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Student Loan Debt: It Isn't Just for Millennials

It's no secret that today's college graduates face record amounts of debt. Approximately 68% of the graduating class of 2015 had student loan debt, with an average debt of $30,100 per borrower — a 4% increase from 2014 graduates.1

A student loan debt clock at finaid.org estimates current outstanding student loan debt — including both federal and private student loans — at over $1.4 trillion. But it's not just millennials who are racking up this debt. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), although most student loan borrowers are young adults between the ages of 18 and 39, consumers age 60 and older are the fastest-growing segment of the student loan market.2

Rise of student debt among older Americans

BBB’s Secure Your ID Day coming soon; free paper shredding and identity theft prevention advice and

BBB’s Secure Your ID Day coming soon; free paper shredding and identity theft prevention advice and

Identity theft is still a major problem in the United States. Over 15 million U.S. consumers lost $16 billion in 2016, compared with $15.3 billion and 13.1 million victims a year earlier. In the past six years, ID thieves have stolen over $107 billion.

To help combat ID theft and educate the public on best practices to secure personal information, Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York, in partnership with Tops Friendly Markets, Shred-It, AT&T, Greater Baldwinsville Chamber of Commerce, Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce, and West Seneca Chamber of Commerce will host Secure Your ID Day on Saturday, October 7, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. – noon across Upstate New York (Western New York, Rochester, and Central New York). 

The free community shredding events in Western New York will be held at Tops Friendly Markets at 355 Orchard Park Road, West Seneca and 3865 Union Road (corner of George Urban Blvd.), Cheektowaga in the parking lots.

Four Numbers You Need to Know Now

When it comes to your finances, you might easily overlook some of the numbers that really count. Here are four to pay attention to now that might really matter in the future.

1. Retirement plan contribution rate

What percentage of your salary are you contributing to a retirement plan? Making automatic contributions through an employer-sponsored plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b) plan is an easy way to save for retirement, but this out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach may result in a disparity between what you need to save and what you actually are saving for retirement. Checking your contribution rate and increasing it periodically can help you stay on track toward your retirement savings goal. .

What is an ERISA fiduciary?

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was enacted in 1974 to protect employees who participate in retirement plans and certain other employee benefit plans. At the time, there were concerns that pension plan funds were being mismanaged, causing participants to lose benefits they had worked so hard to earn. ERISA protects the interests of plan participants and their beneficiaries by:

·         Requiring the disclosure of financial and other plan information

·         Establishing standards of conduct for plan fiduciaries

·         Providing for appropriate remedies, sanctions, and access to the federal courts

Buffalo Solar Solutions Expands With Opening of Southern Tier Office

Buffalo Solar Solutions Expands With Opening of Southern Tier Office

Buffalo Solar Solutions Inc., the successful solar energy startup that opened in South Buffalo in 2015, is expanding into the Southern Tier with the opening of a second location. The new office will be located at 13 West Main St. in Cuba, N.Y.

“Solar energy just makes good sense down there,” said Tyler Uebelhoer, who owns and operates Buffalo Solar Solutions along with his wife, Alicia. “We chose Cuba because we know we can help a lot of people. If you look at any electric bill from that area, you will notice that residents are being charged almost 30 percent more per kilowatt hour.”

Buffalo Solar Solutions specializes in rooftop and pole-mounted solar systems, and recently introduced solar pergolas to their growing product portfolio.

Daemen Accounting Program Earns International Accreditation

Daemen Accounting Program Earns International Accreditation

Daemen College’s Accounting Program has earned accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), making it one of only five colleges in the country to hold this new specialized accreditation.

The five-year accreditation follows a rigorous self-evaluation that demonstrated Daemen’s accounting program meets the high standards established by the IACBE, an on-site visit that included an independent peer review, and a review by the IACBE Board of Commissioners.

“This prestigious new accreditation is a testament to the excellence of our accounting program at the national and international level,” said Dr. Sharlene Buszka, chairperson of accounting, business administration, and paralegal studies. “As an accredited IACBE institution, it reaffirms the strength and quality of the accounting education our dedicated faculty provide our students.”

Are you ready to retire?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding whether or not you are ready to retire.

Is your nest egg adequate?

It may be obvious, but the earlier you retire, the less time you'll have to save, and the more years you'll be living off your retirement savings. The average American can expect to live past age 78.* With future medical advances likely, it's not unreasonable to assume that life expectancy will continue to increase. Is your nest egg large enough to fund 20 or more years of retirement?

When will you begin receiving Social Security benefits?

You can receive Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, your benefit may be 25% to 30% less than if you waited until full retirement age (66 to 67, depending on the year you were born).

How will retirement affect your IRAs and employer retirement plans?