Brandon Ballenger

I'm a freelance journalist living in South Florida. If I'm not writing, I'm playing video games or at the beach. My favorite spice is oregano, and I thought you should know. I got my bachelor's degree in English and public communication from Florida Atlantic University in 2008.

Girl eating cereal
6 Breakfast Cereals With More Sugar Than a Doughnut

on March 23, 2023

Many popular cereals don’t advertise their added sugar content nearly as much as they do vitamins and fiber.

Stressed or bored woman working on laptop and avoiding taxes or work
10 Cities With the Worst Tax Procrastinators

on March 23, 2023

A new study finds people here are the most likely to be frantically web-searching “penalty for late taxes,” “file tax extension” and similar phrases.

Retired senior in Iceland
14 Countries With the Best Pensions in the World

on March 21, 2023

A new report examines the commonalities among the most generous and reliable retirement plans.

Excited man on phone looking at laptop in surprise
11 Services You Didn’t Know Social Security Offers

on March 20, 2023

There’s more to the Social Security Administration than just dishing out retirement benefits.

Happy senior going fishing with a fishing rod in retirement
The 10 Most Affordable States for Retirees in 2023

on March 18, 2023

If living expenses are the most important factor for retirement, a new study says these are the best places to live.

Angry man in the office throwing his phone
These Apps Stop You From Throwing Away Money

on March 16, 2023

Do you shop or invest on your phone more than you think you should? There’s help.

sad senior man outdoors
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2023

on March 15, 2023

Based on such categories as affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

Worried and stressed senior couple paying bills and working on budget
The 15 Most Expensive States for Retirees in 2023

on March 14, 2023

While these places all have good things going for them, being affordable is not one of them.

UAW workers and students on strike
The 9 Biggest Union Strikes of 2022

on March 11, 2023

There were more strikes than normal last year, and these were the biggest.

Gambling table with a dealer shuffling cards and poker chips
4 of the Worst Things to Do With Your Tax Refund

on March 9, 2023

For some reason, a big pile of money can make people reckless.

Middle-aged woman with a planner for retirement planning
11 Retirement Milestones Everyone Should Know

on March 9, 2023

How many of these retirement-related ages and deadlines have you prepared for?

Smiling businessman is happy with a handful of money to invest
7 Ways to Use Your Tax Refund to Become Richer

on March 9, 2023

They say it takes money to make money. Here’s how to leverage a tax refund into more cash.

Remote worker with benefits
A 5-Minute Fix for People Who Sit All Day

on March 6, 2023

This prescription isn’t too hard to swallow.

Woman watching streaming movie on iPad
Try This to Replace Cable for $25 Per Month

on March 6, 2023

The world of a la carte streaming can be overwhelming and expensive. This makes it simple and affordable.

Senior couple doing taxes
6 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

on March 4, 2023

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

Happy woman shopping online through her phone while sitting on the couch at home
Google Wants to Be Your Personal Shopping Assistant

on March 3, 2023

New and improved tools help you find what you want to buy online — down to the size, color and shipping cost.

Happy couple on couch
12 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

on March 3, 2023

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

Happy couple walking through new home under construction
10 States Where Building a Home Beats Buying One

on March 3, 2023

Right now, in more than a third of the country, you can save money by building instead of buying.

Cozy happy woman reading an ereader or Kindle with a blanket and cocoa or coffee
7 Small Splurges That Can Make a Big Difference in Your Life

on March 1, 2023

Some purchases are hard to justify — but others make so much sense you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.

Senior at Crater Lake in Oregon
7 Great Places to Retire in the Pacific Northwest

on February 23, 2023

This region has a few urban centers with a lot of breathtaking beaches, mountains and forests in between.

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