College Funding Strategy

June 28, 2015

College Funding

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A Victory for Proponents of the Affordable Care Act

June 26, 2015

Just as Obama’s second term is nearing an end, he was able to gain a ruling from the Supreme Court that government health care subsidies for the poor and middle class people were legal. The Obama Administration took steps to receive a ruling from the Supreme Court that these subsidies were legal so that the Affordable Care Act would remain even after his term as president of the United States had ended.

Needless to say, this infuriated the Republicans who took a stand against the Affordable Care Act at its inception. They argue that in the long run, the cost of health care would increase for the poor and middle class people and would render them unable to afford health care. These subsidies would be available for all applicants for health insurance regardless of whether they are purchasing in a state providing a state sponsored insurance marketplace or a state which opted not to form am insurance exchange.

If the Republicans want this decision overruled, it is going to take an amendment to the Constitution. The Republicans were not pleased with the Supreme Court ruling and accused the supreme court judges of “circumventing Congress and rewriting bad laws.” The Republicans have vowed to work on changing this recent ruling during the next election.

This is an important victory for poor and middle class families who do not have health insurance and for those who feared they would lose their health coverage after President Obama left office. An estimated six million people were at risk of losing their health insurance coverage.

Before Obamacare was enacted, fifty-seven percent of private insurance enrollees were uninsured. The states with the highest rates of uninsured enrollees were: Texas, Arizona, Montana, Arkansas, Alaska, Nevada, New Mexico, Nevada, Florida, Louisiana, all with over twenty percent of their enrollees without health insurance. Despite the enactment of Obamacare, several states have not instituted an insurance exchange and have not expanded their Medicaid program. The states in red in the chart below have not expanded their Medicaid program.

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From Wallethub


Saving Money, Making Money, and Protecting Financial Security

June 10, 2015

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Some Rhode Island business owners may wonder why I wrote a second edition of a book on credit card processing, Retailers Guide to Merchant Services when I am trying to make a living selling life insurance. My response is that I look for opportunities to serve my customers and anyone seeking information on increasing their profits and saving money on expenses. When they can save money on expenses, it frees up money that they may need to protect their financial security.

I have noticed there is still some confusion over some of the issues involving credit card processing even after the new legislation which was enacted in 2009. The industry is always changing. At times, the new changes have caused confusion and controversy. However, our society has increased their use of credit cards and there does not seem to be an end in sight.

Over the years, credit cards have been in and out of the news as new thieves stole credit card information from naïve consumers, causing them to lose billions of dollars. Since credit cards have been processed on the Internet, the identities of billions of customers has been uncovered and shared with nefarious thieves whose only desire is to control massive amounts of wealth.

Even though the United States is responsible for only one quarter of the credit card transactions in the world, about one half of credit card fraud occurs in the U.S. Therefore, the banking industry is attempting to alleviate this problem with fraud by attempting to adapt new technology which would make credit card users less vulnerable to fraud. As a result, business owners must comply with the new EMV technology by October 15, 2015. The EMV technology will better protect the consumer and the business from credit card fraud and identity theft.

As of 2012, there were 26.2 billion transactions involving credit cards in the U.S. This resulted in a $2.48 trillion dollars in money spent. In 2003, there were only 19 billion transactions. Two thirds of all business and consumer purchases were made with credit cards in 2012.

As credit card use has increased substantially since 2009, it has resulted in an increase in credit card fraud at many of the major retailers. The EMV technology involves the replacement of many credit cards with the new chip technology which holds all of the data for the owner of the credit card to identify him/her. A chip will be installed onto credit cards and this will involve the use of a new credit card machine which will be able to read the chip on the card.

Many countries such as Europe, Canada, Latin America, and the Asia/Pacific region, are already using the EMV card and have experienced a significant reduction in the amount of credit card fraud. The U.S. is one the last countries to take the plunge. Therefore, we have much to gain in learning all about this new technology.

The substantial increase in credit cards is also an indication that the job market has improved and gasoline prices were lower at the end of 2014. Part of the reason for the increase in credit card use is the increase in on-line shopping which requires a credit card. Tuition costs and loans have also increased over the past year by $5.8 billion.

Insurance Expert Insurance Services


Book Review – Retailers Guide to Merchant Services

June 3, 2015

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Here is an exerpt from a recent review of my book by Roy T. James, Readers Favorite Book Reviews.

    Retailers Guide to Merchant Services.

“The Retailer’s Guide to Merchant Services: From Storefront to Internet by Gail Cavanaugh is a serious dissertation on a state of the art business model for money transactions by the user. From the need for card reading capability to attract clientele to the adoption of social media, nothing is left untouched by the author which can potentially enhance productivity.

The book is available for free on Amazon.  Get your free copy today!


Important Information for Startups and Storefronts.

May 4, 2015

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For anyone who is currently operating a storefront or who is considering starting a business, it is important to understand the ways in which one may collect money for selling products and services, whether on the Internet or at the storefront. Making the right decision will help to increase the business profits.

When developing a business idea, it is important to include plans for managing the collection of the money to ensure that the business is making the maximum amount on the products and services while keeping the costs of doing business as low as possible. Therefore, it is best to research all the options and the costs involved.

In this day of digital products, it is amazing how many business owners still insist on accepting cash only for their businesses. By doing so, they are overlooking the fact that customers like choices and their competitors are constantly seeking ways to have a competitive advantage over other businesses. We cannot afford to overlook the advantages to accepting credit cards at the place of business, especially if we have a quality product or service to offer consumers.

I have recently published a new book for startup businesses about the credit card processing industry with the latest developments on the laws regarding credit card acceptance at storefronts and online. The book, The Retailer’s Guide to Merchant Services, includes information about rates, fees, advantages, and disadvantages of collecting credit cards. Join my mailing list.


Chip Card Technology – Protection against Credit Card Fraud

April 27, 2015

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On October 1, 2015, all retailers who accept credit cards have to install chip card technology on their point of sales systems. This technology will enable the merchant to authenticate transactions on credit cards and thereby help to reduce fraud when acceting credit cards at their place of business.

By installing this technology, the credit card processing machines and point of sales systems will be able to read the embedded computer chip on payment cards which contain important information to verify the customer and his/her transactions. This will help eliminate fraudulent transactions. Any business which does not install the technology could be subject to fraud.

Other countries have already instituted this program and have experienced a drop in consumer fraud involving payment cards such as credit cards. For more information about installing the technology, merchants should contact their credit card processing companies. American Express is offering a $100 refund for ugrading to this technology.

For more information on credit card processing, please request my newly revised book, “RetailersGuide to Mechant Services” on the contact form for this site.


The Right to Reduce Employee Benefits

February 20, 2015

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Employers who are facing poor financial conditions may reduce the benefits which they offer employees, but there are guidelines which they must follow.

Generally, an employer cannot reduce benefits by more than fifteen percent. If the employer reduces the benefits by more than fifteen percent, the employees is entitled to leave the employer and sue for damages. Because reducing the benefits produces hardship for the employee, he/she has a right to ask the employer to reinstate the benefits, or ask for compensation in order to purchase a plan on their own. At times, employees accept a job with benefits as an inducement to take the job. A situation such as this would strengthen the employee’s position.

The Federal government has set down guidelines for reducing employees’ benefits and laying off employees. Additionally, each of the states have their own guidelines and it is important for the employer to investigate the guidelines and ensure they are acting within them. The only exception to this would be that if the employer promised certain benefits for a certain amount of time, the employer would not be able to change them. Therefore, employers should review the laws in their own state as well as the laws of the Federal government relative to reducing employees’ benefits.