June 18, 2015
ISSUE | ENERGY Solar, not tankers Philadelphia should be exceedingly proud that it has created a sustainable business center at the former Navy Yard. The $129 million U.S. Department of Energy Innovation Hub hosts numerous energy-efficient buildings and a 35-megawatt unregulated electric grid with leading smart-grid research. Let's hope that Philadelphia's future lies with safe, sustainable energy rather than explosive tanker cars and leaking pipelines that could endanger the city.
June 6, 2015
Extra cash. Steady income no matter how long you live. No need to repay. Both explicitly and implicitly, reverse-mortgage pitches often make the equity-tapping loans sound like a risk-free answer for borrowers facing a shortfall in retirement income. But they have a failure rate of about 10 percent, far beyond those of conventional mortgages. That's one reason the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau moved Thursday to advance its campaign aimed at ensuring that homeowners understand their risks, as well as their benefits.
May 5, 2015 |
Stephen Kaye's perch as the leader of a global human resources consulting firm puts him in a position to see the psychological aftermath of one of the biggest economic events of our time - the recession that officially ended in 2009 but lingered much longer. On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department will issue its closely watched employment report, and if recent trends hold, it will be positive - more jobs, fewer unemployed, and a declining unemployment rate. "We're kind of happy about the way things are going because finally the world is getting ready for what we do in the sense that the people agenda is now much more on the CEO agenda than it ever was before," said Kaye, 50, chief executive of the Hay Group.
April 20, 2015 |
What are you going to do with all your stuff ? Baby boomers amassed serious assets during their lifetimes. Say you want to leave your children and grandkids some personal belongings - art, furniture, books, sterling silver and collectibles. Often that's done through a will. But it's best to have "the talk" while you're alive. Perhaps more than one child wants something with memories: mom's cookie jar, dad's pipe, or grandma's overstuffed chair. Welcome to an inheritance minefield.
April 15, 2015
I AM DEAD. I am in my casket, I am in a dress shirt, tie and sports coat. This is my funeral. People are saying nice things about me. At least I think so. I can't hear. Showering accolades on the departed is mandatory, right? No lie detectors allowed. Remember Mark Antony spilling about Caesar? (Not implying I am Caesar, but I do carry a toga well.) What a shame the deceased can't hear this - the impact he had on lives, the good works she inspired, the causes fought, the memories created.
April 12, 2015 |
I have always called them "the pigeonholers" - the social scientists who spend their days fitting Americans into categories and coming up with names often as strange as the ones home builders apply to new subdivisions. Chases and meadows and glens, oh my. The generational appellation that has always left me laughing is the "Silent Generation," those born between 1925 and 1945. My father was born in 1925, and the one thing I would never accuse him of being was silent, especially when my sisters and I behaved in a manner he deemed inappropriate.
December 22, 2014 |
Doylestown homeowners Stacey Starcher and her husband, Bob Carlson, updated their master bath with elements of universal design - and liked the result so much they redid the rest of the bathrooms in the house. Their master bathroom had sported a whirlpool tub that had come with the 22-year-old house. Contractors and homeowners are ripping out these monsters, since they present a fall risk to baby boomers and the elderly. "Universal design" promotes and adopts ideas that work safely for an older customer but aren't obvious.
November 16, 2014 |
Retirement could be dicey for debt-laden and risk-averse millennials - the generation that started coming of age around the turn of the century. But there's some hope. "Retirement coach" Jacob Gold writes in this USNews.com post that millennials looking at retirement - three decades away or more - know they won't arrive at that distant horizon with a safe company pension. They need to be putting money in 401(k)s, taking advantage of any matching funds their employers put on the table, and investing the savings aggressively.
October 22, 2014 |
Baby boomers took over Hollywood in the 1980s. And boy, did they like making films and TV shows about themselves - The Big Chill , Family Ties , China Beach - packing them to the gills with hippie anthems. The Wonder Years , a half-hour dramedy about the Arnolds, an average American family of five living in the 1960s, was no exception, opening with Joe Cocker's version of the Beatles classic "With a Little Help From My Friends" as its theme song. Time Life has released a complete collection of the series, featuring all of its original music, in a 26-disc set packaged in a little replica school locker.
October 22, 2014 |
LOOKING TO get into a growth industry? Two words: hoarding cleanup. "Grief and time is what causes hoarding," proclaimed Matt Paxton, during a recent visit to Philadelphia. "The elderly just happen to have more time. " And, one might argue, more reasons to grieve. "Not all old people hoard . . . but the issue is, the population [of elderly] is getting ready to triple. In 30 years, 35 percent of the country will be over 65. We're gonna have more hoarders. "In 20 years, I'm gonna have a bunch of Beanie Baby hoarders.