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October 22, 2004     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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October 22, 2004
 

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PAGE 6B HERITAGE FLORIDA, OCTOBER 22,: y ma] (NUE)--The tedious tasks of writing out checks for bills and making con- stant trips to the post office to mail them could soon be a thing of the past, experts say. More and more Americans - about 30 million house- holds, according to recent findings - are discovering the advantages of paying bills online, where stacks of statements aren't waiting to be filed away in a crowded cabinet, and stamps are nothing more than collec- tors' items. Going paperless, however, can mean clicking around on 10 to 15 different creditor Web sites each month to pay individual bills. To that end, Web sites such as Paytrust.com, an online favorite with consumers and critics alike, provide online bill consolidation - giving you the ability to view, approve, pay and manage all your bills from a single source. Online consolida- tion services offer plenty of other conveniences: Enjoy the flexibility of automatic payments. Many sites provide automatic and recurring bill payments, let- ting you simplify the pay- ment process without the worry of missed due dates or lost statements. Review all bills through- out the year with the click of a mouse. See all the details of your bill just like you do today, thanks to a feature of bill consolidation sites called bill presentment. Smart fi- nancial management means keeping an eye on the details in your bill, and online bill presentment lets you do just that on the computer screen. Some services will send you a CD-ROM containing all of your bill records for the past year. Pay anyone, using any bank. From the gas com- pany to the neighborhood kid who mows the lawn, this convenient feature, avail- able through sites such as Paytrust.com, lets you pay your bills using multiple bank accounts, giving you the ability to carefully man- age your cash flow. Simplify your life by reducing clutter. Can't re- member every password to each creditor's Web site? Are your old account records divided among several boxes or cabinets? Online consoli- dation eliminates both prob- lems, thanks to the use of a single password or PIN, and the convenience of o~e-spot storage for old and records. Preserve privacy security. Online bill protects personal and count information passwords and dat~ bling technology. Paytrust.com is Metavante Corp bill publishing and dation technology to bil and financi vante processes 122 payment transactions year. By North American Precis Syndicate, Inc. (NAPSA)--While teens may be interested in pop stars, sports and the latest technology, they're pretty practical when it comes to finances. And they have a lot of influence when it comes to household buying decisions. In addition, more than a third receive an allowance (35 percent), and the major- ity of those indicate that the allowance is tied to household chores or other family-ori- ented responsibilities. These are some of the key findings of the latest install- ment of a poll conducted by the world's largest organiza- tion dedicated to educating young people about busi- ness, economics and free enterprise. The poll also indicates that today's wage-earning teens remain skeptical about the future of Social Security. Over 48 percentdoubt the program will be around in its current form when they reach age 65. That's up from 44 percent in the 2002 poll. In addition, changing market conditions have had an impact on teen stock ownership. Only one in seven teens (just over 15 percent) say they own stock. That's down significantly from the 2001 poll when one in four teens (25 percent) said they owned stock. The 2004 Junior Achieve- ment Enterprise Poll on Per- sonal Finance was sponsored by The Allstate Foundation as a result of a $1.5 million grant to create educational programs to improve the financial lit- eracy of today's youth. The program is expected to reach nearly one million students over its lifetime. According to Jack Kosa- kowski, executive vice presi- dent and chief operating of ricer of JA Worldwide, the poll demonstrates how important it is to continue teaching our young people about the eco- nomics of life. Said Kosakowski, "We are thrilled to partner with The Allstate Foundation to help teens learn about economic empowerment." The JA Enter- prise Poll is conducted annu- ally to gauge teens' financial literacy. Sponsored by The Allstate Foundation, the 2004 JA Enterprise Poll on Personal Finance was nationwide to 992 ages 13 to 18 from to November 2003. JA reaches 4 million dents in the U.S 2 million students in 100 countries. For more formation, visit www. on the Internet, or write Worldwide Headquarte One Education Ly, rado Springs, CO can also contact the JA office. By News USA (NUE)--As many Ameri- cans get better news in their financial statements, those closing in on retirement may be more confident asking the question, "Am I finally ready to enter the next phase of life after full- time work?" But for the baby boom generation, there are new retirement realities that should be ad- dressed first. Boomers have a better* than-average chance of living 20, 30 or more years past retirement age. At the same time, staying healthy is costing more. A couple retiring today will need at least $175,000 just to pay for out-of-pocket health care costs not covered by an employer plan, according to a Jrecent report from Fidelity Investments. SOLOMON F. SCHICK S, INC. Solomon F. Schick, C.EP. Certified Financial Planner Million Dollar Round Table Member Beth S. Schick, J.D LL.M. Estate Planning Million Dollar Round Table Member Estate Planning and Disability Income Fixed and Variable* Life Insurance Employee Benefits, Long Term Care and Mutual Funds* PLANNING YOUR FINANCIAL FUTURE FOR YOUR PEACE OF MIND 204 N. Wymore Road Winter Park, FL 32789 LD7245-06/00 Telephone: 407/647-4490 Fax: 407/628-5595 E-mail: sfsinc@ schickinc.com *Investment Advisor Representative with and Securities offered through InterSecurities, Inc Member NASD, SIPC Unlike previous genera- tions whose company pen- sions, retiree health care plans and Social Security provided a core source of retirement income, boomers must take more control over their retirement destinies. However, many Americans today may be taking a blind leap into retirement without any blueprintfor making sav- ings last. "Planning may not seem like fun, but it's the single most important thing boom- ers can do to help them live the life they want in retire- ment," said Cynthia Egan, Fidelity Investments. "For By North American Precis Syndicate, Inc. (NAPSA)-Surprisingly, many prospective homebuy- ers are still asking, "What will happen if interest rates go up?" Instead, they should beasking,"Whatwillhappen when interest rates go up?" Evidence of the increase has already been detected, from a low of 5.1 percent for a 30- year fixed-rate mortgage in June 2003 to the 6.25 per- cent posted in June 2004, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Associa- tion. Though the extent of the increase is uncertain, it is certain this will happen: Thousands of homes will continue to be purchased on a regular basis and families will realize the "American Dream," many of them with the aid of Accredited Buyer's Representatives. Real estate profession- als who have earned the coveted ABR designation have the training to assist homebuyers regardless of the economic conditions. They understand that, investors within five years of retirement or newly retired, developing a lifetime income plan should be at the top of any retirement to-do list." To get started, investors should consider the following steps. First, shore up retirement savings by continuing to contribute the maximum to tax-advantaged retire- ment accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs. Special catch-up provisions allow workers over age 50 to save even more. Begin a lifetime income plan by first estimating ex- penses. Then calculate how long savings will last and how although higher interest rates are viewed as only detrimental to the inter- ests of home buyers, the news isn't all dire. For instance, prospec- tive home buyers should remember that regardless of cost, mortgage interest on their home is a substan- tial income tax deduction. Prospective home buyers should also remember that "there are mortgages and then there are mortgages." Put another way, all mort- gages are not the same and there are lots of options. Fixed-rate, variable-rate, the many other variables in length of repayment, frequency of payments, early-redemption clauses and principal-only pay- ments all combine to give home buyers the flexibility they need to finance their home. An ABR is knowledgeable in the entire home purchase process and can help buyers find the other professionals they'll need to complete the transaction: from mortgage experts, to explain the merits much you down for monthly Finally, work with financial provider to build~ investingstrategy ate today, but also has the poten" tial to grow over time. Helpful worksheets lists, articles and a so cated yet easy-to-use tool are available on Retirement at Fidelity.corn/retire. online, investors can a nearby Fidelity center to attend a free cational seminar or to meet with a professional. and shortcomin ing options and counS their clients based on personal circumstances, home inspectors, to an unbiased assessment the home bein Buyers should remember that mortgage inte be a big factor in the sion to buy a home, are n~any other asp that also come into A real estate p with the Accredited Representative design~ canhel factors involved in a purchase and look the "numbers game" interest rates. The ABR designatiol awarded by the Real Buyer's Agent at over 45,000 mernb~ the largest affiliate of National Association REALTORS(r). To find Accredited Buyer Repres tative nearby, and get home buyer's kit, Real Estate Buyer's Council at or visit www.REBAC.net'