It could happen when you make a routine withdrawal from an ATM, respond to an e-mail asking for information about an online account, or leave a new box of checks unattended in your mailbox. Identity theft is one of the easiest crimes to commit in America—and one of the hardest to prosecute. As thieves become increasingly clever, Americans have more reasons than ever to fear this elusive, ubiquitous crime. Now there’s a book to help you beat it. In two easy-to-understand sections, Terri Cullen, The Wall Street Journal’s expert on identity theft, first walks you through the most common types of identity theft and how to arm yourself against them, and then leads victims step-by-step through the process of reclaiming a stolen identity. The average victim loses more than $6,000 and spends approximately 600 hours negotiating the complex bureaucracies and paperwork—this book will help save time and effort by laying out the process. And by following the advice in the first half, you may never need the second! You’ll learn: • how to avoid the most common scams, from “phishing” to “dumpster diving” • why children under eighteen are the fastest-growing target, and how you can protect your family • why your credit report is the single most important document for protecting your identity • how to use the sample letters, forms, and other useful tools inside for recovering from identity theft In today’s marketplace, your two most valuable assets are your credit and your identity. No one should be without this vital guide to protecting them.
The conservative, thoughtful, thrifty investor’s guide to building a real-estate empire. Profitable real-estate investing opportunities exist everywhere as long as you know what to look for and understand how to make prudent deals that transform property into profits. David Crook, of The Wall Street Journal, shows how to make safe and sane investments that ensure a good night’s sleep as your real-estate portfolio grows, your properties appreciate and your income increases. The Wall Street Journal Complete Real-Estate Investing Guidebook offers the most authoritative information on: • Why real-estate investing is a great wealth-building alternative to stocks and bonds and why it’s crucial that you avoid get-rich schemes • How to get the financing and make the contacts to get started • How to start small and local, be hands-on and go step-by-step with a vacation home to rent out, a pure rental property or a small apartment building • How to find and value great properties, do the numbers and ensure you have that beautiful thing called cash flow • How the government blesses real-estate investors with tax breaks and loopholes, and how you can be one of the anointed • How to deal with the nuts-and-bolts of being a landlord and have a strife-free relationship with your tenants
Let’s face it: you can't avoid death or taxes. But you can create an estate plan that will make both a whole lot easier for your loved ones and put you in control of how your assets will get passed to your heirs. Here, Wall Street Journal personal-finance reporter Rachel Emma Silverman walks you step-by-step through the process. Chock-full of clear and solid advice on how to get the most out of the main estate planning tools - including wills, trusts, life insurance, guardianship papers, and powers-of-attorney documents - the Wall Street Journal Complete Estate-Planning Guidebook will help make your estate-planning process as simple, smooth, and unintimidating as possible. This book will help you: · Clarify your estate-planning goals, such as dividing up property for heirs, reducing taxes or leaving money for charity · Understand the key estate-planning documents you’ll need, including wills, beneficiary-designation forms, powers-of-attorney and health-care advance directives · Decode the technical jargon that estate planners often use, so you feel comfortable discussing QTIPs and QPRTs when you sit down with your lawyer. · Reduce possible estate, gift or generation-skipping taxes and legal and probate fees – decreasing what goes to the tax man and increasing what goes to your heirs · Learn strategies to divide money and personal property among your heirs, and reduce the possibility of family fights · Discuss sensitive estate-planning issues with your family · Maintain your estate-plan over time, including how to store and when to update your documents With completely up-to-date information on how to navigate the new 2011 estate tax legislation, and thoughtful advice on how to handle your estate in complicated situations – like if you’re single, in a same-sex relationship, or wish to provide for children with special needs - this is the estae-planning guide for today’s messy and complicated world. One of the biggest estate planning mistakes people make, says Silverman, is waiting too long to start. Which is why the Wall Street Journal Complete Estate-Planning Guidebook isn’t just for those planning for retirement or their golden years. It’s for anyone, of any age, who wants the peace of mind of knowing that your wishes will be respected and your hard-earned money will get passed on as you would like.
Because starting a small business is not only a huge financial risk but also a complete lifestyle change, anyone who wants to be his or her own boss needs to approach entrepreneurship thoughtfully and with careful planning. That’s why there is no better resource than The Wall Street Journal Complete Small Business Guidebook, a practical guide for turning your entrepreneurial dreams into a successful company, from America’s most trusted source of financial advice. It answers would-be business owners’ biggest question—how do I fund my venture?—then explains the mechanics of building, running and growing a profitable business. You’ll learn: • How to write a winning business plan • Secrets to finding extra money during the lean years and beyond • Ways to keep your stress in check while maintaining a work/life balance • How to manage your time, including taking vacations and dealing with sick days • Strategies for keeping your business running smoothly—from investing in technology to hiring the right people • Marketing and management basics • When angel investors or venture capital might be an appropriate way to grow • How to execute your exit strategy Running the show may not always be easy, but the rewards can be tremendous. You may be on the job 24/7, but you have the freedom to call the shots, to hire whomever you want, to work when you want and to take your business as far as you want to go.
As you think about retirement, you’ve got facts to face, planning to do, decisions to make and numbers to crunch. With the experts at The Wall Street Journal to guide you, you’ll learn how to tailor a financial plan for the lifestyle you want. • Answers your biggest question—How big does my nest egg need to be?—by linking it to your particular hopes for how you want to spend your days in retirement • Shows how to translate your dreams and interests into daily activities, whether traveling, opening a business, volunteering or going back to school • Provides a timeline for decisions to make and steps to take ten years, five years and one year before you retire • Offers tips on investing wisely and working with the right financial adviser • Tells you how to maximize your benefits from Social Security and Medicare • Guides you through the intricacies of 401(k)s, IRAs, annuities and other financial tools and resources Today, the average person can expect to spend two decades in retirement—why leave it to chance? For all of its changes and challenges, a well-planned retirement could very well be the best part of your life.
A practical approach to affording your kids from cradle to college. Bringing home your bouncing baby boy or girl should be an exciting time of celebration–not cause for worry about how you’re going to pay for feeding, clothing, and caring for your new bundle of expenses. The average family will spend between $11,000 and $16,000 during a new baby’s first year, and more than $200,000 before a kid’s eighteenth birthday. Unfortunately, a second child only doubles your costs, with little economy of scale for each additional baby. Before you start using these statistics as birth control, take a deep breath and know that you can have a family and make a comfortable future for your children while saving for your own important goals. The Wall Street Journal Financial Guidebook for New Parents shows you the way, with information on how to: • Safeguard your child’s well-being with wills, trusts, and life insurance • Best weigh your child-care options and decide whether to go back to work • Save on taxes with child-friendly tax credits and deductions plus tax-advantaged benefits at work • Manage your family’s health-care costs • Save for long-term costs by setting up a college fund • Spend smart and save money at every stage of your child’s development • Continue to contribute to your own retirement savings From maternity (and paternity) leave to flexible spending accounts to 529 college plans, The Wall Street Journal Financial Guidebook for New Parents provides all the information you need to meet your child’s expenses while also protecting your family’s financial security.
Three years after the economic meltdown began, many of us are still reeling from its devastating effects. Maybe you're among the millions of homeowners who fell behind on their mortgages or you lost your home to foreclosure. Maybe you lost your job and have struggled to find a new one, meanwhile struggling with a drastically reduced income. Or perhaps you're one of the roughly 1.5 million Americans filing each year for bankruptcy. Or maybe you emerged from the meltdown relatively unscathed, but you've been recently divorced or widowed. Now, along with all the other accompanying emotional hardships, you must deal with a household budget that is dramatically changed. Maybe you experienced an unexpected health crisis that drained your savings or retirement account. Or perhaps you've simply grown tired of having so much debt. As tough as these situations are, they aren’t hopeless.. You have options. When the old \ rules for managing your finances no longer apply, you can take control of your situation, wipe the slate clean, and start over. Here, in the accessible, empathetic, and easy-to-understand style the Wall Street Journal Guidebook series is known for, veteran WSJ personal finance reporter Karen Blumenthal walks you through everything you need to know to leave the past behind you and get your financial life back on track. This includes how to: -Build a trusted team of professionals to help you navigate your new financial landscape -Get your credit record - the support beam of your financial scaffolding - back in order -Recalibrate your budget and weigh your big ticket expenses -Determine whether you can afford to stay in your home -Adjust your debts to your new situation -Assess your health coverage and other necessary insurance -Invest for your future retirement and other needs -Craft a sustainable plan for long-term financial health Whether you're recently divorced or widowed, or have declared bankruptcy or lost your home to foreclosure, or simply want to start with a clean slate, you can make a fresh financial start. Covering housing, insurance, health care, investing, debt, taxes, wills, and more, this book shows readers at all life stages and income levels how to adapt and adjust their finances to their new circumstances and get on the path to a better financial life.
Your Road to Lifelong Financial Independence It’s about time you felt empowered to better manage your money because–in tough economic times more than ever–your financial freedom depends on making smart choices. But it’s hard to know where to begin, especially when you’re just starting out. And of course, it only gets more complicated as you go through life: How do you establish good credit? Do you buy or rent? What kinds of health coverage do you really need? How do you actually stay afloat in an uncertain market? The Wall Street Journal Guide to Starting Your Financial Life gets you off on the right financial foot, from tackling everyday choices like cell-phone plans and pet ownership to big decisions such as smart investment strategies and buying a car or a house. You’ll learn: • How to open your first checking and savings accounts, get your first credit card, and establish good credit • The ins and outs of starting a job, including information about taxes, choosing health insurance options, and saving for retirement • How to budget for big purchases and expenses, such as paying off student loans, buying a car, and affording your housing • Strategies for buying the little things you want and need without going broke • The basics of investing, how to manage an inheritance, and the documents you need to protect your assets This valuable resource puts you in the driver’s seat, so you will be in control of your money and on your way to achieving lifelong financial independence across any economic terrain.
From America’s most authoritative source: the quintessential primer on understanding and managing your money Money courses through just about every corner of our lives and has an impact on the way we live today and how we’ll be able to live in the future. Understanding your money, and getting it to work for you, has never been more important than it is today, as more and more of us are called upon to manage every aspect of our financial lives, from managing day-to-day living expenses to planning a college savings fund and, ultimately, retirement. From The Wall Street Journal, the most trusted name in financial and money matters, this indispensable book takes the mystery out of personal finance. Start with the basics, learn how they work, and you’ll become a better steward of your own money, today and in the future. Consider The Wall Street Journal Complete Personal Finance Guidebook your cheat sheet to the finances of your life. This book will help you: • Understand the nuts and bolts of managing your money: banking, investing, borrowing, insurance, credit cards, taxes, and more • Establish realistic budgets and savings plans • Develop an investment strategy that makes sense for you • Make the right financial decisions about real estate • Plan for retirement intelligently Also available—the companion to this guidebook: The Wall Street Journal Personal Finance Workbook, by Jeff D. Opdyke Get your financial life in order with help from The Wall Street Journal. Look for: • The Wall Street Journal Complete Money and Investing Guidebook • The Wall Street Journal Complete Identity Theft Guidebook • The Wall Street Journal Complete Real Estate Investing Guidebook
Drawing on the Personal Journal and Weekend Journal sections of The Wall Street Journal, a comprehensive guide to enhancing the quality of one's life provides information and advice in such fields as fitness, education, personal finance, leisure, travel, the arts, food, and more. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.
Designed to empower readers to advocate for themselves and others, this wide-ranging encyclopedia reveals a surprising range of resources and options that consumers have at their disposal. The only book of its kind, this two-volume, alphabetically arranged reference covers a broad array of topics related to consumer rights, including those of interest to often-overlooked populations such as older adults, veterans, and the homeless. Specific entries address critical areas including food and product safety, housing, health care, the financial industry, the automobile industry, and telecommunications. The encyclopedia reviews the historical development of the consumer movement, examines beliefs and values that drive the movement, and identifies agencies and laws intended to safeguard consumers. Expert contributors discuss key current issues as well as those likely to arise in the future. Vignettes and case studies are used throughout, and various, sometimes contrasting viewpoints are shared to help readers better understand the content. Related topics are easily discovered through a "see also" list, and additional readings are provided at the end of each entry. Traces the background, history, and chronology of the consumer movement Presents A–Z entries on key events and individuals, government agencies, watchdog groups, and products Provides balanced coverage of controversial topics to encourage critical thinking Offers readers immediate opportunities to put concepts into practice and improve their quality of life