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The Journey: Keeping an eye on the big numbers of retirement

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Critics panned it, but there's a great line from the 1979 film "The Main Event" that pretty much sums up our weird relationship with money.

Barbra Streisand played an entrepreneur who has just learned her business manager has run off with virtually all of her financial assets.

"When you say I have no money, do you mean I have to be careful at ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Why Fed rate hike can drive you to pay down credit cards

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

For roughly a decade, millions of consumers could afford to focus on the rewards and ignore the rates on their credit cards.

"They haven't really had to think too much about interest rates because they didn't change that much," said Robert A. Dye, chief economist at Comerica Bank.

Game over. Get ready for higher rates on your credit cards ...Read more

On Philanthropy: Community foundations are key partners in achieving U.N. Goals

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The world's first community foundation was established in Cleveland in 1914. Today, there are almost 1,900 community foundations -- 75 percent of them created in the last 25 years. Among these are 1,033 in North America, 670 in Europe, 62 in Asia, 56 in Oceania, 31 in Africa and 11 in South America.

Community foundations are independent ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Remove Cloudy Film From Headlight Covers Plus More Great Reader Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Well, you've done it again! You clever readers have come up with another batch of fabulous ways that all of us can save time and money doing stuff like cleaning the annoying cloudy film from your car headlight covers -- and lots more.

AUTO CLEANER. Use plain old baking soda on a damp rag to remove bugs, tar and anything else from your vehicle. ...Read more

House Calls: Unrelated Ownership

Consumer / Edith Lank /

Hello, Edith: My sister purchased a home nearly 25 years ago, and her partner has lived with her the entire time, sharing expenses. It recently occurred to her that she should put her partner's name on the deed, as she isn't getting any younger. She saw an attorney who told her that it was not possible since she and her partner are not related ...Read more

Hot Property: Producer's done, after a long run

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Jerry Bruckheimer can call it a wrap in Brentwood. The prolific film and television producer, whose credits include the "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "CSI" franchises, has sold his architectural home in the Westside neighborhood for $11.5 million.

Set on three-quarters of an acre, the pristine International-style home was ...Read more

Doomsday predictions over tax cuts have not come true -- yet

Consumer / The Nation's Housing /

WASHINGTON -- What if Congress passed a massive tax bill with scary cutbacks in deductions for homeowners -- prompting dire predictions of mass property-value declines -- but nothing much happened?

What if home prices in the market segments expected to be hurt the most by the tax changes actually rose significantly and showed no hints of ...Read more

Future of CBS Television City, an L.A. landmark, remains in flux

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- For generations, CBS Television City has served as a stage for some of TV's most legendary moments. "The Jack Benny Program," The Carol Burnett Show" and "The Price Is Right" were filmed there, and such stars as Elvis Presley, Bob Hope and Jack Benny performed.

But for all of that Hollywood history, Television City's future ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Refinancing in a time of rising rates and property values, part 2

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

While rising interest rates have sharply reduced the number of mortgage borrowers who can refinance into a lower rate, rising home prices create opportunities for some borrowers to refinance into mortgages that are less costly in other respects.

One possibility, discussed in a previous column, is to refinance a mortgage carrying mortgage ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Refinancing in a time of rising rates and property values, part 2

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

While rising interest rates have sharply reduced the number of mortgage borrowers who can refinance into a lower rate, rising home prices create opportunities for some borrowers to refinance into mortgages that are less costly in other respects.

One possibility, discussed in a previous column, is to refinance a mortgage carrying mortgage ...Read more

Corktown: Will Ford's move transform inner-city neighborhood, and with it Detroit?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

DETROIT -- In 1979, Jerry Esters was working on the roof of a property he had inherited from his father in North Corktown when he had an epiphany: He could see downtown. First the train station, then the downtown skyline.

The property at 14th and Perry had been in the family for years, but as Esters sat perched on the shingles, he couldn't help...Read more

Here's How: A Safe, Strong House

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I am making the beginning plans for a new house. I want a conventional house, but I want it to be extra strong for safety during storms. What are some building tips my builder should consider? -- Ellen D.

Dear Ellen: There are quite a few things your builder can do to make your house much stronger than code without making it look ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Should I rely on lender-placed insurance or get my own?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We have let our mortgage lender choose our hazard insurance for our home. Although it was more expensive, we figured that if our lender picked it, then it must be great coverage. A friend just told me this is not the case. What is the truth? -- Frank

A: This type of homeowner's insurance coverage is known as "force-placed" or "lender-placed"...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Credit Card Payment Dates and Credit Limits: What Difference Does It Make?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Few things in this world are more confusing than credit cards -- how they work, what they really cost and how to manage them responsibly. And while it's just my opinion, I think issuing banks are just fine with that. They love customers who collect stacks of credit cards, don't read the find print, run up big debt and pay only the minimum ...Read more

High cost of housing drives up homeless rates, UCLA study indicates

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Sky-high housing costs are a significant factor behind California's homeless crisis, according to a new analysis from UCLA.

In a study contained in the latest UCLA Anderson Forecast, released Wednesday, UCLA found that higher median rent and home prices are strongly correlated with more people living on the streets or in shelters. The research ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Case for Keeping Tax Returns Forever

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

You may recall from a past column on record keeping that you keep copies of your tax returns forever. Did you read that, and if so, did it make your wonder along with so many who wrote to ask? Wonder no more.

Dear Mary: Why do you recommend people keep tax returns forever? The IRS has electronic copies of every return and can only go back seven...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Get Clever With Leftovers: Coffee, Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Leftovers and I have a kind of love-hate relationship. I can't bear the thought of tossing perfectly delicious food into the garbage just because I made too much of it. So I pack it, seal it and fill the refrigerator with it. Once leftovers are past prime -- looking more like a science project that tomorrow's dinner -- they're so much easier to ...Read more

Small Spaces: Furniture Arrangements

Consumer / Small Spaces /

Dare to be bold in how you arrange furniture in a small room. Freedom from preconceived notions might encourage a higher function from your space. Toss out old ideas or pictures from your past homes. Search the internet for out-of-the-box suggestions and awaken to all sorts of new possibilities!

The insanely popular website Houzz gives the ...Read more

This Argentine family visited Miami in 2001 — and changed the city forever

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

MIAMI -- It was supposed to be an ordinary, weeklong business trip.

But after Jose Luis Ferreira de Melo and his sons Carlos and Martin -- the president and two principals of the Argentine real estate developer Melo Group -- spent a few days in Miami in 2001, they saw so much untapped potential in one downtown neighborhood they decided they ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: When All Else Fails, Cover It With Chocolate

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

As the story goes, the local inventor invited the town pastry makers to observe his latest invention, an automated pastry-making machine. To his dismay, the bakers deemed it unfit because it could not consistently turn out perfect pastries.

Not one to give up easily, the inventor took one of the chefs aside and asked, "What do YOU do when you ...Read more