Hiring unlicensed contractors is a huge risk

*+-People often need to hire a contractor to complete work on their homes. Some people think hiring an unlicensed contractor is a way to save money, but there are substantial risks involved. Hiring an unlicensed contractor is usually illegal Most homeowners need a professional to complete home repairs or improvements. Certain things should be done

Calculating interest and dividends for matematically challenged

*+-Not everybody is good at math. Many of us have been vexed by the complexity of those essential abstractions since school days. And yet, to negotiate financially as an adult, we need to understand the difference between simple and compound interest and how to calculate each. For those looking to invest, the same can be

How to avoid gold scams today

*+-Gold prices are orbiting the stratosphere at a price of $1,859.20 per ounce as of noon EST Monday, according to Canadian metal dealing authority Kitco. With prices so high, invitations to invest in various gold mining, coin collecting and futures buzz at potential investors like bugs drawn to a porch light – and many of

Jobs bill would extend assistance for small business startups

*+-Obama’s Jobs bill is a $447-billion combination of tax cuts and economic reform. One provision of the bill could be greatly helpful for aspiring entrepreneurs. Extending the Self-Employment Assistance Program The Self-Employment Assistance Program is an unemployment program currently in use in a few different states. The program provides two things: training and money. Unemployed

Webster Financial Corp: Helping homeowners avoid foreclosure

*+-Webster Financial Corp. of Waterbury, Conn., is a beacon among banks, reports Bankrate. That’s because, unlike big banks, Webster is doing everything it can to help homeowners avoid foreclosure – and it does so in a manner that has allowed the  bank to remain profitable. Rolling the foreclosure clouds away According to home foreclosure authority

7 high-paying jobs that only require community college education

*+-We are told that a decent career is pretty much impossible anymore without a college degree. The term “college degree” conjures up images of four-year institutions, dormitories and long hours of late-night cramming. However, many are not in a situation, personally or financially, to make the kind of commitment that a four-year degree requires. Fortunately

Study: Millenials have a better handle on credit cards

*+-Young people appear to have the right idea when it comes to credit card debt, reports Bankrate. In a report compiled by New York-based Auriemma Consulting Group, findings suggest that Millenials are approaching credit card debt with caution compared with their parents and grandparents. Only 1 in 4 claimed to carry a monthly balance. Twenty

Extend the warranty without extending your wallet

*+-“Would you like to purchase an extended protection plan?” is something you will likely hear when making just about any major purchase. Extended warranties are like an insurance plan for expensive purchases and are often expensive. Many people do not realize, though, that extended warranties can sometimes be added for no additional charge. Benefits of

Government pension plans coming under fire

*+-The ideal for many American workers is to put a few decades into a career, then head off into retirement with a pension and a gold watch. A defined pension is rare in the private sector, and government pension plans are fast becoming a point of contention. Military retirement plan could be casualty of deficits

Generation Y pessimistic about financial future, retirement

*+-Millennials, Generation Y, 20-somethings, call them what you will, the newest adult generation is pessimistic about its financial future. According to a recent survey, most of those who came into adulthood during the Great Recession are already worrying about retirement. Financial attitudes of a generation The Financial Independence Survey, designed to identify the financial attitudes

Employers snooping on social networking still a thorny issue

*+-A contentious issue in employment and social media in modern America is whether an employer or potential employer has any business snooping around employees’ social media profiles. The government is starting to get involved, but it’s likely to be a thorny issue for some time to come. Guard against defamation or censoring free speech of citizens

Payday loans can be a cheaper alternative to an overdraft

*+-A recent report states that 34 million Americans bounce more than 10 checks a year, which can add up to a pile of wasted income in fees and penalties. But unexpected needs arise, and occasional problems may be unavoidable for those with low income and low credit ratings. The same study concludes that a payday

One in three Americans losing middle-class status

*+-According to a recent study by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the American middle class is one-third of the way to the grave. Witness this somber evidence of downward mobility: Nearly one in three Americans who grew up in middle-class families has slipped down the income ladder. The slippery slope to economic disparity The Pew study,

Latino homebuyers may drive recovery of the housing market

*+-According to National Public Radio, immigrant families in the U.S. move up economically predominantly through the acquisition of real estate. Latinos and other minorities, who felt the full impact of the foreclosure crisis of the late 2000s, are now snatching up the low-cost properties that have flooded the market in its wake. Ironically, they may

How to cut the major costs of vacation

*+-In 2009, 37 percent of American workers took a summer vacation. In 2011, only 33 percent of American workers took a summer vacation. Economic costs were the most often-cited reason for giving up vacations, but there are ways to take a full vacation without the full cost. The basics of a vacation rental A vacation

Most Baby Boomers do not plan on leaving inheritance

*+-One of the most talked-about age groups in recent memory is the Baby Boomers, people born between the end of World War II and 1960. They have been equally praised and blamed for many things, but many of their heirs may be cursing them — most don’t plan on leaving an inheritance. Boomers want to

Grad school Groupon is the first of its kind

*+-In the hunt for online coupon deals, consumers return time and again to Groupon, the trend-setting heavyweight champion in its field. Now Groupon customers with a hankering for higher education can try out a grad school Groupon for an introduction to teaching course at the private, Chicago-based National-Louis University. As the Chicago Tribune notes, Groupon’s