January 20, 2014 |
Credit-card debt can sneak up on you. If you think $20,000 in such debt is no biggie, you're wrong. If you think you'll never have to deal with that kind of number, better think again. For all but a few of those facing it, living with a credit-card debt of $20,000 or more is a major life problem. A Credit.com online survey this month found 5 percent of respondents had such debt - and a significant portion of that group thought most people were like them. The most common reason for running up such debt, the post says, is that people "don't have sufficient income to cover their expenses.
January 13, 2014 |
Many people settle for a job, but there are online tools that can help you choose a career that suits your personality, education, stress tolerance, and, of course, your need for money. Stressed out? At BusinessInsider.com, there's a list of "high-paying jobs for people who don't like stress" - illustrated, strangely, with a photo of a couple nursing tall glasses of beer. The list includes jobs with annual pay averaging from about $65,000 to $186,000, the latter number belonging to orthodontists, who apparently find it relaxing to realign people's teeth and jaws.
January 6, 2014 |
If you think your retirement will take care of itself, think again. A secure retirement requires planning, no matter how modest your expectations. If you're getting a late start, here are some helpful ideas: "Tax Guy" Bill Bischoff says in this Marketwatch.com post that making "catch-up" contributions to a 401(k), IRA, or similar tax-advantaged retirement account can significantly increase your savings. In many cases, catch-up payments for the 2013 tax year are allowed through April 15 for people who were at least 50 years old by the end of 2013.
December 23, 2013 |
The Federal Reserve acts, the world shakes. Or so it seems. The Fed's decision last week to "taper," or reduce, its effort at economic stimulus, has personal and global implications. Here's how. Just as what goes up must come down, "The stimulus program was supposed to boost spending going in, so it's going to reduce spending going out," economist Peter Morici is quoted as saying in this look at tapering's effects posted last week at MarketWatch.com. The resulting hit to the economy as the Fed pumps less money into the financial system likely will mean a rise in interest rates, seen early on in mortgages and, eventually, loans for autos, education, and other big-ticket costs.
December 16, 2013 |
We are not a nation of savers. But can some individuals and families be "oversaving"? A few advice-givers contend that is the case, putting oversaving in a league with hoarding. Could you oversave for retirement? That surprising question is answered with a yes in a Morningstar report that's described in this post on Yahoo Finance. Financial advisers and retirement calculators "often rely on a generic formula that could lead some workers to oversave for their golden years by as much as 20 percent," according to the post.
December 9, 2013 |
December is time to look over your personal finances with an eye to how tax rules in the current and new year will affect your pocketbook. For example, keep an eye on health care. Investopedia describes some tax advantages and disadvantages of the Affordable Care Act. It's a mixed bag next year, according to a post by Jean Folger. "Many people will be eligible for a new kind of tax credit, and if you are required to have health insurance and you don't have coverage, you will have to pay a penalty fee on your 2014 tax return," writes Folger.
December 2, 2013 |
Money has an enormous effect on domestic relationships. Marriages are made and broken over money. Money troubles may scare people from divorce. And being single has its own issues. Half the fun of this investopedia.com post on "marriage-killing money issues" is seeing the related Web links, such as "The Tax Benefits of Having a Spouse," and "Kids or Cash: The Modern Marriage Dilemma. " Issues including the debts spouses bring to a marriage, and how each spouse approaches spending after marriage, can tear a relationship apart before it's had time to thrive.
November 25, 2013 |
Gift cards have swiftly become the default present for holiday giving. With the season upon us, let's look at the financial risks and rewards for gift-card givers, receivers, and sellers. Nothing beats the warm feeling you get from giving a gift - except for the hot prospect of getting something for yourself in return. At PocketYourDollars.com, a post by Carrie Rocha lists scores of gift-card deals that include discounted cards and free gift cards in return for purchased cards. Outlets offering the deals include restaurants, websites, movie theaters, and grocery stores.
November 18, 2013 |
Job-seekers worry how they will be perceived in person by employers, and for good reason. Likability, charisma, and - if you are ever so lucky - the "halo effect" play a major role at a job interview. Becoming more likable is the goal of many job-seekers, or should be, according to this Q&A with the author of a book, Likeonomics , at jobs.aol.com. The book's author, Rohit Bhargava, says likeonomics can be learned, and comes naturally to some figures, such as Bill Clinton. He advocates trying to connect personally with job interviewers.
November 11, 2013 |
October's jobless rate, pegged Friday at 7.3 percent, was up slightly from September. But the number's meaning is a source of monthly public confusion. Here are some explanations. The arm of government that computes the unemployment rate is the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics. This FAQ on the bureau's site explains how the number is reached and what it means. It starts with the question "Why does the government collect statistics on the unemployed?" When a willing worker is unemployed, everybody loses, it explains.