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Oakland County welcomes 
first cycleboat bar
Spring clean your credit report
(StatePoint) Spring is in the air and it’s time for the annual ritual of deep cleaning, dusting, mopping, organizing -- and checking your credit report.
  Experts recommend checking your credit report at each of the national credit reporting agencies (CRAs) several times annually. Why?
     When you apply for a new credit card or car loan, for example, a lender pulls a credit report from one or all of the CRAs to check your credit history and determine if you’re a good candidate for a loan. Lenders want to extend loans or credit to people with strong credit reports, so it’s important that the information in your report is accurate.
What to Look For
     Besides verifying the accuracy of your personal information, check that the financial accounts listed belong to you. Also, make sure that paid-off debt shows as paid and that closed accounts are not listed as open. Other information to look for and possibly correct includes:
• A bankruptcy older than 10 years.
• A late payment more than seven years old.
• Inquiries from unfamiliar companies that pulled your credit report.
How to Fix It
     If you feel there’s incorrect information in your credit report, you have the right to file a dispute. Accurate credit reports are good for lenders and consumers, because they contribute to informed lending decisions and disputes are part of the CRA’s compliance with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, which promotes the accuracy and privacy of information in credit reports.
     Luckily for consumers, steps are being taken to make this process easier. For example, Experian, one of the national credit reporting agencies, recently enhanced and simplified its online dispute process to reflect consumers’ increasing preference for conducting business online.  
     New features include:
• A mobile-optimized platform, allowing you to submit a dispute from your smartphone.
• The ability to submit supporting documents via a smartphone by taking a photo or selecting the image from the camera roll and uploading it.
• The option of receiving notification alerts that update you on the status of your dispute, including confirmation of the submission and when results are available.
• The ability to dispute directly from membership accounts, when members of Experian’s free and paid products are logged in.
     “We’re very excited to provide a new dispute experience that recognizes the millions of people who manage their daily activities with smart devices,” said Michelle Felice-Steele, senior director of Product Management at Experian. “We also made several enhancements so the process is more user-friendly and keeps consumers informed about the progress of their disputes. We believe everyone deserves access to quality credit and one of the ways to achieve that is to have an accurate credit report.”
     The fastest way to submit a dispute is online through the center, but consumers can also do so with Experian via phone or mail. Experian product members can access the online dispute center from their accounts. For more information on credit reports and filing a dispute, visit experian.com/disputes.
     Thanks to new technologies and consumer services, staying on top of your credit report is easier than ever. This spring cleaning season, don’t neglect to review your credit reports.

     On Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 4:30 PM, The Orion Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of Pedal Boat Pub – the exclusive cycleboat bar to Oakland County.
     Pedal Boat Pub is a 25-foot cycleboat bar with room for up to 16 Passengers. Riders sit around a mahogany bar, as they pedal beautiful Lake Orion while eating and drinking whatever food and beverages they choose to bring. A trough-style cooler, full of ice, runs through the middle of the bar. A captain and first mate are there to keep your voyage safe and fun. There is an electric motor if needed. Ideal for anniversaries, Bachelor/bachelorette parties, birthdays, company events, corporate team building, family reunions, festivals, graduations, and more! 
  Join the celebration of warmer months to come with free pizza, drinks, coupons, and door prizes at Green’s Park, 66 Park Blvd, Lake Orion.
  Cruises will begin May 4th and run daily through the summer and fall seasons – visit pedalboatpub.com to book your reservation now!
  For a chance at winning a free ride for you and 15 of your closest friends, visit the Facebook page, “Like” us and submit a brief entry form. Entries will be accepted April 18 - May 9, and the winner will be announced on May 11, 2018.  

Three tips to meet your retirement goals
(StatePoint) People are living longer, fuller lives than ever before, which means retirement plans need to stand the test of time. With this in mind, it makes sense to review your financial plan and make necessary tweaks to set yourself up for success.
     “Knowing that your retirement plan includes long-term protection from market losses and opportunities for growth can help you feel more confident about facing some of the challenges that may come your way,” says Will Fuller, president of Annuity Solutions and Distribution for Lincoln Financial Group. “What’s more, working with a financial advisor can help you balance your competing financial priorities to help ensure you are on the right track for a successful, comfortable retirement.”
    Fuller and the professionals at Lincoln Financial Group are offering the following tips for creating a successful retirement plan.
• Start saving today. If your employer offers a 401k, enroll if you haven’t already. If you’re currently enrolled, consider boosting your contributions or creating an additional retirement account. Only four in 10 savers are saving as much as they think is necessary, according to the 2017 Lincoln Retirement Power Participant Study. One reason for this is that many savers face competing financial priorities, such as saving for college for their children and paying down mortgage debt. A financial advisor can help you manage such competing priorities.
• Plan for the unexpected. Most people age 65 and older will need some form of long-term care, so plan for this potential expense. One way to help guarantee that you will have the resources to pay for such expenses as they arise, while protecting the savings and income you’ve worked to build, is through a long-term care funding solution.
• Add solutions that offer lifetime income. “Retirement strategies that were once successful may no longer stand up to today’s challenges, including fluctuations in the market, inflation and tax reform,” says Ric Martin MS, CFP, of Bluestone Wealth Partners in Columbus, OH, and a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors, who works with clients on their retirement income plans. “Depending on retirees’ personal situations and if an annuity works for them, savers can help ensure that their income is available and there when needed in retirement. An annuity can provide a stream of guaranteed lifetime income that they won’t be able to outlive.”
  More retirement resources and tips can be found at www.lincolnfinancial.com.
    Savers should look for a retirement savings plan that is well-rounded and well-protected against risk. Consult with a qualified advisor who can help you plan a strategy that will leave you feeling more confident about your future.