Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to manage money in your 30’s. Also in the news: Student loan holders catch a home buying break, why you should get to work building an unemployment fund, and the 10 best entry-level jobs for 2017.

How to Manage Money in Your 30s
Taking the longview.

Student Loan Holders Catch a Home-Buying Break
It’s about to become a little easier.

Get to Work on Building Your Unemployment Fund
Preparing for the worst.

The 10 Best Entry-Level Jobs For 2017
We all have to start somewhere.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

18ixgvpiu0s24jpgToday’s top story: How to save on your cellphone bill when moving. Also in the news: how to survive a job loss, why millennials aren’t in a rush to buy a home, and why you shouldn’t wait to tackle your debt.

Moving? One Simple Change Could Save You Money on Your Cell Phone Bill in a New State
Taxes and fees vary from state to state.

How to Survive a Job Loss
Getting through a financially difficult time.

Are Millennials the Renter Generation?
Not rushing to buy a home.

Don’t Wait Until Your Debt Starts Hurting to Begin Tackling It
The sooner the better.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Financial tips for the unexpectedly unemployed. Also in the news: The real costs of using a payday loan for holiday shopping, everything you need to know about the 2016 FAFSA, and what you should do with your year-end bonus.

Financial Tips For The Unexpectedly Unemployed
Don’t panic.

What It Really Costs to Use Payday Loans for Holiday Shopping
The interest rates could shock you.

FAFSA Application: Everything You Need to Know in 2016
Preparing for financial aid madness.

What to Do (and Not to Do) With Your Year-End Bonus
Resist temptation!

Monday’s need-to-know money news

bankruptcy_formToday’s top story: How to decide between debt consolidation or bankruptcy. Also in the news: Apps that can help you save money right now, how to create an income plan from your retirement savings, and how to protect yourself against unemployment.

Debt Consolidation Vs. Bankruptcy: Which Should You Choose?
How to make a crucial decision.

These 7 apps can help you save money right away
It’s like having a bank right in your pocket.

Creating an income plan from your savings
Determining what you need to live on.

10 Steps to Protect Yourself Against an Unexpected Job Loss
Preparing for the unexpected.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: The dangers of medical identity theft. Also in the news: the pros and cons of identity theft insurance, how to pick the perfect credit card, and how to save your retirement after losing your job.

Medical Identity Theft: The Fraud That Can Kill You
The repercussions are serious.

Is identity-theft insurance a waste of money?
Is the protection worth the cost?

How to Pick the Perfect Credit Card
The important things to consider.

Lost Your Job? Here’s How to Save Your Retirement
Don’t panic.

5 Ways to Fix a Failing Personal Budget
Everyone makes mistakes.

Starting over in your 50s, and other curveballs

Man Seeking EmploymentLosing a job late in life can be devastating, and rebuilding can be tough. Here’s how writer Teresa Mears puts it:

Americans in their 50s and 60s, who expected to be at the peak of their careers before retirement, are finding themselves playing catch-up. While they may never get back the lives they had before, there are steps they can take to improve their retirement prospects.

Jean Chatzky and I offer advice about those steps in “10 ways to get your retirement plan back on track.”

Job losses can have another side effect, besides derailing your retirement: they also can derail your credit scores. I talked to Kelley Holland for CNBC about why that matters and what you can do about it in “What your poor credit rating is costing you.”

I also discusses debt for a series of interviews with Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner, including “Debt is Not Just a Four-Letter Word,” “What Every Buyer ‘Auto” Know about Car Loans” and “You Don’t Want to Overdose on Student Loan Debt.”

Speaking of student loan debt, there are ways to erase some of your federal education loans—but too many people don’t know what they are. Read more in “5 ways do-gooders can erase student loan debt.”

My other recent education columns for Reuters including “Debunking the myth of college rejection rates,”  “3 ways to fix financial aid form flaws” and “That break from college? Stopping out leads to dropping out.”

Elderly parent wants to help unemployed sons

Dear Liz: Both of our sons, ages 63 and 59, are currently unemployed. We are 93 and self-supporting with Social Security and my retirement benefits. We live in our own home and are able to handle all our expenses, even though my wife requires a companion for 12 hours each day.

I believe we should financially aid both sons, to the limit of our ability, but my wife disagrees.

They are the two main beneficiaries of our estate. Each one is scheduled to receive about $40,000 upon our deaths. How should we proceed?

Answer: If your estates won’t amount to much more than $80,000 at your deaths, it doesn’t sound as if you have the financial wiggle room to help your sons. Your wife already requires significant care and may need more in the future. Plus, she’s likely to outlive you, which would mean getting by on less (certainly a smaller Social Security benefit, and perhaps a smaller pension amount as well). Any money you give them, in other words, is likely to be to her detriment.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

CollegeWhy Generation X needs to accept the inevitable, coping with a layoff, and how the key to financial prosperity could be inside a funeral home.

Survey: Gen X seriously short on life insurance
Note to Gen Xers: You’re not getting any younger.

3 Ways You May Be Throwing Money Away Without Realizing It
Hands off that retirement account.

What to Do if You Just Got Laid Off
What you need to do once the panic subsides.

4 Tips to Help 30-Somethings Save for a Rainy Day
In every life, a little rain must fall.

10 Unusual Jobs That Pay Surprisingly Well
What cruise ship entertainers, hot dog vendors, and morticians have in common.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Credit card backgroundSurviving unemployment, the pros and cons of taking a personal loan to pay off credit card debt, and where your state ranks on the list of America’s most debt-free.

How to survive a job loss
Tips on how to get through one of life’s most difficult times.

Use Personal Loan to Cut Credit Card Debt?
Is trading one debt for another a smart idea?

4 signs of financial immaturity in teens
Could your teen already be on the road to financial ruin?

6 Financial Mistakes We Don’t Make Anymore (and 2 We Still Do)
What financial mistakes are we still making in the “new normal”?

The Most Debt-Free States in America
This list may surprise you.

Why you still feel like you’re in a recession

Money squeezeI’ve been through several recessions now, and they all had at least one thing in common: people complained that the economists who declared an official end to the downturn were out of touch, because it didn’t feel like the recession was over.

Recoveries take a while to spread through the economy, which means people experience the expansion at different times…and some never feel it at all, because they or their geographic areas are permanently left behind.

In the case of the Great Recession, though, there are pretty good reasons why you may feel like it never ended:

  • For one thing, median household income in the U.S. in real terms (adjusted for inflation) is nearly 9% less than it was in 1999, according to the Census Bureau.
  • The unemployment rate (now 7.4%) has been declining, but is still well above 2007 rate of 4.7%.
  • The unemployment rate doesn’t capture discouraged workers (those who have given up looking for work) and those who are working less than they’d prefer. In fact, the number of full-time workers as a percentage of the population is down sharply from pre-recession levels.

I could go on, but economists who have dug into the numbers make it clear that most of the growth in recent years has accrued to those at the top. Earlier this year, the New York Times featured research by Emmanuel Saez, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, that tracked incomes between 2009 and 2011:

“…there was a wide gap between the top 1 percent, whose earnings rose by 11.2 percent, and the other 99 percent, whose earnings declined by 0.4 percent.

Mr. Saez, a winner of the John Bates Clark Medal, an economic laurel considered second only to the Nobel, concluded that ‘the Great Recession has only depressed top income shares temporarily and will not undo any of the dramatic increase in top income shares that has taken place since the 1970s.’

The disparity between top earners and everybody else can be attributed, in part, to differences in how the two groups make their money. The wealthy have benefited from a four-year boom in the stock market, while high rates of unemployment have continued to hold down the income of wage earners.”

The takeaway here (besides the fact that it’s nice to be rich) is that it’s not just your imagination: the recovery has not spread very far into the economy.