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Check back here often to get information on money management topics and other financial tips!

With the looming IRS tax deadline on April 18, it’s not uncommon for Americans to experience financial stress. How people handle that stress can have an impact on overall health, says the Nebraska Psychological Association (NPA). Stress related to tax deadlines and finances in general can increase reliance on the unhealthy behaviors many people already use to cope with everyday stressors. NPA warns that regularly engaging in unhealthy behaviors to manage stress can lead to long-term, serious health problems.

Scared of opening your loan statement because of how much interest has accumulated? Can’t stop wondering what not-so-great reports from Wall Street mean for your 401K? Money problems are stressful, especially when there’s not enough of it — or you fear there won’t be enough of it in the future.

“Go with your gut.” That’s what a wise journalist once told me when I was a young writer at Money magazine having trouble meeting a deadline. Parenting isn’t all that different. A host of issues — navigating the emotional minefield of middle school, limiting screen time for adolescents and grappling with questions about drinking and drugs in the teen years — can come up at a moment’s notice, and then force us to follow our kishkes (Yiddish for “intestines” or “guts”).

Some people go to great lengths to set up their spending, saving and investment goals so they can retire early. For Justin McCurry — who retired at age 33 with $1.3 million so he could spend more time traveling with his wife and three kids — retirement came more than 30 years early. And not by accident. While the main goal is figuring how much you'll need and reaching that magic number, there are other considerations, too.

Tax filing season is of course a busy time of year for accountants. However, it’s also a bust time of year for scammers, as well. According to a recent Federal Trade Commission report, of the $1.48 billion total reported fraud, consumers lost nearly $488 million to imposter scams in 2018. Fraud schemes range from debt collector calls or emails claiming you haven’t paid your taxes, to someone posing as an official from the IRS or local law enforcement agency threatening arrest, suspension of your driver’s license or some other penalty if you don’t immediately wire funds to pay your taxes. The scams have become increasingly sophisticated and hard to detect.

For the first time, imposter scams topped the list of consumer complaints submitted in 2018 to the Federal Trade Commission’s nationwide Consumer Sentinel database, driven in part by a jump in reports about government imposter scams.

Thousands of people have lost millions of dollars and their personal information to tax scams. Scammers use the regular mail, telephone, or email to set up individuals, businesses, payroll and tax professionals. The IRS doesn't initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. Recognize the telltale signs of a scam.

If you often find yourself spending money on products and services you don't really need and making poor financial decisions, now is the time to set realistic goals and take action. Maybe you often make impulse purchases. Perhaps you often spend more than you can afford. Or maybe you lack a well-rounded financial plan that's prevented you from spending, saving or investing strategically.

Health savings accounts (HSAs) are one of the most underrated and underutilized tax saving vehicles available available. While some people may be aware of the typical ways to utilize an HSA, there are some unique financial planning strategies that you may want to consider implementing.

In 2018, the Consumer Sentinel Network has seen a striking increase in the median dollar amount that people 70 and over are saying they lost to fraud. Digging into the data, we found some common stories with an unusual twist: people 70 and older report mailing huge amounts of cash to people who pretended to be their grandchildren.


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