Reviews 
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Checks for Vets by Joseph Scott McCarthy

Checks for Vets by Joseph Scott McCarthyChecks for Vets is a guidebook that will help wartime service vets and their surviving spouses receive their VA pensions as a result of their service. If you’ve ever filled out a government form, then you know how complicated and vague that can be. How certain line items, despite “instructions,” can be difficult to understand and that every accidental error or inaccuracy results in a processing delay. Just think about your tax return!

When I was approached by Joe McCarthy’s publicist about the book, I knew I had to get a copy and review it. I’m always grateful for those who serve, have served, or work in support of our armed services. Knowing how complicated government forms can be, I knew a guide to the whole process, written by someone with intimate knowledge of the process, would be invaluable for those seeking to claim their benefits.

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 Personal Finance 
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Seven Wonders of the Personal Finance World

When I was younger, I used to play Sid Meier’s Civilization all the time. One of the best parts of the game was trying to build one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World because it gave your civilization a distinct advantage in the world. My personal favorites were the Lighthouse (it gave your ships a farther range and they wouldn’t get lost) and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (I believe each one of your cities now had a Granary), but fun part was being exposed to these wonder in the first place.

Since then, there have been more “Wonders of the World” like the Natural Wonders of the World, 7 Wonders of the Modern World, so why not create a Seven Wonders of the Personal Finance World? Hokey, I know, but it’s my opinion that, if you can, you should “visit” every single one of these wonders.

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 Retirement 
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Pension Benefits Disappearing

Yesterday, Alcoa Inc., the top aluminium maker in the world, announced that they would eliminate their defined benefit pension plan to their new U.S. salaried employees and instead offer a 401(k) defined contribution plan for new employees, current employees and retirees aren’t affected. Alcoa would make a 3% contribution of the employee’s salary and bonus regardless of their own contribution and it would also match the first 6% of salary that an employee contributes to the 401(k), for a total of a 9% match on a 6% contribution.

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