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College admissions and the COVID-19 pandemic

Business / Terry Savage /

In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, high school seniors and their families will receive the long-anticipated college admissions letters in the coming days.

They will learn which schools have accepted them and which have put them on the waiting list. They will also be asked to make a nonrefundable deposit with the school of their choice -- a...Read more

Money Heaven and other thoughts

Business / Terry Savage /

America, and the world, will get beyond this social and economic crisis eventually. Meanwhile, it's almost cynical to be talking about the financial markets. But there are lessons to be learned from the past when it comes to the financial markets.

There's nothing like living through a bear market to give you respect for this force of nature -- ...Read more

Falling interest rates may usher in refi boom

Business / Terry Savage /

There must be a silver lining in the turmoil of the financial markets. The chance to refinance your mortgage could be that bright spot.

But so far, despite the drop in the 10-year Treasury to historic lows, 30-year fixed mortgage rates have remained stubbornly above 3 percent, although you can get a 15-year fixed mortgage for 2.65 percent.

Why...Read more

Why the stock market lost its bounce

Business / Terry Savage /

The stock market has lost its bounce. After a decade-long stock market boom, investors have been trained to buy every dip. They learned the market would soon bounce back and make new highs. But this time is different -- at least for a while.

Why? Because there is no obvious rescue this time. I'm not talking about the inability to contain the ...Read more

Tax prep gets sophisticated

Business / Terry Savage /

Tax preparation is supposed to be easier these days. An estimated 90 percent of filers take the standard deduction -- especially since the deduction for state and local taxes is limited to $10,000 per return. But if the goal was to get tax preparation done on the proverbial "postcard," we certainly aren't there yet.

Proof of that can be seen in...Read more

In high-flying market, risk abides

Business / Terry Savage /

The latest word from the country's largest IRA and 401(k) plan provider Fidelity: neither political machinations nor fear of a global pandemic or warnings from seasoned investment pros have taken a toll on the record highs the stock market has seen in recent days. Investors have also seen record amounts in their retirement accounts at year-end ...Read more

Beware of bonds

Business / Terry Savage /

The stock market has been getting all the attention in recent months, but the bond market has been getting a larger share of the investment dollars. The attraction is the higher yields and presumed safety of bonds. But those lures may prove to be a costly illusion when the next financial crisis arrives.

The flow of funds into bonds has been ...Read more

Simplifi, a Quicken app geared toward a new generation

Business / Terry Savage /

Ever since Quicken was first offered by Intuit in a very basic way in the 1990s, personal finance has been revolutionized by technology. Easy technology lets you see all your financial accounts in real time, create spending plans and be alerted to overspending -- from a variety of products and forms.

Traditionally, Quicken has resided securely ...Read more

Car insurance by the mile can save you a lot of money

Business / Terry Savage /

Your car insurance is about to get personal. And if you're willing to let the insurers track how many miles you drive, you can save a lot of money.

The concept of paying for insurance based on the mileage you drive makes perfect sense. Currently, insurers lump you in with a demographic based on age, gender, location, marital status, driving ...Read more

Personal loans can help consolidate debt

Business / Terry Savage /

Personal loans are the fastest-growing debt category in the country. The outstanding amount has nearly tripled, growing from $55.3 billion to nearly $160 billion in the last decade. Just as in every other industry, technology has made all the difference, with Fintech companies creating algorithms that can make instant credit decisions.

The ...Read more

Medicare's 3-day rule can cost you a pretty penny

Business / Terry Savage /

In a healthcare emergency it's difficult to think about finances. But if you or a loved one who is a senior are ever rushed to the hospital, overlooking this one detail could devastate your finances.

It's very simple: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has a three-day rule that says Medicare will not pay for care in a skilled ...Read more

A reminder of just how volatile markets can turn

Business / Terry Savage /

Remember the story of the little boy who cried wolf? After a while, no one believed him. They stopped responding to his cries. And then the real wolf came and devoured him.

Now change the wolf to a bear -- as in bear market. Eventually, it will be real.

The financial markets have become increasingly volatile, perhaps as a result of 24-hour ...Read more

 

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