Marriage or Divorce

Newlyweds and the recently divorced should make sure that names on their tax returns match those registered with the Social Security Administration (SSA). A mismatch between a name on the tax return and a Social Security number (SSN) could unexpectedly increase a tax bill or reduce the size of any refund.

For newlyweds, the tax scenario can begin when the bride says “I do” and takes her husband’s surname, but doesn’t tell the SSA about the name change. If the couple files a joint tax return with her new name, the IRS computers will not be able to match the new name with the SSN. This could result in tax assessments or even an audit since the IRS may be under the impression that you are simply evading taxes.

Similarly, after a divorce, a woman who had taken her husband’s name and had made that change known to the SSA should contact

Work Less, Earn More As An Infoproduct Publisher

There’s no doubt, publishing information products to sell online is a thriving, exciting and very rewarding business.

For many though, the product development and marketing
curve simply seems too steep.

How do you find the time to publish products given the
time crunch in most of our lives?

There Is Another Way

Many of us were brought up to value hard work.

Our parents, grandparents and school system hard coded
our brains to believe that if we just work a little
harder than the next guy – we’ll get ahead.

I’m not about to tell you that hard work doesn’t pay
off, but it certainly won’t pay off on its own.

Another saying – work smarter, not harder is more to the

You have to have a plan that works – I call this mastering
the fundamentals.

Once you mastered the fundamentals, you need to suspend your
disbelief for a period and target your plan ahead of your
competition – ahead of what is already going on in the world
around you.

If you are ready to learn both the fundamentals and master the
steps outlined below turning your dreams of being a home-based
information publishing entrepreneur into reality – then pick up
a copy of:

How does all of this relate to those of us who make our
living publishing and marketing information?

Here’s how.

You need to master 2 very important things to “work smarter”
at information product publishing.

First, you need to be smarter about niche demand – or what
your market really wants (in terms of an end result) and
WHY they want it (the emotional drivers for achieving the
desired end result).

Take golfers – what are some of the really strong desires
golfers have for learning?

- How to cure their hook or slice

- How to add 50-yards to their average driving length

- How to take 10 points off their game

Now – what are the motivations behind these desires?

Could it be:

- To impress and build more friendships

- To increase their financial outlook by impressing clients

- To feel younger (allowing middle age golfers to stay competitive)

Your job as an information publishers and marketer is to uncover
the hidden secrets of your market – what they want and why they want

Second, you package your own system for getting what they want.

For the life of me, I don’t understand why information product
publishers spend months researching their market and then developing
their product – only to deliver some bland, uninteresting,
uncommitted and undifferentiated coverage of the topic.

Your information product is your chance to SHINE!

Deliver a slam dunk by putting together the ULTIMATE system for…

Master these two skills – and you’ll be well on your way to
reaching your online business goals.

You Really Can Become A High Earning, Financially Free
Information Product Publisher And Marketer. Get Full Information
And Roadmap At The Ultimate Resource Site For Information Product

Problem Solving the Problem Solving Meeting

We go to meetings to share information, to report on project status, to make decisions, to get the free lunch, and because we were invited. (Sorry that I digressed). This is only a partial list – there are many other valid reasons for holding meetings.

Perhaps the most common and best reason for a meeting though is to solve a problem. A meeting is a great place to do this – you get a variety of people with a variety of experiences, knowledge and perspectives together to ensure that the best possible solution is identified and that all of the important considerations have been taken into account.

The problem is, that while the venue and the people might be correct, often the process is flawed. It is flawed because one question hasn’t clearly been asked and answered.

The Typical Situation

Have you ever been in a meeting where 20 minutes (or an hour or more) into the discussion of the problem, people start to realize that they aren’t all working on exactly the same problem, or are already assuming certain solutions? Most people I have asked this question of over the years have nodded in the affirmative. It is that this moment that a meeting must stop – and clarification must begin.

It is also in these moments where frustration builds, rework begins, and meetings get a bad reputation.

The solution to this situation is to ask and answer the one question.

The Problem Solving Question

That question is: “What is the problem?”

It seems so simple. I mean, why would anyone ever start problem solving without truly knowing what the problem is? People don’t do it on purpose, of course, they do it because:

- The problem is clear in their mind (or at least they think so).

- They assume everyone knows the problem exists.

- They assume everyone agrees that it is, in fact, a problem.

Unfortunately these reasons prevail too often.

So, what is the problem?

Getting a group agreement and understanding of the problem is one of best things you can do to improve the speed and effectiveness of group problem solving. But how do you do it?

The Problem Statement

You do it with a clear concise, well written problem statement.

A problem statement succinctly defines what the problem is. It is written to produce clarity of thought and to reduce the assumptions people make regarding the problem. At least as important as these reasons, a good problem statement keeps us from assuming a solution, before we even state the problem.

In academic circles, problem statements are often long (one or more pages), detailed (complete with lots of data and statistics) narratives. This is not what we need in a meeting. What we need is a short one or two sentence description of

- what the problem is

- who it affects

- when is it a problem

- where it is a problem

Your problem statement should not answer the “why?” question – as your problem solving process should lead you to a clear understanding of “why?” Remember the goal is to define the problem so that everyone agrees to the problem and its scope.

Some Examples

While the format may vary, here are a couple of example problem statements to help you get started:

- We (our team) don’t have timely data to determine when to make the switch from “X’ to “Y”.

- Our turnaround time at the Madison facility is currently two weeks, which puts us at a competitive disadvantage compared to our competitors.

- Our enrollments for the summer program are 20% behind last year and 30% behind projections.

The final format of this statement matters less than making sure that it answers the questions above. Sometimes people state the new desired result in the problem statement as well (e.g. “currently the process takes four days and the desired time is two days”). This can be a valuable addition if this end goal is already known. Often at this stage we don’t have enough information to know just how much improvement we can achieve.

A problem well stated is a problem half solved. By taking the time needed to gain agreement on a clear definition of your problem before starting the problem solving process, you truly have reduced the total time for your problem solving efforts drastically. This effort and discipline will improve your results noticeably, and immediately.

Kevin Eikenberry is a leadership expert and the Chief Potential Officer of The Kevin Eikenberry Group (, a learning consulting company. To receive a free Special Report on leadership that includes resources, ideas, and advice go to or call us at (317) 387-1424 or 888.LEARNER.

Building A Credit Report Lenders Will Love You For

Will lenders really love you for having a good credit report score? Love is not the right word of course; lenders are after your money, and never forget that. But the lender’s representative will love dealing with your credit application if your credit report is good. If you have a high credit score and spotless credit record, then when you apply for a large loan, you stand a good chance of not only getting the loan approved, but obtaining a competitive interest rate.

How, then, do you go about building up a good credit report score?

The most important thing you can do when beginning to build a good credit report is to always pay your bills on time and to never, ever borrow more than you can afford to pay back. It sounds simple and obvious, but unfortunately, credit can be very tempting, and if you allow yourself to be seduced by the allure of easy credit, you could quickly find yourself in some difficulty. Credit card debt is often the biggest and most impulsive temptation. However, it is essential for your financial well being, and for building a good credit report, that you set and remember your long term goals. You must resist the instant gratification of easy and expensive credit, such as with a credit card.

These days, if you have a good credit record, as reflected in your credit report, it means more than ever. Your chances of getting a car, a house, or being approved for personal loans or credit cards, has for many years been affected by your credit report. Increasingly, though, the report is being accessed for more reasons. Background checks by employers, for example, may include looking at your credit report, and even insurance companies sometimes consider credit reports when deciding whether or not to extend coverage.

To achieve a good credit record, you must have shown that you have borrowed money and then paid it back in accordance with the terms of a loan, with regard to both times and amounts. It also means that you have shown that you do not over extend yourself on credit. One thing to be careful about, though, is not to apply for a lot of loans or credit cards just to increase your chances of being successful in obtaining credit with one. If you do it too many times, you may look like a high risk.

It is a good idea to start building your credit reputation as a young adult. Whether through cell phone ownership or student credit cards, you can start to convince lenders you are a good credit risk, by paying on time every time, and if possible by more than the minimum.

A next step to building a good credit report score is by taking out a car loan. Cars are generally expensive, so a car loan is a real test of your credit score potential. Paying that loan off on time will have a wonderful affect on your credit reputation and report.

Once you have been using credit for a while, you may find it beneficial to monitor your credit and make sure all is well. Request a copy of your credit report once a year, from each credit bureau. It is important to know which of your credit accounts appear in which reports, and to ensure they are all accurate. It is okay to increase both spending and credit, so long as you do not over extend yourself. If you find mistakes on your credit report, make sure you follow the Bureau’s instructions to challenge it, in writing. If you follow these steps, you can get your credit rating up to an AAA status and keep it there.

Roy Thomsitt is the owner and part author of

Cheap Website Promotion in Birmingham

People are always wanting to attract more visitors to their website. We all would like to see more traffic, however what are the best ways to promote a website, which does not cost an arm and a leg?

1. Pay per click advertising.

Pay per click advertising is becoming more and more popular with programs such as Google adwords reporting bigger profits on a regular basis. This is a way of getting your website on the first or second pages by you paying an advertising fee. You set the amount you are happy to pay per click and when somebody clicks on your ad, you have an extra visitor, however at a cost to you. It is important to remember not to spend more on the pay per click advertising than what you are likely to earn etc.

2. Writing articles.

Writing articles such as this one is a good way of promoting your website. Article websites such as and allow you to submit your articles for free. Other webmasters are able to use your articles on their website which gives you an extra backward link as you are able to add you website address at the bottom of the article.
People who are reading the article on the article websites are also potential visitors.

3. Obtaining backward links.

If you are looking to increase your search engine position it is a good idea to try to increase the amount of backward links you have. This is not as easy as it seems as people are not always happy to add a link on their site to your homepage. It is worth making a few phone calls or sending a few e-mails and asking the question, if the person would like to exchange links. It is of more value to have a link from a website in the same type trade of your own.

4. Always include your domain address in advertising.

Wherever you advertise it is important to include your website domain address, and also at the bottom of any e-mails you send.

Stephen Hill has a number of websites including and

Do Your Words Need Protection

Recently, attending a local event, I found myself chatting with a young woman I’ll call Pearl. When she learned I was a writer she asked, “I wrote some poems when I was younger and I would like to copyright them. What should I do?”

“You always own the copyright to your work,” I explained. “Technically, you can sue someone who copies your work, even if you haven’t registered the copyright. The problem is proving it’s your work.

“The real question,” I added, “is whether these poems have market value. Unless you can sell them for money, or you need these poems for a portfolio, you may not have a serious concern.”

Web guru Tom Antion once said the web is a place to share our ideas, not be overly concerned with protecting them. Someone “borrowed” your ebook? Well, if you’ve done it right, each page has links to your site, so they may be doing you a favor.

When I write articles for my ezine and website, I want them circulated widely — with my name, URL and resource box. These articles are written to bring visitors to my websites. However, when I write for a print resource, or when a paying site uses my work, I want to get paid — and I don’t want to be copied.

Bottom Line: When your writing is integrated into your business strategy, you design the level of protection that best fits your long-term goals. Then, and only then, you ask, “How do I get there?”

About The Author

Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D., is an author, speaker and career/business consultant, helping midlife professionals take their First step to a Second Career.

“Ten secrets of mastering a major life change”

Contact: 505-534-4294

How To Pay Credit Card Debt Off

If you are determined to pay credit card debt off you are making the best financial decision of your life. The reason credit card debt is so bad is because it carries such a high interest rate.

The quickest way to take back control of your finances is to pay credit card debt down or get rid of it completely. Here are the best and quickest ways for total credit card debt elimination.

Eliminate Credit Card Spending

You must immediately eliminate credit card spending because you will never pay credit card debt off if you continue to add to the outstanding balance. The interest on that debt added with a climbing balance will make it impossible to ever pay off.

Pay More Than The Minimum Payment

Always pay more than the minimum payment on the credit card you want to eliminate first. Paying the minimum payment makes you keep paying that high credit card interest rate. That’s exactly what the credit card companies want because they are making a fortune off of that interest.

The best way to pay credit card debt off is start paying off the credit card with the highest interest rate first. Pay the minimum monthly payment on the others. Once each card is paid redirect your funds to the next highest interest rate card so you can eventually get rid of credit card debt.

Snowball Debt Payments

Snowballing debt payments means to transfer credit card debt from a high interest rate card to a low interest rate card. By doing this you pay a greater amount of money towards the balance and less interest on debt.

This increase in the amount of money you pay toward your outstanding balance allows you to snowball your efforts and pay credit card debt off quicker. It’s worth looking at each individual card and determine how much interest you are paying with each of them.

Renegotiate With Creditors

Contact your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate. They may want your business enough to lower it. The interest savings to you will multiply your efforts to pay credit card debt off quicker.

One last tip is, if you choose to close your credit card accounts, do not close them until after the final bill has been paid. Some credit card companies will penalize you by raising your interest rate if you close an account that carries an outstanding balance.

If you are ever going to get rid of credit card debt it’s important to set a realistic budget for yourself. Lower your spending in all areas so you can
pool your available cash to pay off your balances quicker. Think of how you will feel when you pay credit card debt off and you are finally free of high credit card interest.

Copyright © 2005 Credit Repair All Rights Reserved.

This article is supplied by where you will find credit information, debt elimination programs and informative articles that give you the knowledge to correct your own credit and credit report. For more credit related articles like these go to:

Before You Say No See 7 Reasons Why You Should ‘Roll Your Own’ Reverse Mortgage

Reverse Mortgages are popular ways for Seniors to continue to Live in their Homes and still take advantage of the Equity Build up in the form of Monthly payments. Using the Simple Steps in this Article you can create your own ‘Reverse Mortgage’ and Save Money while Increasing your Monthly Income.

A Reverse mortgage actually consists of 2 Parts

  • a Mortgage
  • a Guaranty Monthly Payment for life also known as an Annuity

It is very Simple to Build your own ‘Reverse Mortgage.’ Refinance your House and then Purchase an Annuity. Here are 7 reasons why should should Create your own ‘Reverse Mortgage’

1 – You Have Much More Control

By Building your own reverse Mortgage you are in control. You have much more flexibility. You can Customize the Reverse Mortgage to better fit your situation.

2 – Many More Lender Choices

Only a handful of Lenders do Reverse Mortgages. By Building your own Reverse Mortgage you can choose from a much larger selection of lenders. This often allows you to get a Mortgage loan with lower fees and lower monthly payment then in a Traditional Reverse Mortgage.

3 – You Pick the Loan Type

You get to pick a loan that fits your current situation best

  • Do you want a 15 or 30 Year Loan?
  • Do you want a Fixed or Adjustable rate loan?
  • Do you want an Interest only Loan?

You may want to consider one of these 2 Popular Loan Options not normally available in a traditional Reverse Mortgage. They often result in a higher net Monthly payment to you because of a significantly lower monthly Mortgage payment.

  • Low Fixed Monthly Payments for 5 Years, Currently you can Get a Loan based on a 1.95% Payment for 5 Years. Then In 5 Years you can do it again or change to a different mortgage type

  • Interest Only for 15 Years. Sure you can redo this one every 15 years

4 – Things Change
As your house gains Equity you can continue to Refinance and Increase Your Monthly Annuity Payments. If a better mortgage becomes available you can Refinance to take advantage of the Savings. Because you are in control you can evaluate your situation every year or so and change to meet your new needs if necessary.

5 – Many More Annuity Choices

You can Pick one Annuity or Diversify with more then one Annuity the choice is yours. You can take Payments starting now or wait for later.

6 – The Bonus Annuity

With Bonus Equity Indexed Annuities from popular insurance companies You can have it all. A way to earn some huge Gains from the Stock market while being totally insulated from any downside risk and a Bonus of up to 10% of all money added in the first 5 Years.
(This Article explains Equity Indexed Annuities

7 – You Save Money

It is often much cheaper to Build your own Reverse Mortgage by finding the ‘best Mortgage’ and ‘best Annuity’ for you.

You worked hard all of your life to buy and pay off that dream home, why not build your own Reverse Mortgage to improve your quality of life and still maintain control of your Prized asset.

About the Author
Mike Makler is a Financial Consultant in the St Louis Missouri Area Specializing in Real Estate Loans and Annuities. To Learn More Call Mike at 314 398-5547 or Visit Mike’s Web Page:

Get Mike’s Newsletter Here

Copyright © 2005-2006 Mike Makler

Where Did The Word Spam Come From

We’ve all become familiar with the term spam. It’s become so commonplace that even people who never use computers are familiar with the term spam. That single word has become part of our every day vocabulary that we use in personal conversations.

But how does the word spam relate to email? There are two camps of thought on this matter. The classic version of the story stems from the classic Monty Python spam sketch where a couple enter a restaurant and are given a menu that has nothing but the tinned meat spam on it. In that sketch the word spam is repeated almost 200 times. The same word repeated over and over in a sketch led to people referring to hundreds of the same emails about the same topic being referred to as spam.

The second explanation came from a guy called Jim who told me the following story:

“Back in the BBS (Bulletin Board System) days with the NEW high-speed V32 2400-baud modems it would take a very long time to download a program or picture from your BBS. This was much like USENET is today you upload some thing and others can download it.

One such uploader advertised his posts as pictures of nude women. After a half hour download and putting all the pieces together the picture turned out to be a picture of a can of SPAM. Where are my nude ladies and an hour of my time? People replied to the messages and wrote SPAM. This way we knew not to D/L that picture. After USENET got going the term stuck meaning something false – do not download (or believe) this. The jump to UBE (Unsolicited Bulk Email) or UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email) being called SPAM was a natural evolution of the term.”

Decide for yourself which origination theory best suits you. The principle is the same. The word spam is derived from the fact that the same useless information is sent to you over and over again under the pretence of it being useful.

This article was provided courtesy of which reviews and tests spam blockers for the business and end user.

5 Quick Tips to Get Your Ezine Rolling in the Right Direction

Publishing your own ezine is critical to establishing a long term and successful Internet presence for you and your business.

Your own ezine will allow you to build customer loyalty and your public image to your target audience.

Following are five tips to help you publish a successful ezine.

(1) Write the content yourself.

Publishing an article from an outside source every once in a while is fine.

Just keep in mind you want to attract business to you and establish yourself as the source not someone else.

(2) Don’t over advertise to your list

Publishing advertisements about products and services to your list is fine.

In order to keep your subscriber’s you should only do it sparingly.

You can add a little blurb at the top (or bottom) of your ezine about your products/services and that will work wonders for promoting your business and keeping subscribers happy.

You can also add a little blurb just after the article about yourself and a little tag for your product/service.

Placing it right after the article will give reader’s no chance to get distracted and they will see it.

(3) Keep solo mailings down to 1-2 per month

By keeping your solo ads, which is an ad that goes out to your list unscheduled you will keep more subscribers.

1 or 2 per month is what works for me. However I’ve also waited 5 months before I mailed a solo ad to one of my lists.

Keep your newsletter intact and add the solo ad to it. Your mast head and other ezine designs shouldn’t change. This way your reader’s will not think it’s spam.

(4) Offer extreme value or Over Deliver

Each issue should offer value to your readers. The content should give value and not the advertisements.

If reader’s like your content and view it as valuable the odds of them coming to you and buying is increased.

As an ezine owner mixing value driven content with value driven advertising is a tight rope walk.

Careful attention needs to be taken when developing your ads and content to retain as many reader’s as possible.

(5) Understand people will unsubscribe

I have a friend who started an ezine and after his first mailing he lost 5% of his subscribers.

He called me on the phone and complained that his article must have driven off these people. Well truth be told maybe that was the case, but people sometimes subscribe to an ezine, find they don’t like it, unsubscribe and that’s that.

Nothing personal that’s just the way it is. Once you understand that you will lose subscribers with every mailing the stress will be reduced.

Operating an ezine isn’t easy. There will be work involved and careful planning is crucial to long term success.

However if you:

  • Think before you publish
  • Direct each issue towards giving your readers what they want
  • and write value driven content for your ezine

You will find it much easier to create a successful publication.

About the Author
Jason Mann is a profitability consultant who works with small Internet businesses to increase profits using unique and powerful strategies. For more infortmative business articles visit: