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Experts spill secrets for a well-stocked bar cart

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Want to throw a proper cocktail party, but don't know where to start?

Proper tools and spirits are musts, and having them in a central location facilitates festivities. Natalie Jacob, a New York City-based beverage and creative consultant, said to start by choosing a bar cart.

"The bar cart should be a reflection of your style," Jacob said, ...Read more

Susan Tompor: The 401(k) looks better after a bull market but what happens in Washington could hurt

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Hanging on has paid off for baby boomers who saw their 401(k) savings get burned in the Great Recession.

Average account balances for boomers who steadily contributed to a 401(k) are now far higher than those balances were before the recession took hold in December 2007, according to a report released last week by Fidelity Investments.

The ...Read more

On Philanthropy: Five questions every nonprofit donor should ask

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Donors wishing to contribute their time and treasure to nonprofits face a vast array of choices. After all, there are more than 1.6 million nonprofit organizations in the United States that would be delighted to accept their resources. The challenge for donors becomes how to make the right match.

In order to make the best choices and enhance ...Read more

Even in affordable Pittsburgh, still living at home — struggling with debt, limited options

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

PITTSBURGH -- After living in Atlanta for 10 years and managing the struggle to keep up with rising expenses and student loan debt, 34-year-old Kara Steiner decided to move back to her parents' house in suburban Pittsburgh last year hoping to re-establish her life in a more affordable city.

She landed a job within a week of coming home. The ...Read more

Hot Property: An end to those forever views

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Ross Robinson, the music producer behind such albums as Korn's self-titled first record and Limp Bizkit's "Three Dollar Bill, Y'all," has put his Venice beach home on the market for $11.74 million.

The 4,422-square-foot contemporary, designed and built in 1997 by Miguel Flores and David Ming-Li Lowe, has three bedrooms and 3.5 ...Read more

5 ways to jump-smart your e-home

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

It used to take a lot of money to make your home a smart home. A doctorate in software and/or electrical engineering didn't hurt, either.

Today, making your house smarter is as easy as plugging in a light bulb. Literally.

Better still, you can select the specific kind of intelligence you need: whether it's setting the right lighting for a ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: Condo unit tenants possess rights to exercise if building owner elects to sell

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Q: We have been renting the same apartment for years. Recently we were told that our building is being converted to a condominium. We want to keep renting. What are our rights?

-- Jackson

A: Your building owner does have the right to develop your complex into a condominium and sell off the units. You, also, have rights in this situation.

No ...Read more

Downsizing for retirees is never easy, but a professional organizer can help

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

After spending time in the hospital earlier this year, 88-year-old Betty Price decided that it was time to transition from her three-story townhouse to a six-room independent-living apartment, just a short drive away in the Longwood at Oakmont Retirement Community in Verona, Pa.

However, she didn't make the move alone. Although her children ...Read more

Buy vs. rent: Can you afford to wait?

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

Buying a home is probably the biggest financial decision most of us will make. While many variables factor into that decision, one key element is whether it makes more financial sense to buy a home rather than renting one.

According to industry experts, it depends on how long you plan on staying in a home.

"Given certain parameters, I can tell...Read more

In Baltimore, apartments aim to win over renters by appealing to their pets

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

BALTIMORE -- Laura Goodell and her fiance didn't have a dog when they came to Baltimore a year ago for graduate school -- yet. The Equitable Building's rooftop dog run helped sell them on the apartments in a converted former office building.

"It was my hope we'd adopt," Goodell said. "This kind of amenity isn't something every building has."

...Read more

People solidly in the middle class are the ones hurt by Trump's decision on Obamacare

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

MILWAUKEE -- Please don't use my name, the self-employed businesswoman said. Customers might worry that her business is on shaky ground if they knew her situation.

Even though she earns a solid middle-class income ranging from $60,000 to $75,000 a year -- and she likes being her own boss -- she's wondering if she'll have to find a new job.

The...Read more

Bay Area solar entrepreneur works to woo architects, builders

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

FREMONT, Calif. -- Suvi Sharma came to entrepreneurship early.

Sharma started a nonprofit while at Northwestern University dedicated to teaching and mentoring students in poor Chicago neighborhoods.

Along with a desire to better his community, he said, "I realized I liked running things."

After a few post-college years doing consulting and ...Read more

Construction workers swap pen and paper for digital app

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SAN DIEGO -- At the InterContinental Hotel construction site on the downtown waterfront here, Hensel Phelps field engineer Andrew Coba pulls out his tablet and fires up an app called Raken to note progress on metal framing at the second level.

He can dictate observations, take photos and videos, and email his daily report back to the office in ...Read more

Amazon receives 238 bids for its second headquarters

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SEATTLE -- Amazon says it received 238 proposals from North American cities, states and provinces interested in serving as the online retailer's second home.

The tally, released on Monday, includes cities in 43 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Outside the U.S., cities from seven Canadian provinces applied, as did ...Read more

Susan Tompor: IRS: Tax refund fraudsters already had much of that Equifax stolen data

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

So among other cybersecurity worries, now we're all wondering how the stolen Equifax data -- which includes Social Security numbers -- might drive up tax refund fraud.

But IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said last week he's doubtful the Equifax breach will make a noticeable difference in tax-related ID scams. That's because a significant amount ...Read more

Going for broke: Many pro athletes still struggling with finances

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

PHOENIX -- Mike Tyson. Allen Iverson. Diego Maradona. Terrell Owens. Four major athletes, four major sports.

And an estimated $600 million of earnings lost.

Eight years after an eye-opening Sports Illustrated study suggested 60 percent of NBA players go broke within five years of retiring from the game, concerns remain about professional ...Read more

Hot Property: Ski champ ready to take a powder

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

LOS ANGELES -- Decorated alpine skier Lindsey Vonn, who has her sights on more Olympic gold at the upcoming Winter Games, has put her home in L.A. on the market for $3.795 million.

The sexy two-story is in Beverly Grove, a desirable neighborhood that abuts Beverly Hills and West Hollywood, and was completed last year. Vonn paid $3.55 million ...Read more

Seattle area's HQ2 bid tries to convince Amazon to stay at home

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

SEATTLE -- The Seattle area woke up Sept. 7 to the news that Amazon planned to set up a second, equal headquarters, raising the prospect of a dramatic split between America's fastest-growing company and its hometown.

The area delivered its pitch for Amazon to stay at home on Thursday: a 522-page document that most expect to amount to a futile ...Read more

HGTV's 'Property Brothers' find their way into the furniture market

Consumer / Home and Consumer News /

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- HGTV's "Property Brothers" are expanding their reach into your home from the television screen to the furnishings. Scott Living, a lifestyle brand from twins Jonathan and Drew Scott, is meant to bring good design to consumers at an affordable price.

"We want quality and style to be available to everybody," said Jonathan ...Read more

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