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Do You Have Too Much Debt?

Wondering if you have too much debt? Looking into your debt-to-income ratio can help answer your question.

Your Property Tax Assessment: What Does It Mean?

Property taxes are a primary source of revenue for many local governments.

144 Million Medical Records Hacked

Over 144 million Americans' medical information was stolen or exposed last year.

Common Misconceptions About ETFs

For decades, mutual funds have offered professional portfolio management, diversification, and convenience to investors who lack the time or means to trade their portfolios profitably.

When Should You Adjust Your W-4 Withholdings?

In accordance with the U.S. tax system, most individuals take the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) approach.

Are Online Banks Safe?

If they’re FDIC-insured, online banks are as safe as traditional brick-and-mortar banks in many ways.

A Five-Point Plan for Financial Success

Getting yourself on sound financial footing is a lot like building a successful business. It can be a decades-long enterprise requiring planning, skill, patience, and a little bit of luck.

How to Find an Old 401(k) Account

Workers change jobs every 4.2 years on average, according to the most recent Employee Tenure Summary from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Twelve Habits to Get You to Financial Freedom

Financial freedom — having enough savings, investments, and cash on hand to afford the lifestyle you want for yourself and your family — is an important goal for many people.

Financial New Year's Resolutions You Can Keep

The good news about New Year's resolutions is that you get a fresh crack at them each year.

Tax Prep Checklist: What to Gather Before Filing

There are five categories of tax information you must collect to successfully file your tax return.

How to Put Together Your Legacy Drawer

If your family loves you unconditionally now – and they probably do – there’s an easy way to keep that love alive after you’re gone.

Eight Tips To Help You Control Holiday Spending

It can be easy to go overboard on holiday shopping.

What Makes Harrisburg, PA, the Best Place to Retire

Harrisburg ranks as the No. 1 Best Place to Retire in the U.S. in 2024.

What Is Smishing?

The term “smishing” is a combination of “SMS” — or “short message service,” the technology behind text messages — and “phishing.”

How Cyberstalkers Could Access Your iPhone Using the Windows Phone Link App

Windows Phone Link is a free Microsoft app that lets people view and access phone calls, text messages, and notifications from their smartphones directly on their Windows 10 or 11 PC.

Get a Copy of Your or a Loved One’s Military Records

If you want to know more about the service of a loved one, an amazing site offers many resources about our country’s heroes.

Top Hidden Dangers of Your Smart Home (and How to Stay Safe)

Our homes are filled with smart tech these days: you may love the convenience of spotting packages from video doorbells or asking Siri how many fluid ounces are in a cup (it’s eight!).

See a Random Thumb Drive? Be Wary!

Slimy hackers are using a trick that always comes back because it works: scattering infected thumb drives in public spaces, like parking lots or offices, to carry out their malicious activities.

Should Children Inherit Equal Wealth?

Dividing up your estate among offspring can be a tricky business.

How To Find Out If You're Owed Unclaimed Money

Nowadays, almost everything seems like a scam. But money might be yours, just waiting to be claimed.

How Will Debt Settlement Affect My Credit Score?

Debt settlement typically has a negative impact on your credit score.

High Deductible Medicare Plan G

Did you know that there is a High Deductible Medicare Plan G? Some beneficiaries find this a surprise since most carriers do not advertise it.

Eleven Considerations for Seniors Before You Travel

Inflation has made everything more expensive.

Warning: Check Fraud Is Rising

If you use paper checks and send them through the mail, it may be time to stop.

Secure 2.0 Holds Lots of Benefits for Clients

The devil isn’t in the details of the SECURE 2.0 Act, but the details could bedevil savers who want to use the new advantages in their retirement strategies.

Guide to Payment Types, With Pros and Cons for Each

Payment is the transfer of money, goods, or services in exchange for goods and services in acceptable proportions that have been previously agreed upon by all parties involved.

Best Ways to Use Your 401(k) Without a Penalty

For those who invest in their 401(k) plan, the traditional thinking is to wait until retirement before taking distributions or withdrawals from the account.

Mobile Wallet: Definition, How It Works, Vs. Digital Wallets

A mobile wallet is a digital wallet that stores payment card information on a mobile device.

Organize All Your Health Records With This Built-in Smartphone Feature

Health apps track your steps, heart rate, sleep patterns, and more. But they’re capable of so much more.

Ten Useful Siri Shortcuts for Business Professionals

Your iPhone and iPad offer a Shortcuts app, which lets you create your own shortcuts that you trigger by talking to Siri or by launching them from the app.

Electric Vehicle Tax Credits: What You Need to Know

One of the main talking points of the Inflation Reduction Act is its impact on incentivizing people to buy an electric vehicle (EV).

How to Calculate Early Withdrawal Penalties on a 401(k) Account

If you are thinking of withdrawing money from your 401(k) plan before age 59-1/2, be aware of the potential IRS penalties and taxes.

Unprecedented 401(k) Boost For 2023

On October 21. 2022 the IRS announced a record increase in contribution limits to 401(k) and other tax-deferred retirement plans for 2023.

What Makes Lancaster the Best Place to Retire?

Lancaster has a mix of small-town charm and amenities that appeal to many retirees.

How do you value your time?

In a new book, a hospice physician shares the lessons he's learned from the dying about values and purpose, and how we choose to spend our time on earth.

How Many Credit Cards Should You Have?

Should you have more than one credit card? If you’ve ever spent your way into a massive pile of credit card debt, you probably know the answer: No! However, there are reasons why the answer may be: Yes!

Nursing Homes Are Suing Friends and Family to Collect on Patients' Bills

The nursing home industry has quietly developed what consumer attorneys and patient advocates say is a pernicious strategy of pursuing family and friends of patients despite federal law that was enacted to protect them from debt collectors.

Affordable Care Act or Medicare?

If you’ve benefited from a health insurance subsidy under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, you may feel hesitant about Medicare.

How to Scrub Yourself from the Internet

Unfortunately, you can’t fully scrub yourself from the internet. A bit of you will always linger, whether it’s in data-broker databases, on old social media you forgot about, or in the back of someone else’s vacation photos on Flickr.

Annuity Illustrations Are Coming Soon To Your 401(k) Statement

Those of you who participate in 401(k) plans or certain 403(b) plans should see something new on your next quarterly statement for the period ending June 30, 2022.

Ten Ways You’re Trying To Save Money Might Actually Be Costing You More

You might think, “There’s no bad way to save money.” In reality, there’s a lot you can do wrong — no matter how good your intentions are.

Seven Things To Never Search For On Google

You might consider yourself a tech-savvy individual who would never fall for an online scam. You regularly mark suspicious email messages as spam, and you never click anything that doesn’t seem legitimate.

Retirement Costs You May Not Have Thought Of

Retirement planning involves identifying expenses, sources of income, and saving enough money to cover a certain percentage of your living expenses.

Now You Can Save More for Retirement: 2022 Contribution Limits

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) evaluates and updates qualified retirement account contribution limits each year.

Seven Ways Tech Can Solve Life’s Little Annoyances

Minor tech annoyances can seem small at the moment. But in the grand scheme of things, they can cause a lot of stress and wasted time.

Things You Can Get For Free

A ton of great tools are free, like video editing software or even streaming platforms.

Skip the credit card and pay online with one of these 5 safer options

There are several ways to pay online that are safer and easier than using your card.

Overdraft Protection: Pros and Cons

Is this protection worth having?

Set Up Your Financial Accounts Like You’re Going To Be Hacked

Your bank account is one of the most important things in your life to protect from hackers.

Twelve Ways to Lower Your Homeowner's Insurance Costs

The price you pay for your homeowner's insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars, depending on the insurance company you buy your policy from. Here are some things to consider when buying homeowners insurance.

Seven Ways Someone Can Hack Your Phone

RSA (an American computer and network security company with a focus on encryption and encryption standards) says that 70% of online fraud is done through mobile platforms.

The National Debt Explained

The national debt level of the United States is a measurement of how much the federal government owes its creditors.

How Inflation Affects Your Cost of Living

Up until very recently, inflation had not been talked about, and for good reason.

What to Know Before a Hospital Visit

Just as with financial planning, a hospital visit is easier to manage if you prepare in advance and understand the process.

Are Your Retirement Accounts Protected From Creditors?

This becomes an issue if you are forced to declare bankruptcy or you owe money after a legal action is brought against you.

Aggregating RMDS – What Is (And What Is Not) Allowed

Be careful with multiple RMDs! Know the basic aggregation rules below.

Eight New Amazon Tricks To Save You Some Cash

There are quite a few ways to save when shopping with Amazon.

Lifelong Exercise Adds Up to Big Health Care Savings

Becoming more physically active today might help us avoid thousands of dollars in health care costs later, according to a new study of exercise and Medicare claims.

Twelve Ways To Lower Your Monthly Internet, Cable and Streaming Bills

Why pay more than you have to for internet, cable, and streaming?

What Is the Cheapest Time to Book a Flight?

Want to get the cheapest flight possible? You're not alone.

Guide To Emergency-Proofing Your Finances

If you haven't done so already, now is a good time to emergency-proof your finances.

Why Medicare Part D Will Drive You Nuts

If you're new to Medicare, you will probably soon find out that Part D is no bed of roses, no matter which insurance company you buy your Part D plan from.

The Best States for Retirees

In addition to when to retire, a good question to ask is where.

Five Articles to Refresh Your Financial Literacy

Encompassing a broad range of money topics — from balancing a checkbook to developing a household budget and planning for retirement — financial literacy shapes the way we view and handle money.

Moving With Medicare

Many Medicare beneficiaries decide to move in retirement. Depending on the type of Medicare plan you have, you may need to change plans once you have a new address.

How to Plan Your Travel Rewards Card Strategy

There are many different types of credit card rewards. If you want to focus your efforts on earning travel rewards, you should create a credit card strategy to maximize the value you get for your spending patterns.

12 Top Sources of Nontaxable Income

Most of the income you earn through work or investments is subject to federal income tax and, in some cases, to state taxes, as well.

Are Medicare Advantage Plans Bad?

If you've been checking with your doctors about what plans they take, chances are that you may have come across a provider who tells you Medicare Advantage plans are bad.

The Push to Require Financial Literacy

Basic financial skills are generally not taught in a classroom in the United States. As a result, the lack of financial education has led to Americans having inadequate household and retirement savings and high levels of credit card and student loan debt.

Losing an Inheritance Is Easy, Because Saying No Is Hard

Many beneficiaries view their inheritances as free money, experts say, and some run through their sudden wealth on cars, major house renovations, and large gifts to children.

The Dangers of Taking Out a Direct PLUS Loan

While these loans might seem like an easy way for parents to help their child with today's education costs, in far too many cases, they put the parent’s financial security and retirement at risk.

Credit Card Limit Increase vs. Opening a New Account

If you’re looking to improve your credit history and boost your credit scores, you might be mulling over whether to seek a credit card limit increase or open a new line of credit. Both options would increase your total available credit and lower your utilization rate.

Some Things to Know Before Opening a Store Credit Card

We’ve all been there. You’ve got an armful of clothes and you’re watching the total inch up higher and higher. Then the store clerk says: “Would you like to open a credit card for an extra 15 percent off?”

A Story of Stolen Credit Card Information

An analysis of how online thieves steal your credit card information and what can be done to prevent this from happening to you.

Retirement Uses For Your Health Savings Account (HSA)

Most everyone knows about the use of an IRA or 401(k) account for retirement, but I suspect few understand that a Health Savings Account can also be considered an important retirement account.

2021 Tax Brackets and Other Tax Changes

On October 26, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service published the 2021 tax rates, allowances, and thresholds applicable for the tax law provisions that are adjusted annually for inflation.

Drug Discount Programs vs. Medicare Part D

CAUTION! Drug discount programs ARE NOT a replacement for a Medicare Part D policy.

Reasons To Think Twice About A 72(t) Payment Plan

Don't be lured into withdrawing IRA funds before age 59-1/2 by an IRS rule that allows you to avoid the 10% penalty.

You Should Pay Off These Types of Debts First

When finding yourself with extra cash, some analysis is required when deciding which debts to pay off first.

Things You Need To Know About Your Inherited IRA

A significant percentage of IRA assets will ultimately go to non-spouse beneficiaries. When these beneficiaries inherit the funds, special rules kick in. You need to know these rules to avoid making a costly mistake.

Hospital Observation and Medicare - Inpatient vs. Outpatient

Did you know that under Medicare, it’s possible to spend the night in the hospital but still be considered to be receiving only outpatient care? Find out how to avoid being caught by this Medicare loophole.

Surprising Facts About Retirement

Retirement is a topic that regularly makes headlines, and not all of them are encouraging. Americans are living longer than ever before. Here are some of the more startling truths about retirement in the United States.

How Spousal Benefits Are Calculated By Social Security

The size of your Social Security spousal benefit depends on a number of factors, including your age, the maximum amount of your spouse's benefit, and whether other benefits are available to you. There are a number of complicating factors that must be considered.

August 31, 2020 Deadline for Qualified Plan Actions

Due to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, certain actions must be taken by August 31, 2020, regarding qualified retirement plans. If you have taken a 2020 RMD, sponsor an employee plan, or made a 2019 IRA contribution, be sure to read this article.

What Is Your Ideal 401(k) Contribution?

No matter your age, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns about saving for retirement. How to save for it, what options are available, and how much money should you be socking away? Get help determining an ideal 401(k) contribution strategy.

What Is Your Money Personality Type?

Like almost everything else in life, your response to money is largely dictated by your personality. See how making small changes can often yield big results.

The Safe Way to Cancel a Credit Card

You’ve likely heard that canceling a credit card account could damage your credit score. And while it is true that closing a credit card can impact your score, that isn’t always the case. Here is a cancellation checklist to follow should you decide to do so.

Dow Jones Industrial Average vs. S&P 500: Knowing the Difference

Both indexes arrive at a number by tracking the price movements of a representative list of stocks. Learn the difference between these two indexes.

Understanding Credit Card Balance Transfers

While the offer looks great on the surface, people who take advantage of it might find themselves on the hook for unexpected interest charges. Learn the balance transfer math, and the deceptive marketing practices identified by the CFPB.

Five Ways to Control Emotional Spending

For some people, shopping is much more than a pastime - it's actually an addiction called oniomania.

World's Cheapest and Safest Retirement Countries

More people each year choose to retire abroad for a number of reasons. Which countries might you consider for your retirement?

Five Things You Need To Be Pre-approved For A Mortgage

Potential buyers benefit in several ways by consulting with a lender and obtaining a pre-approval letter. Here's how to get pre-approved for a mortgage.

When (and When Not) to Refinance Your Mortgage

Refinancing a mortgage means paying off an existing loan and replacing it with a new one. You might want to evaluate refinancing your mortgage.

Market Downturns

Collectively, since 1871, the time it takes for the market to recover (top to trough to top again) is a mere 7.9 months. Learn the history of market downturns and recoveries.

SECURE Act Makes Major Changes in IRA Rules

If you are a small business owner, a part-time worker, approaching or over age 70-1/2, a beneficiary of someone's IRA account, or the owner of a 401(k) plan, you MUST read about the changes made by the SECURE Act of 2019.

Ten Promising Job Prospects for 2020

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has determined the occupational fields that will virtually guarantee a job for those graduating in the next few years. Choose your career wisely.

How Long Will I Live?

The average American now lives to 88. Based on 400,000 NIH data samples and a short quiz about your lifestyle, find out what your life expectancy might be.

Six Ways To Cut The Cost Of Your Car Loan

There are numerous ways to save money on your car payments. Here's how to get a lower cost car loan.

Four Important Steps For Choosing Dental Insurance

Dental insurance policies have an annual limit to coverage, along with a $50 to $100 deductible. To avoid getting caught with unexpected expenses, here are some key steps to take when buying dental insurance.

The Six Worst Student Loan Mistakes You Can Make

No one loves the idea of student loans. But they're often a necessary evil - the only option for financing college, which (despite some debate of late) remains the best route for good jobs and rewarding careers.

Safe and Liquid Investment Options For Your Emergency Fund

When considering where to put your emergency funds, make sure you'll be able to access the money quickly, easily, and without a withdrawal penalty when you need it.

Ignore the Financial Media

The financial media is omnipresent. Whether it’s hearing about what the Dow did today on your drive home or a talking head pontificating about how the markets are obviously about to tank, we are constantly immersed in a miasma of prognostication.

How to Plan for Medical Expenses in Retirement

A 65-year-old newly retired couple will need $285,000 for medical expenses. Here's how to plan for these expenses.

Beware, the IRS is Eyeing Your Inherited Money

One of the perils of being well-off is the constant risk that the federal government and/or your friendly state and local tax collectors will figure out new and different ways to snatch more of your wealth, especially wealth that you earned the old-fashioned way: by inheriting it.

Seven Ways To Recession-Proof Your Life

There are many everyday habits the average person can implement to ease the sting of a recession, or even make it so its effects aren't felt at all. Here's how to prepare for a recession.

How a Home-Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) Can Hurt You

If you don't manage your home-equity line of credit prudently, a HELOC can become very expensive and get you into financial trouble.

Should You Lease or Buy Your Next Car?

Many car shoppers are stymied by the decision to lease or buy. Let's see if we can help you with the decision.

Safe Deposit Boxes: Store This, Not That

A safe deposit box (or safety deposit box) is an individually secured container — usually a metal box — that lives in the vault of a federally insured bank or credit union. Here's what (and what not) to put in it.

Tips and Ideas for Cutting Car Insurance Costs

Car insurance rates are on the rise across the country. The good news is that there are things that you can do to minimize increases and/or reduce the burden on your wallet.

Mortgage Interest Rates

Buying a home with a mortgage is probably the largest financial transaction you will enter into. Here's what you need to know about mortgage interest rates.

Are Credit Karma Scores Real and Accurate?

Only you can evaluate whether getting a free credit score is really worth giving up your personal information, especially in an era when hackers are alarmingly successful at getting their hands on that personal data.

What Happens If You Don't Pay Your Student Loans?

Most student loans are guaranteed by the federal government, and the feds have powers about which debt collectors can only dream. Here's why you should pay your student loans.

Credit, Debit and Charge Cards

From a financial perspective, debit and charge cards are structured so that they pose little danger to your financial well-being. Learn how to use the right plastic money.

Reverse Mortgages

When used properly, it can be an effective financial planning solution. If you are approaching or over age 62, you should learn more about reverse mortgages.

Freezing Your Credit File

Now you can freeze your credit file for free. Learn about this new tool to manage your credit.

Four Unusual Ways to Boost Social Security Benefits

There are little-known strategies available that may help you decide when you or your spouse should apply. Here's how to get more from Social Security.

What Medicare Covers While Traveling

There are only a few instances where Medicare will cover services obtained in a foreign country. Here's what you need to know about Medicare when traveling.

Property Taxes (And How To Lower Them)

Property taxes are a major source of income for the city, county, and state governments, and other entities such as school districts. Knowing more about these taxes may help you to lower yours.

Qualified Charitable Distributions

If you are over the age of 70-1/2, there is a way to reduce your taxable income, and therefore the taxes you pay, by taking advantage of the Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from an IRA account.

The Average Retirement Savings By Age

A survey of the value of retirement accounts by age group. How do your savings compare to your peer group?

Beginner Estate Planning

For millennials, it's never too early for estate planning.

The Top 5 Financial Mistakes Millennials Make

The millennial experience with the 2008 financial crisis may have given them a perspective that can be detrimental to achieving any long-term aspirations they might have. This distorted view may have led many to make any number of mistakes.

Withdrawal Of Retirement Assets

While we tend to focus on the total value of our retirement assets, once we start to use those assets to fund our retirement an optimal distribution strategy can minimize the impact of taxes and save you money.

Letter Of Intent Will

While it has no legal standing, and a letter of intent cannot override a will, it can be an invaluable document for your family in any kind of an emergency, not just your passing.

Medicare Advantage Plans

Is a Medicare Advantage plan right for you?

HELOC and Second Mortgage Loophole

You may still qualify for the Home Equity Line of Credit deduction.

Guarding Your Social Security Number

When and why you need to give your Social Security number to someone, and when you shouldn't.

Words of Wisdom Courtesy of Joseph Heller

Authors Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller were at a party given by a billionaire on Shelter Island. Wisdom ensued: what is really important about wealth.

Best Personal Finance Apps

A quick look at some personal finance apps.

Homebuyer's Guide

Whether you're buying for investment or for a place to live, there are things real estate pros know about buying a home. Learn them so that you can buy your next home like a pro.

Building Health Care Costs Into Retirement Planning

There is one aspect of health care and health care costs that is controllable amid many that are not: whether people are in good health or not. Here's how to lower your retirement health care costs.

Social Security Administration Shortchanges Widows and Widowers

Don't count on Social Security bureaucrats to have all the answers.

Qualified Plan Withdrawals: IRA vs. 401(k)

There are differences in how withdrawals from IRA accounts are regulated versus those from 401(k) employer plans. Knowing these differences will help you use the best strategy for funding your retirement.

Surprise! Millennials Are A Generation Of Savers

It appears that Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) are going against stereotype, with more than half of them saving for retirement. As usual, stereotypes can be misleading.

Don't Get 'Escheated' Out Of Your Money!

Unfortunately, the English common law on escheatment has evolved from making sure abandoned property does not go to waste, to making sure the state has another source of income. Avoid unwittingly giving your money to the state.

Free Money!

Find money you didn't know you had.

Turning 65? Here Are Some Pitfalls When Signing Up For Medicare

The Medicare enrollment decision is too important to get wrong.

Like Exercise, Long-Term Investing Requires Persistence and Patience

Dave Rowan, a CFP from Rowan Financial reflects on the parallels between financial and physical wellness. Learn how to exercise your investment skills.

Proposed Department Of Labor Rules: How They'll Impact Advisors and Investors

In 2016 the U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a new rule requiring just about every professional who deals with retail investors to adhere to a fiduciary standard of practice. Learn what a fiduciary is, and why you would want one.

Six Things Every College Graduate Needs to Know About Money

Just getting started? Beyond the relative safety of college sits the stressful and sometimes messy world of adulthood. Learn how to make the transition from college to career success.

Big Changes To Social Security

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, passed by Congress and signed by the President, includes significant changes to Social Security's rules. Learn what changed about Social Security.

Supreme Court Decides That Inherited IRAs Are NOT Retirement Accounts

On June 18th,2014 the U.S. Supreme Court decided that, for the purpose of federal bankruptcy law, an inherited IRA is no longer considered a “retirement account” and is therefore accessible to creditors in bankruptcy. Learn how to protect your heirs.

Required Minimum Distributions

These are withdrawals from IRA accounts required by the tax code once a person reaches the age of 70-1/2 and every year thereafter. The IRS imposes a 10% penalty if you get it wrong.

The Case For Benign Neglect

Benign neglect, bordering on sloth, remains the hallmark of our investment process - Warren Buffet.

Roth IRA vs. Roth 401(k)

If you're lucky enough to have access to a Roth 401(k) through your employer, you probably know that there are a couple of differences, to your advantage, that the Roth 401(k) has over an individual Roth IRA.

Do You Have A Super-IRA?

Well, it's not an IRA, but a Health Savings Account (HSA). Read on to find out how to use your HSA to your best advantage.

Maximize Your Social Security

If like me, you're over 55 (way over!), you've probably received regular invitations in the mail to attend a seminar on Social Security from an advisor that is just dying to buy you lunch or dinner.

Welcome to Stout Bowman and Associates

Let us introduce ourselves.

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