Free financial service helps Sentinel readers manage their money

Orlando Sentinel readers called into the Ask an Expert hotline last week seeking free advice from certified financial planners about retirement, investing and other money matters.


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The event, held Oct. 4 this year, is sponsored annually by the Financial Planning Association of Central Florida and the Orlando Sentinel. Look for the Ask an Expert feature each Monday on the Sentinel’s Central Florida Business page.

Here is a sampling of questions and answers from the hotline.

Q: When COVID-19 hit, I quit my job working in the schools since I have pre-existing conditions. I only have $16,000 in savings and receive $1,200 a month in Social Security benefits. My expenses are between $3,300-$3,600 a month, including a mortgage payment of about $1,200. I also lease my car at $400 a month. What advice would you give me to help get closer to actually retiring? — N.W., Clermont

A: First,

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Why the US Postal Service is in deep financial trouble

Even by 2020 standards, the United States Postal Service is having a terrible year. With election day less than a month away, concerns are mounting that the USPS lacks the bandwidth to process the likely historic number of mail-in ballots.

a large orange truck parked in a parking lot: Since 2007, the US Postal Service has struggled to make a profit.

© Graphics by John General/Getty Images
Since 2007, the US Postal Service has struggled to make a profit.

But, paradoxically, business for the USPS is booming. The agency netted a positive cash flow of almost $2 billion in the nine months ending June 30. The agency has been cash-flow-positive for the last three years, partly because of increased package deliveries and steady rates of first-class mail delivery,


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How is it, then, that the country’s most popular federal agency is earning millions of dollars, while also facing one of the greatest financial crises in its history? The answer to the USPS financial oddities can be traced back to a

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Abaka launches Chatbot as a Service solution for financial firms

  • baka debuted a conversational chatbot product for financial firms to integrate into their digital channels, complementing its existing AI applications.
  • The move will be especially useful for smaller players’ digital transformations.

The off-the-shelf offering enables financial advisors, wealth managers, retail banks, insurers, and retirement providers to integrate an AI chatbot, Finextra reports. Launched in 2015, Abaka is a technology platform that provides AI solutions to financial firms of all sizes, and it has offices in the UK, France, Singapore, and the US.

Reported benefits of using AI interactions for global banking and insurance customers

Abaka launches Chatbot as a Service solution for financial firms.

Business Insider Intelligence

Abaka’s chatbot promises to boost financial firms’ client engagement and satisfaction, and complements its existing products.

  • Financial firms are keen to use chatbots to improve customer interactions, but they face implementation challenges. Forty-nine percent of global consumers say that AI interactions in insurance and banking provide better security and privacy around personal data than humans
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Johnson Service Group PLC’s (LON:JSG) Stock Has Shown Weakness Lately But Financial Prospects Look Decent: Is The Market Wrong?

It is hard to get excited after looking at Johnson Service Group’s (LON:JSG) recent performance, when its stock has declined 6.1% over the past three months. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Specifically, we decided to study Johnson Service Group’s ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company’s shareholders.

View our latest analysis for Johnson Service Group

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

Return on equity can be calculated by using the formula:

Return on

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Protect the critical roles the Postal Service plays

We are writing as a diverse group of women healthcare leaders who represent medicine, nursing, hospitals, health systems, research, policy and finance. Healthcare is our industry, our professional identity and our life’s work. The health of American families is the cornerstone of our collective mission, vision and values.

We are deeply troubled by the changes already made, as well as postponed but threatened cutbacks at the U.S. Postal Service. We view preserving the Postal Service as vital to the fight against COVID-19 and the support of vulnerable populations like seniors, minorities and disabled people. We also look to the Postal Service to protect Americans’ right to vote, giving them a voice in setting the healthcare agenda.

None of us could function without a high-performing Postal Service. Each piece of the healthcare system—providers, insurers, government and suppliers—relies on consistent, predictable mail delivery.

Cutbacks to mail delivery could short-circuit healthcare’s ability to

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The Money and Pensions Service

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) brings together three respected financial guidance bodies: the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise. MaPS is an arm’s-length body sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, established at the beginning of 2019, and also engages with HM Treasury on policy matters relating to financial capability and debt advice.

Coronavirus We’ve published guidance on how to deal with financial effects that you, your employees and service users may be suffering from.

Looking for money or pensions help?

  • January 2019

    The Single Financial Guidance Body comes together

  • April 2019

    Launch of Money and Pensions Service Brand

  • April to Sept 2019

    Listening phase. Developing a new integrated service

  • Autumn 2019

    UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing finalised

  • Early 2020

    UK Strategy published and delivery plans developed

Our mission is to ensure everyone in the UK can easily access the information they need to

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Taxpayer Identification Numbers (TIN) | Internal Revenue Service


A Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is an identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the administration of tax laws. It is issued either by the Social Security Administration (SSA) or by the IRS. A Social Security number (SSN) is issued by the SSA whereas all other TINs are issued by the IRS.

Taxpayer Identification Numbers

  • Social Security Number “SSN”
  • Employer Identification Number “EIN”
  • Individual Taxpayer Identification Number “ITIN”
  • Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions “ATIN”
  • Preparer Taxpayer Identification Number “PTIN”

Do I Need One?

A TIN must be furnished on returns, statements, and other tax related documents. For example a number must be furnished:

  • When filing your tax returns.
  • When claiming treaty benefits.

A TIN must be on a withholding certificate if the beneficial owner is claiming any of the following:

  • Tax treaty benefits (other than for income from marketable securities)
  • Exemption for effectively connected income
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#1 Medical Alert Service in the U.S

AutoAlert does not detect 100% of falls. If able, users should always push their button when they need help. Button signal range may vary due to differing environmental factors.

2 When reminded by the Philips Medication Dispensing Service, seniors dispense medication on time 98.26% of the time — Journal of Gerontological Nursing, July 2004.

3 With GoSafe, coverage outside the home is provided where AT&T wireless network coverage is available. Recharging of the GoSafe button is done by the user as needed, when connected to the charger.

4 Claim is based on the number of subscribers.

GoSafe 2 coverage inside and outside the home is provided where AT&T wireless network coverage is available. Recharging of the GoSafe 2 button is done by the user as needed, when connected to the charger.

6 up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. Refer to IFU for more details.

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How To Make Your Customer Service More Personal

Delivering personalized customer service makes a huge difference. Here’s how to do it right.

“Personal service” is the “synergy” of the customer support world.

A buzzword used so often – by support agents, customers and marketers alike – that it’s lost meaning for many of us.

Which is a damn shame, because personal service, when done right, is incredibly powerful.

It can be the difference between a customer forgetting about you the minute their transaction is over, and that same person returning to become a loyal customer for life.

But there’s a difference between saying that you deliver personal service (as so many companies do), and actually doing it.

Today, I’m going to share what personal service really is, why it’s so important for your business, and actionable tips you and your team can use to start making your support more personal.

The Value of Personal Service

A few years

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Select your registrations – Business Registration Service

Select registrations

Welcome to the Australian Government Business Registration Service. The service combines a number of key government business and tax registration forms in one place including:

  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Business name
  • Goods and Services Tax (GST)*
  • Australian company
  • Pay as You Go (PAYG) withholding*
  • Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)*
  • Luxury Car Tax (LCT)*
  • Fuel Tax Credits (FTC)*
  • Wine Equalisation Tax (WET)*

*At the moment on the New business section of the Business registration service, you can only apply for the registrations indicated above together with a business or company application.

If you already have an ABN and want to apply for a tax registration, please visit the Apply for tax registrations page.

What does it cost to register?

There is no charge to register for tax registrations, but there is a fee for the following:

  • Business name – For each business name, you can pay $36 for 1 year
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