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Don’t be tethered to your PC for Investment Monitoring

Smartphone for investments

There are many smartphone apps which can make keeping up with investments easier

With the advancements available on smartphones and tablet computers, it has been made easier than ever to work, play and enjoy life on the go. While many people think of Angry Birds and Words with Friends when it comes to great apps, there is a budding group of finance apps which can allow you to easily keep up with budgets and

investments on the go. Equifax money management expert Jennifer Freeman offers advice about the money apps you should have on your smart phone or tablet now to keep your investments in line in her article, “

Great Mobile Apps to Help You Manage Your Finances.” We’re so sure that this article will have something you can benefit from that we’ve made it our first draft pick in the Technology Tweet Tournament – just re-tweet this Twitter post to help us win!

Wikinvest (iOS, Android) imports your investments and brokerage accounts into one view and provides updates every night. It allows you to have a high-level view of your portfolio, compare your performance to major indices and research your next investment right on the app with supplied company charts, analysis and news. It’s a one-stop-shop for investment finances, and it’s free.

Mint (iOS, Android) is a free finance app which allows you to have a whole-picture view of your money. Mint fetches up to date information about accounts supplied to it including checking, saving, money market and many other investment (Continued…)

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Stop Reverse Mortgage Scams Dead in Their Tracks by Asking Questions

Keep Your Money Safe by Asking QuestionsNo doubt that scammers love to prey on the older generation. And one of the most popular scams running currently is the reverse mortgage, or “home equity conversion mortgage” (HECM) scam. It has gotten so bad that these scams have the attention of the FBI, and Ilyce Glink of the Equifax Finance Blog has an important article about how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from it, “

How to Avoid a Reverse Mortgage Scam.”

HECM scams target older people, and offer everything from free homes to refinancing help. They get the victims signed up for reverse mortgages offered from questionable or shady institutions and then pocket the proceeds. Similar scams use the elderly as pawns to get reverse mortgages on homes they do not legally own, then similarly enjoy the profits while the victims suffer

foreclosure and eviction. Even if the victims can prove they were not complicit in this form of fraud, they still end up suffering rock-bottom credit scores and in

debt. (Continued…)

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Winter is Coming: Where to Put Your Acorns for Retirement

Plan Ahead and Save Now to Enjoy RetirementWith uncertainty before us about the state of Social Security and Medicare funding, it’s now more important than ever to have a serious plan about your post-retirement income. After working hard throughout your career, you want to enjoy the time you’ve earned, after all. Financial expert Jeff Rose explains in his article “

How to Calculate Your Retirement Savings and Retirement Date” on the Equifax Finance Blog how to avoid having to work again after retirement.

Rose suggests that you consult a financial expert to best map out your economic future, but also offers a few general ideas on

retirement planning. Since a lot of people are skittish about the stock market given the tumult of recent years, he suggests that people invest in bonds and CDs. Bonds are debt securities in which the holder of the bond lends money to a safe institution, typically to the government, at a low interest rate. CDs, or Certificates of Deposit, are time deposits that are also very safe and work like savings accounts that are locked in for a certain period and then rewarded interest, usually benefiting a bank, credit union or other financial institution.

With both of these, there is still interest growth but at a very low level which corresponds to their high safety. Rose suggests that while these are good, some risk is required to keep your investment portfolio growing with you. Some stock investments are necessary, and a 25-75 stocks to bonds and CDs mix is recommended as a good place to begin your portfolio.

There’s a lot more to read in the article, from where to start to how to calculate your date of retirement and avoid sneaky pitfalls. For more information about retirement planning, taxes, credit trends, real estate and everything else to save money and live better, check out the

Equifax Finance Blog.

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Moving Into Retirement Lightly

Are you hoping to downsize in your retirement? Move to a smaller home? Have less stuff? Have lower and fewer bills?

The

Equifax Personal Finance Blog may have the answer for you. Equifax real estate expert Ilyce Glink reports on a home at the University of Hertfordshire, UK, that is just 3x3x3 meters, or approximately 9.8’x9.8’x9.8’.

Okay. You probably don’t want to downsize quite so much, but the home has everything a single person needs – a small bed, a table and two chairs, a lounge, a kitchenette and a full size shower. Not only that, this house is kind to the environment. It produces more energy than it uses and has a composting toilet. To take a look and read more, see the full article, “

The Cube Project: What Would You Give Up To Live In A Tiny House?

The small house may make you stop and wonder how much stuff you really need to take with you into your new home. Do you really need all of this stuff? Do your children really want you to save all the mementos from kindergarten?

A Wall Street Journal article by June Fletcher, “How to Downsize Your House,” has tips from an expert. One idea is to work in concentric circles. Start with items that are the greatest distance from your main living areas. Places like the storage shed, garage or attic are mostly likely to have things you haven’t used in years and are more likely to do without. Work inward toward extra bedrooms, game rooms and hobby rooms. While you may use them more frequently, you probably still have some extras stashed in these locations. Continue moving inward to your main living areas. The items in these rooms are likely things you use regularly and will want to keep.

If you start feeling like your new place is going to be too small, visit the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog to gain some perspective. Your place won’t really that small, will it?

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Thinking About Switching Insurance Carriers? Read This First

homeowner's insurance policiesWe all see the commercials from insurance companies about how easy it can be to switch coverage from one to the next. With a simple phone call or a few clicks of the mouse, you could be saving hundreds of dollars with a new carrier. However, insurance expert Linda Rey has some words of warning for those who may be thinking of heading for greener pastures. In her recent post on the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog, ”

Switching Insurance Plans Can Cost You More In The End,” she explains why weighing all of your options beforehand may save you from a financial headache.

Rey points out that unless you are comparing identical policies, you may not be saving money at all. Even worse, your old deal may be gone if you end up switching carriers and then coming back to your original provider.

In her article, Rey shares the story of a client who moved his homeowner’s insurance without talking to her office first. Unfortunately, he was unknowingly purchasing less coverage (which explains why he was saving money.) His new policy had a higher deductible, a lower liability limit and less coverage on his home. Rey says that if he had given her a chance to quote the coverage differently or even to counter offer, she could have helped.

Unfortunately for the client, he figured all of this out too late. Once he decided to revert back to his old company, underwriting guidelines had changed, and he couldn’t get his previous rate for his previous coverage level.

So what can homeowners learn from this exchange? If you really want to save money on your homeowner’s insurance, talk with your current provider first. Visit the

Equifax Personal Finance Blog to read Rey’s full article and for more links to articles on homeowners insurance.

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