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Getting Financially Fit for Retirement at 50

November 20th, 2014 | Comments Off on Getting Financially Fit for Retirement at 50 | Posted in Financial News

Things for trailing-edge boomers & Gen Xers to consider.

shutterstock_173851967When you turn 50, retirement starts to seem less abstract. In terms of retirement planning, a 50th birthday can act as a wake-up call. It may offer a powerful reminder to trailing-edge baby boomers and Gen Xers, many of whom are wrapping up their second act with inadequate retirement savings for their third.

You may find yourself with such a shortfall, and you wouldn’t be exceptional. Your peak earning years may arrive in your forties or fifties, but so do other responsibilities with big price tags (raising a family, caring for aging parents, building a business). Throw in some “wild cards” like divorce, bankruptcy, or health scares, and any fortysomething would be challenged to build significant wealth – and yet it happens.

According to the latest Wells Fargo Middle Class Retirement Study, the median monthly retirement savings contribution by middle-class Americans aged 40-49 is $200. How about middle-class folks in their fifties? It must be more, right? No, the median contribution is even less: $78, working out to $936 per year. (Wells Fargo defined middle-class households as having 2013 income of $50,000-99,999 or investable assets of $25,000-99,999.)1

Just as alarming, 50% of the survey respondents in their fifties said they would ramp up their retirement savings efforts “later” to make up for what they weren’t doing now. When you’re in your fifties, there is no “later” – you have to act now. “Later” equals your sixties and your sixties will likely be when you retire.1

So what can you do here and now? Whether you’ve saved a great deal for retirement or not, what decisions could possibly strengthen your retirement nest egg?

Make those catch-up retirement plan contributions. They may seem inconsequential in the big picture, but when you factor in potential investment returns and the power of compounding, they really aren’t. You can start making catch-up plan contributions in the year in which you turn 50. (You can make your first one while you are 49; it just has to be made within that calendar year.) If you only have a five-figure retirement savings sum at age 50, your retirement savings may double (or more) by age 65 through consistent inflows, compounding and catch-up contributions and decent yields.2,3

For 2015, there is a $1,000 catch-up contribution limit for IRAs and a $6,000 catch-up contribution limit for 401(k)s, 403(b)s, most 457 plans & the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan.4

Explore ways to save even more. Are you self-employed and a sole proprietor? You could create a solo 401(k) or a SEP-IRA. If eligible, you can defer up to $53,000 into those plans for 2015. Also, SIMPLE plans (to which both employers and employees may contribute) have contribution limits of $12,500 next year with a $3,000 catch-up limit.4,5  

Slim down your debt. Retiring debt-free is a remarkable financial gift that you can give to yourself, and you ought to strive for it. You will always have some consumer debt and you may incur medically-related debts, but paying off the house and avoiding large, new, “bad” debts should be high on your financial to-do list. If accelerating or pre-paying your mortgage payments makes sense, see if your monthly budget will let you do so; be sure you won’t face those rare prepayment penalties. Once your residence is paid off, you might consider living in a cheaper, tax-friendly state – another way to retain more money.

Look at LTC & disability insurance. Again, this comes down to “how much can you afford to lose?” While long term care coverage is rapidly growing more expensive, it still may be worth it in the long run as medical and scientific advances make the chances of lingering our way out of life more common. Should something impede your ability to earn between now and retirement, disability insurance could provide relief.

Consider revisiting your portfolio’s allocation. Since 1964, there have been seven bear markets. On average, they lasted slightly more than a year. On average, it took the S&P 500 3.5 years to return to where it was prior to the plunge. If you are 50 or older, think about those last two sentences some more. If your portfolio is allocated more or less the same way it was 30 years ago (some initial portfolio allocations go basically unchanged for decades), revisit those percentages in light of how soon you might retire and how much you can’t afford to lose.6,7

These are just some suggestions. For more, tap the insight of a seasoned financial professional who has known and seen the experience of saving during the “stretch drive” to retirement.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

1 – [10/23/14]
2 – [5/3/14]
3 – [11/21/13]
4 –;-Taxpayers-May-Contribute-up-to-$18,000-to-their-401%28k%29-plans-in-2015 [10/23/14]
5 – [10/23/14]
6 – [4/5/14]
7 – [10/7/14]

Don’t Forget These Year End Retirement Tips

November 20th, 2014 | Comments Off on Don’t Forget These Year End Retirement Tips | Posted in Lifestyle


You only have a few weeks left to make a 401(k) contribution that will get you a tax deduction on your 2014 return. The deadline is also rapidly approaching for retirees to take required minimum distributions from their retirement accounts. Here’s a look at the retirement planning moves you need to make before the end of the year.

Make last-minute 401(k) contributions. Workers age 49 and younger can contribute up to $17,500 to their 401(k) plan in 2014. Income tax won’t be due on the amount deposited in a traditional 401(k) account until the money is withdrawn. An employee in the 25 percent tax bracket who is able to max out his 401(k) would save $4,375 on his federal income tax bill, compared with $1,250 in tax savings for someone who deposits $5,000 in a 401(k). Contributions are typically due by Dec. 31, but it’s a good idea to avoid waiting until the last minute. “You can’t call on Dec. 29 and say you want to put in an extra five grand,” says Joyce Streithorst, a certified financial planner for Frisch Financial Group in Melville, New York. “They need to have a little lead time of at least one paycheck and sometimes two.” In some cases, you can also allocate part or all of a year-end bonus to your 401(k) account and avoid the extra tax bill on it. Workers age 50 and older can contribute an extra $5,500 to a 401(k) account as a catch-up contribution in 2014, or a total of $23,000.

Extra time for IRA contributions. While 401(k) contributions typically need to be made by the end of the calendar year, you have until April 15, 2015, to make IRA contributions that count toward tax year 2014. “For a lot of my clients, we wait until 2015 because we want to see what their tax return looks like,” says Robert Reed, a certified financial planner for Partnership Financial in Columbus, Ohio. “We can see if it will make more sense for us to do a traditional IRA and get the tax break this year or do a Roth IRA and pay the tax this year and then not pay tax again ever.” You can type a hypothetical IRA or Roth IRA contribution into tax preparation software to see how much you could save on your tax bill. However, if you wait until 2015 to contribute to an IRA for tax year 2014, make sure you specify which tax year the contribution should be applied to. Financial institutions may automatically apply contributions to the calendar year when they are received unless you indicate otherwise.

Take your required minimum distributions. Distributions from traditional 401(k)s and IRAs are required after age 70½, and income tax will be due on each withdrawal. The penalty for missing a distribution is a 50 percent tax on the amount that should have been withdrawn. You have until April 1 of the year after you turn 70½ to take your first required minimum distributions, but subsequent distributions are due by Dec. 31 each year. And if you delay your first distribution until April, you will then need to take two distributions in the same year, which could result in an unusually high tax bill. “If you have to take two distributions in that year, you may want to be careful because it could push you up into a higher tax bracket,” Reed says. “You’re just looking at a difference of a few months, so for the vast majority of people, when you get to be 70½, just take it.”

Get the saver’s credit. Workers who earn up to $30,000 for individuals, $45,000 for heads of household or $60,000 for married couples in 2014 and save in a 401(k) or IRA are eligible for an additional tax perk, the saver’s credit. This valuable tax credit available to moderate-income households can be worth as much as $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for couples, with the biggest credits going to people with the lowest incomes who manage to save for retirement.

Reset your contributions for 2015. In tax year 2015, the 401(k) contribution limit will increase by $500 to $18,000, and the catch-up contribution limit will also grow by $500 to $6,000. So if you can, consider setting your 401(k) direct deposits a little higher next year to get the biggest retirement savings tax break you can. “Make sure you take full advantage of your 401(k), especially if there is an employer match,” says Gwen Gepfert, a certified financial planner and principal of Oaktree Financial Planning in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. You can even use part of your 2014 tax refund to get a jump-start on saving for next year.


Here is How Advertising Tracks You across the Web

November 20th, 2014 | Comments Off on Here is How Advertising Tracks You across the Web | Posted in Lifestyle

Explained: Here’s How Advertising Tracks You Across the Web(Thinkstock)

At last week’s Family Online Safety Institute conference, the message was largely optimistic. Parents feel their kids are safer than ever online. Still, three-quarters of parents worry about the information Web marketers collect about their kids, according to a new FOSI survey. Another study released last week by the Pew Research Internet Project found that nine out of 10 adults feel they’ve lost control over how their personal information is being used online.

Parents are more concerned about online ad networks than they are about screen-time addiction or creepy dudes on Twitter hitting on their teenage daughters. On the parental worry radar, online tracking is right up there with pornography and cyberbullying.

Parents should be concerned about the information marketers are gathering, about both their children and themselves. But a lot of the worry is free-floating; most people don’t know what “online tracking” actually is, or they think it’s something it isn’t.

Who can blame them? Just check out the migraine-inducing “LumaScape” chart that illustrates the insanely complicated ecosystem behind online ads.

LumaScape chart

(Luma Partners)

In this column I will explain how Web ads work, what advertisers know about you, and how that might change.

If you are raising children of the Internet, pay attention. What your kids do online could influence the college they get to attend, where they work, whether they qualify for loans or insurance, and a lot more.

Tracking 101
When you visit a website that contains ads, those ads leave behind text files on your computer called “tracking cookies.” (Don’t ask why, just go with it.) These files contain a combination of letters and numbers — kind of like a license plate on steroids — that identify your particular browser on your particular computer.

Tracking cookies do not, by themselves, identify you. They ID a browser on a particular device. (If you open a page in Chrome and then load the same page in Firefox or Safari, or open the same site on a different computer, you will get new cookies with different IDs inside.)

When you visit a new webpage, the machines that deliver ads check your cookies, find your unique ID, and record information about your online behavior. They might also deliver ads based on your apparent interests. For example, if you spend a lot of time at, you’re more likely to see ads for the new Volkswagen Golf no matter where you go on the Web. If you also spend time at Bleacher Report and Robb Report, the networks will assume you’re a high-income male of a certain age and target ads accordingly.

The vast majority of ad networks do not keep a record of every site you’ve visited (Google being a major exception). They simply use the sites you visit to make broad conclusions about products you might be interested in. Then they discard the URLs.

(As my colleague Rob Pegoraro has pointed out, Verizon and AT&T mobile networks identify you in a different way — by putting a unique ID on the webpage request of every page you visit. Unlike cookies, which you can delete and manage, this ID is pretty much impossible to get rid of. Last week AT&T announced it would stop using these IDs. There’s also something called “browser fingerprinting,” which uses your software settings to identify you, but that’s a topic for another day.)

Whether it’s called interest-based, targeted, or online behavioral advertising, it all means the same thing: The ads you see are personalized based on what you do online. Why do Web publishers allow these ads on their sites? In a word: money. Targeted ads are worth roughly twice as much as non-targeted ones. Much of that complicated ad ecosystem is built around matching relevant ads to the right people in real time.

You can use browser plug-ins like AdblockPlus or AdMuncher to nuke ads. But please don’t, because online advertising pays the salaries of almost all the journalists writing the stories you’re reading. Like this one.

You are what you click — or not
Here’s the funny thing. The information these ads use to target you is often wildly inaccurate and downright weird. You may be a NASCAR dad, but the advertising network thinks you’re a soccer mom. You may be renting a trailer from your half-wit cousin, but it thinks you own a home in Westchester County.

There are a handful of ways you can find out exactly what kind of person advertisers think you are and tell them to quit sending targeted ads.

Option One is to click on the teensy-tiny Ad Choices icon that appears on more than 80 percent of all targeted ads, like this one from the home page.

Ad with AdChoices icon


Clicking that link takes you to a page with information about the ad and how to opt out. Choose the “manage” link to select different categories of ads you do or don’t want to see.

Yahoo 'Why This Ad' screen


That in turn shows you the “interest categories” you fall into. From here you can select which types of ads you want to get, or opt out of all interest-based ads with one click. (If you’ve already opted out, you won’t see any interests displayed.) You will still see ads; they just won’t be personalized.

Opt out button


This is not unique to Yahoo. Targeted ads on other advertising networks also let you manage the types of products being pitched or opt out entirely.

Option Two: Go directly to the sites of the biggest data collectors, such as BlueKai, eXelate, or Lotame. These profiles are usually much more detailed, in part because they often combine online activity with real-world demographic data — like your age, income, marital status, and more — collected by companies like Nielsen and Acxiom. Your name and other personal information are stripped out before they deliver ads.

eXelate profile


You can choose to opt out of most targeted ads by using the Digital Advertising Alliance’s consumer choice page, but this doesn’t accomplish much in practical terms, and it’s an enormous hassle. You’ll have to do it on every machine and every browser you use, and even then ad companies will still collect your profile data — they just won’t display ads based on it.

If you don’t want to be tracked, your best and easiest option is to install a browser plug-in like Ghostery or Disconnect, which lets you choose which if any ad networks you want to profile you. Then get ready to see a lot of cheap ads for reducing belly fat or for cut-rate loans, since the high-priced, targeted ads will no longer be able to find you.

Datapocalypse now
So your Web surfing history is gathered anonymously to deliver ads, based on profiles that are often comically inaccurate. What’s to worry about?

Today, not so much. But as online tracking data gets combined with other information and run through inscrutable algorithms, that’s likely to change very soon.

Facebook, which began using Web tracking data to deliver ads earlier this year, is a good example of this. Click on the hidden X in the upper-right corner of a Facebook ad and you’ll see a pop-up menu offering to hide the ad, like it, or find out more about it.

Menu of options in Facebook ad


Click Why am I seeing this? and up pops a new window with more information. Select Manage Your Ad Preferences from that window and you come to a third page listing the different categories of ads Facebook thinks you might be interested in seeing. For me, Facebook lists nearly 600 categories. These are a combination of places I’ve visited outside Facebook and things I’ve liked inside Facebook, but it also includes things Facebook assumes I would like, based on the data it has on me.

About This Ad preference screen


Most of the preferences are spot on; some (like the above) are wildly off base. And, accurate or not, these assumptions could come back to bite you.

If you say you like bikinis and beer, for example, and data shows that people who like bikinis and beer tend to be poor credit risks, then your online application for a loan could be rejected, despite your actual creditworthiness. If your pattern of likes and Web visits correlates well with those of people who smoke, you might receive a higher quote for health insurance, even if your lips have never touched a cigarette.

This is not just theoretical. In 2011, the Digital Advertising Alliance adopted a set of voluntary principles that forbid member companies from using tracking information “when making adverse decisions with respect to employment, credit, healthcare treatment, or insurance eligibility.” In other words, it knew exactly how the data it was collecting could be used.

That the ad industry took this step is awesome, but the key word in that sentence is voluntary. Most major Internet ad companies have agreed to these principles (including Yahoo), but not all. And if an ad company decides to go rogue and sell this information to third parties, it’s not clear what if anything will happen to them.

Does this mean you should toss your laptop and smartphone into a limestone quarry and swear off the Internet? No. Just remember that anything you do online may have consequences offline. As in the real world, your behaviors on the Web affect your future.


How Women Are Planning Their Financial Futures

November 20th, 2014 | Comments Off on How Women Are Planning Their Financial Futures | Posted in Financial News

From assorted survey data, an interesting snapshot emerges.

shutterstock_111349826Women are taking action to approach retirement with greater confidence. Some recent, intriguing survey data indicates that women are planning their financial futures with some degree of pragmatism, but also with considerable motivation.

One of the key motivations, it seems, is receiving financial advice.

Results from a new TIAA-CREF survey (and other studies) bear this out. The retirement services giant polled a random, national sample of 1,000 men and women age 18 and older for its 2014 Advice Matters Survey, and it found that 81% of women who had obtained financial advice were more likely to feel informed about retirement planning and retirement saving than women who hadn’t. Additionally, 63% of women who had received financial advice felt confident that they were saving sufficiently for retirement.1

What kind of difference does financial advice make? A significant difference, it seems. In the big picture, 87% of the women surveyed by TIAA-CREF this summer said they had taken “positive steps” in their financial lives as a consequence. In particular, 64% altered spending habits and 53% took an organized approach to managing debt.1,2

In addition, 51% of the women had created an emergency fund and 57% had increased monthly saving rates since getting advice – and that leads us toward another interesting statistic.2

One study suggests women are more dedicated to retirement saving than men. Looking back at 2013, Vanguard discovered that 79% of women earning between $50,000-75,000 were participating in its employer-sponsored retirement plans; only 60% of men in that income group were.2

Another notable difference appeared, this one across all income levels. Examining data from all of its retirement plans, Vanguard found that women saved for retirement at rates ranging from 6-12% greater than men. The message that women need more money for (a potentially longer) retirement than men is being heard loud and clear, it seems.2

Where are women getting their financial advice from? TIAA-CREF’s survey asked this question, but it only counted online sources. Back in 2012, 20% of women in TIAA-CREF’s 2012 survey said they went to financial websites for advice; this year, that rose to 41%.2

Most telling is that 49% of the women TIAA-CREF polled felt that it would be helpful to turn to a real person online with their basic personal financial questions. In fact, 61% of women respondents in the survey reported relying on financial services providers (and presumably, the financial professionals who work for them) for advice.1

Still, 66% of the women answering TIAA-CREF’s questions indicated that it was hard for them to determine what sources of financial advice to trust. (That was across all women surveyed, including those who had not sought advice.)2

Women may put more importance on long term care planning than men. Or so suggests Genworth’s 2014 Online Consumer Survey. The insurer collected responses from 1,200+ U.S. adults age 18 and older during October, and 64% of women respondents said they were motivated to plan for long term care needs. Only 40% of men responding said they were concerned about that. Even so, Genworth discovered that less than 30% of respondents had talked with their loved ones about planning for eldercare or aging issues.3

Long term care insurance is getting costlier as the baby boom generation matures, and it may get more expensive for women in the near future than for men: as Morningstar columnist Mark Miller recently noted, gender-based pricing is quickly emerging and may become standard practice.4

Single women need to plan & save aggressively for the years ahead. The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies recently surveyed American workers 50 and older and found that the median retirement savings for single women was only $35,000. (For single men, the median was $70,000; for married women, it was $153,000.) Women living alone anticipated a financial struggle: 48% of those surveyed believed they would retire to a lower standard of living, and 52% assumed their main income resource would be Social Security. Perhaps most troubling, 56% of these single women expected to work into their seventies or never retire.4

The takeaways here for a single woman: save early, save consistently, exploit Social Security claiming strategies for any potential advantage, and find a social support network that can help you look after yourself as you age.

Advice promotes action. As you amass financial knowledge, you gain perspective. When you run the numbers and estimate the level of retirement savings and income you will need, you are able to set goals and timelines for your financial future. Planning the financial future starts with a commitment – and following through on that commitment is critical.

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

1 – [10/29/14]
2 – [11/4/14]
3 – [11/13/14]
4 – [10/31/14]

Monthly Economic Update – November, 2014

November 20th, 2014 | Comments Off on Monthly Economic Update – November, 2014 | Posted in Monthly Economic Update

Weekly Economic Update

Flu-Free, Healthy Travel this Winter

November 20th, 2014 | Comments Off on Flu-Free, Healthy Travel this Winter | Posted in Lifestyle

wintertravel_355pxWhether traveling to warmer weather or a snow-filled adventure, make sure the flu is not your travel companion. Get your flu vaccine before you go to reduce your risk of catching and spreading the flu.

Wherever you may be going this winter, protecting yourself and others from the flu is important. Here are some useful tips for staying healthy during the winter months.

Before Your Trip

Get vaccinated.

Vaccines are the most important tool we have for preventing the flu. If you have not gotten your vaccine already, it’s important to get it before you travel. Flu vaccine is available in many places, including doctors’ offices, health departments, and pharmacies. Getting vaccinated now is a great way to protect yourself against the flu.

Prepare a travel health kit.

Remember that prevention can be travel-sized! Include items in your kit that might be helpful if you get sick, such as tissues, pain or fever medicine, soap, and an alcohol-based hand rub to use in case soap and water are not available. For other health items to consider, see Pack Smart.

Travel only when you feel well.

Watch out for symptoms of the flu before your trip (see How do I know if I have the flu?).

If you think you have the flu or otherwise feel ill, delay your travel plans until your fever has been gone for at least 24 hours. Your fever should be gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine. Even if it means missing out on your plans, staying away from others when you’re sick can help protect everyone’s health.

If you have worrisome signs or symptoms, seek medical care.

During Your Trip

Take these steps to protect your health and the health of others:

Here are some simple things you can do to take care of yourself and keep others well:

  • Remember to travel only when you feel well. (See above.)
  • Cover your coughs or sneezes with a tissue. No tissue? Then cough or sneeze into your sleeve, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.

More Information

CDC Features


Thanksgiving Dinner: Save Money With These 12 Tips

November 20th, 2014 | Comments Off on Thanksgiving Dinner: Save Money With These 12 Tips | Posted in Lifestyle

We know Thanksgiving’s a special holiday, and that it (unfortunately) only comes once a year. We, as food editors, thoroughly get its importance.

It’s a holiday worth making a fuss about, which is why many of us happily spend weeks planning the menu and get up before the sun to prepare this one meal. But, it’s also important to remember that it is just one meal; and it’s not worth going broke over.

You can prepare a great budget Thanksgiving — and we’ve got some solid ideas for how you can minimize waste, save money and enjoy the feast.

Our $300 sams club run.

Buy In Bulk

If you’re going to be feeding a large crowd, it’s worth making a trip to a warehouse retailer — at least for the non-perishable items like canned foods and paper products.


Generic Brands

When cooking Thanksgiving, there’s a lot at stake. The last thing you want to do is mess up Thanksgiving dinner. But that’s no reason to opt for expensive brand name ingredients when generic will do just fine. Trust us, the savings will add up.



The turkey is easily the most expensive part of this meal. Even though we do prefer the taste of a fresh bird, if you’re trying to keep things within a budget opting for a frozen bird is a good idea.


Skip Appetizers

Your guests are not going to starve if you skip the appetizers. And Sam Sifton would definitely approve of this decision. The cost of appetizers is just not necessary on this day of excess.


Minimize Side Dishes

While it pains us greatly to say this, skipping one or two of the traditional side dishes will save you some money. Please note: we will not be help accountable for the reaction this decision will elicit from your guests. This is a daring move and you will probably experience some protest.


Make A Turkey Broth

Making a broth with your turkey carcass might not save you money the day of Thanksgiving, but it certainly will feed you for many weeks to come. And that’s an important savings to keep in mind.


Use Natural Decorations

Sure, those pilgrim salt and pepper shakers are cute, but you just don’t need them. And they quickly rack up the already mounting Thanksgiving bill. Use natural decorations like fall leaves or winter squash to decorate your table.


Make It From Scratch

We know that there’s a lot to do on Thanksgiving day and that cutting corners seems appealing, but just remember that you always pay for convenience. Sure you could buy a jar of gravy, but making it at home costs pennies (and tastes way better too).


Keep It Simple

There are so many great Thanksgiving recipes out there to try that showcase great ingredients, but keeping it simple is a great way to save money. So rather than making the truffled mashed potatoes you’ve been dying to try, stick with that plain buttered ones — they’re just as good.


Snag A Free Turkey

Some grocery stores do free turkey promotions (usually based on spending a certain amount at the store during a given time period). Pay attention to see if you’re store is participating, and if you’re eligible. A free bird is a good way to save money!


Avoid Overcooking

We know that the best part about Thanksgiving are all the leftovers, but if you want to pinch pennies you should try to cook only how much you need for the meal. A meal calculator can help you figure the exact proportions based on your number of guests.



Even if not everyone likes to cook, most people like to contribute. Your guests will not fault you for asking them to bring a dish or beverage, especially since you are already doing so much. And when everyone contributes something, that’s a lot less you have to worry about buying.


Should I Stay or Go?

November 20th, 2014 | Comments Off on Should I Stay or Go? | Posted in Videos

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