Stories written by Al Sunshine

Homeowers, beware of Citizens’ new ‘Insurance Depopulation Plan’

If you are one of the thousands of South Florida homeowners insured by the state-run Citizens Insurance program, you may have received a letter from them recently, or from another insurance company that you’ve probably never heard of. It is all part of a recent effort by Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature […]

The sun shines through the clouds: Fourth quarter economic forecast

Fall trees and autumn leaves in September may mark the start of fall, but October marks the start of the economic fourth quarter and the beginning of a rise to the U.S. recovery. While the sun may shine brightly on our dampened economy, there still remains some cloudy days ahead. Matt McGrath, Coral Gables financial […]

Understanding your student loans: The payback system

With increasing expenses going towards attaining a higher education, and a decreasing amount of available resources to fall back on, it’s more important than ever to understand the dynamics of managing student loans before and after graduation. Increased loan debt not only dampens the economy but potential income as well. Here is some helpful information […]

Have a Happy Halloween without scary expenses

The last three months of the year — October, November and December — boast the three most consecutive budget-busting holidays of them all, with All Hallows Eve, commonly known as Halloween, kicking off the list of expensive festivities. According to the National Retail Federation 2011 report, consumers spent about $6.8 billion on Halloween activities with […]

South Florida seafood: Something smells fishy

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If you think you’re a smart shopper who always gets what you pay for, you may be surprised the next time you go shopping for your favorite seafood. The Oceana Foundation, a Marine Conservation group, conducted an investigation into the alleged seafood fraud taking place around South Florida, and found that consumers are not always […]

Know where to look for back-to-school bargains

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Looking for back-to-school bargains around South Florida? So are a lot of other folks. According to a forecast by the Retail Federation of America, consumer spending will be 20 percent better this year than last. Consumers are expected to spend about $83.8 billion for supplies as their children to head back to school. Families throughout […]

Prepaid card fast becoming ideal choice for cons artists

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Green Dot has become the nation’s No. 1 provider of prepaid debit cards, but with their rise in prominence, there’s been an increase in scams that have taken advantage of the services that they offer. There have been 84 complaints since 2011 regarding the Green Dot cards, and according to a spokesperson for the Florida […]

Even in tough economic times it is important to market tourism

Al Sunshine

During tough economic times, it’s only natural that consumers would be wary about spending money on leisure activities, forcing them to take fewer vacations and to look for greater values. While marketing tourism may seem like a non-essential expense in a recession, it is important for leisure travel destinations and suppliers to continue to market […]

Learning to manage your money important in today’s economy

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When students go off to college for the first time, many have no idea how to budget, how to look for sales or how to get the best bargains. These are not uncommon situations, especially when someone doesn’t have a lot of practical experience with handling money. Credit cards get maxed out and student loans […]

There can be no solution unless we fix our preconceptions about our finances

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As Americans, we all long for a solution to our nation’s economic problems. However most of us realize that there can be no solution to our financial troubles unless we fix our preconceptions about our finances in general. I spoke to one local worker who isn’t very optimistic about the economy. In his view, it […]

Insurance fraud causing hikes in automobile coverage costs

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By definition, insurance fraud occurs when companies, agents, adjusters, healthcare providers or consumers intentionally deceive others or misrepresent facts for financial gain. Each year, insurance fraud costs consumers an estimated $150 billion, an average of almost $1,000 per family in additional insurance premiums. Fraud specialists say well-organized criminal rings have set up phony clinics statewide […]

Rising gas prices affect all aspects of our lives

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In today’s economy, rising gasoline prices affect not only what it costs to fuel our cars but every aspect of our lives. For example, the groceries we buy — which arrive in gasoline-powered trucks — go up as well. Although it not only causes consumers to stay home, it causes everyone to have to cut […]

Rising gas prices affect all aspects of our lives

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In today’s economy, rising gasoline prices affect not only what it costs to fuel our cars but every aspect of our lives. For example, the groceries we buy — which arrive in gasoline-powered trucks — go up as well. Although it not only causes consumers to stay home, it causes everyone to have to cut […]

Tax refund fraud schemes plaguing South Floridians

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When you consider the amount of time that we spend at work, all the hours we dedicate to our jobs and the amount of effort we make to earn our paychecks, it should come as no surprise that we are beginning to organize our financial records and preparing to file our taxes in hopes of […]