Congress Hard at Work

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For all the criticism received prior to the New Year, both houses in Congress seem to be in full swing working on legislation on a wide range of issues, from budget control to gun control.   As for the budget, the huge divide doesn’t really appear to be getting any closer. With one phase of…

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Good News Abounds in the Housing Market

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In March, average fixed mortgage rates moved lower than in recent months. In fact, they actually average even lower than this time last year. That’s particularly good news in light of the pick-up in the residential real estate market. This spring season has already resulted in a dramatic shift from buyer to seller’s market in…

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The Planning for Retirement Conundrum

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In our personal lives, we approach large amounts of debt with a long-term timeframe. For example, the 30-year mortgage. So it stands to reason that the U.S. national debt – currently in the ballpark of $16.7 trillion – will require a long-term plan as well.   If you’d like to get the up-to-the-fraction-of-a-second update on…

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Health Care Deductions

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With all of the attention given to the new tax provisions passed in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, it may be tough to focus on last year’s laws in order to complete last year’s tax return. Whether you’re planning to complete your return by April 15 or file for an extension, don’t forget…

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Sequestration Frustration

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When did the word “sequestration” first penetrate our mainstream American vocabulary? It’s generally used in a trial when the jury is sequestered so they can’t talk to anyone about the case.   Merriam-Webster’s dictionary has several definitions that don’t seem to apply to our budget’s current disposition, although it does say that, in law, sequestration…

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Why Does Health Care Cost So Much?

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Do you know what a routine venipuncture is? That’s a fancy way of saying a nurse drew blood from your arm. Do you know how much one 325mg acetaminophen tab might cost you in a hospital? That’s the generic version of a Tylenol pill, by the way, and just one will run you $1.50 at…

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The Toll of Education

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Who knows what makes one child better able to grasp mathematical concepts than others? Is it genetic? Is it access to better education?   Most of us know people who inherently seem to “get it,” but it’s likely we know a lot more who struggle with math. Much like art or music, the math gene…

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Remodeling Your Finances

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There are signs pointing to an invigorated residential real estate market in spring of 2013. Whether homeowners are gearing up to list their homes on the market or not, the signals are as evident as the crocus bulbs poking their heads out of the snow-riddled ground. While spring-cleaning is a seasonal rite of passage, this…

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On Working Forever

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Indifferent to signs of growth elsewhere in the economy, the unemployment rate has been stalled at around 7.9 percent since September. While pervasive layoffs appear to have tapered off, the general feeling seems to be that unless a company utterly and completely can’t function without another person, they’re not going to hire.   One job…

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It Takes a Village

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Baby boomers are giving new meaning to an established term. “It takes a village” – used in the title of Hillary Clinton’s 1996 book – comes from the African proverb “it takes a village to raise a child.” The idea behind the phrase is that people beyond the family unit have influence over a child’s…

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