Home & Leisure

CEO pay in last four decades grew 940.3% while average worker up 11.9%

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CEO pay in the last four decades has grown 940.3% while the pay of an average worker increased 11.9% over the same time period.

That is what the Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on the low- and middle-income Americans, found in a study released last week.

The study's authors tracked CEO ...Read more

Riding into a Hidden Hills retreat

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Actor John Stamos has joined the likes of Britney Spears, Drake and the Kardashians in Hidden Hills, where he has purchased an equestrian estate for $5.75 million.

Set on 1.5 acres, the Cape Cod-inspired traditional residence is markedly different from the rustic Country French-style house the "Full House" star is currently ...Read more

High cost of housing cuts into food, utilities study says

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

More than a third of Americans have been forced to cut spending on essential items like food and utilities to afford housing, according to a Freddie Mac study.

About 42% of renters and 33% of homeowners have had to reduce the money spent on essentials to cover the cost of housing during the prior two years, the report said. Overall, 62% of ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Now, a new way to estimate next year's tax refund

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Summer will soon be fading out of view and, like it or not, 2019 will move toward a close.

So what exactly have you done to withhold more money out of your paycheck to cover that 2019 tax bill?

If you need a motivator, the Internal Revenue Service has launched its much-anticipated new Tax Withholding Estimator. The calculator reportedly makes ...Read more

Land values in these two states are growing faster than in California

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Across the country, the price of land occupied by single-family homes ticked up from 2012 to 2017. But despite soaring housing costs in California, the Golden State didn't rise to the top of the list.

According to a recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, both Nevada and Colorado actually outpaced ...Read more

On Philanthropy: Don't let disaster philanthropy become a philanthropic disaster

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Hurricanes, floods, tornados, tsunamis, wildfires, earthquakes, droughts -- and more. Such "natural" disasters are happening with greater frequency, many accelerated by our rapidly changing climate.

"Man-made" disasters such as shootings at schools, concerts, houses of worship and workplaces are also occurring at alarming rates.

All of these ...Read more

Marijuana stores on Chicago's Mag Mile? Cannabis companies aim to redefine 'high street' retail

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHICAGO -- Cannabis companies are eyeing sites on some of the priciest retail streets in Chicago, including the Magnificent Mile, as they get ready to sell recreational marijuana in Illinois.

Dispensaries have opened in marquee retail spots around the country -- like Fifth Avenue in New York and a mile from the Las Vegas strip. Chicago's turn ...Read more

Vanguard investors jolted with wrong prices from stock markets

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

As investment values slipped again Monday -- with U.S. stocks down, and bond yields also off on China trade war fears -- Vanguard Group investors got an extra jolt when the Malvern, Pa. company showed some of its popular funds falling much farther.

Vanguard, which invests more than $5 trillion in clients' money in mutual funds and exchange-...Read more

Amid housing crisis, Culver City is the latest town to cap rents

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Culver City approved a temporary rent control measure early Tuesday morning, joining a handful of other Southern California cities that have boosted tenant protections as the state grapples with an affordability crisis.

In a 4 to 1 vote that followed a five-hour discussion, the city council capped annual increases to 3% in buildings built on or...Read more

Apartment owners race to add luxury amenities

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Competition for tenants who can pay top rents has grown so fierce that landlords are loading up their new buildings with goodies unheard of in years past when a swimming pool and laundry room were considered ample enticements for renters.

In a new downtown Los Angeles apartment complex, residents could be found on a recent hot Friday afternoon ...Read more

The Journey: The financial complications of getting married later in life

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Whether due to gray divorce or early widowhood, retirement planning increasingly needs to include a new partner. And often, it couldn't come at a trickier time.

Remarriage rates among those 55 and older increased by 15 percentage points between 1960 and 2013, according to Pew Research Center. And during the period from the mid-1990s to early in...Read more

Susan Tompor: Social Security sent out some wrong estimates. What you need to know

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Who would imagine that you could get a wrong estimate of your Social Security benefits from -- guess who -- the Social Security Administration?

The story is yet another reminder about how you need to double-check your numbers, take a hard look at what you're being told and keep good records of previous Social Security statements.

In an odd ...Read more

Sluggish housing market could add up to less remodeling business in 2020

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A contractor not returning your calls? Consider calling next year.

Remodelers are having one of their busiest summers ever, but that's likely to change.

The annual gain in home-improvement spending is expected to fall by as much as half in many major real estate markets by the end of this year, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies...Read more

California home builders are pulling back, deflating hopes for housing relief

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Home builders are pulling back from new construction, the opposite of what economists say is needed to ease California's housing affordability crisis.

In the first six months of 2019, builders gained approval for 51,178 new homes in California, nearly 20% fewer than the same period a year earlier. That puts the state on track for the first ...Read more

Hot Property: Down to earth for 'Friends' star Matthew Perry

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- He's come a long way from Chandler Bing's modest New York apartment.

Actor Matthew Perry, who played the character on the beloved sitcom "Friends" for 10 seasons, has put his penthouse at the Century building in Century City on the market for $35 million.

The roughly 9,300-square-foot residence, dubbed the "Mansion in the Sky," ...Read more

Most expensive homes to sell so far in 2019 in San Diego area

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN DIEGO -- It might be hard to tell with these prices, but the luxury market across the United States has actually seen prices go down in many places.

Experts point to changes in the tax law that limit deductions and a major slowdown in foreign buyers as the main reasons for fewer high-end sales.

As it has for the past several years, ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: You need a will to make sure your cousin gets your villa

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: My villa is about half paid off. My cousin is my next of kin and should get my home and bank account. What happens to my home when I die? -- James

A: If you want your cousin to get your home when you die, you should draw up a will that leaves it to him. Your will should be properly drafted, signed, witnessed, and notarized so that you do not...Read more

One reason housing is so expensive in California? Cities, counties charge developers high fees

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A long-awaited study detailing how much cities and counties charge developers to build housing in California found that such costs are often hidden, vary widely across the state and have slowed growth.

The report, released this week by the state Department of Housing and Community Development, comes as Gov. Gavin Newsom ...Read more

Real ID, real problems: States cope with changing rules, late rollouts

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

WASHINGTON -- In half a dozen states, including the most populous state of California, the Real ID rollout is a real mess.

Technical glitches, delays and miscommunication are roiling the Real ID implementation in those states, calling into question whether residents will have the secure driver's license needed to travel by air or enter ...Read more

Erin Arvedlund: Vanguard reopens Dividend Growth mutual fund, redefines ESG portfolio definition

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Vanguard reopened its popular Vanguard Dividend Growth mutual fund to new investors, according to filings with regulators, and also redefined the screens for its popular ESG mutual funds, which offer environmental, social, and governance-conscious portfolios.

Dividend Growth (VDIGX) closed to new investors three years ago when it was $31.5 ...Read more


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