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He's a Republican, a Wall Street financier, and a supporter of 'Medicare for all'

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

When it comes to money managers, Scott Minerd is unconventional. After stops at Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and other big financial firms, the Wharton grad left Wall Street behind at 37 and moved to Los Angeles to enjoy, he says, a better lifestyle and pursue other business opportunities. He found one soon enough. Minerd joined what would ...Read more

Online lenders' financial backers agree to double relief for borrowers

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A national settlement sparked by Virginians feeling stung by online lenders is about to double in size — bringing refunds and debt cancellation totaling $866 million.

The money is coming from the venture capitalists who funded the enterprise, a debt collection firm and the online firm's former president.

They all deny any wrongdoing.

Under ...Read more

JESSICA J. TREVINO/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Susan Tompor: Beware of those gifts you see on social media ads. They may never arrive

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Shopper Sandra Stephenson has a story to share, actually three of them, that should make anyone stop, step back and think three times before rushing to buy the next cute thing they spot on Facebook, Instagram or other social media platforms.

She ordered a "Mama Bear" T-shirt for herself. Supercute with sunflowers, she says. She spent $36 and ...Read more

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On Philanthropy: Lack of accountability and transparency put philanthropy at an inflection point

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

An inflection point is a time of significant change; a turning point.

Right now, the very way philanthropy works in the U.S. is being critically examined by a growing chorus of experts and scholars who are challenging some of the basic assumptions that underlie giving. The tax code, lack of accountability and transparency, scant government ...Read more

Social Graces: Your roommate has COVID-19. Here’s how to handle the quarantine situation.

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: You live with roommates, and one of you tests positive for COVID-19. How do you address the quarantine situation?

A: You want to have designated rooms and designated spaces. The person who tested positive gets the bedroom with the bathroom attached, if there is one. You also want to keep belongings separate — coats and hats shouldn’t ...Read more

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Real estate Q&A: How can I get my ex's name off deed of my home?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I was divorced a few years ago and was awarded the house. My ex-spouse never deeded me the property like he was supposed to, and I have no way to track him down. How can I get his name off my house? — Kelly

A: I speak with many people whose spouse was supposed to deed over the house after the divorce was final and never did.

Sometimes it ...Read more

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Replace a fossil fuel furnace to lower emissions—and your bills

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Whether you want to reduce the greenhouse gases your home produces or lower the cost of your utilities, a heat pump might seem like a good idea. Here are some important factors to consider before you make a purchase.

IT'S A HEATER AND AN AIR CONDITIONER

The most commonly installed are air-source heat pumps, which resemble air conditioner units...Read more

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Natasha Frost: Small startups are getting fewer job applicants — your opportunity?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Sometimes the biggest opportunity comes from swimming upstream.

A new National Bureau of Economic Research study reveals that, since the pandemic's onset, highly qualified job seekers are choosing larger startups or established companies, even if it means accepting significant trade-offs, including a lower minimum salary, exploring different ...Read more

Antranik Tavitian/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Susan Tompor: 'Guilt gifting' is a thing in 2020 as we try to make up for a rough year

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The country is polarized about so many things — the election, the right way to tackle the virus, who you should or shouldn't sit next to at Thanksgiving. So why shouldn't 2020 holiday gift giving join the ever-growing list of potentially hot button topics?

On the one side, you can run into girlfriends or cousins who want to ditch holiday ...Read more

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Wells Fargo reverses, again, on letting homeowners accept US mortgage aid

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

After telling a group of workers laid off from COVID-19 shutdowns that it wouldn't approve federal aid to help them pay up to $1,000 a month in home mortgage payments, Wells Fargo Bank on Tuesday said it had had a change of heart and would let them use the money to pay the bank what they owe, less than a week before the program is due to expire....Read more

Mark A. Stein: Inheritance is unfair; prepare your emotions and avoid misery

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Economists estimate aging baby boomers have $30 trillion to $48 trillion in personal assets to pass down over the next 25 years. Some say it will be the greatest wealth transfer in history. It may also be the greatest disappointment.

In all likelihood, your fine parents aren't among the 1% who hold the vast majority of that accumulated wealth. ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

Natasha Frost: Put off having a child? Your pandemic decision guide

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The pandemic is hard on us all — but spare a thought for those with small children, forced to balance work and childcare, closed daycares, and entertain bored, lonely kids during lockdowns.

Millions of couples have postponed weddings because of the coronavirus, and others are reconsidering whether to have a child now.

The good news? While at...Read more

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Fed's ETF purchases have changed markets forever

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Last week's public spat between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell may have set an end date for the central bank's unprecedented intervention in U.S. credit markets. But make no mistake, the legacy of this episode will most likely permanently change investors' mindset during periods of crisis.

In ...Read more

What Joe Biden's victory could mean for SoCal housing

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

President-elect Joe Biden has detailed plans to help low-income renters, and first-time home buyers, that could make a difference for many Californians who face some of the highest home and rent prices in the nation.

His progressive agenda was released before the election and there is no guarantee it will pass. The new president likely faces a ...Read more

JESSICA J. TREVINO/Detroit Free Press/TNS

Susan Tompor: University of Michigan economists: Vaccine could boost U.S. growth in 2021

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The outlook continues to be clouded by COVID-19 but a team of University of Michigan economists sees encouraging signs that could bring economic life close to normal by the end of 2021.

Much, though, will depend on how readily a vaccine becomes available by next summer.

The annual U.S. Economic Outlook, released Thursday morning, indicated ...Read more

Life Skills: Here’s how to handle discussing politics during the holidays

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: With the holidays around the corner, should you discuss politics?

A: We negotiate politics across our interpersonal relationships everyday, whether they be familial, romantic, platonic and professional. There are certain family dynamics we’re cognizant of. We sometimes frame our approach with our partners differently from, say, with ...Read more

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Real estate Q&A: Which documents are best to add a relative to the deed of my home?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I am getting on in years and want to leave my home to a relative when I pass. I know I can do this in my will, but I think it might be easier to add him to the deed. I looked online, and there are so many options. What type of document should I use? — Andrea

A: Having a proper estate plan for when you pass is one of the greatest favors a ...Read more

Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Column: Wrigley Field national landmark listing will likely mean millions in tax credits for the Cubs-owning Ricketts family

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO — It's not quite like winning the World Series, but getting listed as a National Historic Landmark, as Wrigley Field was Thursday, is pretty sweet stuff.

There are only about 2,600 National Historic Landmarks, including Mount Vernon and Pearl Harbor. The National Park Park Service, which administers the list, says it is reserved for "...Read more

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Manhattan office glut grows as landlords face resurgent pandemic

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

It rises 1,401 feet over midtown Manhattan like a monument to another time — a shiny new skyscraper commissioned long before the world had ever heard of Covid-19.

Donning masks, the developers cut the ribbon at One Vanderbilt in September, six months into the pandemic that has emptied offices across New York. Now what once seemed like a grand...Read more

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Susan Tompor: PlayStations and puppies top the holiday scam list

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Monster growth in online sales this holiday season will trigger an explosion of duplicitous deals, fake websites, phony emails and outright shopping scams.

More than ever, online buyers better beware.

Instead of standing in line to snag deals on Black Friday, many consumers will be hitting their laptops and iPhones to spend $10.3 billion ...Read more