Blog Archive


As online shopping increases, how to make sure you’re shopping on a secure website | KOLR

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — People looking online for Black Friday deals should do some simple research beforehand.

As online shopping skyrocketed this year, the Better Business Bureau says so has the number of complaints to BBB about online retailers.

More than 53,000 complaints have been logged so far in 2020.

Regional director of the BBB of Springfield, Stephanie Garland has advice for shoppers.

“If the price seems too good to be true it probably is, it’s an oldie but a goody for a reason,” Garland said. “And so just keep that in mind as you’re going forward and making your purchasing decisions. You can also look in the upper lefthand corner most secure websites are going to have this little lock icon they are also going to have “https” that “s” means secure if on the web browser they don’t have either of those things that should be a red flag

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  • November 24, 2020

How to Pretend You’re in Paris Tonight

While your travel plans may be on hold, you can pretend you’re somewhere new for the night. Around the World at Home invites you to channel the spirit of a new place each week with recommendations on how to explore the culture, all from the comfort of your home.

Paris is a collective fantasy, from the booksellers along the Seine to the gray zinc rooftops of its cream stone buildings. For ages, the city has been the place to turn for lessons in l’art de vivre, the art of living, influencing fashion, philosophy, culture, art and gastronomy around the world. Today, pop-up shops and hipster brunch spots are as much a part of Paris as street lamps and Gothic architecture. But the romance of the city is timeless.

When visiting, I like to be a flâneur, a stroller with no destination, winding through the medieval streets of the

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  • November 17, 2020

We Ranked All of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s Movies. You’re Welcome. – E! Online

25 years later, we still have that can’t-eat, can’t-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over- the-fence, World Series kind of thing for the OTCU: Olsen Twins Cinematic Universe. 

Three years before The Parent Trap remake starring Lindsay Lohan came out, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen had their own story of twins separated at birth randomly meeting and deciding to swap places: It Takes Two.

Released on Nov. 17 1995, the family-friendly comedy was the Full House breakout stars’ first major film to be released by their production company, Dualstar Entertainment. Just nine years old when it came out, Mary-Kate played orphaned tomboy Amanda who is a favorite of caretaker Diane (Kirstie Alley), while Ashley took on the part of Alyssa, a sad little rich girl desperate to stop her father (oh, hi Steve Guttenberg!) from marrying his gold-digger girlfriend. How they got separated at birth is, inexplicably and hilariously, never explained!

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  • November 17, 2020

How Not To Screw Up Your Retirement Once You’re There

Converting to a Roth account is one of the brilliant ways to reduce taxes in retirement.

“At age 70 ½ you are required to start withdrawing Required Minimum Distributions from traditional IRAs and for 401(k)s if you’re no longer employed,” said Luis F. Rosa, CFP, EA, founder at Build a Better Financial Future, LLC.  “These distributions will be considered taxable income, and can trigger tax on your Social Security benefits.”

Currently, if your modified adjusted gross income is between $25,000 and $34,000 as a single individual, you might pay income tax on up to 50% of your Social Security benefits. If it’s more than $34,000, the figure goes up to 85% of your Social Security benefits. For married couples filing jointly, if your modified adjusted gross income is $32,000 to $44,000, up to 50% of the benefits can be taxed, and if income is over $44,000, up to 85% of

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  • November 13, 2020

30 things to do if you’re home alone and bored

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you purchase something through recommended links in this article.

Microsoft may earn an Affiliate Commission if you

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  • November 7, 2020

So fed up with U.S. politics that you’re ‘moving to Canada’? Here are 6 countries where expats feel at home

Belize — seen here in a view from Placencia — sure looks nice right now. (Photo: Getty Images)
Belize — seen here in a view of Placencia — sure looks nice right now. (Photo: Getty Images)

If you’re disheartened enough by the U.S. political and cultural divide to declare, “I’m moving to Canada!” you are far from alone right now. Online search traffic around how to permanently join our neighbors to the north has been consistently rising over the past few months and skyrocketed on Sept. 29, the night of the first presidential debate.

The trend continued on election night, which is when International Living, a 40-year-old expat guide, noticed that traffic to its “move out of the U.S.” pages spiked nearly 300 percent — and that’s on top of the 1,600 percent increase the publication has tracked since the end of May.

“Suffice to say: People are looking for an escape,” International Living executive editor Jennifer Stevens noted Thursday in a press release about Canadian alternatives

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  • November 7, 2020

Travel firms refuse to pay out even if you’re forced to self-isolate and can’t fly

Pretty much all of the people I speak to at the moment are fed up and desperate for a holiday.

The recent announcement that the Canary Islands were off the quarantine list led to an online stampede for a Winter sun holiday, with prices rocketing and websites buckling under the strain.

Many, many more people are waiting to see what happens with popular countries like France, Spain and Italy – particularly those who moved their holidays forward at the start of lockdown.

With ever-changing travel and quarantine advice in the news daily – both at home and abroad – it’s difficult to keep on top of all the developments.

However, in the midst of all this, optimistic holidaymakers may be missing out on important changes with travel insurance.

When did you last get on a plane?

At the start

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  • October 31, 2020

How to start journaling, even if you’re a first-timer [column] | Food + Living

Though most people use the terms interchangeably, there is a slight difference between a diary and a journal: A diary is a written log of events and activities, while a journal is a more flexible record of experiences and personal reflections. A person may journal to track their moods, habits or symptoms. In recent years, bullet journaling has become a popular approach.

In whatever form you choose, journaling is a constructive way to pause and check in with yourself each day. Because writing allows you to process your feelings privately, it can be a great tool for emotional regulation. If you are interested in giving journaling a try, here are some things to consider.

Why reading can be a form of self-care [column]

The right medium

Getting started is simple: All you need is a sheet of paper and a writing implement. If you are so inclined, you can type notes on your phone or computer. There

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  • October 24, 2020

Should you go to Disney World right now? 5 things to know if you’re considering.

a group of people walking in front of a crowd

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When I went to Disney World in July on the day the parks officially reopened after months of closure, I assumed that would be my only trip to the “Most Magical Place on Earth” for the rest of 2020. As my first big pandemic-era trip, walking into the gates of the Magic Kingdom, I was a bit scared, nervous of the unknown at a place that is normally so familiar and later received a heaping pile of online travel shaming for making the trip, which made me wonder if I’d made a mistake.

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But then, several months went by. During those months, as most of

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  • October 22, 2020

You’re Most Likely to Sacrifice This to Pay Off Your Debt, Study Says

The coronavirus pandemic has done more than make people fear for their health—it’s seriously increased many people’s concerns about their financial wellbeing, as well. According to a September survey from the Pew Research Center, 33 percent of Americans used savings or retirement funds to pay bills during the pandemic, leaving countless financial futures in limbo. However, a new survey from reveals that many Americans would be willing to take a drastic step to eliminate certain financial stresses COVID: 72 percent of respondents said they’d give up their home to live in a van in order to pay off debt.

Not everyone was so on board with the idea of a life on the road, though: seven percent of respondents said they wouldn’t consider van life under any circumstances. Paying down debt isn’t the only reason folks were willing to trade in the comforts of home for a van, though.

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  • October 15, 2020