Parents of high school and college students once again face the difficult task of filling out the FAFSA — the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The process starts on Oct. 1, and since the “early bird” gets first crack at some scholarship aid and state-specific financial assistance, there’s every incentive to get going right now. ...Read more
While everyone has been watching the stock market bounce around all-time highs, there’s another bull market that has also been in uncharted territory. And while stocks impact all those who have retirement accounts, it could easily be argued that the bull market in housing directly affects even more people, and in more tangible ways.
If you ...Read more
There was a time when the new calendar started after Labor Day — at least mentally. It meant the end of summer and the start of the school year. September meant the start, or re-start, of everything.
It’s no wonder many people feel so unsettled these days. The social distancing during the pandemic has pushed our circadian rhythms off course...Read more
Every month, the unemployment statistics are watched closely by the financial markets, the news media and the Federal Reserve. It’s the Fed’s mandate to keep inflation low and labor participation high. And recent statements from the Fed show they think the economy is moving in the right direction, absent potential setbacks from COVID-19 ...Read more
We have all heard of the long-lasting effects of the coronavirus on many people. The so-called “long COVID” impacts linger long after the immediate fever and other physical symptoms have passed.
And with all due respect to those who are still suffering, it’s important to note that many people will also suffer long COVID financial impacts...Read more
Our national debt is the sum of all the money we have borrowed over our country’s history. It is currently nearing $29 trillion. Sadly, we have grown accustomed to such huge numbers. Now they’re called “MEGO” numbers. That stands for “my mind glazes over!”
To put numbers into perspective, the national debt reached a record high at ...Read more
Parents of college students starting the fall semester have come to the moment of truth — the moment when it’s time to start paying out all that money they’ve been saving and borrowing.
There are some rules involved in how you spend scholarship and grant money, as well as money you've saved in tax-advantaged accounts. I'll discuss those ...Read more
When it comes to figuring out the economy, let me borrow the famous line from Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times....” If you follow the economic headlines, trying to make money decisions that impact your life, it’s understandable that you might be confused. Economists are confused, too!
There’s a lot ...Read more
The pandemic scrambled the personal finances of many people. But that’s not the only reason Americans are tangled in a web of financial insecurity. Tim Ranzetta, founder of Next Gen Personal Finance, is so convinced that the lack of education about money is a major cause of social disparity that he personally endowed a foundation and created a...Read more
Identity theft is becoming its own pandemic. It grew exponentially as unsophisticated state governments processed unemployment complaints without proper security precautions. The U.S. Department of Labor estimated earlier this year that at least $89 billion of the estimated $896 billion in federal unemployment program funds were paid out ...Read more
Retirement is a word that has traditionally been used to define the period after a life of full-time work ends – and before death. Historically, it was a short period of three to five years in which a “worn-out” retiree could play golf, or fish, or sit on a beach. That quaint concept has been overtaken by today’s reality of longer ...Read more
Once upon a time — our parents’ time — Social Security was automatic: You reached age 65 and started collecting your monthly check. Today, dealing with Social Security involves making important decisions that will impact your income for the rest of your life.
The most important choice you will make is when to take Social Security. If you ...Read more
Are you one of the millions of Americans who have invested some of their 401(k) plan money in target date funds? If so, perhaps you should take a closer look at what is inside the fund.
That’s the conclusion of Ron Surz, a pension consultant and long-time critic of these funds, because of the risks they present to those in or close to ...Read more