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November 4, 2016     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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November 4, 2016

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PAGE 6B HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 4, 2016 (Family Features) Even the most savvy money handlers can fall on hard times when unexpected circumstances push your budget beyond its limits. These ideas may help you emerge from a tough financial situation and get back on track. Cut non-essential spend- ing When you're comfortable in your lifestyle and finances are flowing, you probably give little thought to the extras in your life. But when money gets tight, this can actually be one of the easiest ways to help bring your finances back under control. Start by taking a close look at where your money goes by listing every bill you pay each month and the amounts you pay. Then include all the day- to-day extras, such as eating out, shopping and other enter- tainment. If the total of your bills and extras don't match or exceed your income, it's time to make cuts, and the extras are the best place to start. Eliminate overwhelming debt Substantial balances on your mortgage can be crippling. It's a feeling Jeri Smith knows all too well. The 68-year-old needed to sell her house, pay off her $120,000 mortgage balance and move into an apartment to avoid falling behind. Fortunately, Smith recalled a conversation with her neigh- bors John and Corinne Tesh, owners of Citygate Homes LLC in Greensboro, North Carolina, an independently owned and operated Hom- eVestors franchisee. The Tesh's toured the house and felt it needed a lot of renovations, but they knew it would sell quickly after they rehabbed the property because of the neighborhood. They made an offer to pur- chase the home in cash. After the renovation was complete, they listed the home and received a full-price offer the first day on the market. Extending their sensitivity and kindness, HomeVestors-- largest home buyer in the U.S. with more than 65,000 houses bought since 1996--hired movers for Smith and paid for six months of storage for items that did not fit in her new place. This allowed Smith to move without the burden she was expecting, including costly, time-consuming re- pairs and showing the home to potential buyers. Examine insurance Another area that can really affect your overall budget is the money you're paying for insurance. People tend to choose an insurance policy and let it sit, but it's good idea to analyze your insurance cov- erages at least annually (more often if you have a major life change or new purchase) to be sure they still fit your needs and budget. Don't be afraid to shop for the best value and switch providers if needed. Learn more about the real estate resources available to help you overcome a difficult financial situation at hom- covers you By Angel Morales Social Security has you covered, even outside our nation's borders. We're with you through life's journey, even if you're traveling out- side the United States. Many people who travel or live outside the country receive some kind of Social Security benefit, including retired and disabled workers, as well as spouses, widows, widowers, and children. If you're a U.S. citizen, you may receive your Social Security payments outside the United States as long as you are eligible. When we say you are "outside the United States," we mean you're not in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or American Samoa. Once you've been outside the United States for at least 30 days in a row, we consider you to be outside the country. Whether you're off to Europe, or considering a stay in our newly reopened neighbor, Cuba, you may be able to receive your Social Security benefits even while you're outside the United States. If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you cannot receive benefits if you're outside of the United States for a month or more. If you're traveling outside the U.S. for an extended amountoftime, it's important that you tell Social Security the date you plan to leave and the date you plan to come back, no matter how long you expect your travel to last. You can use this online tool to find out if you can continue to receive your Social Security benefits if you are outside the United States or are planning to go outside the United States at international/payments_out- sideUS.html. This tool will help you find out if your retirement, dis- ability, or survivor's payments will continue as long as you are eligible, stop after six consecutive calendar months, or if certain country-specific restrictions apply. When you live outside the United States, we send you a questionnaire periodically. Your answers will help us figure out if you still are eligible for benefits. Return the questionnaire to the office that sent it as soon as possible. If you don't, your payments will stop. In addition to responding to the questionnaire, notify us promptly about changes that could affect your payments. You can also read the publication titled Your Pay- ments While You Are Outside the United States at www. Securing today and tomor- row is our priority, no matter where you might be living. (StatePoint) Driven by low- er banking fees, better interest rates on savings accounts, round-the-clock convenience and mobile phone usage, more consumers than ever are doing their banking online than at brick-and-mortar locations. The adoption of online banking has doubled since 2004, reaching 71 percent of consumers in 2015, ac- cording to Javelin Strategy & Research's Online Banking Forecast 2016. And these numbers are growing, as more consumers are made aware of the different services they can take advantage of at home and on-the-go. Have you experienced ung from IVC Filters used to prevent blood from traveling to your heart or lungs? You may be entitled to Compensation. COMPLICATIONS MAY INCLUDE HEART AND LUNG DAMAGE, INTERNAL BLEEDING, HOSPITALIZATION OR DEATH. Call Now IVC Fone / I / National Online Bank Day, observed for the second year in a row, highlighted the advantages of online bank- ing on a day when traditional brick-and-mortar banks are closed. From the distinct cost advantage over traditional banks, (since they don't have the expenses associated with maintaining a physical branch network) to their flexibility and convenience, here is a deeper look at how online banks are providing advan- tages to their customers. Customer-Centric Focus For example, Ally Bank, one of the leading online banks, is able to offer con- sistently competitive rates and is always open with 24/7 live customer service. In addition, most online banks have a customer-friendly fee structure in contrast to tradi- tional banks, as they often do not impose monthly mainte- nance fees and typically offer lower fees on transaction services. "When we launched Ally Bank seven years ago, we were very focused on building an obviously better banking experience for our custom- ers," says Diane Morals, chief executive officer and president of Ally Bank. "Our focus is on designing competitive prod- ucts and features to meet our customers' needs, combined with the best technologies and customer experience." Digital Technology Advances in digital tech- nology have literally put a broad range of services at customer's fingertips. Mobile payment services such as Apple Pay, Android Pay, Sam- sung Pay and Masterpass, and online bill pay and mobile check deposit, mean cus- tomers can complete many transactions from home or while on-the-go using mobile devices. Most banking transactions that used to require a visit to a brick-and-mortar location are now conducted online, fundamentally changing cus- tomer banking behavior and expectations. Online banks are striving to make handling personal finances simple and flexible with no time wasted in line at a neighborhood bank. To learn more about Na- tional Online Bank Day and the advantages of banking electronically, visit nation- online-bank-day. If you are seeking a more modern banking experience, it,.~6s worth investigating online banking to determine if it's right for your pocketbook. Solution searching for affordable housing in Orange County Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs hosted the inaugural Regional Affordable Housing Summit on Oct. 20 at the Orange County Convention Center. Planners, developers and local government leaders from across the region gathered to explore affordable housing solutions for Central Florida, including strategies, tools and best practices being implemented throughout Florida and across the country. I hope you can include this information. Shown here are (l-r), Orange County Planning Manager Alberto A. Vargas; Andres Duany, co-founder of Duany Plater-Zyberk; Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs; former state representative and Dick Batchelor Management Group president, Dick Batchelor; and Orange County Housing and Community De- velopment Manager Mitchell Glasser.