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It is important that you use your thought process and mental abilities to always be aware of—and cautious when anything is offered to you for free.

Even information on this site—you must use your mind and mental thought process to determine if the information that your mind receives comes to you at a cost—whether now—or later on down the road.

Don’t be fooled by catchy, emotionally charged ads and promotions that appear to be for your best interest on the surface.

You must always look deeper—and use your wisdom and mental abilities at your highest level.

You must always know that there are many schemes and scams that are designed to get your hard earned cash—however, they may appear legitimate on the surface.

If you are elderly or have retirement accountsyou want to be especially alert when dealing with financial and other professionals. 

Financial fraud targeting the elderly and the financially uninformed are steadily on the rise at this time! Even if you feel you are financially sophisticated and wise in money matters—you could be a victim.

Be particularly alert for false credentials of financial and other professionals as the credentials could be worthless, meaningless, misleading or just plain false!

Be alert for ads targeting seniors that utilize retirement or seniors in their marketing. You can go to to check credentials and see what is required to obtain them.

You can also do a broker check by logging on to—if you want to check background information on registered brokers—including customer disputes and disciplinary actions over the past two years—if you want to go back further you can utilize your state securities regulator by searching online at

If you are concerned about the actions of your real estate agent or real estate broker—or you want to verify that they are licensed and have no disciplinary actions against them you can go to your states Secretary of State Website to check on that.

Always have your guard up if you are offered free tickets to attend a seminar of any kind.

Be particularly wary of lunch or dinner seminars by those in the financial or investment industry. Although not all are out to scam you—they normally are in it to make some type of income from you—or others in attendance.

In many cases it may be wise to avoid them at all costs—however—you are in control of your own mind—so it is you who must decide if attending is appropriate for you and/or your family.

In many cases it may be wise to pay for “financial advice”—however you must be able to properly choose and advisor or planner.

You can choose a fee-only financial planner by going to or get a referral from someone you trust—however be sure to verify their credentials—and be sure to ask the right questions to determine that they offer the services that you desire.

Be alert for advisors whether on the job, at community centers, hotels, churches and the like.

Some common scams of those in the financial industry include getting you to retire early so that they can manage your funds—and improve their bottom line—and not necessarily yours, offer you equity-indexed annuities that have high fees—and again will likely increase their bottom line more than yours.

You can go to to learn more about equity-indexed annuities. Other scams include offering you ways to purchase property with no credit and/or no money down
—or many other variations of purchasing or selling real estate.

Keep in mind that there are countless other schemes and scams that are used to benefit others—at your expense.

Always have your senses up—for the potential to be scammed—and be sure to have “working knowledge” of how to manage and improve your credit and finances.

You can avoid the pitfalls and mistakes of consumers if you have the determination and focus—along with the right knowledge and a system of application that can give you the results that you desire.

The question in many cases—is not how much money you make—but do you know what to do with the money that you make. Do you have the proper knowledge and do you know your responsibilities as it relates to improving your credit and finances?

By being aware of your credit and finances

—and the pitfalls to avoid—you put yourself and your family in better position to attain the future success that you desire.

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About This Article:


The above article was written by Thomas (TJ) UnderwoodThomas (TJ) Underwood is a former fee-only financial planner, a former top producing loan processor and is currently a licensed real estate broker in the state of Georgia. 

He is the writer behind The Real Estate & Finance 360 Degrees Series of Books that include The Wealth Increaser, Home Buyer 411 The Smart Guide to Buying Your Home, Home Seller 411 The Smart Guide to Selling Your Home, and  Managing & Improving Your Credit & Finances for this MILLENNIUM.

In addition he is also the writer who created The 3 Step Structured Approach to Managing Your Finances, and CREDIT & FINANCE IMPROVEMENT MADE EASY—NEW GUIDE that you can download right now "(at MIMIMAL cost $3.95)" to learn more about his writing style and how you can achieve "more" success in the current economy.

He is the creator of where he regularly blogs about helping consumers improve their credit, finance and real estate pursuits in an intelligent, consistent and proactive manner. 

He’s always looking for ways to make intelligent finance improvement happen for those who “sincerely desire” success in their future. He was the first financial planner to coin the phrase "financially alert mind"  and he consistently writes in a style that is designed to provide consumers the ability to take control of their lives and achieve great results.

You can contact him from a number of sources but the most direct way is to contact him through the contact us block that can be found at the bottom of this page.  You can also get highly relevant tips on "living your life more abundantly" and link to and possibly earn revenue by logging on to

He is also an IRS registered tax planning professional with over 30 years of tax experience and can be reached at:



Atlanta South Location:

Realty 1 Strategic Advisors, LLC

77 Prestwick Lane

Peachtree City, GA 30269

770-719-4550 (Direct)

Atlanta Central Location:

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2940 West Stubbs Road

Atlanta, GA 30349

404-952-9284 (Direct)

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