Remar's Report

Buying or Refinancing a Home? Tips for Finding the Right Mortgage

With continuing lower prices for good homes, many consumers are considering buying a home. Maybe you are among the potential buyers looking for a first home, thinking about a larger home for a growing family, or planning for a retirement home. With interest rates remaining at low levels, other consumers are considering refinancing their mortgage to lower payments or, perhaps, to pay off the loan sooner.

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Tired of Rising Bank Fees?

Switching Financial Institutions is Worth the Time and Effort

Has any financial institution where you keep a checking account been on a “fee-ing frenzy” lately, as BankRate’s latest survey described it?

Recent surveys report significant 2012 increases in many fees related to checking accounts. These include increased minimum balance requirements, ATM fees, and overdraft (NSF) fees. Such increases are a problem because most people manage their daily finances using a checking account and related services including debit cards and online or automatic bill payment. In general, the biggest increases have come from the biggest banks, according to the research.

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Make Medicare Plan Changes Oct. 15 – Dec. 7: What Needs Review?

If you already receive Medicare, then you need to know that the “open enrollment” period when you can make changes for 2018 extends from October 15 to December 7, 2017.

Open enrollment is the annual period when you can make changes to your Medicare plan to better meet your health or financial needs for the coming year. Changes made during this period usually take effect on January 1, 2018.

If you are satisfied that your current plan will meet your needs in 2018, you don’t need to do a thing.

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Reverse Mortgages—What Are the Pros, Cons, and Cautions?

If you listen to the TV pitchmen, you would think that a reverse mortgage is every older homeowner’s dream. Advertising claims appear to promise a risk-free, low-cost way to get easy cash from your home without endangering your home ownership. Some even imply you won’t be increasing debt.

Such advertising is simplistic and deceptive. In actuality, a reverse mortgage is a complex product. Most important, it is a loan, a fact often glossed over in the ads. A reverse mortgage may be right in certain situations, but you need to take time to understand the options and costs as well as potential benefits and risks. Comparing loan offers and finding the best lender are also challenges.

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Are You Protecting Your Personal Financial Information?

Six Steps to Better Security

A number of data breaches in major companies have hit the news in recent months. It’s alarming to hear that criminal hackers stole the usernames and passwords of Yahoo email accounts, for example, or that payment information was stolen from Target. Such events alarm us because they seem beyond our control. However, most identity theft and theft of financial information occur because victims didn’t take simple steps to protect their personal and financial information. In this report, I give you six simple steps that can help you achieve better security.

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Prepaid Debit Cards—What are the Pros, Cons and Alternatives?

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Prepaid debit cards are the fastest growing segment of the payments industry. They were used 1.6 billion times for $77 billion worth of transactions in 2012. They are used by people who don't have bank accounts as well as those that do.

Many consumers see the cards as a convenient way to use "plastic" for regular spending without a traditional checking account debit card’s potential risk of exposure of funds to fraud. However, prepaid debit cards also have significant drawbacks—they are typically loaded with fees and do not have the protection of consumer laws that apply to traditional checking account debit cards and credit cards. This brief summary of pros, cons, and possible alternatives can help you decide what’s right for you.

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