6 Ways of Improving Your Lottery Odds

A retirement or savings plan based on winning the lottery isn’t actually a plan — it’s a wish. There are much smarter things to do with your hard earned cash. We all know this. Yet many of us still buy numbers and scratchers, for the thrill, for the dream. If you just can’t resist, take a moment to slightly improve your odds. Just promise that if you win with any of these lottery hacks, you’ll share your winnings with me. It’s only fair.

1. Pick your own numbers. Richard Lustig, seven-time lottery winner whose total earnings amount to more than $1 million, claims that one foolproof way to increase your chances of cashing in is to pick your own numbers rather than allowing the system do a quick pick for you. In an interview with CBS News a couple years ago, he said, “The lazy way out is to buy quick-picks. The computer picks out the numbers. Don’t play quick-picks. Quick-picks are the worst thing you can do, you are playing with the worst odds.”

Instead, choose your numbers, research them to make sure they’re a good set of numbers, and stick with them. But

How Much Will Your Medicare Part B Premiums Cost in 2016?

Q. How much will I have to pay each month for Medicare Part B in 2016? Will there be a huge jump in premiums, as originally predicted?

A. Medicare beneficiaries who have Part B premiums withheld from their Social Security checks — about 70 percent of beneficiaries — will continue to pay $104.90 a month for Part B. If you aren’t collecting Social Security yet or will enroll in Medicare in 2016, you will have to pay $121.80 a month in 2016. The $121.80 monthly premium also applies to people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid and have their premiums paid for by their state. And if your income exceeds certain limits, you’ll pay more — from $170.50 to $389.80 a month (see the table below).

The premiums aren’t as high as they were expected to be. Because Medicare Part B premiums are designed to cover 25 percent of total Part B costs each year, the monthly premium would have been $120.70 across the board in 2016 if everyone were on the hook for the increase, according to the Medicare trustees’ report. But most Medicare beneficiaries are protected by the “hold-harmless provision,” a

3 Simple, Awesome Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Everyone looks forward to Thanksgiving and all the trimmings. And then, by Saturday, everybody is sick of Thanksgiving and all the trimmings. Gag me with a turkey sandwich, right?

The key to leftovers is making them feel like a different meal with a new texture and flavor profile for each.

Give leftover stuffing a crunchy panko crust — inside these yummy croquettes is a tender piece of turkey! Turn butter into a whole new condiment by adding a few spoonfuls of leftover cranberry sauce. And transform those mashed potatoes into potato pancakes.

Here is everything you need to know. Be sure to refer to the video to watch each one being made. None takes more than a few minutes.

Turkey Croquettes

Ingredients

  • Bite size pieces of turkey
  • Stuffing (If it’s dry, add some melted butter to it.)
  • Canola oil
  • Flour for dredging
  • 3 eggs whisked for egg wash
  • Panko
  • Leftover gravy

Directions

  • Heat canola oil — about 2 inches in depth — in a wide rimmed skillet or Dutch oven using medium-high heat.
  • Roll stuffing into golf-ball sized orbs.
  • Press a bite-sized piece of turkey into the middle of each stuffing ball.
  • Dredge balls in flour, then egg wash, then panko.
  • Put croquettes in the hot oil and brown on all

What sources of information to help the Forex market trader?

You can define some basic information flows, which may use the trader:

  1. The most convenient to handle help getting Forex news feed, which is equipped with all of the major Internet trading platform. As a rule, your broker specialists on this tape spread in real-time mode all the news relevant to the Forex market.
  2. If you want to follow more closely and in detail what is happening in the financial world, we can recommend prompt and thorough news feeds and Russian business world news agencies. For example, Bloomberg (by Bloomberg), Reuters (to Reuters) (in English), and (in Russian), RBC. There are the most important forex trading news.

Bloomberg (Bloomberg) and Reuters (Reuters) are the leading news agencies of the world in the field of economy. Their news about forex trading is the most complete, objective and timely manner. In particular, in the course of trade is useful to have over the open Internet trading platform of the terminal on which you are working, of online-motion graphics currency news agency Bloomberg (Bloomberg). Quotes on these charts ahead of quotations of the majority of Internet trading platforms for a few seconds, allowing you to quickly make a decision and get ready for action on

Why Millennials, Gen-Xers Should Worry About Estate Planning

Failing to plan wisely for your own death or disability can create serious consequences for your loved ones.

If you don’t have a valid will in place, the state will decide how your possessions and assets are distributed. That could tie up your estate in a complicated process that leaves less in the end for your survivors. Or, if you are rendered mentally disabled, who will be responsible for your care? If you go into a coma, who would pay for your medical care? All these decisions will dictated by the court if you don’t plan in advance. By failing to create a will, you are leaving the fate and financial security of your family at the mercy of strangers.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that estate planning is only for the elderly and the rich. Nobody likes to think about the prospect of being old, disabled, incapacitated, or about dying, especially when you’re still young and healthy. But this is actually the right time to pause and think about your finances, your possessions and your family. Regardless of your age or financial status, It is important to have an estate plan if you wish to protect your family against every

Why You Need Financial Cheat Days

When we think of “cheat days,” we tend to think of a sweet treat or indulgent meal that breaks a cycle of strict dieting. A cheat day is meant to satisfy cravings, and it’s a great way to incorporate foods you normally wouldn’t include in your diet without ruining your metabolism. Similarly, a financial cheat day can help you budget better and prevent an overindulgent, perhaps impulsive, shopping spree.

There are plenty of financial resolutions that can help fatten your wallet this year. You can check your credit card history, increase your savings or adjust your lifestyle to live well below your means. The Internet and mobile apps make it easy to monitor spending, and even blogs like this one provide helpful tips on how to maximize your savings. But sticking to a strict money diet can be mentally exhausting, and even the most diligent saver can suffer the occasional slip up here and there.

The discipline and patience needed to stick to your financial resolutions can be taxing, just like how following a strict diet can drive you crazy. Just like a cheat day when you diet, allowing yourself the occasional financial celebration can help you feel indulgent without going overboard.

5 Tips for Better Spending Habits

While 2016 is in full swing, if you haven’t thought about a resolution yet, don’t give up. Maybe it’s time to make one that has the potential to stick. If you’re often wondering how money slips out of your wallet, consider becoming the crash test dummy for better spending habits. Test drive some of these ideas below to develop better ones.

Be your own cheerleader.

Patting yourself on the back after following through on a behavior you want to increase goes a long way to help cement a behavior. Ginger Dean, psychotherapist and website owner of GirlsJustWannaHaveFunds.com explains the power of rewards: “When making smart money choices, celebrate them by rewarding yourself. Yes, make rewarding yourself a habit. For example, when you make it through a pay period and adhere to your spending plan, treat yourself to something nice that doesn’t break the bank.” She points out that this creates what we call positive reinforcement, which helps you connect good decisions with positive rewards.

According to research by Wendy Wood, a social psychologist and provost professor of psychology and business at the University of Southern California, a behavior only has to be rewarded initially to form a habit. So once the habit is

9 Ways Your Phone Can Slash Grocery Costs

Food is among the most expensive costs in the average American family’s budget. And we don’t make it any easier on ourselves by dining out so often in restaurants.

In fact, the average U.S. consumer spends nearly one-third of his or her food dollars in restaurants, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

By cutting back on dining out, and enjoying the occasional home-cooked meal — you remember those, right? — you can save a lot of money.

Following are nine great websites and apps that can help you save at the grocery store, or that suggest ways to stretch your ingredients further.

Cash-back and coupon websites and apps

1. iBotta: This app is a frugal favorite, and it’s no wonder why: The app pays you cash back for groceries you need to purchase anyway.

Here is how it works: First, download the iBotta app. Then, look for deals on popular products. Once you find a deal you like, qualify for the offer by performing a simple activity, such as watching a video or filling out a survey.

Then, go to an eligible store — including Walmart, Target and many major grocery chains and drugstores — and purchase the item. After you have done so, take a

A Guide to Negotiating a Better Interest Rate on Your Credit Cards

When you carry a balance on a typical credit card, the credit card company is simply extracting money from your wallet. If you carry a $2,500 balance for a year on a typical 20 percent APR card, that means you’re giving the credit card company $500 of your hard-earned cash just to keep that $2,500 balance. That’s $500 that just blows away in the wind. The higher the balance, the worse it is – and the higher the APR, the worse it is, too.

One of the best money-saving strategies is to simply reduce that interest rate. If you knock an interest rate down from 20 percent to 10 percent, you save $250 a year in the example above. That’s a lot of money.

The first step is easy: Just call the number on the back of your card. But you might need some help once you’re actually on the phone. Here are some tips for negotiating a better rate on your credit card.

Make sure you have a position to negotiate from. Have you been a customer of this company for years? Do you pay your bills? Do you also maintain a balance on this card? Could you financially survive if this

7 Frugal, Fabulous Alternatives to the Diamond Engagement Ring

Are you engaged? Getting engaged soon? Hoping to get engaged someday? No matter where you are in the process, it’s worth thinking about how you want to make the statement.

Many couples are finding that they don’t want to go the traditional route of offering the bride-to-be a diamond ring. Some choose something else because they want to make a statement, others because they disapprove of the diamond industry — and even others because they simply like another option better.

If you’re considering doing something non-traditional, there are many ways to personalize your engagement and make it stand out from others. Here are some frugal ideas for you. (See also: 7 Smart Ways to Save on a Wedding Dress)

1. Rings

Even if you choose to use a ring to symbolize your engagement, it doesn’t have to be a diamond. These options work if you like the symbolism of the ring but want more flexibility in the material.

  • Wooden Rings
    • There are so many wooden ring options to choose from! Many people like the fact that wood is a natural material and that trees symbolize both growth and rootedness — two ideas that are foundational to a marriage. Wooden rings sound like they might be big

10 Guaranteed Ways to Retire Rich

Retiring comfortably — never mind wealthy — may seem out of reach to many people, given current savings rates. Consider that median savings accumulated by workers ages 51 through 60 years is $49,000, while the number for people ages 30 through 40 is $30,000, according to professional services firm Towers Watson.

Don’t let the statistics scare you. With a little advance planning and self-discipline, you can have a golden nest egg at retirement. Here’s how:

Rule 1: Spend less than you earn

The formula for retiring rich starts with you actually putting money in the bank. Social Security alone isn’t enough to have you living the good life during your golden years.

Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson recommends you spend only 90 percent of the money you make and sock away the remaining 10 percent.

If you have zero savings right now, concentrate on building up an emergency fund in a savings account first. Once your rainy-day fund is full, put that 10 percent you’re not spending into a dedicated retirement fund.

If you’re currently spending more than 90 percent of your income each month, you may want to read about how to save $1,000 by summer.

Rule 2: Start saving early

Thanks to the power of

5 Big Mistakes Millennials Make With Credit Cards

For new cardholders and those just beginning their journeys into the complicated world of credit ratings and credit cards, managing and understanding the many types of credit cards and their terms can become confusing.

While several areas of life allow wiggle room for trial and error, credit scores are less forgiving.
It’s very easy to make a simple mistake that can cost not just a significant drop in your credit score, but also thousands of dollars in the future. That’s why it’s important to beware of these five common mistakes millennials often make with credit cards.

1. Carrying Balances and Paying Just the Minimum

A common belief is that to build a positive credit rating, you have to get a credit card and also carry a balance from month to month. The problem, however, is that credit cards designed for new cardholders generally carry high APRs – as high as 25 percent. If you carry a balance from month to month and only pay your minimum monthly payment due, you are paying considerable cash in interest on purchases, which can potentially create a mountain of debt you can’t pay down. Build your credit rating and save on interest by paying your balance in

10 Guaranteed Ways to Retire Rich

Retiring comfortably — never mind wealthy — may seem out of reach to many people, given current savings rates. Consider that median savings accumulated by workers ages 51 through 60 years is $49,000, while the number for people ages 30 through 40 is $30,000, according to professional services firm Towers Watson.

Don’t let the statistics scare you. With a little advance planning and self-discipline, you can have a golden nest egg at retirement. Here’s how:

Rule 1: Spend less than you earn

The formula for retiring rich starts with you actually putting money in the bank. Social Security alone isn’t enough to have you living the good life during your golden years.

Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson recommends you spend only 90 percent of the money you make and sock away the remaining 10 percent.

If you have zero savings right now, concentrate on building up an emergency fund in a savings account first. Once your rainy-day fund is full, put that 10 percent you’re not spending into a dedicated retirement fund.

If you’re currently spending more than 90 percent of your income each month, you may want to read about how to save $1,000 by summer.

Rule 2: Start saving

4 Common Money Misconceptions About Women

In a decade-long Prudential survey that studied the financial experiences of women, research data showed that since the 2008 financial crisis, women have made significant improvements in their financial behavior. Still, many continue to admit a lack of knowledge and understanding of sophisticated financial products.

That lack of knowledge causes more than 50% of women to rely on someone else to make financial decisions regarding their future. On the other hand, the study dispels several myths about female financial behavior, casting a more positive light on women’s money habits.

Here are four common money misconceptions about women.

1. Women Are Impulse Shoppers

One of the most common misconceptions is that women are impulse shoppers. Data from the survey showed that often, the last-minute purchases referred to as impulse buys are made using funds already set aside within a budget. And the majority of respondents (70%) claimed to spend based on need, not wants.

2. Women Don’t Know How to Manage Money

Most people don’t fully understand money management — but that’s a problem for both sexes, and not unique to women. However, a majority of women distrust the process of turning planning over to a financial professional — six in 10 prefer the help of family

What You Need to Know Before Leasing a Car

Leasing is now more popular than ever. In fact, Millennial car buyers are leasing 46% more over the past five years because they are able to afford their dream car at a much lower cost. If you’ve thought about leasing a vehicle, then we’ve provided what you need to know before visiting the dealer.

Benefits of Leasing

You will pay for the car while you need it, and at the end of your lease, you’ll simply return it.

There are a number of other benefits associated with leasing a vehicle, such as:
Lower repair costs, because the warranty will cover most of them.

  • Lower sales tax, since you’ll only be responsible for paying sales tax on the portion of the car you finance.
  • Lower monthly payments compared to buying.
  • Typically, there is no down payment, or a very low down payment, required.
  • Fewer obligations — at the end of your contract, you simply turn in the keys and walk away.
  • New vehicles every few years. Once your lease term is up, you can choose a new lease and enjoy all the benefits and features of a new car. This also means that you can drive a better car for less money every month.

10 Money Moves to Make After a Promotion

Congratulations on your promotion! You’ve just made another step toward a successful future.

Still, this isn’t the time to become complacent. A promotion comes along with new challenges and tasks. To help you make the very best out of your new job, here are the 10 money moves to make after a promotion.

1. Revisit Your Tax Withholding

Most promotions don’t come with just a title upgrade, they come with a well-deserved raise. If that’s your case, calculate whether or not you need to adjust your W-4 form and submit it to your HR department.

Let’s assume that you file a joint return with your spouse and your combined taxable income was $90,000. Your tax due would be $18,293.75 ($5,156.25 + 25% of the amount over $37,450). After your promotion, your new combined taxable income is now $100,000. Your new tax bill is $21,071.25 ($18,481.25 + 28% of the amount over $90,750). Assuming no offsets to your salary bump and no changes to your W-4, you would be $2,777.50 short of your tax bill! (See also: Top Three Tax Facts to Know for 2016)

Use the IRS Withholding Calculator and determine if you need to update your W-4.

2. Calculate Vesting of Company Shares

Vested company shares

7 Investment Accounts All 30-Somethings Should Have

You’re in your 30s now. If you’re finally looking to get settled in your financial life, you may want to consider ways to build wealth over the long term. But that checking account alone isn’t gonna cut it. It’s time to examine the options out there for someone in their 30s who finally has a little bit of money to invest.

Here are seven essential investment accounts all 30-somethings should have.

1. 401K, If Available to You

If you’re employed full-time, your company may offer a retirement plan that gives you access to a number of mutual funds and other investments, plus the great tax advantages that come with it. Under a 401K, 403B, or similar plan, contributions are deducted from your pre-tax income, and most employers will match a certain percentage of what you put in. Now that fewer employers are offering pensions, the 401K has become the primary vehicle for saving for retirement. Pumping cash into this account while you’re still relatively young gives your investments plenty of time to rise in value and give you a sizable nest egg. Even better, your investment is tax-deferred until you begin making withdrawals.

2. Traditional IRA

You don’t necessarily need a traditional Individual Retirement Account

5 Great Places You Can Retire for Under $1,500 Per Month

The average Social Security check now stands at $1,335. The average couple pulls in a bit over $2,100 per month from Social Security (assuming both earn benefits).

With so many retirees who have no savings – maybe half of us – and no other pensions, the Social Security check may be the check. Sound grim? It may not be. The reality is that there are great places to call home and live on those kinds of deflated numbers.

The one kicker: get your passport ready, because you’re moving out of the country.

Note: some places may be cheap – much of Mongolia for instance, or Sudan – but this list only has places that meet three key criteria: there already is an established expat community, meaning some English is spoken and some services/amenities aimed at expats are available; safety is high; getting back to the U.S. is straightforward, fast, and easy. That last is crucial for retirees, because most will turn to Medicare for big medical issues and, in most cases, Medicare does not work out of the country.

Where to move?

Cuenca, Ecuador

A perennial all-star among affordable retirement locations, Cuenca is a city of 400,000 with a city center designated a UNESCO World Heritage Trust Site.

Best Dividend Stocks to Own for Safe Retirement Income

Hunting for the best dividend stocks for retirement is not easy, you can find 20 of them in this Conservative Retirees dividend portfolio. Record low interest rates, a mature bull market, unprecedented central bank stimulus measures, and a shaky global economy are just some of the factors complicating the search for safe retirement income.

However, the best dividend stocks for high income possess characteristics that insulate them from many of these risks. These high-quality dividend stocks have healthy payout ratios, maintain conservative balance sheets, generate reliable cash flows, sell recession-resistant products, and have track records of consistently rewarding shareholders with dividend increases.

Many of these companies are also members of the Dividend Aristocrats list, which contains stocks in the S&P 500 that have increased their dividends consecutively for at least 25 years. Dividend increases are a sign of financial health and management’s confidence in the underlying business. The list of dividend aristocrats has historically outperformed the S&P 500 Index over time with less volatility as well.

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks with serious upside potential in the next 12-months. Learn more.

Let’s take a look at some of these high-quality dividend stocks for safe retirement income.

Must Read:

Rent Wars: Boomers and Millennials Face Off For Prime Rentals

It may be a first: two very different generations, Millennials and Baby Boomers, now are competing for the very same apartments, at least in some towns.

“Their preferences are starting to cross,” said John Darby, CEO of The Beach Company, a real estate development company headquartered in Charleston, S.C. “What Millennials desire are becoming the same as Boomers.”

Darby added that he has been in the industry 25 years and cannot recall a time when two different generations so often wanted the exact same apartments.

Exactly what do Millennials (born from 1980 to 2000) and Boomers (1946 to 1964) want in common? Darby said they both want “high end amenities, walkable communities, and they like the flexibility of renting,” as opposed to homeownership.

Bryan Fasulo, an executive with apartment developer Pinnacle Living in Phoenix, added that both liked “hotel type services,” and that may mean dog walkers available for hire, dry cleaning delivered to the door, concierges and attractive community spaces.

In both cases, too, the generations are converging on urban neighborhoods – often in city centers – because of the high level of services and amenities that are readily on offer. In Austin, Texas, 30-year-old Jesse Evans is at ground zero of this battle as