The Power of Mindfulness

It seems everywhere you turn these days, from news shows to news articles to local advertisements, there’s this idea of promoting “mindfulness” in our day-to-day lives. Mindfulness is generally accepted as focusing one’s mental state on the present moment, being completely aware of all elements around us.   Some financial professionals have expanded this idea…

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Health Tips from Around the World

These days, it’s difficult to tell if America is still the greatest country in the world or one that has slipped from its pedestal. Perhaps it depends upon the measuring criteria. It is widely documented that the U.S. spends more on health care than any other country, with a total bill of $3.2 trillion last…

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Medicare Reform Outlook: Uncertain

With a new administration in the nation’s highest office, there is growing debate about Medicare reform. The federal program, which helps provide health insurance to those over 65 and certain younger people with disabilities, is partially funded by participant premiums and a 1.45 percent payroll tax, matched by employers. Yet, it routinely exceeds its funding…

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Higher Education Cost Inflation Helps Lead to Legitimizing of MOOCs

Almost 40 percent of high school graduates accepted for college admission ultimately do not attend the following year. The reason? College is expensive: The average college graduate emerged with about $30,000 in student loans in 2015.1 So you’ve got to wonder, is it worth it to graduate with that much debt, especially these days when…

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U.S. Housing Market Update

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose from 3.5 percent to 4.25 percent after the presidential election. While higher rates might deter potential homebuyers — particularly young first-timers — residential real estate is expected to continue being a seller’s market throughout 2017.1 Meanwhile, the fate of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remains unclear. These government-sponsored enterprises…

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Prescription for Retail Therapy

How much do you use of what you buy? Research reveals that Americans throw away 30 percent to 40 percent of the food they purchase.1 That’s just food, most of which you see daily and toss out regularly as it goes bad. But what about the things that don’t go bad — the sports equipment…

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Take a Look at Life Insurance

Middle-aged adults have a plethora of middle-aged financial priorities. It’s hard to even call them priorities because each one is important; it’s just a matter of spreading the money you have across a variety of different needs. In fact, a typical mid-life checking account might include payouts for a mortgage, college tuition, a savings account,…

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The Old-School Stool

The proverbial “three-legged stool” of retirement funding traditionally comprised Social Security, a company pension and personal savings, but that stool has been wobbly for quite some time. In fact, the traditional pension has been replaced largely by employer-sponsored 401(k) plans. This development firmly places the responsibility of two of the three stool legs on individual…

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Sleep and Other Surprising Economic Factors

As a result of all modern society’s demands, researchers say people are sleeping less than ever. Common sleep inhibitors include stress, alcohol consumption, smoking, lack of physical activity and excessive electronic media use.1 Sleep deprivation may be detrimental to one’s health, but there’s an economic toll as well. One recent study found that as much…

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Keeping Credit Card Debt in Check

As the economy improves, so does consumer sentiment.1 Along with a rise in spending confidence comes a rise in credit card debt. Household debt balances continued to grow in 2016, up to $12.35 trillion in the third quarter — which was only 2.6 percent below the peak reached in 2008.2 While this data includes mortgage…

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