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May 24, 2018

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. Sud... 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 agric... 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 one to... 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 members... 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 travel in Basqu... 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 and 99... 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 some l... 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. In ge... 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.You made a di... 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 combination of... 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 Franz... 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 - especially those... 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 ask. ... 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 required for constructio... 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 car.In f... 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 made i... 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 >>

Healthcare hints: 5 savings tips for budget-conscious consumers
(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 healthcare.If you're among them you're far from alone, since the multiple details associated with healthcar... 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 your backyard the best backyard ... 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 around, you're alrea... 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, car payment and home equi... 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's ener... 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 sound inves... More >>

Tax-time tips in the final stretch of the tax season
(BPT) - The April 17 tax filing deadline is quickly approaching. While many are excited about the possibility of a tax refund, nearly 1 in 3 taxpayers waits until April to file their return. Whether filing online or meeting with a tax professional, H&R Block shares three tips to help make the f... More >>

Earth Day 101: 6 impactful ways to teach your kids about food waste
(BPT) - America needs to address its food waste problem, and a good place to start is taking steps to teach our children to conserve food.Right now, a staggering 40 percent of all food in the U.S. goes to waste when restaurants, supermarkets and consumers throw it away, costing our national economy... More >>

What's driving car care and purchases this spring
(BPT) - As the weather starts to warm up, Americans will hit the road more often for destinations ranging from family outings to spring vacation destinations. Because cars are such an important part of our daily lives, Hankook Tire examined what drives Americans to keep up with car maintenance, as ... More >>

Corn, soybeans and nuts: Top U.S. exports feed the economy
(BPT) - Politicians spend a lot of time talking about America-first trade deals. Even though the average person may not think about U.S. trade often, it's a key part of the economy - a topic that's on everyone's mind.In 2017 alone, the U.S. exported around $132 billion worth of agricultural product... More >>

5 musts for a low-stress, on-budget DIY home project
(BPT) - Owning your own home is a life accomplishment for many adults, and keeping it looking sharp and adding your personal touches brings a sense of pride. It seems there are always things you want to improve, so don't let a limited budget or lack of know-how hold you back from dreaming. There ar... More >>

Expert advice this tax season and pay half what you paid someone else last year [Video]
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The unexpected entrepreneurs of Wausau, Wisconsin
(BPT) - In September 2018, thousands of people from around the world will congregate in an unlikely place: Wausau, Wisconsin.The diverse crowd will gather for the second International Wisconsin Ginseng Festival. While many may be surprised that such an event would be held in the middle of Wisconsin... More >>

How to be 'money smart' in a digital world
(BPT) - Modern digital technology has replaced landlines, television antennas, VCRs, CDs and many other things that were once part of our daily lives - and the next thing to go may well be cash.A few years ago, the idea that we would no longer use cash would have seemed outlandish, but it's happeni... More >>

Your prescription drug coverage and medication questions answered
(BPT) - Prescription drug coverage and medications can be complex territory.Enter UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement's Chief Pharmacy Officer Mike Anderson, PharmD, who has spent his career navigating the ins and outs of the Rx world.Below, Anderson answers some questions people frequently ... More >>

4 ways hardscapes can add value to your home
(BPT) - Outdoor hardscape projects add resale value to a home as well as bring extra enjoyment to homeowners while they are living in the home, according to the 'Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features' by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the National Association of Landscape Profe... More >>

6 project ideas to recreate your kitchen
(BPT) - As the hub of activity in a home, the kitchen serves many purposes: meal prep base, dining area, family gathering place, celebration zone, and entertainment center, to name a few. Does your high-use, heart-of-the-home kitchen meet the challenges and needs of your family life?If not, then it... More >>

Cash clever: Be too smart for these tax-time phone scams
(BPT) - If a smooth-talking phone caller has ever tried to cheat you out of your hard-earned money, you're far from alone. Further, such scams tend to be rampant at tax time.An estimated one in 10 Americans lost money in phone scams between April 2016 and April 2017, says a recent Harris Poll, part... 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 posit... More >>

The Merchant Bill of Rights seeks to level the playing field for small businesses
(BPT) - Consumers who make just a few purchases each day may not think much about the companies that process their credit card. But for a small or mid-sized business, processors who aren't transparent about the costs they pass on can add up to an expensive headache. Heartland is celebrating 10 year... More >>

Simple ways to save on your pet's medical costs
(BPT) - Pet parents know that there's nothing like the love of furry family members. Keeping your pets healthy is a priority because you want them to live as long as possible. However, health care costs for pets are expensive, and if you are dealing with additional expenses such as prescriptions fo... More >>

5 practical and fun ways to spend your tax refund
(BPT) - It's that time of year again when you may find a little bit of extra money in your pocket, thanks to your annual tax refund. There are plenty of practical ways to spend it, such as putting it toward paying off credit cards, loan payments or even starting a college fund, but there is always ... More >>

House hunting? Use this handy checklist before you make the offer
(BPT) - House hunting can feel like an adventurous new chapter in your life. If you're lucky enough to find the property that checks off all the "must have" boxes - appearance, size, price, location - it's easy to fall in love.Not so fast. Before making an offer on any property, it's smart to take ... More >>

6 other college costs (and opportunities) to consider when the financial aid letter arrives
(BPT) - The last year of high school is a whirl of activity, and it's no different when it comes to the final leg of college selection. Once the acceptance notifications arrive, it will soon be time to sit down with a different stack of mail: financial aid letters.As you undoubtedly know, the cost ... More >>

Navigating Medicare: 5 allies who can help
(BPT) - Enrolling in Medicare for the first time or starting coverage under a new plan? It might bring you back to that first day starting a new job. You knew some of the basics, but you also knew there was a lot more to learn. More than likely, you got help from colleagues who have been around for... More >>

The secret to sticking to your resolutions just may lie in your Medicare benefits
(BPT) - Despite our best intentions, 80 percent of us have given up on our New Year's resolutions by mid-February. Determined to make this year different? If you're enrolled in Medicare, you might be surprised to learn that your benefits could give you an edge in your quest to stay motivated and on... More >>

An underutilized retirement strategy
(BPT) - Across the nation, thousands of seniors have used a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), commonly called a reverse mortgage loan, as a savvy way to access the equity in their homes as part of their retirement strategy.Those who are interested in a reverse mortgage loan should know that t... More >>

Small-business & self-employed surprises at tax time [Video]
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Retailers find purpose and share it with customers
(BPT) - Ninety-six percent of Americans are now shopping online, according to a recent study from CPC Strategy.Building meaningful connections with local communities is one way to captivate today's consumer, says Etienne Veber, president of Field Trip Factory, a firm that helps design, schedule and... More >>

Survey: Biggest concerns if tax refund is delayed [Video]
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4 tips for protecting your home this season and beyond
(BPT) - Winter is in full swing and extremely cold temperatures continue to grip much of the U.S.; which mean hats, gloves and high home maintenance bills could be in your future. According to recent data from the Insurance Information Institute, in 2016 severe winter weather cost homeowners more t... More >>

Transform the look and feel of your kitchen with an updated sink
(BPT) - While everyone would love a complete kitchen makeover, you can still freshen and update the look of this room by taking on smaller projects.The perfect place to start is the kitchen sink. Most people don't realize it, but a well-chosen sink has the potential to create the perfect focal poin... More >>

5 ways travel will change in 2018
(BPT) - As international travel gains popularity each year, new destinations are added to bucket lists and new travel gadgets and accessories appear on the market. The way we travel has changed in the past few decades, but that age-old itch to explore and discover new places and experiences remains... More >>

Top trends to inspire your outdoor living
(BPT) - Outdoor living spaces rank first among special function rooms desired by consumers, according to the American Institute for Architects, and so homeowners are expected to be going all-in for the outdoors in 2018.Trex Company, a maker of premium decking and railing, has gleaned insights from ... More >>

Do the math: Homebuying now may save a lot
(BPT) - It is a common misconception that a 20 percent down payment is required to buy a home. Advice to wait and save a large down payment is often based on the theory that the cost of mortgage insurance (MI), which is required when you buy with a smaller down payment, should be avoided. This may ... More >>


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