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web_securityWhile the holiday season is typically regarded as a time to show goodwill towards others, scammers use increased shopping traffic, holiday travel, and consumer generosity to take advantage of well-meaning individuals. As you prepare for the holidays, here is a list of common scams to watch out for to ensure you and your family have a merry, Grinch-free Christmas and a happy New Year.

Too Good to be True Online Discounts

If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Beware new websites offering unrealistic deals on merchandise. You could pay for a product you never receive, or give personal information that can be used by scammers to steal your identity. Also avoid opening unsolicited emails offering deals as they could infect your computer with malicious software designed to steal your information.

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Use these tips to buy great gifts for friends and family without going into debt.christmas_presents

Once again, the holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time to light the Christmas tree, have a peppermint mocha (or two), and begin the search for the perfect gift for the important people in
your life. But how do you cut costs without looking like a Grinch? Read below for our six tips on how to save while shopping this holiday season.

Get gift cards at a discount – Have you ever received a gift card that you couldn’t use? Thanks to sites like, people can sell their unused gift cards at a discount. They get cash for a card they can’t use, and you get instant savings. Get deals like 25% off a $100 gift card that you can either gift, or use to buy presents this season.

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Learn more about factors such as age, employment, taxes, and more that can impact your Social Security in retirement. social_security_retirement

If you work and live to be 62, you will be eligible for Social Security benefits. However, there are many factors and strategies that can produce benefits at higher rates, adding financial security to you and your spouse’s retirement. Here are some of the things you should consider before claiming your benefits so that you get the outcome that best meets your needs.

Eligibility – People obtain eligibility for Social Security through employment. As you earn income and pay Social Security taxes, you are awarded credits. You can earn a maximum of 4 credits per year, and once you have obtained the minimum necessary, you can claim your benefits at age 62 or older. The number of required credits for eligibility varies, and is dependent on your year of birth.

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