas Price Index (CPI) accounts for the pandemic’s impact on the cost of purchasing presents from the classic holiday song, “The 12 Days of Christmas.”

Friday 12/04/2020
Don't Get Scammed: What to Know Before Hiring a Timeshare Exit Company
Updated: January 09, 2021 - 2:31 am

(NewsUSA) - Every year timeshare owners lose millions of dollars by hiring the wrong exit company. A lack of effective regulation has led to the proliferation of timeshare exit companies -- many of which are not able to fulfill the promises made to their customers -- prompting the Better Business Bureau to issue alerts and revoke the accreditation status on over 40 timeshare exit companies.

Managing Your House And Property Five Ways
Updated: December 15, 2020 - 2:34 am

(NAPSI)—The next time you look around your home, or that of your aging relatives, you may be astonished how much “stuff” accumulates over the years. Are there things—and the stories they tell—you want to save to pass down to the next generation? Is your will or estate plan on hold because you don’t know where to start? What if you had a natural disaster or break-in—are your items properly protected by insurance? You can make this year the one in which you get your estate in order with these five easy steps:

1.Get started. The best way to get something done is to start. Decide if it makes sense to tackle items by room or by category and get started. This is not something that has to be done in one day, in fact, it might take several days or longer to get organized. Don’t be discouraged. Once it’s done, it will only need periodic updating.

2.Take photos. Use a photo-based mobile app, such as Manage My Things, to accurately and efficiently track items. You can upload one item at a time or batches of items such as fine china. “If you’ve ever had to empty a parent’s home, decide which of your heirs gets your things when you die or have confidence you’ll be made whole if a disaster strikes, then you know all the decisions you make are emotional,” said Rick McKenna, CEO of Manage My Things. “This app takes you through much of the complex decision-making, so your time is better spent with loved ones. All you need to know is how to take photos and answer a few questions. The app does the rest.”

3.Donate or discard. There are many services and organizations that can help you remove items from your home, either for donation or to discard. Some examples include Habitat for Humanity and Goodwill for donations. Some donations may even be tax deductible. To dispose of stuff, you can contact 1-800-GOT-JUNK? to schedule a pick-up.

4.Share with your agents. Fires, hurricanes and floods can often expose the two-thirds of all homeowners who are under-insured. It’s important to inventory items in a home and share the report with insurance agents for review to accurately modify home protection policies and ensure you’re properly covered. Additionally, 50% to 60% of U.S. adults don’t have a will, leaving their loved ones the difficulty of getting affairs in order. By sharing your estate plan, you’re helping ensure peace of mind for yourself and the ones you care about.

5.Set and (mostly) forget. Set a reminder to revisit your estate plan at least once a year or when there are major life changes such as a move or significant purchase.

Following these five steps can mean you’ll find yourself in better financial and mental space next year and for many years to come.

 

Wednesday 12/02/2020
Ticket to Work Program: Helping People Find Their Path
Updated: December 10, 2020 - 2:32 am

(NAPSI)—As Americans celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it’s worth acknowledging the increased support options available to people with disabilities who want to work.   

Since 1999, Social Security’s Ticket to Work (Ticket) Program has helped?thousands of Social Security disability beneficiaries find their way to financial independence. The Ticket Program can connect you with free, individualized employment services to help you decide if working is right for you, prepare for the workforce, search for a job and stay employed.   

If you choose to participate, you can receive services such as career counseling, benefits counseling, job training and job search assistance from State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agencies and authorized providers known as Employment Networks (EN). Some ENs offer specific types of support services while others have experience serving certain populations. Adults (ages 18 through 64) who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) due to a disability are eligible to participate.  

If you feel ready for work, don’t let the fear of immediately losing your benefits stand in the way. Social Security rules and programs known as Work Incentives may make it possible for you to explore working while maintaining access to some or all of your benefits payments and your Medicare/Medicaid coverage. If your disability interferes, you may be able to return to benefits without a new application.   

Because each person’s circumstances are different and there are a variety of Work Incentives, job seekers are encouraged to consult a Benefits Counselor. These specially trained professionals can help you understand how employment will affect your benefits.  

This could be the year to find out what’s possible for you, Visit the website to learn from a score of Ticket Program participants who traded their disability payments for a paycheck and improved their self-confidence and financial independence with help from the Ticket Program.   

For over 20 years, the Ticket Program has helped thousands of people find their path to a better future. It can help you find yours. To learn more, call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 1-866-968-7842 or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY), Monday through Friday, 8?a.m. to 8?p.m. ET, or visit choosework.ssa.gov.  

Think Outside the (Gift) Box, Contribute to a 529 Plan
Updated: January 02, 2021 - 2:32 am

(NewsUSA) - The holiday season looks different in many ways this year, and chances are finding the perfect gift for your loved one is even more challenging. Shoppers are looking to minimize the amount of time they spend in crowded stores during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and online shopping has its perils, too, with concerns about timely delivery or wondering whether what you see online is what you get.

'Fantasy Commodities' to Take Daily Fantasy Sports Higher
Updated: December 29, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NewsUSA) -The 'father' of fantasy sports league management has teamed up with the renowned American economist and "The End of Money" author to create what could become the hottest and largest addition of the multi-billion dollar Daily Fantasy Sports industry.

Monday 11/30/2020
Six Ways To Protect Your Mail And Packages
Updated: December 04, 2020 - 2:30 am

(NAPSI)—Every day, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service works to protect your mail, USPS employees and USPS facilities. It’s just as important to it as it is to you that these items reach their destinations safely, and the Post Office could use your help to keep your mail and packages safe. 

Here are a few tips to consider this holiday season: 

1.Don’t leave your delivered mail and packages unattended. You wouldn’t leave important items sitting on the front seat of your unlocked car overnight. So don’t leave your mail and packages sitting in mailboxes or on front porches for any length of time.

2.Going out of town? Hold your mail at the Post Office. You can sign up for Hold Mail service on usps.com if you plan on being away from home for a few days. Your letters and packages will be held securely at your Post Office until you pick them up or request they be delivered to your home.

3.Plan ahead. Ship using Hold for Pickup. If you are sending packages, you can choose the Hold for Pickup option on usps.com. The packages will be safely held at the recipient’s local Post Office until they can pick it up. If you are expecting a package, you can redirect it to your Post Office by selecting Hold for Pickup using Intercept a Package under Track & Manage on usps.com.

4.Customize the delivery. If you are expecting something you know will not fit in your mailbox and you won’t be home to receive it, you can authorize the carrier to leave it in a specified location. Visit usps.com, enter the tracking number in Track a Package, and select Delivery Instructions.

5.Secure the shipment using USPS Special Services. Signature Confirmation helps ensure the package ends up in the right hands by requiring a first initial and last name at the time of delivery. For your most valuable packages, you can opt for Registered Mail service. Registered Mail receives special handling from the time it’s mailed until the time it’s delivered.

6.Monitor your front door. If you have a home security camera system, and you catch any mail thieves in the act, save the video and alert the Postal Inspectors. 

For more great tips you can use not just during the holidays, but all year long, visit: uspis.gov

 
 "Every day, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service works to protect your mail. To help, don’t leave your delivered mail and packages unattended for long.https://bit.ly/33vl3SI"

Wednesday 11/25/2020
Gifts That Do A World Of Good
Updated: December 01, 2020 - 2:32 am

(NAPSI)—This holiday season, you don’t have to look far to find items that deliver great features and functionality but use less energy. Products that earn the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR label save money on energy bills and help protect the environment, making them gifts that do a world of good. 

With a wide range of things to wrap up—from smart thermostats, laptops, tablets and other electronics, appliances and even lighting—you can put a bow on a gift that has been independently certified to meet strict standards for energy efficiency. 

A typical household spends about $2,000 a year on energy bills. A home outfitted with products that have earned the ENERGY STAR label can save 30% or about $575 a year on household energy bills. Over their lifetime these products save about $8,750 on utility bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 77,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.

The ENERGY STAR Holiday Gift Guide at www.energystar.gov/holiday features energy-saving products popular this time of year, along with special deals from manufacturers, retailers, and utilities that participate in the ENERGY STAR Program. Looking for the ENERGY STAR label on products specially priced for the holidays means you save on the initial price, plus keep saving through the holidays and beyond. 

Monday 11/23/2020
Financial Planning Tips to Maximize Your Giving
Updated: December 22, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NewsUSA) - Everyone believes in a good cause. Especially now, when individuals and organizations are struggling in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. People want to support causes they care about, whether through volunteering, donating goods or services, or making a financial contribution.

Simple Packing Tips To Ship Holiday Gifts
Updated: November 25, 2020 - 2:32 am

(NAPSI)—Packing and shipping gifts across town, across the country or around the world for the holidays is easy, provided you follow simple tips from the United States Postal Service.

To ensure items arrive safely, leave space for extra cushioning inside the package. Stuff glass and fragile, hollow items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage. Mailing a framed photo? Remove the glass and wrap it separately. Items powered by dry-cell batteries may turn on during handling and make noises or emit light. Make sure the device is turned off or package the batteries separately, preferably in the original manufacturer’s packaging. For rules on shipping Hazardous, Restricted and Perishable Mail, please see Publication 52.

Once the box is packed, make sure the address is printed clearly on the outside. Include all address elements, such as apartment numbers, directional information (ex: 123 S Main St. Apt. 2B), and the ZIP Code. Don’t forget to include a return address. Also, place a card inside the package that contains the delivery and return addresses. This ensures the package can be delivered or returned should the mailing label become damaged or fall off.

For information on sending packages internationally, visit the USPS International Shipping page.

Also, check for restrictions on what can and can’t be mailed. The Postal Service has a website that provides information on hazardous, restricted and perishable mail.

It’s advised to not reuse boxes because they can weaken in shipping. Instead, you can get free Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express boxes at your local Post Office. If customers choose to reuse boxes, it’s important to note that logos and all extraneous markings or labels must be covered or removed.

If you can’t get to the Post Office to mail your packages, the Click-N-Ship feature and other online services allow customers to order free Priority Mail boxes, print shipping labels, purchase postage and even request free next-day Package Pickup. Priority Mail includes delivery between one to three days, Priority Mail Express includes delivery between overnight up to two days. Tracking is also included. For more information and restrictions visit usps.com.

The Postal Service also offers shipping tips in a variety of online “how to” guides. Each video is less than three minutes long and shows how to address packages, ship packages and pack a box so items arrive safely.

Friday 11/20/2020
Use, Don't Lose Flexible Spending Account Funds
Updated: December 17, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NewsUSA) - The end of the year is a scramble, and it's particularly stressful this year for the millions of Americans enrolled in flexible spending accounts (FSAs) who need to spend down account funds by December 31 or risk forfeiting those dollars back to their employers.

Thursday 11/19/2020
Long-Term Care Planning Made Easy: Find A Plan That’s Right For You
Updated: November 24, 2020 - 2:34 am

(NAPSI)—You may already be aware of what long-term care is, whether it’s through personal experience caregiving for a loved one who needs daily assistance, or knowing a family member or friend who requires more support as they age. As you learn more about long term care, consider the possibility that you may need this type of care in the future and start planning for it today.

Did you know that 70% percent1 of Americans older than age 65 will need long term care at some point in their lives? This means personal care and other related services provided on an extended basis to people who need help with everyday activities or supervision due to a severe cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Because long term care is not typically covered by health or other types of traditional insurance, it’s most often provided at home by adult children, other family members, and friends. Caregiving can be stressful, and often takes a toll on a caregiver’s health and well-being. 

For this reason, you may want to research standalone long term care insurance like the coverage that is offered under the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP). Designed specifically for the federal family, the FLTCIP provides insurance coverage that reimburses for long term care in places like a nursing home, an assisted living facility, or at home. Purchasing coverage under the FLTCIP may help to protect your savings and assets as well as remain independent in the event you ever need long term care. 

Build a FLTCIP plan

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to long term care insurance, and it’s no secret that planning for your future care can be overwhelming. The FLTCIP’s new Guided Planner was designed to simplify the process of building a FLTCIP plan that’s right for you. When choosing a plan, consider the role your family may play in providing your care, the cost of care where you live or plan to retire, and how your coverage may contribute to your broader financial goals. The Guided Planner will guide you through these key considerations:

Cost of care: Compare the national average cost of long term care with other locations in the United States. You can choose where you live, or plan to retire.

•Care options: Learn more about different care options, such as home care, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes, as well as the associated costs. 

•Inflation protection: Understand the impact of inflation on the cost of care over time and see examples of how the FLTCIP’s inflation protection options can help.

The FLTCIP Guided Planner will help you build a plan based on three benefit choices. These, along with your age, will help you determine your coverage and premium: 

•daily benefit amount 

•benefit period 

•inflation protection 

Visit LTCFEDS.com to learn more about the Guided Planner and build a plan that’s right for you. 

The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program is sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, insured by John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Company, under a group long-term care insurance policy, and administered by Long Term Care Partners, LLC.

 

1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “The Basics,” https://longtermcare.acl.gov/the-basics/ (accessed August 2020).

 

Tuesday 11/17/2020
4 Important Things to Know About Fiduciary Financial Planners
Updated: December 16, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NewsUSA) - When it comes to managing your money, your financial needs must come first. You want to be confident that any financial advice you receive presents the best options for you, considering your goals, risk tolerance, and unique circumstances.

Monday 11/16/2020
Certain Medicare Plans Could Offer Members Food Assistance Benefits
Updated: December 16, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NewsUSA) - The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a long list of unprecedented challenges, including the way it has caused food insecurity to rise. Food insecurity is defined as the lack of access to enough nutritionally adequate foods to live an active and healthy life. Fortunately, there are some benefits that can help qualifying members of Medicare Advantage Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNP) address this issue. In fact, a benefit including a monthly food card allowance can assist people in purchasing food and beverages at a variety of well-known, national stores.

Financial Planning Organization Promotes Diversity at Annual Summit
Updated: December 12, 2020 - 2:30 am

(NewsUSA) - The financial planning profession is among many fields that recognize the value of increased diversity and inclusion in its ranks. The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting professional standards in personal financial planning, is offering its annual Diversity Summit on November 18-20, 2020, held this year in a virtual format.

Tuesday 11/10/2020
3 New Ways to Save Money in Retirement
Updated: November 12, 2020 - 2:31 am

(StatePoint) Are you looking to maintain the lifestyle you were accustomed to during your working years? It’s possible, as long as you find simple ways to cut costs on the goods and services you care about most.

Monday 11/09/2020
A Win-Win to Connect the Public with Diverse Financial Advisors
Updated: December 04, 2020 - 2:30 am

(NewsUSA) - The demographics of wealth in the United States are shifting -- with women controlling a larger portion of household finances and minority communities continually building wealth -- but the makeup of today's financial- planning workforce does not reflect this change.

Thursday 11/05/2020
Financial Difficulties During a Global Pandemic: Why It Is Important To Start Saving For Retirement, Despite Your Age
Updated: November 17, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI—The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Americans in more ways than one. With the ups and downs the market has experienced since the start of the pandemic, it’s important that working Americans understand their various financial and retirement planning options. 

According to a recent survey from the Center for a Secure Retirement and Bankers Life, more than half (54%) of working adults say their retirement planning has taken a hit amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than a third (36%) having lost money in the stock market. 

Whether you’re 25, 35 or 45, it’s never too early—or late—to start financially planning for retirement. Additional insight from the Center for Secure Retirement shows that nearly two-thirds (63%) of those age 35 to 44 reported that the pandemic has impacted their future retirement, compared to just one-third (35%) of those 65 and older. 

A moment of upheaval like that experienced amid COVID-19—which has been particularly felt by those reliant on employer sponsored plans like a 401(K)—represents an opportunity for the next generation of retirees to review their options and ensure their financial security. 

Here are smart actions to take:

•Stay calm. The uncertainty of the market can cause panic for some. Financial planning experts advise that the best thing you can do is to refrain from impulsive decisions. Stay calm and avoid any emotional or risky moves when it comes to large investments. 

•Reevaluate. Even for those who may feel confident in their retirement planning, it is important to continually reevaluate as you receive new information during the pandemic. It can be tempting to focus on short term gains at the expense of long-term plans. 

•Be flexible. It may even be beneficial to schedule reviews of your retirement plans several times over the course of the year, as the state of the world is everchanging. Continuously revisiting and adjusting your plans will ensure that you are prepared for the future no matter what it may bring. 

•Supplement savings. Consider including life insurance as part of your retirement plan to supplement your savings and provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones. 

Although life during a pandemic is uncertain and difficult to navigate, by seeking help to better understand your financial plans and current health care coverage, you’ll be more prepared to anticipate unforeseen situations in the future.

•Bankers Life is the marketing brand of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Medicare Supplement insurance policies sold by Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company and select policies sold in New York by Bankers Conseco Life Insurance Company (BCLIC). BCLIC is authorized to sell insurance in New York.

 

Tuesday 11/03/2020
A Move-Up Homebuyer Turns Moxie into Money
Updated: December 03, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NewsUSA) - Jocelyn Vasquez is a determined Hispanic woman who knows exactly want she wants: To build financial wealth through homeownership.

Monday 11/02/2020
Vets, Here's How to Maximize Your 2021 Health Benefits From Home
Updated: December 03, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NewsUSA) - Veterans eligible for Medicare can maximize healthcare coverage in 2021 by choosing a Medicare Advantage plan that can complement Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits. When you start researching plan options between now and the December 7 Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Enrollment deadline, be sure to use the variety of resources available, including credible websites, virtual education events and one-on-one virtual meetings with licensed sales agents. Here are two key factors to keep in mind during your search:

Wednesday 10/28/2020
Diverse Financial Planners Expand Financial Empowerment, Access
Updated: November 24, 2020 - 2:34 am

(NewsUSA) - Research repeatedly shows that a diverse workforce is good for business. Employees' varied backgrounds and perspectives help companies propel innovation, attract new customers, and drive higher profits. But workforce diversity also has an important impact on a business' customers.

Tuesday 10/27/2020
5 Strategies for Managing Finances in Uncertain Times [Infographic]
Posted: October 27, 2020

(BPT) - Even in ordinary times, managing finances is challenging. Since the pandemic, financial stressors have only been magnified. Job insecurity and increasing expenses are just two of many issues confronting American families. In honor of Financial Planning Month, read on for five strategies for managing your finances in uncertain times.

Tuesday 10/20/2020
Food prices: Why they’re rising and how to save
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - The COVID-19 pandemic has affected food prices more than nearly any other part of the household budget. In April, the Food-at-Home Consumer Price Index increased 2.7%, which was the largest monthly jump since 1974. From June 2019 to June 2020, food prices are up 5.6%. Why is this happening, and furthermore, how can you save on your family’s grocery bills?

Monday 10/19/2020
Saving in Uncertain Times
Posted: October 19, 2020

(BPT) - The savings habits of Americans appear to be shifting in light of the challenging circumstances of the past few months. In addition to shoring up personal savings, there are indications that Americans are reforming their habits in other key areas like healthcare and retirement as they plan for an uncertain future. This newfound diligence represents an evolution of the approach that many had adopted in regard to savings and financial resilience. In response, financial services providers are producing innovative new tools for savers to steady their income amid the turbulence of 2020. Increasingly, these financial providers offer members of key affinity groups special products and services.

How to Maximize Your Medicare Plan in 2021
Updated: November 05, 2020 - 2:32 am

(NewsUSA) - Making a choice now that will provide you with the best possible healthcare coverage in 2021 can be stressful. People with Medicare face this decision during the Annual Election Period, from October 15 through December 7. While we can't fully predict the future or our potential health needs (as the pandemic has proven), we can use our health history, plan information and modern resources to help make a well informed decision for our healthcare coverage in the coming year.

Friday 10/16/2020
Expert Series: Time to Check Your Benefits: Work with a Professional on a Pre-Retirement Financial Wellness Assessment
Posted: October 16, 2020

(BPT) - By Jon Anderson and Kaci Skidgel

Thursday 10/15/2020
How to Improve Your Financial Fitness During the COVID-19 Pandemic [Video]
Posted: October 15, 2020

Wednesday 10/14/2020
CFP Board Financial Planning Job Listings, Career Advice Now
Updated: October 30, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NewsUSA) - Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, or perhaps because of it, now more than ever consumers want to plan for a stable financial future, which means increased demand for qualified financial professionals.

Friday 10/09/2020
How are Americans feeling, 6 months into the COVID-19 pandemic? [Infographic]
Posted: October 09, 2020

(BPT) - The Moving Forward study reveals how anxiety has been on the rise since social distancing began. Yet, despite all the challenges, including major life events, Americans are digging deep to find silver linings. Read on for advice on how to handle the unexpected.

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