Remar's Report

Are You Getting the Most for Your Vacation Dollar?

Tips for Getting a Great Vacation at a Great Price

Are you already thinking about a summer vacation? Getting away from the daily grind can be refreshing and energizing. Too often, that feeling lasts only until the bills arrive. Then buyer’s remorse strikes.

You can avoid spending more than you can afford on this year’s vacation—or any vacation. All you have to do is ask yourself the right questions and invest some time in planning. That may sound like drudgery—particularly when a TV ad promises a dream resort vacation for "one low inclusive price" if you call immediately. Stop before you pick up that phone. Planning done right can be a fun treasure hunt. A little time spent exploring your options online and via phone can save you big. Here’s how to do it.

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Make Contributions to or Create an IRA Now

Do you have an IRA—Individual Retirement Account or are you thinking of opening one? If you don’t have an IRA, you can create one now. Contributions for the current tax year can typically be made until April 15 of the next year. An IRA provides individuals a way to save money for retirement and save on income taxes. Having an IRA can be an important retirement savings tool no matter your age or employment status. Why not take a moment to check out these basics?

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Higher Education Loans—Tips to Minimize Debt

College loan debt is a fact of life for many college graduates. So it’s important to manage student loan debt both to minimize how much you have to borrow and to repay the loans efficiently.

The average student loan debt for a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in the class of 2011 was $26,600, according to a survey conducted by the Institute for College Access and Success. Approximately two-thirds of students graduated with loan debt. Recent reports from the Federal Reserve estimate that total student loan debt nationally has passed 1 trillion dollars, more than current national credit card debt.

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Buying a Car? Five Traps to Avoid

Are you ready to replace your current vehicle with a new—or newer—set of wheels? If so, you’ve got lots of company. The average age of passenger vehicles on the road is approaching 11 years, and automotive sales have been growing in recent months. Many of these consumers, however, spent as much as several thousand dollars more than they needed to. Why? They fell into one or more of five common traps in the car buying process that I’m going to show you how to avoid.

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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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