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15 May 2013 --- Mother watching young son use digital tablet. --- Image by © Hero Images/Corbis

How to Make the Most of the New Child Tax Credits

What is the best way for parents to make the most of the extra $250 to $300 a month? Across the state, Florida families have started receiving monthly Child Tax Credit payments that took effect last month as part of the federal government’s pandemic relief. According to the IRS, 90% of American families with children […]

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Is Inflation Bad? Not Always  

Is Inflation Bad? Not Always  

Is inflation always a negative? Mari was interviewed by  journalist Kimberly Lankford for an article on Yahoo Finance about how inflation can actually be a plus for your finances.   Inflation can lead to higher Social Security payouts, for example, and can push up short-term interest rates, like those that govern how much you can earn on your bank and […]

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66% Of States Earn ‘C’ Grade Or Worse For Personal Financial Education

We know the financial world is getting more complicated. And most young consumers just don’t have the experience or knowledge to make good money decisions. The proof can be found in the nation’s latest financial literacy report card, where most states are far from scoring at the top of the class. 66% of states earned a […]

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Ask Mari: Social Security Benefits For A Divorced Spouse

For many retirees, deciphering the best Social Security claiming strategy can be incredibly confusing. Social Security has thousands of complex rules and regulations, and policies change over time. In fact, one recent study estimated that the average American household leaves over $110,000 on the table by using the wrong Social Security claiming strategy. That’s why […]

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Signing Up for That First 401(k)

Is there a new grad in your household who is starting out on their first “real” job? If so, you may want to share this story by personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary, writing for the Washington Post, as she talks about helping her daughter set up a 401(k) account on her first full-time job. It’s […]

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How Long Will It Take You To Save Up For That New Home Downpayment?

Fascinating new research on just how long it might take you to save up enough to cover the down payment on a new home. Coming up with that coveted down payment remains the first step toward homeownership for most American consumers. The research data was obtained in a nationwide poll of over 7,000 prospective homebuyers […]

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Don’t Forget To Take Advantage Of This COVID Freebie: Free Credit Reports

Here’s a freebie that every consumer should take advantage of before the offer expires. Major credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are offering FREE credit reports every week to consumers through April 20, 2022 to help them ease any anxiety about their financial health resulting from the COVID crisis. Normally, free credit reports from each […]

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Self-Insuring A Risky Option For Florida Homeowners

It’s already looking like the perfect insurance storm in South Florida, and hurricane season is barely underway. Home insurance costs are going up, and more companies are threatening to drop South Florida homeowners. That’s why more local homeowners are considering going bare or “self-insuring.” That means they plan to let their homeowner’s policy lapse and […]

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Quote of the Week: When Is a Financial Planner Really a Financial Planner?

“The financial advice industry has 212 reasons to be confused. That’s the bewildering number of professional designations advisors use to indicate their expertise in every money issue under the sun, from retirement planning and college savings to insurance and investment funds. The alphabet soup is mystifying for investors. It’s baffling for advisors. And it’s getting […]

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Quote Of The Week: U.S. Households Ready To Spend

Trillions of dollars of stimulus cash have been pumped into the economy. What exactly do people do with the money once they get it? Research suggests they tend to spend about one-third of the funds, saving the rest or using it to pay down debt. (Check out our previous article: How Did Americans Spend Their Stimulus […]

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