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Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Friday, September 7, 2012

Paying down debt Teaching kids about money Baby on a budget Selecting a financial planner

When it makes sense to refinance your life Do you know how much you are paying in interest every month on your credit cards, auto loan and mortgage? The answer may come as a surprise; therefore, it could be in your best interest to learn more about lowering your interest rates. Many people do not realize how much interest adds to their monthly payments and how that amount can slow down the rate at which they are paying off a debt. On average, people can spend about a third of their annual income on unnecessary high interest rates associated with their monthly bills, simply because they are unaware that better options are available. One way to save money is to refinance with a company that offers you a lower interest rate. In the case of credit cards, you can consolidate several cards into one lower interest payment. The best way to get started is to do a little homework by researching interest rates, then compare how the rates vary.

Do your homework To learn more about refinancing options, consider these helpful tips: • Check out and compare interest rates to see what companies are offering. Much of this information can be found online. Taking the time to do your homework can really pay off, as some lenders offer rates that are dramatically lower than the national average. • Check your local paper for major interest rate fluctuations. • Ask about closing costs. If you are ready to refinance, be sure to ask about closing costs, as these can add to your total debt.

Read the fine print and find out how much interest you are paying, then see if you can refinance.

• Inquire about fees. When refinancing, ask about fees—you may be surprised by how much fees can vary! • Take advantage of discounts, promotions or incentives. Check into companies that offer a discount for applying online, such as Pentagon Federal Credit Union (PenFed).

Why a credit union?

Mortgage

A fiscally sound, member-owned credit union that has been lending for over 75 years, PenFed offers interest rates that are substantially lower than those the average person can get from commercial banks, especially if you apply online.

You could save on your home finance charges by getting an adjustable mortgage. The credit union delivers a finance rate that is fixed for five years. The initial rate can change every five years by no more than two percentage points, up or down, never to exceed five percentage points above the initial rate.

PenFed takes pride in serving over a million members, both civilian and military, worldwide. There are over 100 ways to join PenFed, and you too can take advantage of its exceptional rates and member-first service!

Refinance your life Employee Benefit Programs | Estate Planning Personal/Business Insurance Programs Profit Sharing Plans | Pension Plans | 401(k) Plans Qualified Retirement Plan Administration

Here are just a few of the ways you can use PenFed’s refinancing options to lower your debt payments:

Read the fine print on your car loan note. How much interest are you paying? It can really add up! PenFed offers refinancing on auto loans up to $70,000 at attractive low rates. Refinancing is available for all car models, new or used.

Registered Representative FIRST ASSET FINANCIAL INC. 26 YEARS EXPERIENCE

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You can consolidate and refinance credit cards at a lower rate. One consolidated payment with a lower interest rate could be lower than one of your existing payments.

Auto refinancing

RONALD J. THERIAULT 10 Free Street | PO Box 599 | Portland, Maine 04112-0599 T: 207.775.6177 | F: 207.775.5688 www.healeyassociates.com

Credit cards

(207) 364-7285

fax: (207) 514-8123

142 CONGRESS ST., RUMFORD SECURITIES OFFERED THROUGH FIRST ASSET FINANCIAL INC. (FAF) 110 E. IRON AVE, SALINA, KS 782-825-5050. MEMBERS FINRA/SIPC - SUMMIT INSURANCE & FINANCIAL SERVICES LLC IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH FAF.

Learn more PenFed offers a diverse selection of products and services with built-in value that’s hard to beat; such as mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, equity loans, consolidation loans, Money Market Certificates, Money Market Savings, IR As and much more— including a variety of insurance and investment-related products. To learn more about PenFed and membership eligibility, visit www.PenFed.org/lower or call (800) 247-5626. Or, contact a credit union close to home. Source: NAPSI

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, September 7, 2012

Teaching kids about budgets and allowances By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer Teaching kids how to handle money is essent ia l to t hem becoming responsible adults. One of the ways to teach them about money is to give them an allowance. How you go about this is up to you.

way to teach t hem basic financial analysis.

if they complete them to your satisfaction in the time given, y ou s hou ld g i v e t he m a n allowance. Some take it a step f ur t her a nd a rg ue t hat k ids should be paid according to the work they do.

If t he ba n k supplies sav ings books, ma ke sure k ids u se t hem . But go one step f ur t her a nd g ive k ids a financia l journa l where they c a n do c u ment a l l of t hei r purchases in addition to their dep osit s a nd w it hd r aw a l s. Such documentation enables kids to analyze how they spend their money.

Why should you pay your son $20 a week just for taking out the garbage? Pay them by the job, and should they complain, sugYou cou ld dole out one set gest they add to their chore list amount ever y week, or var y to earn more. Others argue kids t he a mou nt a nd f requenc y should do chores regardless of according to your schedule. the rewards involved and allowHe r e a r e s ome f a c t or s t o ances should be expense based. consider when deter m ining how much to give. You should calculate the ex-

Age Generally, the older the kid, the higher their allowance should b e . M a n y w ou ld c on s id e r giving $20 a week to a 3-yearold unnecessary, as they don’t understand the value of money.

penses your kids are responsible for, such as school supplies or gas for their car, and give them an allowance that covers that.

However you go about determining the amount of your kid’s allowance is up to you. You might decide to base it on all of the factors above or just a few. You You could, however, stash most might pay your kids a set amount of it away in a savings account every other week regardless how for the child to use later. While much work they do. a dol la r or t wo each week might suffice for a young kid, it However you go about it, use the might not work out so well for a opportunity to teach your kids teenager who knows how little how to handle money. Discuss a couple of dollars a week goes. with them the best way to use They might be better off with the money, whether making a that $20 a week, providing you purchase, paying for an expense or saving it for a rainy day. can afford it.

Budget Your family’s budget plays a big part in how much allowance you give. If your budget is tight, then a dollar for the little ones and five dollars for your teen might be all that you can afford. Don’t let the budget constraints get to you. Something is better t ha n not h i ng, a nd you ca n a lways help your older k ids supplement their earnings with odd jobs.

Chores or expenses

Periodically go over these expenditures with children, and if they’re frustrated about their sav ing and spending habits, work with the children to develop more effective strategies.

Larger expenses later K id s may appre c iate t he se small lessons in analysis down the road when it’s time to purchase their first vehicles or finance a larger expense, such as their educations or even their first homes.

Growing up in a time of economic struggle, today’s kids might be inadvertently learning lessons about money. If Mom and Dad have been forced to cut back or even lost their jobs, chances are kids have noticed and learned something as a result of these actions.

Go shopping w ith them and show t hem w hat t he y c a n afford to buy. Should they find following tips are a few ways something they cannot afford, parents can do just that. encourage them to save up for it. Learning early on how to save will make major purchases later on, like a car or home, much easier. Teaching kids how to handle money is not easy, especially if they do not have any money to begin with. You can fix that by giving them an allowance.

Savings account

amount of money. This shows t he chi ld t he impor ta nce of steadily saving money.

It might be difficult at the outOpen a sav i ngs accou nt i n set to get kids into this habit, your child’s na me. Once t he but once they make savings deaccount is opened, take your posits part of their routines and child to the bank once a week their balances start to grow, to deposit a predeter m i ned they will likely grow more en-

Yo u r

Simple ways to teach kids about money

Opinions var y as to whether Even if parents have managed you shou ld base you r k ids’ to weather the economic storm a l low a nc e s on t he c hor e s of the last several years without t h e y d o o r t h e e x p e n s e s making too many sacrifices, t hey have. Some a rg ue t hat they can still start teaching a l lowa nces shou ld be work kids about money, even if kids based. You should give your have just entered kindergarten. kids a list of chores to do, and It’s never too ea rly to teach kids lessons about money. The

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, September 7, 2012

L o c a l

C o n n e c t i o n

t o

thusiastic about their weekly trips to the bank.

Document spending Encouraging kids to document t heir f ina nces, includ ing deposit s, w it hd r aw a l s a nd expenditures, is an effective

Wo r k

create. communicate. publish. in print. online To a d ve r t i s e : 7 8 6 - 4 2 0 0

Help k ids ma ke la rger purchases. Helping kids make larger purchases, be it a new bicycle or a video game console, is another way to teach them about money. Such pu rcha ses teach k id s about long-term financial goals, and how it’s necessary to stay diligent with savings in order to meet those goals. Paying for half is a good way to reward kids for meeting these long-term goals. It’s never too ea rly to sta r t teaching k ids about money, and parents can do just that in a number of ways. Source: Metro

Family is why we do it all. Glen Craig, Agent 102 Congress St., Rumford 207-364-2011 Cell:207-380-2737 glen@gcraiginsurance.com

We all feel the same commitment to care for our families. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there®.

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Baby on a budget By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer W hile a welcome addition to most families, babies can be expensive. In addition to prenatal care and birth expenses, parents will also be faced with the costs of actually caring for their new child. Bott les, bla n kets, bibs, boot ies a nd ever y t h i ng else babies require can really add up over time. How can parents ensure their babies have what t hey need a nd keep costs in check? Reuse!

Diapers are essential for babies. While you can’t reuse disposables, you can most certainly reuse cloth diapers. No, cloth diapers are not as convenient as disposable diapers, but they will save you a ton of money. Instead of dropping them into the trash, you simply wash them, fold them and prepare to use them again. Along with diapers, your baby will need some clothes. You will probably receive several sets of clothing as gifts, but beware: Babies grow fast. To keep your budget in check, you might want to go the used route and shop consignment shops, f lea markets and yard sales.

If you have a lot of money to spare, you may want to buy new. If you don’t, you may want to go the used route. Either way, you You can find cheap clothing in need to keep in mind that babies good condition, some of it with don’t need everything. the price tags still attached. You might also check with friends There are a ton of baby products and family members with baavailable, but not all of them are bies. They might be willing to necessary. Focus on the essendonate their babies’ old clothing tials and consider reusing what to you. you can to stay on budget.

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If only diapers and clothing were all babies needed, but they aren’t. Babies need a wide range of items from beds to bottles to blankets. You can purchase most everything a baby needs u s e d . A g a i n, c on sig n ment shops, f lea markets and yard sales are your best bet.

Don’t discount friends and family with young children, however. Should someone offer you their baby’s old things, take them. That pile of lavender blankets may not exactly scream boy, but your little guy won’t care as long as he’s warm. W hatever you choose to reuse, ma ke sure you wash and sanitize it. Occasionally, you may have to buy new. Don’t panic. You can probably find what you need for less. The trick is to clip coupons a nd shop sa les. You m ig ht be able to afford that stroller you’ve had your eye on with a 20 percent off coupon at a 20 percent off sale.

pen or stamp on handprints in various colors. Numerous faux painting techniques are available that will allow you to create any number of textures and designs from puffy clouds to paint splatters. While you’re working on the walls, don’t neglect the ceiling. Remember, this is an area the baby will see the most in the beginning when they are lying on their backs. If you don’t like paint, you can tr y wallpaper. Keep in mind, t houg h, t hat wa l lpaper w i l l probably cost more than paint, and if you don’t apply it well, you may find your little one picking it off when they get older. If you go this route, select a wallpaper pattern that will grow with your child and make sure the wallpaper can be scrubbed for those inevitable sticky handprints, stray crayon marks, and more. For inexpensive wall hangings, you have numerous options. You can hang up special baby blankets or quilts that you receive, or shop around for inexpensive prints and frame them for instant art. Use kid’s placemats, baby cards and even family photos for art. Inexpensive wooden shelves with old baby shoes and bottles are another idea.

Babies do need stuff but you don’t have to go broke buying it. Go the used route when possible, shop for bargains when not, and your pocketbook will thank you.

W hatever wall hangings you create, ma ke sure you don’t hang anything above the baby’s crib. There’s too much of a risk If you have ever wa ndered that something could fall on through the infant’s section of a the baby or the baby could pull particular store, you know how down something on themselves that the more light the window coverings block out, the better much stuff is out there for deco- when they get older. your baby may sleep. rating a baby’s room. From wallWith f loors and windows, you paper to furniture to bedding, W hen choosing furniture for you can find all kinds of prod- have several options. If you can your baby’s room, think sturdy ucts to decorate a baby’s bed- afford it, you may want to put and try to buy pieces that will room, and if you don’t watch it, dow n stain-resistant carpet- grow with your child. As your you can wind up spending a for- ing or laminate flooring. Babies child learns to walk, they will tune. If you have just found out tend to spit up, and the older start to climb and you do not that you’re pregnant and you’re they get, the messier they are wa nt t hem climbing onto a concerned about the cost of dec- likely to be. Instead of tradition- rickety chair or table that could orating your baby’s room, don’t al carpeting, consider putting break and injure them. despair. You can still create a down carpet tiles, which you wonderful room for your baby can easily change out should You also do not want a room full they get terribly stained. without breaking the bank. of furniture that you will have to change out within a few years. Paint is one of the easiest and If you already have carpet and W hile your child may adore most inexpensive ways to trans- can’t afford to replace it, con- their white dresser w ith the form a room. If you have the sider adding an inexpensive heart-shaped mirror when they skills, you can draw a mural on rug to protect the carpet from are little, they might not like it one or all four walls. If that’s not stains, or make a floor cloth out so well when they turn five or six your style, you can use stencils, of canvas. With window cover- and are into sports. Look for furstamps and paint pens to create ings, you can keep it simple and niture pieces that will appeal to top inexpensive mini-blinds or a happy room. your child throughout their life. shutters with a corniceboard You can paint the walls light yel- or valance, or you can go all out As for bedding, the choice is low, for example, and add some and purchase or make drapes. yours. You can buy or make a happy faces with a black paint Whatever you do, keep in mind layette set, complete with bed

ruff le and bumper pad, or you can pick up some inexpensive sheets and add a nice quilt. W hatever you select, keep in mind that it will be some time before your baby is actually old enough to use all of the bedding and enjoy it. Experts recommend that newborns be placed into a crib with as little bedding as possible to protect them from accidental suffocation. Remember, your baby will not be able to tell the difference between a rug that cost $1 or one that cost $50, so don’t sweat the price of the stuff you use to decorate their room. Stick to your budget and create a design that will appeal to your baby. A room filled with inexpensive tactile objects will appeal more to a baby than a room draped in silk and other expensive fabrics. Let your imagination run wild and have fun!

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, September 7, 2012

Delaying retirement has financial, social benefits The need to save for retirement is something professionals start hearing about from the moment they begin their careers.

ic and social benefits of delaying retirement.

yourself a great disservice by ending your career prematurely.

Those undecided about when t hey wa nt to say goodbye to the office should consider the following benefits to delaying As much as men a nd women retirement. envision retiring to a faraway W hether it’s parents extolling seaside v illa for t heir golden More chances to save the virtues of retirement plans yea rs, such ret i rement s a re money. or employers who encourage not t e r r i bl y c om mon , a nd their employees to take advan- many older workers have be- It might be your dream to retire tage of t heir retirement pro- gun to recognize the econom- early, but you could be doing

Men and women at or near the end of their careers are often m a k i n g m or e m on e y t h a n they ever have, which enables t hem to save more t han t hey have in the past, especially if ch i ld ren a re f u l l g row n a nd supporting themselves.

grams, sav ing for retirement is never far from the minds of professiona ls. As important as such savings can be, many workers are deciding to delay their retirements.

Take advantage of these highsalary years, even if it means working an extra few years. If you do, when you retire you could have substantially more in savings than you would have had you retired early.

Fewer years to worry about financing your lifestyle. T ha n k s to adva ncement s i n med ici ne a nd more a nd more people living healthier l i fest yles, men a nd women are now living longer than in years past. While living longer,

healthier lives is a plus, it does have an effect on retirement. Because people can now expect to live longer, they must ensure their money lasts long enough. By delaying retirement, men a nd women w i l l have fewer retirement years to finance.

The chance to give back.

Many older professionals view retirement as being put out to pasture, where their years or experience aren’t utilized. However, individuals who delay retirement can use their extra years around the office as an Stay socially active. opportunity to leave a legacy for I n a d d i t i o n t o e c o n o m i c the next generation. benefits, delaying retirement has socia l benef its as wel l. This is something professionals Many people get the bulk of f i nd especia l ly va luable a s their socia l interaction w ith their retirement draws nearer and they want to leave a lasting colleagues and co-workers. mark, be it on their company, When men and women retire, within their industry or in the these opportunities for social com mu n it y i n w h ich t hei r interaction can dwindle rather company operates. quickly, and it’s not uncommon for retirees to battle feelings of Delaying retirement provides isolation. Delaying retirement more time to build this legacy, allows you to easily maintain a nd c a n c r e a t e a g r e a t e r c ont a c t w i t h f r i e n d s a n d s en s e of f u l f i l l ment w hen colleagues, and can lead to a men and women do decide to retire. Delaying retirement is better quality of life. growing increasingly popular. Source: Metro

Fight back against tough economic times A sound defense against market fluctuations can start with an advisor who’s invested in your individual financial goals. Throughout changes in the markets and in your life, we’re on your side. Call today for a second opinion on any of your investments.

Adam Dunbar, AAMS® Vice President - Investment Officer P.O. Box 7041, Two Portland Square Portland, ME 04112 207-774-5626 adam.dunbar@wellsfargoadvisors.com

Investment and Insurance Products: u NOT FDIC Insured

More men and women often see delaying retirement as a chance to build a bigger nest egg and leave a more lasting legacy within their company and community. Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, September 7, 2012

u NO Bank Guarantee

u MAY Lose Value

Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of W ells Fargo & Company. ©2010 Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. All rights reserved. 0312-2591 [74018-v3] A1287

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Estate investment planning is not just for the rich and famous designations for your 401(k), What is the difference Individual Retirement between a will and a Account, sav ings bonds and life insurance policies. Both a revocable living trust? durable power of attorney and Ba sic a l ly, a w i l l i s a lega l a health care power of attorney docu ment t hat d i rects how The truth is that everyone — should also be created. your assets will be distributed regardless of how much money Your Financial Advisor can help a m o n g f a m i l y m e m b e r s , they have — needs an estate you work out the details of your charities or others upon your investment plan. plan and can also help keep it death. It is important to update a will periodically to reflect any up-to-date. Here are a few frequently material or personal changes in asked questions about estate your life.

If you’re like most people, you think estate investment planning is only for the wealthy.

investment planning, along with the answers that may help you better understand this subject:

Why do you need an estate investment plan?

An estate investment plan can not only potentially reduce the What is an estate plan? taxes your heirs must pay on assets they receive from your An estate investment plan is a estate, but can also ensure that program for the management your accumulated wealth will and distribution of your assets go to the individuals that you upon your deat h, as well as intend to receive it. instructions for handling your a f fa i rs shou ld you become I n a d d i t i o n , a n e s t a t e unable to do so while you are investment plan can help avoid probate proceedings, an often still alive. long and expensive process that Your estate investment plan can open your financial matters shou ld i nclude a w i l l a nd/ to the public. or a revocable living trust as well as updated benef icia r y

What is a durable power of attorney? W hether you create a simple will or a revocable living trust, it is important to have a durable power of attorney.

A durable power of attorney is a document t hat desig nates a per son w ho c a n sig n on your behalf and handle your financial matters in the event of your incapacity. A durable A revocable living trust (RLT) power of attorney becomes void is an entity, like a corporation, at death. t hat hold s a nd ow n s you r Having a basic estate investassets, while you are alive and ment plan can help ease stresses continues to hold your assets on your family, especially durafter your death. ing a difficult time. Like a will, the RLT directs how Your Financial Advisor, with your assets will be distributed the help of your tax and legal at you r deat h, but because adv isors, ca n help you ta ke ownership does not change at necessary steps today to ensure your death, it can do so without that your w ishes are carried the expense, delay or publicity out and that you and your loved of probate court. ones have the peace of mind you A revocable living trust gives would want them to have. a t r ustee t he rig ht to ma ke Source : Wells Fargo, courtesy of decisions for you if you become Adam Dunbar . See article below. incapacitated while a will has no effect until your death.

Five investing mistakes you don’t have to make It’s easy to have confidence in investments made during bull ma rkets: sha re prices climb and any losses from poor decisions are usually recovered fast. But times of increasing market volatility tend to magnify mistakes, and many investors may lose confidence in their decision making. Let’s take a quick look at some of these common – but generally avoidable – mistakes.

1. Timing the market During a downturn in the market, investors who reg ularly contributed to their portfolios when the market was rising often decide to stop investing until conditions improve. This can prove to be a costly mistake. Not only is it impossible to time the ups and downs of the market with consistent success – by sitting on the sidelines during a down market, you could miss

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out on an opportunity to buy stocks and other investments at lower prices. In good times and bad, long-term investors should carefully consider the merits of dollar-cost averaging. By continuing to make investments of the same dollar value at regular intervals, investors can buy more shares when prices are low, fewer when prices are high. A periodic investment plan such as dollar-cost averaging does not assure a profit or protect against a loss in declining markets. Also, since such a strategy involves continuous investment, investors should consider their ability to continue purchases through periods of low price levels. It is also important to continue to make contributions to your 401(k) plan or similar employee-sponsored retirement plan. These contributions often “earn” matching funding

information. You should also review financial statements and carefully investigate anything that looks vague or unusual. 2. Skipping the Not only can doing your homeresearch work help you to make informed Determining whether an in- investment decisions, it can vestment is appropriate for your also help you to feel comfortable por t folio requires resea rch. with the holding in spite of temThere are more companies and porary ups and downs. investment products to invest in today than ever before, and 3. Chasing past you need to gather information performance before you can determine which investments might have po- Yesterday’s hot stock may have tential for growth. Before mak- already topped out. Today’s ining an investment decision, it’s novative start-up may not have helpful to evaluate it in the con- the wherewithal to stay in busitext of comparable opportuni- ness. So it’s important to base ties. At a minimum, you should investment decisions on more find two articles (from different than past performance and a authors) about the company or few headlines. You should invest investment product and review with the future in mind. If there the company’s website. Both the is strong growth potential, and investor relations section and the fundamental likelihood of news announcements found on the company’s success looks the website can provide useful good to you, then it may make from your employer – providing additional earnings potential.

Men and women should prioritize estate planning regardless of their age or financial status. sense to invest even after a successful run. Keep in mind, however, that past performance is no guarantee of future results.

4. Trading too often Frequent trading often reduces the total return of your portfolio. In addition to the trading fees and taxes that it may incur, frequent trading does not reflect a long-term outlook and thoughtful investment strategies – neither timing the market nor running from losses enhances your portfolio’s performance.

can be easily overcome, you may even want to consider buying more while the price is low. Conversely, it’s also important to know when to take a loss. It hurts to lose money, but a little pain now may pay off in the long run. If your company or investment relies on an industry that is likely to remain weak for several years, consider selling to avoid any additional losses.

5. Selling low, or not at all

Learning from your own past mistakes, as well as from those made by others, is an important step toward becoming a better investor. To find out more about avoiding these and other mistakes often made by investors, contact your financial advisor.

Before selling a stock or investment product that has tumbled, it’s important to do some additional research to understand why it fell. This research will help you anticipate the holding’s potential for recovery. If the setback appears to result from a temporary problem that

Source of these two articles : Wells Fargo advisors courtesy of Adam Dunbar, a vice presidentinvestment officer in Portland. Call 207-774-5626. Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, September 7, 2012

MANAGING YOUR MONEY:

Consumers spending more in 2012 on entertainment and leisure New data from a major financial institution revealed that many Americans are enjoying themselves more in 2012. According to the Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index, a barometer of consumer trends based on aggregated Chase Freedom cardmember spending data, consumers are spending more on leisure activities and entertainment this year compared to the first quarter of 2011.

The data shows that in the first quarter of 2012: • Spending at mov ie theaters increased by 24 percent, while theme parks saw a 21 percent increase compared to 2011. •Spend i ng at recreat ion facilities, such as golf courses, ski resorts and campgrounds, rose by 7 percent compared to the first quarter of last year. Add it iona l ly, ba sed on la st yea r’s data, celebrat ions of Mot her’s Day, Fat her’s Day

and graduations are driv ing springtime spending on gifts and consumer wish list items, such as f lowers, jewelr y and electronics. Between April and May of 2011:

• Take advantage of 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 spent at movie theaters and grocery stores, now through June 30 with a Chase Freedom card.

• Ea rn up to 15 extra points for ever y dol la r spent on • Spending on flowers increased f lowers from retailers such by 92 percent – although men as ProFlowers, KaBloom and spend nearly twice as much 1-800-Flowers.com through a s w omen on f low er s on Chase Ultimate Rewards. Valentine’s Day, both spend roughly the same on bouquets Chase Freedom Cardmembers and blossoms in May. can earn 5 percent cash back on • Spending on jewelry increased up to $1,500 in purchases at gas by 28 percent between April stations and restaurants from and May 2011. States in the July through September, and on Northeast drove the biggest accommodat ions purchased directly from the hotels and increase, with 36 percent. tickets purchased directly from • Tot a l c on s u mer ele c t r on- the airlines and at Best Buy and ic s spend i ng i nc rea sed 21 Kohl’s from October through percent nat ionw ide, w it h a December. Cardmembers can larger increase of 28 percent activate 5 percent cash back in the West. online, over the phone, via text message, on Facebook or at one To help you get in on the good of Chase’s 5,500 branches. times, consider these moneysav ing t ips when you ma ke a pu rchase i n one of t hese Learn more popular categories: For more information, visit • Shop electronics retailers on www.chase.com/freedom Sundays for the best deals on or www.facebook.com/ chasefreedom. Source: NAPSI consumer electronics.

YOUR FINANCES:

Surprising ways to add to your savings By John A. Addison, Jr. Primerica, CEO Learning to be more of a “saver” than a “spender” can often start with small steps that take you in a new direction and help you to acquire new habits. If you struggle w it h f inding money to save, here are some ideas you may have overlooked: • Put aside your loose change each day. Saving just $1 a day will yield you $365 in a year. • Cut your phone bills. For less than $10, you can buy a prepaid cell phone and pay only by

the minute. Unless you have • Track you r spend i ng. You medical issues that can require might not realize where your emergency calls, you may even money is going. Keep a receipt for everything you spend in want to consider canceling your land line. one month. At the end of the mont h, separate t hem into •Do you r best to avoid categories. unnecessar y bank fees. For instance, by avoiding bounced This process can often help you c h e c k s , o v e r d r a f t s a n d see where you can trim excess ATM fees, the $20 to $40 you spend i ng w it hout rad ica l ly normally spend each month changing your lifestyle. could save you $240 to $480 Ma ny people f ind t hat each year. entertainment and dining out • Bring lunch to work. Spend $2 are two areas where modest cuts a day on making lunch at home can lead to significant savings instead of eating out for $5 a over time. day, and before you know it To learn more, visit http://www. you’ve saved $780 in one year. primerica.com. Source: NAPSI

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, September 7, 2012

Consumers are spending more on leisure activities and entertainment this year, including theme parks and movie theaters.

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PROSPER

7

Don't fall for foreign lottery fraud

By Tresa Erickson Feature Writer

Each year, organized groups of criminals target and victimize t housa nds of A mer ica ns by telephone, emails, and through the mail – but you can protect yourself and your family. The United States Postal Inspection Service has documented over $42 million in losses from this type of fraud. In some cases, people have lost their homes and their savings by chasing the dream of a big “lottery jackpot.” Inspector Paul Krenn advised, “One of the main techniques sc a m mer s u se i s a foreig n lotter y scam, where they tell you to send money to pay for taxes or fees.

Finding the right fit for your financial needs

Foreign lottery fraud, a criminal practice where scammers entice U.S. consumers to send money and even provide bank and credit card information, is a growing problem that can have devastating and longlasting effects on victims and their families.

“If you’ve received a suspected fraud via mail or if the mail was used to continue a crime • S c a m mer s a re c on st a nt l y • Don’t let a nyone pres su re started online, over the phone updat i ng t hei r met hods. you into making an immedior in person, report it to the U.S. One of their latest tricks is to ate decision. Postal Inspection Service.” convince you that you’ve won a foreign lottery and all you need • Ne ver pu rch a s e a ny t h i ng until you get all information in What to watch out for to do is wire a small processing writing. Source: NAPSI fee (relative to the gigantic Here are a few facts and signs prize). Don’t – you’ll never see to consider: that money again. • S c a m mer s a re u si ng ne w • Beware of calls from foreign techniques, such as legitimate countries, especially if they’re ma i ling lists a nd new calling an elderly person. te ch nolog y. T he y “spoof ” caller ID to make it look as if • If you or a loved one receives an they’re calling from the U.S. or unsolicited offer, hang up the even a government agency. phone or delete the email. • Older consumers, especially • Don’t give out personal or fishut-ins, are often a favorite nancial information to anyone target for foreign lottery fraud. over the Internet or phone. Look out for checks written or money wired internationally; • Never wire or send money to anyone, any where, who says a telephone t hat r i ngs you have won a foreign lottery. constantly; or a stack of lottery or sweepstakes entries.

profe s sion a l e x pe c t at ion s ? Conduct an Internet search on the names. W hat comes up? Good or bad reviews? Good or You work hard for your money. bad rat ings? A ny t hing else? Don't trust it to just anyone. Take whatever you find with Just as you took your time to a grain of salt unless it comes find the perfect bank, make f rom a t r ust wor t hy sou rce. sure you take the time to find Cross of f a ny na mes you’re the perfect guide, whether an hesitant about and consult with accountant, investment confriends and family on the names sultant or financial planner. r em a i n i ng. S e e w h at t he y C on s u lt t he phone b o ok , have heard or if they have any I nter net a nd pe ople you recommendations. know, and you’re bound to Once you have a short list of come up with a long list of professionals, you can start the n a me s. Na r row i ng t he s e actual interview process. Call down can be difficult. and set up a time for a phone To beg in, determine what interview. If they are too busy to services you are interested in give you an interview, either by and cross off any individuals phone or in person, cross them or groups that do not provide off your list. If they don’t have these services. Then don your time for you now, chances are detective cap and prepare to they won’t later. do a little snooping. Sta r t by check ing t he I nt e r ne t . D o t he n a me s remaining on your list have a website? If so, rev iew it. Does it meet or exceed your

Conduct your phone interviews a nd f i nd out t he ba sics, including how long they have been in business, what licenses they hold, what professional groups t hey belong to, what

areas they specialize in, etc. Ask for a list of fees and a list of referrals. Review them carefully and take the time to check out the referrals. Cross off any names that don’t meet your expectations and set up in-person inter v iews with the rest. Prepare a more detailed list of questions and ta ke t he t i me to st udy t he of f ice su r rou nd i ngs. Is t he space clea n a nd orga ni zed? Does business appear to run smoothly? Are clients attended to i n a t i mely ma n ner? Do you feel comfortable with the individuals appointed to work with you? This is not a time for personality clashes. Depending upon t he results of the first round of in-person inter v iews, you may need to conduct a not her. Do so a s needed until you find the right person to assist you with your financial endeavors. It is your money. Don’t leave it to chance. Take the time to find the right person for the job!

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Where to get help To help people recognize and prevent frauds and scams, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service set up a website, http://www.deliveringtrust.com. At the site, you can educate yourself, share the information with family and friends, and report suspected fraud sent through the U.S. mail.

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PROSPER

Advertising Supplement to the Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine, Friday, September 7, 2012


Money 2012