11:14pm PDT, 10/24/14

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Simplify Your Life

Listen at 11:40am all this week for your tip from Star One Credit Union

Here are your “Money Matters” tips sponsored by Star One Credit Union.

If you’re planning to get a loan to buy a house or car, your credit score will greatly affect how much it will cost. the lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate will be. You can improve your credit score by always paying your bills on time, because one late payment could hurt your credit rating. Secondly, pay down your existing debt, because more debt could mean a lower credit score.

Many of us don’t think about taxes until the deadline is upon us, but smart tax planning is something we can all do to save money. For example, opening an individual retirement account is a great way to reduce your taxes while saving for the future. When you put money into an I.R.A, you reduce your taxable income. A financial institution, like a credit union, can help you.

Every year nearly ten million people are victims of identity fraud, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.  Many companies offer the option of receiving your statements online.  An online statement is far safer and can’t be stolen from your mailbox, delivered to the wrong address, or taken from your trash. Plus, secure log-in means you, and you alone, have access to your confidential information.

Many people live in their homes for years, and never remodel them until it’s time to sell, so they never get to enjoy the results. That used to make sense when interest rates were relatively high, but today’s interest rates are some of the lowest in years. So improve your home now and enjoy it for years to come with a low-interest home equity line of credit.

When it’s time to buy a new car, spend time researching which loan is best for your needs.  The right loan can help you buy more car than you thought you could afford. For example, if you get a four-year loan, your monthly payment will be much higher than if you get a six year loan.  Get a longer term loan with no prepayment penalty that you can pay off ahead of time if your income goes up.

“Money Matters” tips are brought to you by Star One Credit Union and Mix 106.5. 

Listen at 3:40pm all this week for your tip from Comerica

Simplify Your Life sponsored by Comerica Bank 3:40pm 

If you’ve had to switch jobs recently, you know how stressful it can be. Make sure you take care of your 401(k) from your previous company’s plan. You can leave your funds alone, roll them over to your new company’s plan, or cash out.  New employees at a company should also consider saving through an IRA, which can provide either tax-deferred or tax-free savings until retirement.  There may also be a lapse in health care coverage from one job to the next. Extra savings can help pay for temporary coverage.
None of us like to be surprised by unexpected expenses that strain our financial resources.  A few important steps can help you plan for your financial future.  First, create a budget to help you know where your money is going and where there’s room for savings.  Second, look for opportunities to save: carpooling or taking public transportation, cooking at home more often, or taking your lunch to work.  Third, remember that setting a savings goal of 10 percent of your monthly income is a good target.
Today’s tough economic times create an air of uncertainty about retiring.  Experts estimate you will need 70 to 80 percent of your annual income to retire.  The more you save now, the better off you will be.  Eliminate as much of your debt and unnecessary expenses as possible as you approach retirement years, and make sure your budget addresses your long-term needs.  It’s a good idea to work with a financial adviser who can take a close look at your financial portfolio and help you decide the right savings vehicles.
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