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Arno Zwillenberg is well into the golden years of his life.Yet at 91, he’s looking for a job and taking classes to make himself more attractive to a potential employer.His monthly Social Security check of about $1,400 just about pays the bills, including an occasional trip to Wendy’s for his favorite chicken sandwich. But it doesn’t stretch to cover trips to visit family a…

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SAN FRANCISCO – The recent revelation that the National Security Agency was able to eavesdrop on the communications of Google and Yahoo users without breaking into the companies’ data centers sounded like something from a Robert Ludlum spy thriller.How on earth, the companies asked, did the NSA get their data without their knowing about it?The most likely answer is a moder…

It’s a confusing time to be planning for retirement.The Dow Jones industrial average last week closed above 16,000 for the first time. But uncertainty in the economy continues, and low interest rates still make it difficult to find a decent rate of return.In the middle of all that, Tim Steffen, Milwaukee-based wealth management firm Baird’s director of financial planning, …

Some shoppers planning to buy a new home in 2014 will get more scrutiny – and likely less money.Here’s why: A new set of rules for getting a mortgage kicks in. Interest rates are expected to rise. And loan amounts are expected to shrink.The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s rules, which take effect Jan. 10, establish a national standard for issuing mortgages and are m…

Snap, tap and done.That’s the catchy mantra of mobile banking, increasingly touted by financial institutions as a way to oh-so-easily pay bills, check balances and deposit checks from your cellphone. And consumers are heeding the call.Walk-in, online and ATM transactions are leveling off as U.S. consumers’ preferred methods of banking, but on-the-go mobile banking is havin…

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Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the U.S. economy probably will grow more slowly next year than some forecasters predict and indicated that a record U.S. stock market isn’t in a bubble.“This does not have the characteristics, as far as I’m concerned, of a stock market bubble,” Greenspan said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “It could come out tha…

Hires/Promotions/HonorsEdward P. (Ned) Perlman, resident partner at Magavern Magavern Grimm LLP’s Niagara Falls office, addressed the Material Handling Equipment Legal Conference in Las Vegas on Nov. 10. His topic was “Planning for Successful Dispositive Motions.” Perlman is local counsel for Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America, a manufacturer of lift trucks.Company Co…

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Brown is the new black. Brown Thursday – the shopping extravaganza formerly known as Thanksgiving – will kick off the shopping season today, one day before the traditional Black Friday.It’s considered the Super Bowl of shopping, and some Western New Yorkers were hoping to get an edge on the competition this year by shopping today, thinking their fellow shoppers would stay …

As President Obama’s administration delays yet another aspect of the federal health insurance exchange due to computer glitches – this time for small businesses – it’s full speed ahead for individuals and small businesses seeking to sign up for coverage in New York State.The state Health Department confirmed that New York’s online insurance market, known as New York State …

Cox Communications, the third- largest U.S. cable-television provider, is considering a bid for Time Warner Cable, joining a growing field of prospective bidders, a person with knowledge of the deliberations said.Discussions on a deal, which could take the form of a merger or outright acquisition, are in the early stages, said the person, who asked not to be identified bec…

Just days after federal banking regulators lifted a supervisory agreement that had restricted its ability to buy another company, Northwest Bancshares struck a deal to buy a financial advisory firm and a related employee benefits firm in Erie, Pa.The Warren, Pa.-based parent of Northwest Savings Bank, which operates 19 branches in the greater Buffalo and Rochester markets,…

The head of the tourism promotion agency in Loudoun County, Va., will be introduced as the new leader of Visit Buffalo Niagara today, a tourism industry source said.Patrick Kaler, president and chief executive officer of Visit Loudoun, will become the president and CEO of the organization responsible for attracting visitors to Erie County.Visit Buffalo Niagara, formerly th…

Men’s Wearhouse has gone from target to hunter in less than two weeks. Investors like the way it looks.The retailer’s shares jumped Tuesday after it offered to buy smaller rival Jos. A. Bank Clothiers for about $1.54 billion. While investment banks have pitched the idea to Men’s Wearhouse for years, the board was spurred to make the offer after the Houston-based company wa…

Buffalo

Changes in state law have made it easier for distilleries to open in New York, and a local group is giving it a try.Lockhouse Distillery will be the first distillery to operate in the city in 83 years, when the last ones were closed during Prohibition.The craft distiller, which raised more than $14,000 this summer through a crowd-funding initiative, is set to open Saturday…

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The Buffalo Niagara region’s unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent in October – its lowest level in nearly five years – as local companies continued to hire at a modest pace, the state Labor Department reported Tuesday.The October jobless rate was the lowest for that month since 2008, just as the recession was taking hold, and the lowest for any month since December 2008.…