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Vanguard is no friend to shareholders seeking more details on firms' political spending

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

When shareholders of Camden, NJ-based American Water Works asked fellow investors to support a measure on corporate political spending accountability this year, Vanguard voted 'no.' So it went for similar resolutions put forth at annual meetings for Range Resources -- one of the first companies to drill for natural gas in Pennsylvania's ...Read more

Hot Property: A long way from that Boston bar

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Actress Kirstie Alley, who finished as a runner-up on the latest season of the reality show "Celebrity Big Brother," is ready to leave another house behind. She's put her longtime home in the L.A. neighborhood of Los Feliz on the market for $11.97 million.

The Italianate villa-style home was built for restaurateur and hotelier ...Read more

More millennial homebuyers? Digital brokerage bets on it

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN DIEGO -- The founder of a fast-growing mortgage lender is launching a tech startup in San Diego, hoping to help millennials and other tech-savvy buyers find houses within their budgets.

The company, called Greendoor, is building a suite of online tools to help buyers search for houses based on the monthly payment -- one that includes all ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Retiree's dilemma: Deprive self or risk destitution?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A retiree of 64 has $1 million in her 401(k) common stock fund and expects a long lifespan. Her conundrum is deciding how much she can draw from the fund every month without worrying about running out while she is still alive. Existing options for coping with the conundrum are poor.

The 4 percent Rule

Investment advisers dealing with this ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Retiree's dilemma: Deprive self or risk destitution?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

A retiree of 64 has $1 million in her 401(k) common stock fund and expects a long lifespan. Her conundrum is deciding how much she can draw from the fund every month without worrying about running out while she is still alive. Existing options for coping with the conundrum are poor.

The 4 percent Rule

Investment advisers dealing with this ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Social Security calling? Nope, it's scammers out to grab your cash

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Watch out, the Social Security scam is looking like the new IRS scam.

Crooks increasingly are impersonating an official from the Social Security Administration, making harassing calls similar to the annoying Internal Revenue Service calls.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network now has had more complaints to its helpline in the past few months from ...Read more

How Northern California's destructive wildfires could exacerbate the state's housing crisis

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

PARADISE, Calif. -- Northern California's recent wildfires have burned homes at a greater pace than developers are building them, deepening a housing shortage that already has left millions struggling to find affordable places to live.

Five large wildfires over the past 14 months, with November's Camp fire the most devastating, have destroyed ...Read more

'It's so much better here': Tenants who followed Bay Area landlord to Colorado aren't looking back

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The first snow dusted Colorado Springs in late October.

Tony Hicks -- San Jose resident for 37 years, Colorado Springs landlord for 4 months -- didn't take it as a sign he made the wrong move.

"It's so much better here. It is nicer, cleaner," said Hicks, a 58-year-old retired engineer and landlord. He sold his three San Jose rental homes this ...Read more

The poor are getting 'priced out of Charlotte' by an out-of-state company, critics say

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Over the last decade, out-of-state rental companies have bought thousands of houses across Charlotte, raising rents in a city already struggling with a shortage of affordable housing.

For Angela Campbell the news still came as a shock earlier this year: Her landlord, Tricon American Homes, would not renew her lease even ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Can we separate taxes, insurance from mortgage payment?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We want to separate our taxes and insurance from our mortgage payment, but our mortgage servicer says no. It did not collect enough to pay our taxes, and now there is a shortage. We want to prevent this in the future. Is the servicing company right? -- Tania

A: Your mortgage lender requires you to escrow your property taxes and homeowner ...Read more

Changes to Seattle's single-family zoning could improve housing picture, city report says

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SEATTLE -- The single-family zoning that dominates Seattle has priced people who aren't rich out of most of the city's neighborhoods, is contributing to income and racial inequality, and has forced the city's booming population to crowd into small pockets of the city, a new planning-commission analysis concludes.

The advisory report released ...Read more

Housing has peaked. Here are the reasons the market has cooled.

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The housing market is one of the key sectors in the economy. When housing booms, many segments of the economy are pulled along. But this sector is now slowing.

Are we in for a new housing market meltdown? Probably not, but that doesn't mean the future of the housing market is bright. Factors are in place that imply housing has entered a new ...Read more

Susan Tompor: Year-end giving doesn't guarantee getting a tax break

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

In years past, nearly one-third of all annual donations were made in the month of December, as people made their charitable gifts before the deadline for tax deductions.

Yet this year, if you're more focused on getting back in the form of a tax break come April, you may want to think twice about how many year-end checks you write to charity.

...Read more

The Journey: Life insurance is being squeezed out by other household priorities

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Multiple studies have tagged millennials as risk-averse, so why are they shunning life insurance?

Just 10 percent of the under-40 generation has enough insurance to cover all of their dependents' needs in the event of an early death, according to a new study.

"Too many members of this generation are starting a family or buying a home without ...Read more

John Bogle pens WSJ op-ed warning index funds becoming too big

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The creator of low-cost indexing warns his invention may have grown too powerful.

Vanguard founder John Bogle penned an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal (paywall if you click) offering potential guardrails against the ever-growing power of institutional index fund managers -- including his own firm Vanguard, plus State Street, and ...Read more

Hot Property: Usher beats it out of his L.A. villa

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Grammy-winning singer Usher has bid a final goodbye to his L.A. home, selling the Spanish villa above the Sunset Strip for $3.3 million.

He bought the 1920s home three years ago for about $3.368 million, real estate records show.

Tucked behind walls and gates, the house has more than 4,200 square feet of living space, a two-...Read more

Southern California home sales decline, hitting lowest level in seven years

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Southern California home sales tumbled 7.5 percent in October from a year earlier, extending a broad slowdown in the housing market, according to a report released Thursday by CoreLogic.

Last month was the third straight month of declines and the 20,752 homes that sold were the lowest for an October since 2011, before the housing market took ...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Our pension system needs fixing

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The private pension system in the United States is in transition from defined-benefit plans to defined-contribution plans. On balance, this may be a step in the wrong direction. The jury is still out, however, and much will depend on how defined-contribution plans evolve in the future.

Early in my career I worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of...Read more

The Mortgage Professor: Our pension system needs fixing

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

The private pension system in the United States is in transition from defined-benefit plans to defined-contribution plans. On balance, this may be a step in the wrong direction. The jury is still out, however, and much will depend on how defined-contribution plans evolve in the future.

Early in my career I worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Military tenant broke lease because she was transferred overseas. Can I sue?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: I was renting a furnished house for short-term (vacation) rentals. A few months ago, I was approached by an agent who made me a very favorable offer to rent the home annually. We signed a lease, and I got rid of all of the furniture because they had their own. Now the season is upon us, and I was told just before the move-in date that the ...Read more

 

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