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During a recent workshop with seniors at my church, a debate broke out about Medicare Part D.That’s the program that helps pay for prescription drugs. Medicare offers the coverage to all enrollees, and if you elect to get the coverage, you pay a monthly premium.If you do not sign up for Part D when you’re first eligible for Medicare Part A or Part B, and you didn’t have pr…

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The signs of tech stress are everywhere: The iPhone junkie freaking out over his contacts being swallowed alive by the new iOS 7 software. The office manager furiously swimming upstream against a never-ending flood of emails. The angry home-office worker hyperventilating over a computer virus and taking it out on a guy like Mike Kushner.“We see people crying, we see people…

MINNEAPOLIS – On the Internet, snark reigns supreme – or so it seems.On social media, everyone wants to be the most clever. Twitter, in particular, with its 140-character limit, is tailor-made for the quick quip. Then there’s the app called Hater, which encourages users to publicly point out the things they most despise.Yet there’s growing evidence that being kind and chee…

It’s OK, we’ve all done it.You’re out shopping for Christmas presents, you see something you like and you scoop it up for yourself. It’s better to give than receive, but sometimes it’s nice to give and receive. Fortunately, there’s a way to continue the self-gifting tradition without feeling a lick of guilt.Several companies, including one based right here in Buffalo, oper…

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If you had to handle nearly 15 billion items between now and New Year’s Eve, you would say the same thing: “Mail early.”“The sooner, the better,” said Ray V. Daiutolo Sr., regional spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service. “People like to wait to mail their presents. We certainly appreciate the business, but earlier is better, especially when mailing overseas.”The Postal Serv…

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Once a year, the team at ShopSmart, the shopping magazine from the publisher of Consumer Reports, sweeps the Web for a special roundup of the latest and greatest shopping sites and apps. Each site meets ShopSmart’s requirements for privacy, contact-info disclosure and service. Check out these money savers: • Bing.com/explore/rewards: Best for automatic rewards for shopping…

Someone you work with is doing something unethical. What do you do about it?If you’re like most workers, you’ll ignore it about half the time. That’s what Joseph Grenny, co-author of “Crucial Accountability,” found when he surveyed workers for his research.It’s possible there’s a general decline in ethics or such antipathy toward employers that employees don’t care. But Gr…

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With the stock market up 25 percent this year and some mutual funds up 30 percent or more, some investors are getting itchy to sell winners and make sure they pocket the full benefit before a possible downturn.Whittling away some overexposure to any asset can make sense. But be intentional. Selling stocks, bonds, mutual funds or other assets can carry tax consequences. Thi…

Fewer Americans are blowing their 401(k) savings on cars, clothes and other frivolities when they change jobs.Only 7.5 percent of U.S. workers last year cashed out their retirement money to spend on purchases when they left a job, according to data released Wednesday by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.That’s half the 15.1 percent level from a decade ago, and one-th…

• Avoid leaving your smartphone next to your bed at night, as studies suggest beeps and even a gadget’s light may disrupt sleep. • Be aware of your tech-tool usage, keeping a diary for a week of what devices you use, for what reason, and for how long. • Set up boundaries for yourself, such as refusing to check emails before 10 a.m. or after 10 p.m. • Call someo…

Candice Kilpatrick couldn’t help but laugh when she came across a novelty item on Amazon.com: a latex horse’s head with a bushy mane.Knowing her friends would get a kick out of the mask too, she shared the link on Facebook.Soon her friends began seeing an update from Kilpatrick on their Facebook pages that appeared as if Kilpatrick was encouraging them to buy the mask: “Go…

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In today’s retail world, every day is Cyber Monday.Just ask any bricks-and-mortar retailer who laments their loss of market share to a website like Amazon.com, or takes steps to fight showrooming – the phenomenon where consumers inspect products in stores, then order them online at better prices.But with stores opening on Thanksgiving and Black Friday becoming more of a ha…

Business

A frenetic scene from the future of shopping is playing out at 85 Innsbruck Drive in Cheektowaga.More than 10,000 orders a day are shipped from warehouses the size of two Walmart Supercenters. From 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, workers haul carts through endless aisles, grabbing items from towering shelves that reach the 30-foot ceiling.Huge spools of bubble tape dangle above th…

The secret is starting to get out: It’s possible to make a vault-full of money by starting a business in the Buffalo Niagara region.And not just a little vault, either.Liazon’s deal a little more than a week ago to be acquired by a global consulting firm for $215 million is the latest in a series of recent deals that is helping to debunk the perception that the Buffalo Nia…

AKRON• 12 Sylvan Parkway, Anne M. Lotz; Todd J. Lotz to Matthew B. Takach; Jennifer L. Takach, $126,000.ALDEN• 11035 Jane Drive, Lisa A. Skelly; Lisa A. Hummer to Mary Lou Altieri; Frank H. Altieri, $134,000.• Vacant Land/Townline Road, Jeffrey T. Drilling; Holly J. Drilling to Robert Rogers; Lynn M. Rogers, $90,000.AMHERST Highest price: $530,000 Average price: $175,102 M…