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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

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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.

Daemen Earns National Ranking by Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education

Daemen Earns National Ranking by Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education

AMHERST, N.Y. – For the second consecutive year, Daemen College has been ranked nationally in the prestigious Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings, which focus on student success and learning. The second annual list includes 1,054 institutions from across the U.S.

Rankings are based on four key performance areas, including resources (30 percent), engagement (30 percent), outcomes (40 percent), and environment (10 percent).

Based on these four main pillars, Daemen was strongest in the area of engagement, making it the second time the college has ranked high for effectively engaging with students. Specific measures used to assess this are interaction with teachers and students, students feeling engaged with the college, whether students would recommend the institution to a friend, and the number of accredited programs.

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. .

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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

Local Educator Hopes to Share His Love for the Great Outdoors with a New, Younger Audience

Local Educator Hopes to Share His Love for the Great Outdoors with a New, Younger Audience

Dave Bauer made a career out of teaching environmental science to teenagers, and now that he’s retired, he wants to cut back a little bit. No, not on teaching students about his love for the environment and the great outdoors. That will never change.

What he would like to do is cut back on the age of the students a wee bit, and bring his message to the kindergarten through grade three population … and their parents, teachers, librarians, principals and school administrators.

‘Plant Lady’ Sally Cunningham to Host Native Plant Gardening Talk in Niagara Falls

‘Plant Lady’ Sally Cunningham to Host Native Plant Gardening Talk in Niagara Falls

The Western New York Land Conservancy will host a special talk at the Niagara Falls Public Library with featured speaker Sally Cunningham at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4. Sally is the author of the nationally popular gardening book “Great Garden Companions” and is well known in Western New York from her regular segments on Channel 4 News and articles in The Buffalo News. 

Sally will describe the critical importance of native plants and she will share ways that all Western New Yorkers can use natives in their own yards and gardens, just as the Land Conservancy is doing in the Niagara Gorge.