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The Galveston County Daily News: Money & Finance

December 8, 2016

Money & Finance

Top Story

4 tax changes that could impact your 2016 return

(BPT) - With tax filing season upon us, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on what’s changed since last year. While it’s been a relatively quiet year in terms of new tax laws, there are a handful of items for which you’ll want to prepare.

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

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

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

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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 >>




Recent Headlines

Tuesday 12/06/2016
Home For The Holidays
Updated: December 07, 2016 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—With today’s technology, staying in touch with loved ones around the country—and the world—is easier than it’s ever been. We are connected to each other virtually day and night—from cell phones and video calls to social media, texting and e-mail. While we may rely on this technological closeness throughout the year, the holidays offer a unique opportunity to sit and spend time with family members, particularly older family members, whom we don’t see on a regular basis. This face-to-face time provides a chance to connect, catch up, and observe behaviors that may go undetected over the phone or through e-mail. Certain changes in these behaviors from year to year may indicate a need for long-term care.

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Monday 12/05/2016
3 ways to plan ahead for the 2017 tax season
Updated: December 06, 2016 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - With the tax season approaching, now is the time to start thinking about creating a strategy to help maximize tax refunds in the year ahead. From the passage of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act to the increase in health insurance penalties, here are a few items to keep in mind before the IRS begins accepting tax returns.

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Friday 12/02/2016
Maintaining Your Health At Work
Updated: December 03, 2016 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—Researchers say that when it comes to keeping healthy, too many Americans are sitting down on the job. That is, the average worker spends 13 hours a day in a seated position. Leading such an inactive lifestyle can increase your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

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Wednesday 11/30/2016
New wrinkles in tax strategies could help smooth your year-end planning
Updated: December 02, 2016 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - As 2016 enters its final weeks, it’s a good time for year-end tax planning strategies — including some new wrinkles:

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Many Working Mothers Can't Afford Their Health Insurance Deductibles
Updated: December 01, 2016 - 2:31 pm

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - Working mothers have a lot on their plate. In addition to their professional responsibilities, they are often in charge of numerous household decisions, including choosing their family's health care plan. However, nearly half (49 percent) of working mothers would not have enough money to cover their health insurance deductible if they needed to do so today, according to a recent survey from Aflac and Working Mother magazine.

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Tuesday 11/29/2016
5 insights into the Asian-American financial experience
Posted: November 29, 2016

(BPT) - Prudential’s 2016 Asian-American Financial Experience surveyed more than 2,000 self-identified Asian Americans. Prudential’s survey found that this group — one of the fastest growing population segments since 2000 — places a higher priority on family-related financial goals relative to the U.S. general population. While median assets reported by Asian-American respondents are approximately $100,000 higher than the U.S. general population — both groups face the same financial challenges, such as saving for retirement and managing household budgets. Here are five useful insights from the research survey:

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Hispanics at the forefront of digital banking trends
Updated: December 07, 2016 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - With a population of more than 55 million and estimated buying power of over $1.5 trillion, Hispanics in the United States are continuing to shape economic trends; however, as new research finds, they’re shaping digital trends as well.

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Tuesday 11/22/2016
Creating desirable jobs by getting back to the basics
Updated: November 30, 2016 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - When it comes to hiring and retaining employees, companies are always looking at new alternatives to build their staffs. However, new research shows that when it comes to attracting top talent, many professionals prefer a return to the basics, meaning stable employment with competitive base pay with traditional medical and retirement benefits are key.

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Monday 11/21/2016
5 steps for happy holiday spending
Updated: November 22, 2016 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - For many families, holiday shopping may lead to a home full of toys, closets stuffed with today’s trends, and tech-savvy games and devices, some of which will be loved for months, while others will be tossed aside before they've even been paid for. Worse yet, if you use a credit card for the gifts you purchase and you cannot pay it off when the bill comes in, you'll actually be spending a lot more than you may realize.

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Are Soft Skills More Valuable Than Academic Skills In The Workforce?
Updated: November 22, 2016 - 2:33 am

(NAPSI)—From preschool through college, teachers are instructed to build students’ academic skills, like reading, writing and arithmetic. However, students leave the classroom untested for many skills that are directly applicable to one’s career. Soft skills may not be “graded,” but they can make or break your career.

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Friday 11/18/2016
Tax Law Changes Mean Refund Delays Will Affect Millions of Holiday Shoppers
Updated: November 19, 2016 - 2:31 pm

(NewsUSA) - For many gift buyers, the tax refund is that extra paycheck that arrives just in time to pay off holiday bills. However this year, new provisions under the PATH - Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes - Act will impact early tax season refund timing. For tax returns that include the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and/or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), the IRS will issue your refund no earlier than February 15, 2017. Last year, over 26 million Americans received EITC, meaning this change could surprise many who typically plan to get their refund early in the year.

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The Magic Number for Millennials: $51,000
Updated: December 06, 2016 - 2:31 pm

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - What does it take to make a millennial happy? At least $51,000 a year in income, for starters.

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Thursday 11/17/2016
Enrich Your Kids Academically Next Summer
Updated: November 18, 2016 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—If you know smart, high-achieving high school students who are looking for a unique, fun and challenging way to spend part of their summer, they may want to consider Yale Young Global Scholars, a program administered by Yale University. The Yale Young Global Scholars (YYGS) program offers an academic enrichment and leadership development experience that enables high school students to explore an interdisciplinary curriculum, meet peers from around the world and get a taste of college life. The highly selective, two-week program is held on Yale’s campus in New Haven, Connecticut. Need-based scholarships are available, and high school sophomores and juniors (or international equivalent) from all financial backgrounds are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is January 31, 2017.

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Top Tips For Medicare Open Enrollment
Updated: November 18, 2016 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—It’s that time again—Medicare Open Enrollment season. From now until December 7, anyone over 65, or those turning 65 in 2017, can enroll in Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage.

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Wednesday 11/16/2016
Millennials' Savings Priorities? Depends on Their Sex.
Updated: November 16, 2016 - 2:31 pm

(NewsUSA) - NewsusaInfographic - One of the biggest differences between millennial men and women when it comes to saving? Vacations.

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Tuesday 11/15/2016
Easy DIY tips to save on your winter energy bills
Updated: November 23, 2016 - 2:32 am

(BPT) - Here’s what Americans have to look forward to this winter: While the south will be drier and warmer, the northern U.S. can expect “wetter, cooler conditions,” predicts the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

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Combat Out-of-Pocket Costs With Cancer Insurance
Updated: November 15, 2016 - 2:31 pm

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - Almost everyone knows a friend or family member whose life has been touched by cancer -- it can be an unpredictable and distressing disease that can change your life in an instant.

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Monday 11/14/2016
How Millennials Are Saving More Money Than Past Generations
Updated: November 15, 2016 - 2:31 am

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - Millennials may still have a way to go before totally gaining their footing as adults, but many are already better at one thing than past generations: saving money.

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Friday 11/11/2016
Encourage The Entrepreneurial Spirit At Work
Updated: November 12, 2016 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—To achieve an entrepreneurial culture, experts advise leaders to empower their employees to act as entrepreneurs within their organization.

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Thursday 11/10/2016
When bad health hits, look to this financial tool
Updated: November 18, 2016 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - Working hard may take a toll on your health. But what are your options when your work pays the price for your bad health?

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Monday 11/07/2016
5 Steps to Selecting the Right Medicare Plan
Updated: November 08, 2016 - 2:31 am

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - For people with Medicare, it's time to select a 2017 Medicare plan. The Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan annual enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. It's the time to research your options and select the plan that best fits your health needs and budget.

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Alzheimer's Disease: Planning For An Unknown Future
Updated: November 08, 2016 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—There are currently 5.4 million Americans1 who have Alzheimer’s disease, and as the U.S. population ages, many more individuals are likely to be diagnosed. It’s estimated that the number of people age 65 or older with Alzheimer’s disease will increase as much as 40 percent by 2025 and triple by 2050,2 barring any medical breakthroughs to prevent or cure the disease.

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Tuesday 11/01/2016
The Advantages Of Offering Health Benefits To Small-Business Employees
Updated: November 02, 2016 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—Despite media hoopla about the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) regulatory and compliance burdens, the advantages of offering employer-sponsored health benefits to America’s 60 million-plus small-business workers and their families have never been stronger or more important.

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Monday 10/31/2016
No excuses: Preparing for earthquakes goes beyond the 'Big One'
Updated: November 08, 2016 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - Through September, more than 2,700 earthquakes with a magnitude of at least 2.5 have rattled the contiguous United States in 2016, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Scaring up cash: Liberate yourself from haunted finances and prosper
Updated: November 01, 2016 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - Did you retire the checkbook and register years ago? Do you now pay your bills automatically? If you answered yes to these questions, then you may be in the dark about your account balance(s) and exactly where your money is going. One or more skeletons could be lurking in your financial closet. Oh, the horror!

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Thursday 10/27/2016
Chores earn high marks as financial teaching tools, parents agree
Updated: November 04, 2016 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - When you pay your child $5 to clean the garage or $6 to mow the lawn, you’re accomplishing far more than just getting the tasks done. A majority of parents use chores to teach their kids that money should be earned, a new study reveals.

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Wednesday 10/26/2016
It's Open Enrollment Time: 5 Tips for Selecting the Right Health Benefits
Updated: October 27, 2016 - 2:32 am

(BPT) - Fall signals the start of many annual traditions and favorite pastimes — the start of a new school year, football season and holidays. Fall is also the season for another important annual tradition: open enrollment, when many people have an opportunity to select or change their health benefits for the following year.

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Changes in your household? Tips for updating your insurance
Updated: October 27, 2016 - 2:32 am

(BPT) - The American household is changing. The typical single-family home has evolved in the 21st century.

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Survey: Greater Parent Involvement In The Classroom Could Help Boost Teacher Recruitment
Updated: October 27, 2016 - 2:32 am

(NAPSI)—Parental involvement in the classroom is a well-known strategy to boost student achievement, but according to a recent survey, 62 percent of K-12 teachers say fewer than a quarter of parents get involved in the classroom1.

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Women In The Workplace: What It Takes To Succeed
Updated: October 27, 2016 - 2:32 am

(NAPSI)—Today, the majority of women are entering the workforce. So what advice can women follow to enhance their careers and help overcome barriers to success?

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Friday 10/21/2016
Which Home Upgrades Really Pay Off?
Updated: October 21, 2016 - 2:31 pm

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored by GAF - If you don't care about blowing tens of thousands of dollars on upgrades that add little or nothing to your house's value, you might as well stop reading this and go Google "Pokemon Go" for updates on the latest weird mishaps to befall distracted players. But if you do care -- and you'd especially better if you intend to ever sell -- then Remodeling magazine's annual Cost vs. Value Report for 2016 is must reading.

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Reverse Mortgages Can Be a Valuable Retirement Tool
Updated: October 21, 2016 - 2:31 pm

(NewsUSA) - This article is a paid advertisement. The content was provided by One Reverse Mortgage.

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Wednesday 10/19/2016
4 popular benefits that can help protect your retirement savings
Updated: October 27, 2016 - 2:32 am

(BPT) - Would you plug a leak if it cost $6 billion a year?

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Medical Identity Theft: Another Reason To Protect Your Wallet
Updated: October 20, 2016 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—Cell phone? Check. Credit Card? Check. Health Insurance Card...?

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Tuesday 10/18/2016
A Life Half Full: Aging With Optimism
Updated: October 18, 2016 - 2:31 pm

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - As Americans age, one element seems to be key for their mental and physical health: optimism. That's the finding suggested by a new Humana survey, which asked Americans age 60 and over how they perceive the importance of various wellness traits.

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Monday 10/17/2016
Women Face Challenges When It Comes to Health Coverage
Updated: October 17, 2016 - 2:31 pm

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - Women are often the primary health care decision-makers for their families, but they are far from confident about their ability to pay for health care costs and choose the right insurance plan. According to the Aflac 2016 Open Enrollment Survey, more than 1 in 10 women say they live paycheck to paycheck and nearly half have less than $500 saved. The 2016 Aflac WorkForces Report also revealed that only 26 percent of working women feel prepared to pay the out-of-pocket expenses from an unexpected serious illness or accident.

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Thursday 10/13/2016
New National Survey Finds Americans Have Dim Outlook On K-12 Education, Want School Choice
Updated: October 14, 2016 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—The majority of Americans of all ages are pessimistic about the direction in which K-12 education is heading today, and most are supportive of expanding school choice options, according to an annual survey conducted by EdChoice and Braun Research, Inc. The 2016 Schooling in America Survey measures the nation’s public opinion and awareness on a range of K-12 education topics and policies, such as school performance, schooling preferences, educational choice reforms and more.

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Wednesday 10/12/2016
More Parents Saving More Money for College
Updated: October 12, 2016 - 2:31 am

(StatePoint) The number of parents saving for college and the amounts they are saving are both at four-year highs, according to “How America Saves for College 2016,” a recent national study by Sallie Mae and conducted by Ipsos.

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Tuesday 10/11/2016
Why Online Banking Makes Financial Cents
Updated: October 11, 2016 - 2:31 am

(StatePoint) Driven by lower banking fees, better interest rates on savings accounts, round-the-clock convenience and mobile phone usage, more consumers than ever are doing their banking online than at brick-and-mortar locations.

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Monday 10/10/2016
Can't Seem to Save Enough for College? You're Not Alone.
Updated: October 10, 2016 - 2:31 pm

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - Saving for college is at an all-time high - give yourselves a hand, parents - but when it comes to actually meeting our own funding goals. . .Well, that's another story.

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Friday 10/07/2016
5 stress-less holiday shopping tips to save you time and money
Updated: October 08, 2016 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - Each year, before the autumn leaves even have a chance to fall, the holiday shopping season arrives. The cost of holiday gifts — not to mention, food and decorations — can add up quickly. Here are five money- and time-saving tips for surviving the holiday shopping season with your budget and sanity intact.

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Wednesday 10/05/2016
Open Enrollment is Here: Get the Scoop on FSAs and HSAs [Infographic]
Updated: October 11, 2016 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - Learn more about flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and healthcare savings accounts (HSAs) with Visa.

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Friday 09/30/2016
Avoiding Common Leadership Mistakes
Updated: October 01, 2016 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—Congratulations! You’ve just been promoted to manager. Now what?

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Thursday 09/29/2016
Tips to Prepare a Holiday Budget
Updated: September 29, 2016 - 2:31 am

(StatePoint) It’s the holiday season and you know all that it entails, so don’t let the expenses catch you off-guard -- from traveling to see family to throwing your massive annual party to simply completing your holiday shopping.

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Thursday 09/22/2016
Can Healthy Habits Contribute to Financial Security?
Updated: September 22, 2016 - 2:31 am

(StatePoint) When it comes to feelings about finances, working Americans are practically split down the middle, according to a recent study.

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Wednesday 09/21/2016
Save Time and Money With a Mail-Order Pharmacy
Updated: September 21, 2016 - 2:30 pm

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News -

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Millennials and Health Care
Updated: September 21, 2016 - 2:30 pm

(NewsUSA) - Sponsored News - Growing up in the digital age, most millennials (adults ages 18 to 36) have grown dependent on using technology to educate themselves about everything from current fashion trends to the latest rankings for their favorite football team. However, one important aspect of life that can't be as easily explained by a smartphone is health care. Since having comprehensive benefits is a major workplace perk, it's important that millennials understand key insurance terms so they can make the best health care decisions. Learn more at aflac.com.

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10 smart ideas to heat your home for less
Updated: September 29, 2016 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - As cooler temperatures begin to sweep the nation, homeowners are turning on their heat for the first time in months. With every degree increase on the thermostat, utility bills follow suit.

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Tuesday 09/20/2016
Don't 'Overborrow'
Updated: September 21, 2016 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—According to the U.S. Department of Education, Americans owe more than $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. That’s nearly the gross domestic product of all of Australia. The average U.S. college graduate has nearly $38,000 in student loan debt.

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