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July 22, 2018

Before you renovate, have you considered this?
(BPT) - Home improvement projects are popular this time of year and you’ve certainly tackled your share of DIY to-dos in the past. But not this year. This year you realize it’s time to go big, to go bold, to set aside those traditional home improvement projects for another year and do s... More >>

3 elements to create a dream bathroom sanctuary
(BPT) - Bathrooms reign supreme, overtaking kitchens as the most popular remodeling project, according to a new survey by the National Association of Home Builders. In the study, remodelers reported on the most common projects in 2017 and 81 percent performed bathroom remodeling.Whether you're hiri... More >>

What should you be doing to prepare for retirement? Top tips and tactics from financial advisors
(BPT) - You're 10 years or less away from retirement. You can clearly see the next phase of your life down the road and it's coming up fast. Are you ready for it? Do you have a comprehensive plan in place so you don't outlive your savings?If you're not as prepared for retirement as you should be, y... More >>

Remodeling to age in place? Make changes where it matters most
(BPT) - American household demographics constantly change. With kids grown and moved out, many adults are considering remodeling to meet their future needs. This has inspired the idea of aging in place, meaning the desire to have a high quality of life in your home as you get older. In the United S... More >>

5 tips for financing your next home improvement project
(BPT) - Whether it’s transforming a fixer-upper into your dream home or just giving a makeover to your kitchen or bathroom, home improvement projects are on the minds of many new homeowners across the country.While many things about renovating your home are flexible, your budget might not be.... More >>

You're covered: 4 unusual homeowners claims you didn't think would ever happen
(BPT) - Homeowners insurance is a practical investment to help protect you, your family and your property in the event of unforeseen and unexpected losses. Traditionally, it’s associated with fire damage, burst or leaking pipes, or stolen property, but occasionally it covers unusual events th... More >>

Not enough hours in the day? Try these handy shortcuts for time-consuming errands
(BPT) - Between work, kids, pets and more, everyday life can feel like … a lot. Add summer schedules to the mix, and things can get downright chaotic.Thankfully, retailers are stepping up with convenient new delivery and pickup options. To help you save time this summer, we’ve listed h... More >>

Boomer bonanza: 5 ways to stay in style on a fixed income
(BPT) - As American baby boomers begin to exit their careers and opt for more leisurely lifestyles, some 10,000 are expected to retire every day through 2029.While many are scaling back their incomes in retirement, however, most have no intention of becoming out-of-touch with modern trends and inno... More >>

Don't suffer high energy bills any longer
(BPT) - Do you cringe each month when your utility bills arrive?The annual energy cost for a typical single family home in the U.S. is more than $2,000, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. If you can think of a thousand things you’d rather spend your hard-earned money on than electric... More >>

Protecting your peace of mind, and your bottom line
(BPT) - How big is your retirement nest egg? Is there a chance you could outlive it? Even if you're socking money into your 401(k) every paycheck like clockwork, that's a question worth pondering. Americans are living longer, more active, younger lives. They say that 60 is the new 40, and if you lo... More >>

Simple ways to earn extra money without owning a car
(BPT) - Whether you’re new to a city and are getting on your feet, or you don’t want the commitment of a longtime lease or loan, there are countless ways to put some dough in your pocket without the need to purchase a car. Working with a flexible schedule doesn't necessarily mean that y... More >>

Top tips to help first-timers navigate the fast-paced housing market
(BPT) - Across the U.S., the housing market is picking up pace moving into the peak of the summer homebuying season.In city after city, home prices are on the rise, up 2.3 percent on average between April 2017 and 2018, according to the RE/MAX April 2018 National Housing Report. And there are fewer... More >>

Five-minute life hack: Tips to boost your career
(BPT) - The rapid pace of change in jobs means the era of one-and-done learning is over. It no longer matters what you learned in the past — to stay relevant you need to upskill. So if you want to improve your marketability and get ahead in your career, it’s time to think about the valu... More >>

3 easy ways to get on deck with the right decking
(BPT) - If The Old Farmer’s Almanac prediction holds true, this summer will be a hot one. The weather forecast anticipates temperatures for the season to be “hotter than normal” across most of the U.S. If you’re ready to kick up your feet and soak in these rays, now is the p... More >>

5 important tips to recruit and retain millennials
(BPT) - As millennials continue to expand their share of the workforce in this country, they’re using their influence to change the workplace to their advantage.The generation of workers ages 22 to 37 is an important segment for employers as baby boomers retire in huge numbers to create what&... More >>

Consumers need to be on guard against common rental scams
(BPT) - You know the old saying, that if it's too good to be true, it probably is?Whether you're searching for your first rental or are a seasoned renter seeking a new place in a new city, be aware that rental scams are more common than you think.Here's how the scam plays out A scam artist finds a ... More >>

Tips for empty nesters to maximize summer travel
(BPT) - With the kids out of the house and newfound independence, summer is the perfect time of year for empty nesters to embark on bucket list trips they’ve always craved. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by Tracfone, 68 percent of empty nesters say that traveling is a priorit... More >>

Ready to switch wireless carriers? Answer these 6 important questions first
(BPT) - Changing your wireless carrier is an important (and potentially expensive) decision. Before you make the switch, answer these simple questions to make sure you make the move that’s right for you.1. Are you free to go?While carrier contracts in the U.S. are quickly becoming things of t... More >>

Be prepared for the 2018 storm season
(BPT) - For millions of Americans, the devastation of the 2017 storm season is still fresh in their minds. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the cumulative cost of the weather events in the U.S. was $306.2 billion. Whether you were directly affected by one of those s... More >>

Quick DIY home improvement projects
(BPT) - The words home improvement usually conjure up images of major undertakings like tiling your bathroom or kitchen or tearing down a wall, taking hours or even days to complete. The fact is there are some meaningful home improvements you can finish in under two hours.1) Need more daylight? Hav... More >>

5 home-buying tips for first-timers and old-timers
(BPT) - Whether you are buying a home for the first time or you are just looking for an upgrade, it is never a bad idea to arm yourself with tips that can make your search go from overwhelming to enjoyable. Rather than learning the hard way about hidden expenses and difficult neighbors, there are t... More >>

Take these 4 steps to clean up your financial house
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Are you a caregiver? Try these 7 resources
(BPT) - When David Bowen’s father fell taking out the trash in 2016, it set in motion a series of health challenges the family is still battling together. Bowen, 62, hired a part-time professional caregiver to assist his father and his mother, who was battling Alzheimer’s, but he found ... More >>

Businesses brace for a summer with record low unemployment
(BPT) - School closing for the summer may mark lazy days for kids, but local businesses are bracing for peak season. With unemployment at a 17-year low, and a record 6.6 million job openings reported at the end of March, it’ll be tougher than usual to serve the seasonal boom of customers as t... More >>

Take the sting out of summer with these pest prevention tips
(BPT) - If you’re like many people, the warm months of summer are when you are most active outdoors. You’re not alone. The same is also true for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. New findings show these pests are more than just an annoyance, they can pose a health risk. According to the Cent... More >>

Easy and breezy: 6 tips for controlling summer cooling costs
(BPT) - As Americans gear up for sun, surf, barbecues and all the other fun activities that represent summer, they’re also concerned with how to keep themselves and their homes comfortably cool this season.Of course, they're also concerned with controlling costs. The average homeowner spends ... More >>

How much will it cost to replace your roof?
(BPT) - How can there be thousands of dollars difference between contractor bids for similar home improvement projects on neighboring homes? And how can homeowners get an idea of what a new roof will cost?In general, labor for a new roof should make up 60-65 percent of the cost and most of the rema... More >>

Stay agile: 5 tips for easier aging in place
(BPT) - While many of us may dream of retiring and moving away to a beach-side resort or cabin by the lake, the reality is that most Americans look forward to remaining in their own homes so they can continue to enjoy familiar comforts, activities and loved ones. In fact, an AARP survey recently fo... More >>

Home improvement: One repair at a time
(BPT) - Tis the season … for home improvement. Longer days, warmer weather and more flexible schedules (hello, summer break!) have a way of inspiring home improvement projects. It’s as if appliances in and around the house emerge from the shadows of winter, calling out for attention. S... More >>

New technology will define the future of farming
(BPT) - When you think of automated vehicles, you probably think of driverless cars. While that particular movement is certainly in the news, it’s not the only place where driverless technology is gaining momentum. Did you know that driverless technology innovations are occurring every day in... More >>

5 reasons to use a financial professional
(BPT) - True or false: You need to be wealthy to use a financial professional. It's a common misconception, but in fact there are financial professionals that can help at various stages in life, whether you’re just starting out or nearing retirement. It can be a huge benefit to sit down with ... More >>

5 tips when buying a car for a teen
(BPT) - With graduation season and summer break upon us, many parents may be on the hunt for a new car for their graduate. Memorial Day deals offer some of the best incentives of the year, so it's crucial to know how to navigate what can be an overwhelming and exhausting process.“USAA helps m... More >>

Why world travelers are going cashless
(BPT) - What’s your dream vacation?Whether you live to travel or only manage to get away for a couple of long weekends every year, you probably have a bucket list of places to go and sites to see.Sometimes it feels like there might be too many options.For some people, it’s adventure tra... More >>

Alternative financing options work for growing small businesses
(BPT) - How businesses access working capital has shifted, as traditional methods haven’t kept pace with the speed of business.Growth is one of the biggest indicators of small business success. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), more than 500,000 businesses have between 20 ... More >>

Visa Returns Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia [Video]
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Make the most of your landscaping projects this year with these tips
(BPT) - Home improvement projects aren't constrained to a single season, but during these warmer months, your focus is no longer simply on your home's indoors. Now there’s outdoor yard work to do as well, and if you're looking to recreate your outdoor space, your outside projects may include ... More >>

Looking ahead: 4 tips for scaling your small business
(BPT) - As the U.S. economy continues to move at a healthy pace, many analysts are projecting a 2.5 percent growth for 2018, which would represent the best two-year run since 2005.A big contributor to this growth, and to the high U.S. consumer confidence, which reached a 17-year high in Nov. 2017, ... More >>

If an injury or illness kept you out of work, could you pay your bills?
(BPT) - You helped friends move their furniture; now your back is so sore you can’t move. You could be out of work and unable to collect at least three paychecks.Your doctor says you’ve eaten your last bacon-wrapped hot dog, or your health could keep you out of work for four paychecks.Y... More >>

Simple summer home maintenance tips for comfort and energy savings
(BPT) - Things will soon be heating up all over the country. In fact, the average U.S. household will spend 3 percent more on electricity bills this summer than in 2017, due to rising retail electricity prices and higher usage, according to the U.S. Energy Administration’s estimation.Jennifer... More >>

Wildfire protection starts in these 5 places
(BPT) - It’s National Wildfire Awareness Week. So, if you live in a wildfire-prone area, make sure you’re taking the right steps to stave off potential damage long before flames rage toward your doorstep.And one of the best ways to do that is to take a look at the home itself."It's a co... More >>

3 ways to set the stage for the perfect summer soiree
(BPT) - The backyard barbecue is a staple of the American summer. Long days filled with sun, fun, family and friends are what make lifelong memories. Now is the perfect time to start planning for your next barbecue, so you, too, can create memories you won't soon forget.However, before you fire up ... More >>

Why small businesses need to think big this summer hiring season
(BPT) - Finding great employees hasn’t been easy for small businesses lately. And this summer, the competition could heat up even more.Thanks to a healthy economy, unemployment levels are low across the country. Many companies will be adding even more jobs as the weather warms up — espe... More >>

5 questions to ask when shopping for a mortgage
(BPT) - Buying a home is a major financial commitment. It’s exciting, but can also be confusing and overwhelming. Choosing the best mortgage that fits your needs is an important first step and first-time homebuyers in particular should research the many options and know the right questions to... More >>

Why would manufactured homes require a title?
(BPT) - On June 15, 1976, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) instituted the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards — more commonly referred to as the “HUD Code.”With these regulations, HUD defined the safety and quality standards requir... More >>

The most common causes of homeowners insurance claims
(BPT) - The value of homeowners insurance is often thrust into the national spotlight when natural disasters happen. The devastation and financial loss they can cause reinforces the importance of making sure you have adequate insurance coverage to rebuild if disaster strikes your home. In 2017 alon... More >>

Tips and tricks to keep your car looking new this spring
(BPT) - The colder weather is fleeting, flowers are blossoming and the grass is just a little greener, which means spring is finally here. While most of your time will be spent preparing your home, clothes and family calendars for the warmer weather, it’s important not to forget about your ca... More >>

Advice for adult children of aging parents who need help at home
(BPT) - Helping a parent stay active and healthy at home can be achieved with careful planning. The rewards of personally caring for, or managing the care of, a loved one who needs help are innumerable. It’s an opportunity to give back and to offer a return on the loving investment they once ... More >>

Having tax regrets? Here are 5 ways to pay less and save more on your taxes
(BPT) - Most of us know the feeling: Tax season can be a frustrating and stressful time. You have to gather lots of documents, remember all the changes in your life over the past year that might affect your return, and file the required paperwork before tax day rolls around.And while you do all of ... More >>

Easy tips to save money on health care
(BPT) - As Americans work hard to meet all the obligations that come with work, family and everyday life, many are challenged to find time to manage all the financial elements affecting their health care.The details associated with health care insurance can be confusing. At the same time, you want ... More >>

5 tips to create a personalized shed
(BPT) - The backyard. It’s your oasis. Your happy place. Your second living room. It’s the place to go not only for “me” time — but quality time with friends and family.This National Barbecue Month, the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association wants to help you make yo... More >>

Health care costs in retirement: Can you separate fact from fiction?
(BPT) - As their 65th birthday looms, many people eagerly anticipate the affordable access to health care that Medicare will provide. After all, Medicare covers everything, right? Not exactly. Because of this common misconception, many people are caught off guard when they realize that each one of ... More >>

Maximize the value of your Medicare dollar
(BPT) - In a recent survey, 43 percent of newly retired people said they were spending more on health care than they planned. One of the primary reasons? An unintentionally misguided approach to choosing their Medicare coverage.To make the process of comparing their plan options easier, too often p... More >>

If it can rain, it can flood: Why flood insurance is a wise bet for homeowners
(BPT) - The federal government considers floods the nation's most common natural disaster. They strike every state and leave homeowners with huge repair costs. Why? Because typical homeowners insurance doesn't cover flood damage.Those policies may provide protection for water damage when it comes t... More >>

5 Tips for Today's Freelance Entrepreneur
(BPT) - From millennials who have been grinding away in the workplace for a few years to Gen Xers looking to move out of their cube, many have been intrigued by the possibility of freelancing.It means the freedom to set your own hours, to work closely with clients, to be your own boss and have grea... More >>

Now that the taxes are filed, give your small business a checkup
(BPT) - A challenge for any entrepreneur is getting access to capital. If you’re like many, you’re constantly looking for ways to reduce expenses and free up cash flow so you can be ready for anything, whether it’s a slow season or an opportunity to expand.When tax season rolls ar... More >>

The new tax law: What you need to know now
(BPT) - With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 having been signed into law, here are some of the things you should be thinking about as tax season approaches, according to Robert Fishbein, vice president and corporate counsel, Prudential Financial Inc.2017 tax returnsThe new tax law is generally ef... More >>

Tax help for each kind of procrastinator [Video]
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How to handle rising interest rates in 2018
(BPT) - The nation’s central bank — the Federal Reserve — just raised interest rates by a quarter point. The Fed is expected to raise rates at least two more times this year by the same amount. That’s going to affect a lot of your finances, including your credit card bill, c... More >>

How many miles per gallon does your home get?
(BPT) - Everyone wants the inside scoop on how to get the best deal. Ironically, consumers will do a bunch of research over a $500 smart phone and relatively little for the largest purchase of their lives, their homes.Most home buyers focus on price and payments, however, factoring in a home’... More >>

Credit tips for buying an investment property
(BPT) - If you love the idea of being a landlord, and don’t mind being on duty around the clock, buying an investment property may be the wealth-building option for you.Property values have enjoyed a steady increase over the decades. That’s why real estate has earned its reputation as a... More >>

Problem Gambling: Know When to Stop Before You Start
(BPT) - The bright lights. The energy and laughter that fills the room. Casinos are fun and exciting to the vast majority of people but for some, they can be problematic.Casinos are a form of entertainment, so how do you ensure what’s meant to be a fun and leisurely activity continues to be a... More >>

5 questions to ask before making a charitable contribution
(BPT) - Giving back by donating to a nonprofit can help you feel more connected to your community and have a lasting impact for someone else. In many cases, deciding where to donate your hard-earned funds can be overwhelming. After all, the array of groups requesting donations is substantial and in... More >>


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