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In honor of Halloween, millions of people will be handing out candy to masked trick-or-treaters. But far spookier than those little ghosts and goblins on the doorstep are the financial demons that plague many Americans and threaten their bank accounts.

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My client was furious when she learned that she was considered the “Out Spouse.” This is a term used by divorce attorneys to describe spouses that don’t have experience managing their household finances, taxes or legal matters. Surprisingly, in homes where both spouses work, it’s still common for men to control the major finances. So after 30 years of marriage, my soon-to-be divorced client is an “Out Spouse.”

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Univest
Have you ever wondered why so many people have their accounts hacked? It is often because they did not follow best practices for creating a password. In most cases, the passwords used were too short, lacked complexity and were not changed on a regular basis.

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With interest rates at historic lows, income oriented investors who traditionally use investment grade bonds, CD’s or US Government bonds are faced with reduced levels of stable income. And, the rate environment is not changing anytime soon. In fact, the earliest hope of rates rising is the middle part of 2015.

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Last week, 14 Univest representatives participated in the American Bankers Association’s National Get Smart About Credit Day. Visiting seven schools for 32 presentations, our employee volunteers educated more than 1,350 students about managing credit and identity theft.

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Over the last several weeks, the stock market has been experiencing higher levels of volatility and this is naturally rising the fears of many investors who have enjoyed significant gains in the stock market since 2009. Should you be selling stocks? Going to cash? Investing in bonds? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question as it depends on each investor’s goal, level of risk, and current asset allocation.

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Univest
In light of the recent stock market volatility, the following is a brief commentary that we hope will put the current situation into perspective and allay some of your fears. Let me begin by unequivocally stating that this is not 2008 all over again. Our economy is expanding, the banking system is strong and well capitalized, and liquidity is plentiful, with reduced debt burdens by individuals and corporations.

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Do you have $1,000 set aside for emergencies? If you already do, you could probably use another $1,000 in that account. Experts recommend keeping at least three months expenses in a reliable, liquid account – though even an extra $1,000 can be a life-saver. But finding $1,000 to save isn’t always easy. That’s why we’ve put together this 4-step plan on how to save $1,000 in 10 months.

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Buying a home is a long-term investment that will have significant impact on your financial future, it is crucial to have an understanding of the home-buying process. To ensure the home buying process goes smoothly, here are 10 things you should avoid before closing on your home loan.

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We have been told by economists that the recession ended in 2009. Although that may be supported by econometric models, it has not been supported by consumer and business sentiment. Only recently have we begun to hear from businesses that the trends are more consistently positive and many industries are seeing the economy improving. How are you preparing for growth? There are many things you can do to ensure that your business has the capability to grow as the economy grows.

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Univest
Almost everyone insures their car, valuables and home. Who wouldn’t? You have a lot invested in your property – possibly hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars. When you think of all the discipline it took to accumulate your assets, why worry about running out of money when you don’t have to?

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Univest
Recently, a client who is approaching retirement asked me if I knew anything about Medicare. He knew very little about the program and wanted to be sure he didn’t make any mistakes. Since I only knew the basics, I thought it would be a good time to take a closer look at Medicare and the choices retirees will need to make. Although I’ll be the first to admit I am still not an expert, I’ve complied a good deal of basic, important points anyone ready for Medicare should consider.

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