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Personal Finance

6 Tips for Refinancing Your Mortgage
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(StatePoint) The recent economic downturn has caused many Americans to worry about their money, but there is at least one potential bright spot: lower interest rates. For homeowners, this means that it may be time to consider refinancing your mortgage. Refinancing can give you an opportunity to lower your monthly mortgage payments and save money by paying less interest over the term of the loan.

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5 Ways to Master a Move
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(StatePoint) While real estate agents report that far fewer people than normal have been moving during the COVID-19 pandemic, that may soon change. A recent Harris Poll found that nearly a third of U.S. adults living in urban areas are considering a move to less densely populated cities in the wake of the pandemic. Others may not be fleeing the pandemic but simply want or need to move, either for a job change or other reason.

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4 Steps to Create a Household Budget with Staying Power
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(StatePoint) These uncertain times are forcing more people to reexamine finances and rewrite their household budgets. According to the Pew Research Center in a survey conducted soon after the COVID-19 crisis began, 33% of Americans either lost their jobs or suffered a pay cut or reduction in work hours. Plus, 49% said the outbreak is a major threat to their personal finances.

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Newly Unemployed? Understanding Your Health Insurance Options
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(StatePoint) With millions of people nationwide filing for unemployment since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals and families across the country are suddenly finding themselves without health insurance at a precarious time. Fortunately, new options may be able to help those on tight budgets.

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How Families and Communities Can Prepare for Natural Disasters
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(StatePoint) Natural disasters are increasing in severity and frequency. However, studies show that advance planning can keep individuals healthier and safer and support faster recovery for communities. And one of the most effective ways to prepare is by enforcing up-to-date building codes.

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How to Extend the Life of Your Used Car
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(StatePoint) Nearly 70 percent of all car sales are used vehicles, thanks to the rising costs of new cars and the increasing quality of their used counterparts. While buying a previously owned vehicle makes the best financial sense in a lot of cases, experts say there are some things to keep in mind.  

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Common Moving Myths - Busted!
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(StatePoint) You’ve finally found the perfect home. Now comes the hard part: moving. But don’t let misconceptions complicate the process. To keep frustrations to a minimum and make your move more manageable, here are five common moving myths, debunked.

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Learning at Home: 5 Tips for Teaching Children Financial Literacy
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(StatePoint) If you have school-age children, you are probably one of the many parents facing the challenge of educating your kids at home. While there are countless learning options available—from virtual music classes to videos about zoo animals—financial literacy is one important subject that should not be overlooked.

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Top Tips for Safe HVACR Maintenance
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(StatePoint) There’s a lot of uncertainty about some aspects of life today. However, the importance of proper heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) installation and maintenance is a constant for homeowners, especially for those who have been spending a lot more time at home lately.

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How to Make the CARES Act Part of Your Financial Plan
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(StatePoint) For many Americans, the current state of the economy is creating real financial challenges and concerns. However, the federal government’s recently enacted CARES Act is intended to provide some financial relief to families and business owners who may be struggling to manage their finances, using cash disbursements, expanded unemployment benefits, and different loans and tax credits.

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3 Expert Pay Negotiation Tips for Women
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(StatePoint) As advocates continue to put gender equity under a microscope and some progress has been made, there’s still a long way to go. The income gap between men and women has yet to be closed, and while employers have a huge role to play in creating a level playing field, many women could advocate for themselves more effectively during salary negotiations.

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6 Steps to Get Your CARES Act Funds Fast
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(StatePoint) Millions of U.S. residents will receive government stimulus payments (also known as Economic Impact Payments) under the CARES Act. Payments to eligible recipients will arrive by either direct deposit or a paper check.

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What You Need to Know About Filing Your 2019 Taxes
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(StatePoint) Spring is the season of warmer weather and blossoming flowers, but it is also – usually -- the season of taxes. Tax Day is typically April 15, but the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently extended the deadline for filing and paying your 2019 federal income taxes to July 15, 2020.

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Unemployed Due to Coronavirus? Find Available Benefits
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(StatePoint) Self-quarantines and stay-at-home orders as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are having an impact on employment right now, and that may continue for some time. During this period of uncertainty, finding ways to pay bills or keep medical benefits are top concerns for many. Here are some tips from Janine Nowatzky, managing director of Inside Rx.

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Mortgage Relief and COVID-19 Scams: What You Need to Know
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(StatePoint) Unfortunately, during times of hardship, families are often targeted by fraud artists attempting to take advantage of those needing assistance. The COVID-19 crisis is no exception, with many scammers pretending to extend a critical lifeline to struggling homeowners through so-called “foreclosure rescue fraud.”

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Top Ways to Lighten Up Your Home Workspace
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(StatePoint) Many people have found themselves working from home. Whether setting up shop at the kitchen table or creating a complete home office, here are simple hacks to make your new work environment comfortable and productive.

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5 Financial Planning Tips for Women
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(StatePoint) The demographics of women have rapidly evolved over the last half-century. Now a prominent component of corporate America and the global business landscape, women are increasingly assuming stewardship of family and business finances.

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3 Things to Know About 401(k)s in 2020
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(StatePoint) Workplace retirement plans, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s and 457 plans, provide an important long-term savings tool for many Americans. About 55 percent of U.S. workers across public and private sectors participated in workplace retirement plans in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Home Interior Updates You Can Make to Create a Wow Factor
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(StatePoint) Whether you want to customize and enhance your living spaces for your own enjoyment or you need to prepare to stand out in a buyer’s market, creating that wow factor is easy to achieve, if you know where to focus your attention. You’re likely already familiar with the importance of exterior curb appeal. According to experienced realtors, it’s just as important to continue that concept after walking through the front door.

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5 Important Financial Decisions: Should You DIY or Hire a Pro?
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(StatePoint) Financial decisions can have a big impact on your future and the future of your loved ones. Good financial decisions you make on your own can save thousands of dollars, but according to experts, there are some decisions that may be better left to the professionals.

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3 Smart Ways to Boost Home Curb Appeal
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(StatePoint) Taking steps to boost curb appeal makes good sense for any homeowner. Not only does it help make a great first impression on guests and neighbors, but certain updates can actually increase your home’s resale value when it comes time to put your property on the market.

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What Does a Recession Mean for You? 6 Ways to Protect Your Future
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(StatePoint) Financial experts agree that no one is completely immune from risk when a recession occurs, and that an economic downturn can have a significant impact on your personal and financial situation. However, they also agree that it is important to avoid panicking and to remain focused on your long-term financial plans and strategies.

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6 Tips for Avoiding Emotional Spending
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(StatePoint) Decisions about spending money are often driven by emotions, even if what your heart is telling you goes against logic. Emotional financial choices may provide you with short-term happiness, but they are just as likely to result in long-term regret or debt.

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Anxious About the Economy? New Survey Reveals Your Next Steps
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(StatePoint) Economic analysts increasingly predict that the U.S. will soon experience a recession, and a recent survey by CFP Board/Morning Consult shows many Americans agree: 55 percent of respondents believe a recession will occur in the next year. Roughly three quarters of respondents said an economic downturn would affect their household, with more than a third projecting it would have a major impact.

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3 Tips for Greater Financial Health and Happiness
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(StatePoint) When people consider adopting healthy habits, they often forget to take their financial health into consideration. But your financial health can be equally, if not more important to overall happiness than other goals, such as starting a new diet or joining a gym.

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How to Troubleshoot Your Technology Issues
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(StatePoint) If you’re like most people, you’ve spent more time than you’re willing to admit troubleshooting a technology issue with any one of the many devices in your connected home. Did you know that the average person owns at least 10 connected devices from Macs and PCs, smartphones, tablets and printers, to voice assistants, video doorbells and even home automation systems? 

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Starting a Business? Website Trends to Consider
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(StatePoint) Starting a business? One of the first things you’ll need to do is build a website. Today a website is not only your brand, but it also provides the tools you need to operate your business, and is the central point for you to communicate with your customers.

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5 Things to Do to Prepare for a Recession
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(StatePoint) Experts agree that periods of economic downturn, or recessions, are unavoidable and often follow a period of market growth. However, experts also acknowledge that it is difficult to predict exactly when the next recession will begin.

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Looking to Buy a Home? 2020 May Be Your Year
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(StatePoint) If buying a home is on your near-future to-do list, experts say that 2020 may be a good year to make it happen. Mortgage interest rates are near historic lows, providing you with the opportunity to finance a new home purchase at a much lower cost.

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7 Tips for Using Credit Cards Safely
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(StatePoint) Credit cards are a useful tool for managing personal finances and building credit, but they also expose you to a number of risks -- including identity theft and credit card fraud. Thankfully, experts say there are many simple, proactive steps you can take to help protect yourself when using a credit card. Here are seven tips for guarding your credit.

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What to Consider Before Buying a Used Car
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(StatePoint) When it comes to their next set of wheels, the majority of Americans would consider buying used despite harboring concerns about reliability and necessary repairs, suggests a new survey.

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