Business And Finance Front

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

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

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

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 >>




Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

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

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

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 >>




Thursday 10/22/2020
Is this the right time to switch careers? Many people are discovering passions during the pandemic
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 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.

more »
Tuesday 10/20/2020
Food prices: Why they’re rising and how to save
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 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?

more »
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.

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How to Maximize Your Medicare Plan in 2021
Updated: October 22, 2020 - 2:35 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.

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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

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

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Wednesday 10/14/2020
CFP Board Financial Planning Job Listings, Career Advice Now
Updated: October 16, 2020 - 2:35 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.

more »
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.

more »
Budget-Building Resources for a More Resilient Tomorrow
Updated: October 16, 2020 - 2:35 am

(StatePoint) National Hispanic Heritage Month, observed from September 15 to October 15, recognizes the culture and contributions of U.S. Hispanics to American society. The second largest ethnic or racial group in the U.S., Hispanics contributed $2.6 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2018, have the purchasing power of approximately $1.7 trillion, and are the most likely among other minority groups to be entrepreneurs.

more »
Thursday 10/08/2020
How to Safely Select Your 2021 Medicare Plan During The COVID-19 Pandemic
Updated: October 23, 2020 - 2:35 am

(NewsUSA) - Choosing a Medicare plan is a big decision for eligible individuals, including those who are age 65 or older or are living with a disability, as the plan you select during the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Election Period is the plan you'll have for the coming year, with a few exceptions.

more »
Wednesday 10/07/2020
Comfort For Your Family
Updated: October 23, 2020 - 2:35 am

(NAPSI)—Here’s a look at something you may not like to think about—but could still be good to know: a funeral concierge can help you navigate planning a funeral and negotiating related expenses. Funeral concierge services are available from Everest Funeral Package, LLC. 

How It Works

Expert Everest consultants compare and negotiate best prices to save money, personalize the funeral plan, and assist in paperwork. In addition, their services include a secure online vault for copies of such vital documents as a will, medical directive, and power of attorney, saving families the time and worry of locating these documents after the passing of a loved one. Everest not only assists the family in completing paperwork it helps them coordinate with the insurance company and may even be able to get a portion of the death benefit available from the life insurance policy in as little as three days. 

You can even use the service to pre-plan and be sure things happen the way you want. The service includes 24/7 access to an expert consultant who assists with planning the funeral and negotiating funeral expenses, as well as online tools for creating a will and other estate planning documents and an online secure location to store these documents.

As an independent consumer advocate, the company is not associated with any funeral home or funeral provider and does not profit from any of the family’s decisions. It provides peace of mind and confidence when making difficult financial and emotional decisions.

Transamerica and Everest

Life insurance can be an important tool to protect loved ones from financial hardship. Individuals shopping for permanent life insurance should know that Transamerica offers a funeral concierge rider. Transamerica, a major finance and insurance company, has collaborated with Everest Funeral Package, LLC to add a unique feature to certain qualifying life insurance products. Consumers should contact a licensed life insurance agent and determine whether a life insurance policy best suits their financial plan. Permanent life insurance is a life-long financial commitment and is not appropriate for everyone.

“Everest exists to advocate for families, be their champion, and offer support during one of life’s most challenging times,” said Mark Duffey, President and CEO of Everest Funeral Concierge. “We’re proud to collaborate with Transamerica as they continue to find ways to put families first. Our relationship is a natural fit. Both Everest and Transamerica are deeply committed to helping people make informed decisions today so they can worry less about tomorrow.”

Learn More

For further facts on the funeral planning concierge service, go to www.Everestfuneral.com.

 

more »
3 Ways To Get The House You Want
Updated: October 23, 2020 - 2:35 am

(NAPSI)—Over five million homes are sold in America every year, according to realtors. If you’d like one of them to be yours, there are a few facts you should know. 

In a perfect world, you’d fall in love with a new home, submit an offer, and have the seller accept it. The world, however, is rarely perfect. So how can you make your offer stand out when there’s competition for the home you want? Here are three hints that can help. 

1. Shorten the timeline: Sellers want to move on. Offering a quick close lets them get to their own new home sooner and alleviates worries about the transaction falling through. Removing contingencies is a strategy to fast-track the closing timeline. You can work with your agent to determine whether waiving contingencies is a good option in your situation.  

2. Make a cash offer: Nothing appeals to sellers like cash. When you offer cash instead of getting a mortgage, you eliminate the time for the mortgage to close. You also remove the risk of the mortgage loan not going through.  

Don’t have the cash? There are still options. Companies such as Flyhomes make the cash offer on your behalf, close with the seller, then sell the home to you at the same price after your mortgage is finalized. That firm also supplies you with a Client Advisor who is your coach from start to finish. You’re supported by specialists for touring, research and more. Plus they’ll help you deal with title and escrow. 

3. Find out why the seller is selling: A great real estate agent will tailor your offer to the seller’s goals. A seller who’s lived in a home for a long time is likely looking for a buyer who will cherish the home as much as they did. In that case, you might choose to write a letter to the seller to accompany your offer. On the other hand, the home may be owned by an investor, who will be most interested in selling to the buyer with the highest price and best terms.  

Learn More 

For further facts and tips on buying a home, go to www.flyhomes.com

 

more »
Friday 10/02/2020
Save Money On Shipping
Updated: October 23, 2020 - 2:35 am

(NAPSI)—Your company can get money from a surprising source: the Post Office.

That’s because the U.S. Postal Service now has a program that gives credits to registered businesses that use Click-N-Ship® services. As of August 1, 2020, businesses can earn these credits when they buy Priority Mail® and Priority Mail Express® products. The credits can then be used toward future purchases of the products, using Click-N-Ship.

How It Works

•Registered business users of Click-N-Ship services will be automatically enrolled and automatically accrue the credits.

•Companies that are already registered get a $40 credit for every $500 spent on Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express products using Click-N-Ship.

•New Click-N-Ship users earn an additional $40 for the first $500 they spend.

•Once earned, credits are added to the connected USPS.com account within 30 days.

•Credits expire one year from the date of issuance.

Make Your Money Go Even Further

More good news from the USPS: Starting January 2021, the Postal Service will help your business grow faster by adding tiers to the USPS® Loyalty Program. Your tier will be based on your qualifying shipping totals from the previous year. A higher tier means a larger benefit.

Learn More

For further facts on how the USPS Loyalty Program can pay off for you, visit usps.com/loyalty.

 

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Thursday 10/01/2020
Make These 5 Steps Toward Financial Wellness This Fall
Posted: October 01, 2020

(BPT) - October is National Financial Planning Month, a time when we traditionally slow down, check in and make some progress toward our long-term financial goals. Big-picture money objectives may feel difficult right now, while we grapple with the economic fallout from the pandemic and struggle to meet immediate financial needs. Nearly half of Americans are worried about their financial future, according to Prudential’s 2020 Financial Wellness Census, and most people perceive their financial mobility as fixed.

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New ways to save more with your FSA or HSA
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - If you currently have a flexible spending arrangement (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA) through your employer, you probably appreciate knowing that you have some pre-tax savings stashed away in case you need them for a healthcare expense. FSAs and HSAs aim to provide convenient, affordable spending options, allowing employees to create accounts where they can deposit pre-tax funds during each pay period to cover out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.

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Wednesday 09/30/2020
Tips for landing a job in the COVID-19 era
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - The job hunt after college is exhilarating and emotional while at the same time stressful and exhausting. Adding a global pandemic into the mix threatens to upend the process for the nearly 4 million 2020 graduates.

more »
World Financial Planning Day Program Offers Practical Advice
Updated: October 22, 2020 - 2:35 am

(NewsUSA) - Whether you are new to the workforce or a seasoned veteran, having a financial plan is important, especially in uncertain times.

more »
Tuesday 09/29/2020
3 critical ways businesses can prepare for the unknowns of a post-COVID-19 world
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - Running a business is no small feat. Add to that the evolving uncertainties with COVID-19, protests, rioting, a recession and more, and any business is on high alert. Preparing for unknowns is difficult despite the organization's size, but it can be even more difficult for small and medium businesses.

more »
Tips for your next career move after military service
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - Making the transition from military service to civilian life can be challenging on multiple fronts — and the toughest issue can be figuring out your next career move. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available for veterans and military families coping with the job hunt, moving, handling their finances and more.

more »
How to Choose the Best Insurance Policy for You
Updated: October 03, 2020 - 2:34 am

(StatePoint) It’s never fun to think about the possibility of getting sick or hurt, losing a home, needing extended medical care, or even dying, but these are extremely important topics to confront when planning your financial future.

more »
Friday 09/25/2020
Navigating Important Family Decisions With a Financial Advisor
Updated: September 27, 2020 - 2:30 am

(StatePoint) Recent historic economic downturns and significant unemployment numbers and job losses have created considerable financial worries for families across the country. Health and safety concerns about returning to schools, childcare facilities, and office settings have only added to the uncertainty and stress that Americans are currently feeling.

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Thursday 09/24/2020
COVID-19 Weighs on Those Saving for College
Updated: October 20, 2020 - 2:35 am

(NewsUSA) - Back to school has taken on a whole new meaning for families this fall.

more »
Life insurance 101: Your guide to getting the right coverage
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - Life constantly changes and no one can predict the future, which is why life insurance offers peace of mind that your loved ones are protected financially should anything happen to you. There are many life insurance options available, which is beneficial because that means you can find the best one for your needs and budget.

more »
Monday 09/14/2020
What to Know About Today’s Life Insurance Options
Updated: September 22, 2020 - 2:30 am

(StatePoint) Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are looking into new life insurance coverage or taking a closer look at their existing coverage to make potential updates, according to a new survey.

more »
Thursday 09/10/2020
Your PR Ps and Qs
Updated: September 17, 2020 - 2:32 am

(NAPSI)—Every year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports, approximately 400,000 new small businesses open. If yours is among them—or you’d like it to be—this year, you’re probably facing unprecedented issues. Fortunately, there’s a well-established means to help your new or existing business to grow and flourish and that is public relations. Public relations builds visibility for your brand by creating mutually beneficial relationships between your organization and media, influencers and other relevant audiences. To get facts about your business to potential customers, it’s wise to get information out through this publication and other media. 

Here are hints on how to do so: 

•Get to know the media and see what perspective you can offer them. Read this and other publications; watch and listen to the TV and radio news and talk shows to get to know what they like to cover and how your firm can fit in. Gather e-mail addresses for your target media. 

•Draft clear and personal e-mails to media that cover topics relevant to you and your business. Introduce yourself and tie the introduction to what the person covers. Explain what captured your attention about them. Explain why you’re reaching out and how you can help them to do their job. Then, follow up; stay connected. 

•Let the media know you’re available to share opinions and have a unique perspective. Perhaps you can talk about the unique ways the pandemic has affected your business and how you’re working to overcome them. Are you adding new services? Are you hiring new people? Are you making changes to your physical location?  

•Promote your company by applying for industry, local and regional awards. 

•Is your business having any special sales or is there anything special that you have done for someone that has affected their lives? Let this publication and other relevant media know what you did or plan to do. 

Get Help 

If all that sounds like a lot of work, while you’re trying to start or revive your business, well, that’s good. The good news is that you don’t have to do it all yourself. You can get a professional public relations person to manage the process, keep you on schedule and gain attention for your business while you focus on running your company. A public relation expert such as Nicole Rodrigues, founder and CEO of NRPR Group, a highly-recognized, award-winning and exclusive boutique public relations agency, can keep your company in the spotlight so existing and potential customers know who you are and why they want to do business with you. 

Learn More 

For further facts on what a PR firm can do for you, visit www.nrprgroup.com

 

more »
Wednesday 09/09/2020
COVID-19 Fallout: Americans Changing Their Higher Ed Plans
Updated: October 10, 2020 - 2:30 am

(NewsUSA) - The move to online classes at colleges and universities to deal with COVID-19 isn't making the grade with many Americans.

more »
Tuesday 09/08/2020
Creating working environments for families to thrive
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - No one has escaped the effects of the pandemic, but working parents are struggling. Staring down a lack of childcare, new work-from-home situations, and insufficient support from employers or public resources, these individuals are nearing the end of their rope emotionally, and for many, financially. The start of the school year further complicates matters as parents grapple with difficult decisions and limited options due to school policies or their own financial and employment constraints. While parents navigate this fraught period for their families and bank accounts, the country must understand three things: Where parents stand now, what they need from their employers in the future, and what can be done in the meantime to find relative peace and security.

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Use these 5 annual insurance benefits before the end of 2020
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - Are you one of the 48% of adults who says they or someone in their household has postponed or skipped medical care due to the COVID-19 pandemic?1 If so, you may not have yet taken full advantage of your insurance benefits this year.

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Be prepared: 5 steps to build your emergency fund
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - Many of life’s interruptions can’t be predicted. Not having funds set aside for unexpected problems can leave you racking up high credit card debt or putting yourself in other difficult financial straits.

more »
Friday 09/04/2020
Five ways to help protect yourself from unemployment insurance fraud
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - Many people around the U.S. are relying on unemployment insurance assistance as the country battles the pandemic and associated economic effects. As unemployment has risen, fraudsters have been targeting consumers to steal unemployment insurance benefits. They do this by taking personally identifiable information (PII) that cybercriminals have posted on the dark web, stolen from unsuspecting consumers or gained from past data breaches.

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Wednesday 09/02/2020
Don't Let COVID-19 Impact Your Credit Score
Updated: October 09, 2020 - 2:34 am

(NewsUSA) - Since March, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned millions of Americans' financial situations upside down.

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Tips to Ease the Financial Recovery Process After a Disaster
Updated: September 05, 2020 - 2:33 am

(StatePoint) While the COVID-19 crisis continues to be top of mind for many Americans, it’s important to remember that other disasters can still occur with little or no warning, making it vital to prepare.

more »
Friday 08/28/2020
Need To Find Your Own Health Insurance—You Have Options To Get Covered
Updated: September 11, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—“We need to find health insurance. Where do we start?” This question will occur to millions of Americans who have lost their employer-provided health coverage—or want to be prepared in the event they do. Some reports suggest that some individuals may not enroll in health insurance at all, and the health and financial impact of going without could have long-lasting consequences.

“Choosing the right health coverage may seem daunting since many Americans have never shopped for coverage before or worry that they cannot get affordable health insurance,” said Mark Smith, president of HealthMarkets, one of the largest independent health insurance agencies in the United States. “People should know that there is a wide range of coverage options available to meet their unique care needs and financial situations, some of which are free or subsidized.”

Health Care Coverage Guidance and Enrollment Support

Individuals can find support through health care marketplaces, insurance carriers, insurance brokers and other licensed insurance agents to determine what plan is best for them.

For example, GetCovered is a free service offered through HealthMarkets that provides guidance for people who need health coverage. Call (877) 270-0029 or visit www.getcovered.com to get started. Working with licensed insurance agents, individuals can learn what they are eligible for, including Medicare/Medicaid options or find commercial health plans that best meet their individual needs. Agents can also help them enroll in these plans, where they are able.

Questions to Ask

To find the right coverage, it’s important to know what’s available, what to ask and what information you need to enroll. To narrow your options, be prepared to discuss:

•When does your employer-sponsored coverage end?

•Does your company offer COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act)? Under COBRA, individuals maintain their current plan benefits by paying the total cost of the insurance including their premiums and the amount contributed by their employers.

•Does your spouse’s/domestic partner’s employer provide coverage with a “special enrollment” allowance under certain circumstances?

•What benefits does your family need or want?

•What can your family afford? Think about what portion of your monthly budget can be used for health coverage or other insurance. Your family may be eligible for additional options based on your specific financial situation.

Health Coverage Options

If COBRA and spousal coverage are not available or too cost-prohibitive, here are other options to consider:

•Medicaid/Medicare—While Medicare coverage is primarily available to individuals over age 65, Medicaid eligibility is primarily based on income, disability, family size and other circumstances.

•Individual exchange/marketplace plans-These Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans are available through federal or state enrollment sites. Based on your family’s income, you may be eligible for plan subsidies making one of these plans more affordable. Recent job loss often would be a “qualifying life event” to enroll in an ACA plan outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period.

•Short-term plans—Short-term limited duration insurance coverage provides temporary coverage to bridge the gap between longer-term insurance coverage. These plans have a fixed duration of a few months to even several years and generally will offer less robust coverage than ACA plans.

“Health coverage decisions can be made simpler—and there are resources to help,” Smith said. “Regardless of whether you choose to do your own research and enrollment or engage outside services, determining what you and your family need and can afford will help you find good health coverage that ensures you have access to care now.”

 

more »
Thursday 08/27/2020
A Dozen Helpful Hints For Building Your Company
Updated: September 10, 2020 - 2:34 am

(NAPSI)—Now is an excellent time to start or grow a business. While this may seem surprising, there are several reasons and very simple ways to go about it. For one thing, consumer needs and desires are increasing—and so are their savings accounts. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the personal savings rate is at an historic 33 percent. Once the country opens up, people will want to buy products and services they’ve been missing. Entrepreneurs can meet that need, suggests Nicole Rodrigues, founder and CEO of NRPR Group, an award-winning, exclusive public relations and marketing machine serving game changers and disruptors around the world. She suggests 12 ways to start and build a company:  

How to Entrepreneur

1.Conduct market research. This will tell you if there’s an opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business. Gather information about potential customers and about businesses already operating in your area. 

2.Write your business vision. You don’t need a full plan. You need a clear vision to guide your road map for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. 

3.Fund your business. Figure out how much money you’ll need to start your business and how to either self-fund, raise or borrow the capital.  Be sure you have a separate bank account for your business, to keep personal expenses out so there’s no confusion.

4.Pick a location. Whether you’re setting up a brick-and-mortar business or launching an online store, the choice could affect your reputation, audience, taxes, legal requirements and revenue.

5.Choose your business name. You’ll want one that reflects your brand and captures your spirit. You’ll also want to make sure it isn’t already being used by someone else.

6.Be smart about staffing. Do you need a team yet? Your team needs to align in both skills and attitude with your overall vision. When people know they’ll get great service, it increases your chances of getting word-of-mouth advertising. 

7.Tap into useful tools. For example, e-mail marketing has now become one of the best ways to connect with clients and prospective customers. Businesses use e-mails to continually engage with their target audience and convert them into paying customers. It’s a cost-effective approach to reach a wide range of consumers who regularly check out your content.

8.Look for low cost or even free resources. For instance, it costs nothing to post your information and pictures on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Start accounts and slowly add relevant content for free to help build an organic following.  

9.Turn to Earned Media and PR. Learn who covers your competitors and businesses in your community and get in front of them so they cover you regularly. Share earned media coverage on social media to save money and impress your audiences. Don’t be afraid to show off that great coverage. It’s impressive to prospective customers. 

10. Remember: Perception is important. Think about how your website or storefront looks. Have great looking marketing materials and case studies on your site. 

11. Downloadable brochures are also a good idea. This is an example of marketing materials from the last point. For example, a hair salon can create a flier about an online event where the stylists will give virtual tips for trimming split ends; a restaurant can put out a flier about offering special curbside pickup or outside dining options; a nail salon can create a brochure about how it’s protecting people by erecting barriers between technicians and showing off the visuals, so people see and want to come in. 

12. Don’t hesitate to call in the experts. You don’t have to do everything on your own. Hiring professionals can be expensive—but hiring amateurs can cost you a lot more in the end. 

Learn More

For further facts and tips about starting or growing a business, visit www.nrprgroup.com.

 

more »
Thursday 08/20/2020
Need To Find Your Own Health Insurance—You Have Options To Get Covered
Updated: August 22, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NAPSI)—“We need to find health insurance. Where do we start?” This question will occur to millions of Americans who have lost their employer-provided health coverage—or want to be prepared in the event they do. Some reports suggest that some individuals may not enroll in health insurance at all, and the health and financial impact of going without could have long-lasting consequences.

“Choosing the right health coverage may seem daunting since many Americans have never shopped for coverage before or worry that they cannot get affordable health insurance,” said Mark Smith, president of HealthMarkets Insurance Company, one of the largest independent health insurance agencies in the United States. “People should know that there is a wide range of coverage options available to meet their unique care needs and financial situations, some of which are free or subsidized.”

Health Care Coverage Guidance and Enrollment Support

 

Individuals can find support through health care marketplaces, insurance carriers, insurance brokers and other licensed insurance agents to determine what plan is best for them.

For example, GetCovered is a free service offered through HealthMarkets that provides guidance for people who need health coverage. Call (877) 270-0029 or visit www.getcovered.com to get started. Working with licensed insurance agents, individuals can learn what they are eligible for, including Medicare/Medicaid options or find commercial health plans that best meet their individual needs. Agents can also help them enroll in these plans, where they are able.

Questions to Ask

To find the right coverage, it’s important to know what’s available, what to ask and what information you need to enroll. To narrow your options, be prepared to discuss:

•When does your employer-sponsored coverage end?

•Does your company offer COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act)? Under COBRA, individuals maintain their current plan benefits by paying the total cost of the insurance including their premiums and the amount contributed by their employers.

•Does your spouse’s/domestic partner’s employer provide coverage with a “special enrollment” allowance under certain circumstances?

•What benefits does your family need or want?

•What can your family afford? Think about what portion of your monthly budget can be used for health coverage or other insurance. Your family may be eligible for additional options based on your specific financial situation.

Health Coverage Options

If COBRA and spousal coverage are not available or too cost-prohibitive, here are other options to consider:

•Medicaid/Medicare—While Medicare coverage is primarily available to individuals over age 65, Medicaid eligibility is primarily based on income, disability, family size and other circumstances.

•Individual exchange/marketplace plans—These Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans are available through federal or state enrollment sites. Based on your family’s income, you may be eligible for plan subsidies making one of these plans more affordable. Recent job loss often would be a “qualifying life event” to enroll in an ACA plan outside of the annual Open Enrollment Period.

•Short-term plans—Short-term limited duration insurance coverage provides temporary coverage to bridge the gap between longer-term insurance coverage. These plans have a fixed duration of a few months to even several years and generally will offer less robust coverage than ACA plans.

“Health coverage decisions can be made simpler—and there are resources to help,” Smith said. “Regardless of whether you choose to do your own research and enrollment or engage outside services, determining what you and your family need and can afford will help you find good health coverage that ensures you have access to care now.”

 

Editor’s Note: This service is offered in states including: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, IdahoIllinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, OhioOklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

 

more »
Wednesday 08/19/2020
Financial wellness: Four key tips for re-budgeting
Posted: August 19, 2020

(BPT) - For millions of Americans, life has been turned upside down by social distancing, quarantines and business closures from the COVID-19 pandemic. If your finances are stretched thin, Navy Federal Credit Union has tips to help you reset your budget and get back on track.

more »
Friday 08/14/2020
Getting Out of Debt
Updated: September 22, 2020 - 2:30 am

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored Content - Debt can be a crushing burden in the best of times. And right now, with more uncertainty in the world than we have ever experienced, it can be more terrifying than normal.

more »
Monday 08/10/2020
6 tips to beat the heat and save energy this summer
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - Do you feel like you’re spending more money on utilities? Social distancing and quarantining at home throughout spring and early summer may mean higher electricity needs and cooling demands.

more »
How Military Families Can Navigate Home Buying in Uncertain Times
Posted: August 10, 2020

(StatePoint) Like many Americans, the recent pandemic may have you thinking a lot about your current living space and about buying a home. If you’re a military service member, veteran or family member, both new and tried-and-true tools and resources can streamline the process.

more »
Wednesday 08/05/2020
Surprisingly, Older Americans Are Coping Best During the Pandemic
Updated: September 16, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NewsUSA) - Older Americans have actually been coping far better than younger ones during the coronavirus pandemic, according to new research.

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The smart guide to personal finance in a post-COVID world
Posted: August 05, 2020

(BPT) - From job loss and unexpected medical costs to economic swings and volatile stock markets, everyone has experienced some level of financial impact from COVID-19. It's important to know there are simple steps you can take to manage your money throughout challenging times and position yourself for a secure future.

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Tuesday 08/04/2020
Seventy-two Percent Of Women Want To Be Entrepreneurs, New Study Reveals
Updated: August 06, 2020 - 2:34 am

(NAPSI)—Here’s good news about the economy: Around the world, entrepreneurship is an important driver of economic development and growth. It can also be empowering for women and other previously underrepresented groups in business ownership.

Worldwide, it is estimated that the number of women-owned businesses is one-quarter to one-third of all enterprises, and the segment continues to grow as there are still many women who aspire to make entrepreneurship a reality, as revealed by a new Herbalife Nutrition survey.

The second annual survey, which explored women and entrepreneurship globally, revealed that nearly three-quarters of women aspire to open their own business, and of those, 50 percent don’t yet have a business, and 22 percent have one but would like to open another.

“Women entrepreneurs create a source of income for themselves and their families. They are a vital part of our world’s economic engine that society needs to support with flexible opportunities, mentorship, and access to capital,” said Ibi Montesino, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, North America Region, Herbalife Nutrition.

While some of the increase in entrepreneurship interest may be attributed to current economic conditions, many of the women surveyed raised concerns about overwhelming challenges they experience in the traditional workplace compared to their male colleagues. In fact, more than 60 percent of women said they would like to start a business due to unfair treatment in previous job roles. 

Of the women surveyed:

•70 percent believe women must work harder to have the same opportunities as men in the workforce.

•43 percent of women have delayed having children because they thought it would negatively affect their career.

•25 percent said they had faced pregnancy discrimination.

•42 percent believe they’ve been unfairly overlooked for a raise or promotion because of their gender and, among those, it happened three separate times on average.

While such challenges may be a catalyst for the surge in entrepreneurship, the top motivation for starting a business was revealed as becoming a role model for younger women (80%), followed by interest in becoming their own boss (61%) and a commitment to helping break the glass ceiling (67%). 

These women are entering their endeavors with eyes wide open, and don’t expect entrepreneurship to be smooth sailing: A third of women with plans for entrepreneurship are “very worried” about their business—or future business—failing in the next five years.

The women believe the top three challenges when starting a business all revolve around finances—earning enough money to offset costs (51%), having enough budget to grow (51%) and financing their business (48%).

This concern for money was echoed in last year’s survey, when 58% of women reported financing their business to be the most challenging aspect.

For many, though, the benefits outweigh the challenges. The top potential benefit to entrepreneurship was revealed to be the potential income growth (54%), followed by the ability to be their own boss (52%) and more flexibility in their work/life schedule (45%). 

Montesino pointed out that Herbalife Nutrition is proud that more than half of its independent distributors are women who set up their businesses and decide when and where they work and do so on their terms. The importance of women entrepreneurs is demonstrated by the effect their businesses have on the economy and the opportunity they provide to create role models for future generations. 

Learn more at www.herbalife.com.

 

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Friday 07/24/2020
Helping Homeowners and Renters Navigate Payment Options as COVID-19 Financial Crisis Continues [Video]
Posted: July 24, 2020

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Thursday 07/23/2020
Now’s a good time to start saving for college
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - With the end of an unconventional school year, parents around the country are faced with the daunting challenge of saving for their children’s college education. The cost of college is rising, and many American households are already wrestling with their existing student debt. According to NerdWallet, the collective student debt in the U.S. has climbed to $1.6 trillion and shows no signs of decreasing.

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How to Borrow Smart for College
Posted: July 23, 2020

(StatePoint) It’s no secret college can be expensive, and families are often faced with finding creative ways to cover the costs. Whether borrowing student loans or parent loans has always been part of your family’s plan or it is suddenly being considered due to new financial circumstances, there is good news: several smart strategies can help you save money.

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Tuesday 07/21/2020
5 Ways to Heat Up Your Financial Protection Plan this Summer
Posted: July 21, 2020

(StatePoint) The lazy days of summer are often a carefree time, but this year is a bit different given the pandemic and a volatile stock market. Many Americans are feeling things like their health, job and retirement savings are at risk.  

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Friday 07/17/2020
7 key ways to cover your child's college costs this fall
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

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Wednesday 07/15/2020
Now’s the time to redeem your gift cards
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - This year has had its fair share of challenges, and you may find yourself adjusting to a tighter budget or needing a pick-me-up. While it might feel counterintuitive, a little retail therapy might be just the ticket to giving you a mood boost.

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Thursday 07/09/2020
Protecting your finances: Resources and relief options during COVID-19
Posted: July 09, 2020

(BPT) - As the coronavirus crisis causes financial hardship and uncertainty, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) offers four resources and additional steps to help you prepare and take control of your personal finances.

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Monday 07/06/2020
5 tips to financially prepare for college this fall
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - For many students starting or returning to school this fall, the experience may be far different from what they envisioned last year. In response to COVID-19, a number of colleges and universities are temporarily moving to virtual learning models. At the same time, there are colleges and universities planning to reopen with new social distancing measures—some still determining exactly how to best proceed.

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More Money And Finance
Tuesday 10/06/2020
How COVID-19 Has Changed the Way We Do Business Forever
Updated: October 09, 2020 - 2:34 am

(StatePoint) The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed how business gets done. And when it comes to midsized and small businesses, the importance of investing in new technology, facilitating remote work and maintaining a tech-savvy workforce has never been so clear, according to a new survey.

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Friday 10/02/2020
Small Businesses Remain Resilient Amid Pandemic
Updated: October 04, 2020 - 2:33 am

(StatePoint) Amid the historic coronavirus pandemic, businesses are adapting by making major changes to their operations, including increased use of technology, according to the latest PNC semi-annual survey of small and mid-size business owners and executives, which concluded Sept. 8.

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Tuesday 09/08/2020
How to save money on monthly bills, with the help of your smart home
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - Hundreds of millions of people have sheltered in place as governments issue executive orders to help slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, many homes are becoming a fortress against the virus, a makeshift school, an office outpost and a daycare facility. As homeowners continue to spend more time at home with the appliances and lights on, they are looking for ways to optimize the efficiency of their homes.

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Monday 08/24/2020
Covid Pandemic Highlights Value of Transportation Techs
Updated: September 25, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NewsUSA) - The COVID-19 pandemic has shattered many preconceived notions about careers and technology. In particular, demand for transportation technicians is surging as the government has declared transportation technicians (mechanics) to be essential workers.

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Tuesday 08/18/2020
4 Ways to Energize Your Workspace with Art
Posted: August 18, 2020

(BPT) - A stylish and inviting atmosphere plays an important role in the overall mood and productivity of a company’s employees. It also gives you a chance to tell your brand’s story and connect with your customers while in your store. Meaning a well-designed space can actually impact your business’ bottom line.

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Monday 08/17/2020
Honing Your Small Business Toolkit in Uncertain Times
Posted: August 17, 2020

(StatePoint) It’s been a challenging year for small businesses, with local shutdowns requiring many operations to close their doors, some temporarily, all while weathering the ripple effects of a global economic downturn.

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Monday 08/10/2020
Creating connections in a high-tech world: 3 tips to improve customer service
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - In customer service, as in many other areas of life, as technology becomes more sophisticated, relationships get more complex. While technology makes it easier for customers to interact with businesses, an action as simple as finding an auto repair shop can quickly overwhelm consumers with multiple channels, opinions, advertisers and behind-the-scenes engagement systems.

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Friday 08/07/2020
7 simple tips to stay organized for back-to-school 2020
Updated: October 25, 2020 - 2:35 am

(BPT) - Whether it's the first day of middle school or the first day away at college, students of all ages are preparing for a new school year. Students might be learning at home, in the classroom or a combination of both, so now is the time to get organized and prepared to help you tackle the year ahead. Here are some useful tips and tricks to help you succeed this school year.

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Expert Series: A Post-Pandemic Playbook: Lessons for Small Businesses from Financial Advisors
Posted: August 07, 2020

(BPT) - By Richard Whitworth, Cetera Financial Group

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Wednesday 08/05/2020
How to make sure your vehicle is ready to get back on the road
Updated: September 06, 2020 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - During a season that’s usually devoted to adventure, many have been forced to stick a little closer to home. When it’s finally time to return to your globetrotting ways, it’s vital to make sure your vehicle is ready.

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