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Archive for the ‘Personal Finance’ Category

The rate on the most common type of mortgage inched up this week, despite the Federal Reserve’s renewed efforts to push mortgage rates down. Who’s to blame? Congress, for making investors anxious as it appears that lawmakers are far from reaching a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff.” The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.52% from 3.5%, according to the Bankrate.com national survey of large lenders. The mortgages in this week’s survey had an average total of 0.37 discount and origination points. One year ago, the mortgage index stood at 4.19%; four weeks ago, it was 3.54%. The benchmark […]

Grandparents are known for spoiling their grandkids, but it’s important to balance gifting with their own financial and retirement goals. Although 96% of grandparents spend money on their grandchildren, 55% have not cut back on spending despite the economy, according to an AARP survey. Those affected by the economy cut spending in areas other than gifts to grandchildren—good news for grandkids, but bad for grandparent’s budgets. “To really benefit the family unit the most, the first priority of the grandparent should be to take care of their financial well being,” says Scott Halliwell, certified financial planner at USAA. To preserve […]

It’s the holiday season and the time to share our bounty with those less fortunate. An added bonus to the joy of giving is the ability to deduct the contributions on our tax returns. In order to enjoy a write off for a contribution, you must be able to itemize deductions and the donation must be made to a qualified 501(c)(3) organization. Donations to individuals and families do not qualify. Several years ago the IRS clamped down on the requirements to take the deductions for charitable giving, so if you are making cash donations, please observe the following: You need […]

Economic uncertainty has some employers holding out on adding to their payroll, making it harder for job hunters to find full-time employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, before the recession, job seekers could expect to look for about four months on average but in the current climate, a job search can last about 10 months on average. Often candidates focus their job search on full-time employment that tends to offer benefits, retirement savings plans and more stability, but experts warn not to overlook part-time openings to help fill in resume gaps and provide income. “Job seekers suffer from […]

Tis the season to sell and buy! Here are the top four reasons sellers should list and buyers should purchase prior to ringing in the New Year. The commitment factor Buyers searching for homes over the holidays are serious, committed and ready to go, often motivated by a deadline-oriented relocation brought on by a career switch or an unexpected change in housing situation. Furthermore, with vacation time during the season, local buyers generally have more time during the weekdays to look. Emotional buying The holiday season also brings out emotions and feelings of nostalgia in buyers, which may help push their […]

How to Find Help Outside of a Nursing Home You can no longer live on your own without the help of a caregiver, but you aren’t yet ready to surrender your independence to a nursing home. Join the club. A 2010 study by the AARP found that nearly three-quarters of adults ages 45 and older say they’d prefer to age at home as long as possible. Suzanne Modigliani, a geriatric care manager in Boston, notes that seniors who choose to live a more independent lifestyle, especially those who live alone, should exercise greater vigilance when choosing service providers. “People can […]

A bill to extend unlimited insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for some business bank accounts passed its first hurdle in the Senate Tuesday. The Senate voted 76 to 20 in favor of limiting debate on the bill, which avoids a filibuster that would have killed the legislation in the Senate. The bill would extend the Transactional Account Guarantee, or TAG, program for two years. TAG was originally created during the financial crisis to reassure businesses that, in the event of a bank failure, they wouldn’t lose the funds in the noninterest checking accounts they use to do things […]

Welcome to OnSale at Business, where we look at cool deals and insane bargains. Best Buy is offering great deals on iPhone, and you can take your iPhone savings and accessorize the device with a case from Evouni. A last-minute hotel booking service now lets you gift a stay or two. Borrow books from friends, no matter what E-reading device you have, with this new cloud-based library. And before you take your holiday road trip you’ll want to download this app. iPhone Discount Best Buy (BBY) has some great savings on iPhone 4S and iPhone 5. The company is discounting the […]

Americans love to spend and hate to save. Such a statement may sound cliche, but statistics prove it — especially when it comes to saving for retirement. Scott Below, chair and associate professor in the Department of Finance at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., says workers are not entirely to blame for their reluctance to save. In the first part of a two-part interview, he says educators and the government must do a better job of helping Americans see that starting early on retirement planning can pay huge dividends later in life. America’s retirement crisis is well-documented. Why do […]

If your retirement planning includes selling your home and renting a place, keep these numbers in mind. Home prices have risen monthly for the last six months, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price indexes. While that could be good news as far as how much money you’ll get if you sell your home, it hides another cost that could hit renters living in retirement hard. The National Association of Realtors estimates that as housing prices rise, average rents also will increase nationally by 4.6% in 2013 and continue to grow by at least 4% per year in 2014 […]

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