Wednesday, October 30, 2013

LAPD's New Smartphone App: Will Your Criminal Record Show Up?

The Los Angeles Police Department will soon have access to a new smartphone app called "JusticeMobile," reports ABC News.  Developed by Attorney General Kamala Harris, the San Francisco Police Department, and various technology companies, the app is funded by federal, state, and local governments.
According to Harris, about 600 San Francisco police officers have already used the app. In addition, more than 3,600 Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers will soon begin using an updated version of the app.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Small Company Workers are Losing the Race to Retirement


NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Working for a small business may reduce your retirement readiness. A newly-released Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies survey finds that the estimated median household retirement savings among Baby Boomers is lower among small company workers ($92,000) compared to large company workers ($113,000). And while 88% of small company workers think company-sponsored retirement plans are an important benefit, only 58% are offered such a plan by their employers.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

5 Mistakes Home Sellers Make


It might be a seller’s market right now, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to put some effort into listing their home.
Expert say potential buyers decide whether they like a house within 15 seconds of walking through the door, so sellers should make sure they aren’t making mistakes that turn off potential  buyers

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Monday, October 21, 2013

9 Building Blocks that Should Be Part of Everyone’s Retirement Plan


When it comes to planning for retirement or prepping for their next vacation, most Americans choose the later.
“Planning for retirement is overwhelming and not as fun, so of course they are going to plan something that is more immediate and put off planning for the future,” says Larry Rosenthal, financial advisor for ING Financial Partners, referencing the company’s recent informal poll showing Americans spent more time this summer talking about and planning their vacation than their retirement.

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Friday, October 18, 2013

3 Techniques for Growing Your Savings Account


For many, saving cash is an impossible task. They've tried budgeting, jotting expenses in diaries, reducing indulgences. Nothing works. Their wallets remain as flat as a Nebraska cornfield prior to planting.
It's time to try a different tack, and the following three-step approach to savings is one that can yield success for many people. If you're one of those with problems growing your savings account, try following these steps.
Step 1: Grow your saving account by earning more
Many people try to save more by spending less, but can never quite pull off the task of reducing their cash outflows. Spending is just half the equation. The other half, of course, is earning. The more money you can bring in, the less mindful you have to be of pinching every red cent.

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Monday, October 14, 2013

4 Tools to Help Sellers Price their Home


When it comes to selling a home, it’s all about picking the right listing price.
Listing too high could turn off potential buyers and force a price cut later to ignite interest, which could mean less negotiating power during the closing process.
While real estate agents have a wealth of knowledge and data to determine the right listing price, that doesn’t mean they are the only reliable source of information

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

College Finance Tips for 40-Somethings: Fighting a 2-Front War



In decades past, people in their 40s had largely already put their own student-loan debts behind them and were able to turn their attention to preparing to help their children pay for their educations. More recently, though, educational debt has become a persistent trouble for Americans, weighing down their finances well into adulthood.

Indeed, a 2013 Federal Reserve Bank of New York study showed that student-loan delinquency rates among those 40 to 49 were the highest of any age group as of the fourth quarter of 2012 -- more than 16 percent -- with other age groups falling in the range of 9 percent to 13 percent. With a third of student loan debt held by Americans over age 40, many parents don't have the luxury of being able to give their children's education as much financial attention as they'd like

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fake Bank Scamming Victims Out of Hundreds


(Newser) – A new scam is bilking people looking to rebuild their credit rating out of hundreds of dollars by offering semi-secured credit cards then pocketing their deposits, TheStreet reports. The Treasury has sent a letter to US bank executives and federal and state regulators warning them of the scam, run by an outfit named Freedom Gold Club, which claims to be associated with a bank called Freedom 1st National Bank—which doesn't exist—and also sometimes Credit One Bank, N.A., which does exist but isn't actually involved.
Freedom Gold Club contacts people by mail, offering them the secured cards for a deposit of $500 to $900. When victims send in the money, "the checks are cashed by an individual using the name of Bradford C. Ege II, and the victims never receive the anticipated credit card," says the letter.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Will Automatic Bill Pay Ruin Your Finances?


NEW YORK (MainStreet)—For many of us, paying bills automatically is a decision we make, because it is easier than managing our money manually. But is it good for your bottom line? Below we are going to look at which people automatic bill pay is right for, and which folks might be better off taking the hard road to bill paying.
We will talk with a few experts and look at who might want to use automatic bill paying, who will want to steer clear and why automated bill paying is not free pass to stop paying attention to your finances completely.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Because of Student Loans, Boomers Buy More Cars Than Kids

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — A study released today by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York yields new analysis on auto loans and how student loans may interact with them.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis data indicates that consumer vehicle sales - chiefly two- and four-door cars plus some SUVs, which fell sharply during the Great Recession to levels that had not been seen since the early 1980s - have made a V-shape recovery.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

5 Mistakes You Make When Managing Your Debt


NEW YORK (—Not all debt is created equal. With that being said, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing your debt and avoiding excessive interest, fees and other penalties that could result if not handled properly.
Here are five mistakes consumers commonly make with their debt (and ways to avoid them).
1. Depleting Your Emergency Fund
If you have a substantial amount of cash in your savings account, allocating a vast majority of it to get out of debt may seem like the wise thing to do. However, the problem with this approach is that it fails to get to the root of the problem. The ultimate goal should be to get out of debt and stay out of debt, and not simply write a fat check to serve as a temporary patch. It is more sensible to jump-start your management efforts and cut costs elsewhere in your spending plan because emptying out your emergency fund can mean even greater debt if an emergency arises and you do not have an adequate amount of cash on-hand to cover the costs.

Friday, October 4, 2013

With 36% of Grads Back at Home With Parents, How Long Is Too Long?


  NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Much has been written and said about America's growing "lost generation," those 20- and even 30-somethings that are either out of a job or underemployed due to the lingering effects of the Great Recession.
According to the Center for College Affordability & Productivity, no young American over the age of 22 is immune.
Even half of college graduates are working in jobs that don't require a college degree, the Center reports, and the youth unemployment rate stands at 16.2%.
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    Wednesday, October 2, 2013

    Can't Afford a 20% Down Payment, Can I Still Buy a Home?

    When is it okay to purchase a house without making a 20% down payment?
    Dear Hannah,
    When you’re willing to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). And that’s not something you want to do.
    PMI costs about $75 a month per $100,000 borrowed. So, if you borrow $200,000 on a home, and you don’t put down at least 20% on the transaction, you’ll have to pay out an extra $150 a month as part of your mortgage payment.

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    Tuesday, October 1, 2013

    In a Win for Small Merchants, Judge Overturns Fed Ruling on Debit Card Fees


    Score one for Main Street. In the ongoing saga between the nation's biggest banks and small retailers, the courts today ruled in favor of small businesses.
    The United States District Court for Washington, D.C., Judge Richard Leon declared that the Federal Reserve was "non-compliant with Congress's clear mandate" when it set fees for debit card transactions in 2011 right.

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