In her recent book “America’s 100 Best Places to Retire,” author Elizabeth Armstrong takes into account a number of factors retirees should consider in a retirement home. Bankrate.com analyzed Armstrong’s results, and came up with the top 10 places to retire, based upon both lowest median home price and quality of living. Here are some highlights, with average retirement home details included.
Danville, a “top 10 Main Street town” according to Armstrong, is both a place where generations of people stay put to run family businesses and a town that supports the arts, notes local Prudential Guerrant Real Estate broker [...]
Being an entrepreneur is a tough road to follow, with long hours and endless to-do lists. Some people with their own business ideas are choosing to go a different route – intrapreneurship.
Intrapreneurship is proposing and starting new businesses from within the confines of an already-existing business. Intrapreneurship is a name that has been applied to everything from encouraging new ideas in a business to full-on supporting a new business startup within an existing corporation. An intrapreneur could be the person who comes up with new business ideas and hands them off to their employers, but more often they are [...]
Americans don’t tend to squirrel away enough money for a rainy day or for retirement. However, the Consumer Federation of America and American Savings Education Council want to do something about that during America Saves Week.
Another 51 weeks of the year to worry about
Among the many criticisms leveled at the typical American about personal finances is that hardly anyone saves enough money, either in case of emergency or for their retirement. Indeed, according to Forbes, the share of income that the typical person socked away has fallen significantly during the past 60 years or so. It is estimated by the [...]
Health care record-keeping is still far from a universal system in the U.S., but Microsoft is looking to change that. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Microsoft’s joint venture with General Electric to modernize health care technology – which experts predict will increase care efficiency and cut costs – has taken a big step forward. It now has a name: Caradigm.
Merging care and paradigm
Caradigm, a new company that should become fully operational by mid-2012, will begin by employing 750 people in the Seattle area. A merging of the worlds “care” and “paradigm,” Caradigm will work to modernize health care through the use [...]
The unemployment rate in the United States currently clocks in between 8 and 9 percent. With more than 15 million unemployed individuals, more than 3 million so-called unfillable positions point to economic opportunity that has been lost.
Growing number of unfillable jobs
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unfilled jobs in the United States is rising each month. In November 2011, there were 3.1 million jobs that employers reported they were incapable of filling. In December 2011, that same statistic clocked in at 3.4 million. In July of 2009, the last time this statistic was at its [...]
While unemployment figures have been dropping steadily, 13 million Americans still remain out of work. It is a tough job market out there, and anything one can do to hedge his or her bet is a good thing. The secret to winning a job is a good interview. What one does to prepare for that interview can make all the difference.
Women have the edge
In preparing for the interview, according to the Kansas City Star, women have the edge. Justin Feeney, a psychology doctoral candidate, says women do naturally what males would do well to emulate.
Feeney, along with two other researchers, [...]
The advantages of joining a large retail bank is that it has branches everywhere. However, a growing community bank network, called Kasasa, is out to chip away at the edge huge banks enjoy.
Go big or stay home
The reason large retail for-profit banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase enjoy market share over small community banks and credit unions is that they are everywhere. Account holders from New York can walk into a branch in Los Angeles or Pewaukee, Wisc., and do the same banking.
Credit unions and community banks have some networking ability, but not nearly to the [...]
Congress has recently signed off on a financial compromise bill that will extend several federal programs. Unemployment compensation, however, will be cut in some states.
The extension of federal programs
According to the compromise that has been passed by both the House and Senate, the cut in payroll taxes known as the payroll tax holiday will be continuing. This cut takes out 2 percent of the payroll tax on each paycheck and is capped at $2,200 per worker. On average, this cut adds an additional $20 per paycheck for most workers. The bill also heads off a change to medicare reimbursements, which [...]
Community banks need something the Federal Reserve is unwilling to provide at this time, reports MarketWatch. The Fed is maintaining its theory that it must keep interest rates low to facilitate economic recovery. However, small community banks depend upon higher interest rates more than any other financial institution so they can remain profitable.
Tough love for community banks
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told community bankers at a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. conference in Arlington, Va., that lending must be strengthened if the U.S. is to continue its economic recovery.
“A common complaint on the part of some community bankers is that very [...]
Thursday the IRS issued its annual “dirty dozen” list of tax scams. The list is designed to help taxpayers recognize some common scams. It is also a warning to would-be tax cheats.
‘Don’t be fooled’
IRS commissioner Doug Shulman said:
“Scam artists will tempt people in person, on-line and by e-mail with misleading promises about lost refunds and free money. Don’t be fooled.”
The top 12 schemes this year are:
Identity thieves file false returns using stolen personal information. Anybody who feels a fraudulent claim may have been filed using their information can call the IRS at 1-800-908-4490.
Phishing scams use emails, fake websites, [...]
If you’ve ever felt like you’re getting mixed messages from the media when it comes to how the U.S. is handling its consumer debt, you aren’t alone. Bankrate cites a recent report by CreditKarma.com that notes that U.S. consumer credit card debt was down 8 percent from December 2011 to January 2012. Yet according to the Federal Reserve, credit card debt jumped 4.5 percent over the past quarter. While it may be possible a quarterly spike followed a nine-month decrease, the indication is that personal finance media doesn’t know which end is up.
Determining true CreditKarma
Holiday credit card debt is shrinking [...]
If you are a deal hunter, you likely have a folder, book or file of coupons that you intended to use, but may not get to. Rather than losing the full amount you spent on the coupon, a bevy of new services have popped up to help you sell those coupons.
Knowing when to sell
Most coupons you purchase or receive have an expiration date. If a coupon you paid money for is within six weeks of expiring and you are fairly certain you will not be able to use the coupon, then it is time to sell it. Make sure you [...]
With the recess appointment of Richard Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, financial service firms have a new sheriff in town. Debt collectors and credit reporters have just been added to the agency’s watch list.
Off to a flying start
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created in the Dodd-Frank Act, but languished as Congress commenced a series of partisan quibbles, keeping a director from being appointed and keeping the agency from executing its mandate. However, President Obama pulled a fast one, using a recess appointment to install Richard Cordray as the head of the agency in early January [...]
We all know the first basic tenant of saving money: don’t go grocery shopping hungry. Research, however, has shown that being hungry can generally lead to much more risky financial decisions.
The effects of hunger
Being hungry has many effects on our bodies. The first and most often-cited study on this phenomenon was published in 1969, when researchers examined the link between hunger and grocery purchases. Generally, the study found that for normal-weight people, being hungry while grocery shopping led to higher grocery bills. A study published in 2010 found that hunger created a hormonal imbalance that has been associated with more [...]
According to the U.S. government, the number of people applying for unemployment benefits dropped last week to its lowest point since 2008. The number of unemployment applications is one of the nation’s best barometers of employment growth or decline. The steadily dropping figure points to fewer layoffs and more hiring as the U.S. jobs market continues to recover.
Applications for unemployment benefits drop
The U.S. Labor Department announced Thursday that the weekly amount of applications for unemployment benefits fell by 13,000 last week to an adjusted seasonal figure of 348,000. It represents the fourth drop in the past five weeks. It is [...]
A study recently appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine asserting the problem with the costs of health care is overtesting. People are undergoing too many tests and having too many procedures, resulting in unnecessarily huge bills.
Art imitates life
In the novel “The House of God,” a medical school graduate begins an internship at a prestigious hospital. Among other events, a rebellious attending physician teaches the interns that the best thing to do for patients is usually as little as possible. Excessive tests rarely reveal much, the diagnosis is usually simple, and excessive treatments do more harm than good.
A recent study, [...]