Our network

Business

The 2014 Social Security Trustees Report: What Does the Future Hold?

Every year, the Trustees of the Social Security Trust Funds release a report to Congress on the current financial condition and projected financial outlook of the program. This year's report, released on July 28, contains valuable information about the health of Social Security that may help you understand how your Social Security benefits might be affected.

What are the Social Security Trust Funds?

I'm purchasing a new laptop. Should I also purchase an extended warranty to go along with it?

I'm purchasing a new laptop. Should I also purchase an extended warranty to go along with it?

If you've ever purchased an electronic device or major appliance, chances are you've been asked if you also wanted to purchase an extended warranty or service contract. Extended warranties are offered by retailers for an additional cost to customers and provide repair or product maintenance for a specific period of time.

For many retailers, selling extended warranties makes up a large part of their business. It's an easy way for them to make money because they get to keep a percentage of what they charge for the service contracts.

Before you purchase an extended warranty for your laptop, consider the following questions.

Catholic Charities of Buffalo Appoints Two Directors

Catholic Charities of Buffalo Appoints Two Directors

Catholic Charities of Buffalo has appointed two new members to its leadership team. Meichle Latham has been named Director of School Based Services and Maria Picone has been named Director of the Family and Community Services Department, formerly known as the Metropolitan District Service Department.

Dennis Walczyk, Catholic Charities Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are pleased to promote Maria and Meichle to these leadership positions, and look forward to the expertise, passion, and energy they will bring to their new and increased responsibilities.”

As Director of School Based Services, Latham is responsible for overseeing the organization’s services currently delivered to Catholic, public and charter schools in Erie and Niagara counties. She also will establish and maintain connections with educational partners and work to expand services to schools not being served.

I just learned that my credit- and debit-card information was part of a data breach.

What should I do?

Now, more than ever, consumers are relying on the convenience of credit and debit cards to make everyday purchases, such as gas and groceries, and to make online purchases. With this convenience, however, comes the risk of having your account information compromised by a data breach.

In recent years, data breaches at major retailers have become commonplace across the United States. Currently, most retailers use the magnetic strips on the backs of credit and debit cards to access account information. Unfortunately, the account information that is held on these magnetic strips is also easily accessed by computer hackers.

While many U.S. banks and financial institutions are in the process of replacing the older magnetic strips with more sophisticated and secure embedded microchips, it will take time for both card issuers and retailers to get up to speed on these latest card security measures.

Tomorrow’s Youth Today Receives $610,000 Grant from Buffalo, Erie County Workforce Investment Board

Catholic Charities Education and Workforce Development Department has received a one-year $610,000 grant from the Buffalo and Erie County Workforce Investment Board, Inc. (WIB) to support its Tomorrow’s Youth Today (TYT) Program, which helps Erie County residents obtain their High School Equivalency certificate and gain employment skills free of cost.  

Erie County WIB, which has supported Catholic Charities’ workforce programming since the agency began offering it in 1975, works to bring together representatives from business, labor, community-based organizations, education, human services, economic development and other critical groups to rethink and restructure the way local workforce development services are planned and delivered.

What Is the Federal Reserve and What Does It Do?

If you follow financial news, you've probably heard many references to "the Fed" along the lines of "the Fed did this or that," or "market watchers are wondering what the Fed will do next." So what exactly is the Fed and what does it do, anyway?

What is the Federal Reserve?

The Federal Reserve--or "the Fed" as it's commonly called--is the central bank of the United States. Generally speaking, a central bank is a large, centrally controlled bank that's in charge of a country's interest rates, money supply, and banking system. Most countries have a central bank.

10 Basic Tax To-Dos for the Rest of 2014

Here are 10 things to consider as you weigh potential tax moves between now and the end of the year.

1. Make time to plan

Effective planning requires that you have a good understanding of your current tax situation, as well as a reasonable estimate of how your circumstances might change next year. There's a real opportunity for tax savings when you can assess whether you'll be paying taxes at a lower rate in one year than in the other. So, carve out some time.

2. Defer income

Consider any opportunities you have to defer income to 2015, particularly if you think you may be in a lower tax bracket then. For example, you may be able to defer a year-end bonus or delay the collection of business debts, rents, and payments for services. Doing so may enable you to postpone payment of tax on the income until next year.

3. Accelerate deductions