And you thought there was no downside to home ownership? You can actually hurt your credit if you miss these details.
I remember when I bought my first house. It was a great feeling of pride to be standing in a place that I owned, that I could call my home. Aside from being a place to rejuvenate from your busy day while you spend time with your family, a home is also a key step toward building a financial nest egg that you will rely on for years to come.
But did you know that buying a home can also hurt your credit? If you’re not careful, it can go from a positive experience to a negative experience — almost in the blink of an eye. Here’s how buying a home can hurt your credit if you’re not careful:
Watch out for 'talent' scouts at malls and amusement parks; it's the season for modeling and acting scams.
For one, it's flattering (and who doesn't love flattery?) It also makes you think you're headed for a new glamorous and lucrative career.
Forget all that.
Less than savory agencies often set up shop at mall and amusement parks, sometimes pitching a talent show or casting call.
Consumer advocates warn complaints about the scam have started to pick up.
After your initial flattery-filled encounter, you'll likely end up at the agency's office — along with others who got the same spiel. The interview will be something more like a sale-pitch, and a high-pressure one at that.
Here's what you should watch out for:
Up to half of all thefts in some cities involve a cellphone. Here are some tips for protecting your property and data.
This post comes from MSN Money contributor Michelle V. Rafter.
A woman putting something in her car in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood is robbed of her new Android smartphone at gunpoint. Thieves on the light rail in Portland, Ore., grab iPhones out of their owners’ hands as the train doors open and flee before anyone can catch them.
Classic business clothes never go out of style, and keeping them in top shape can save a lot of money over time.
Back when I worked as a consultant in the defense industry, I was expected to wear a suit every single day into work. I was fortunate in that I had just made a trip to China and came back with five suits (at around $80 apiece -- they were very nice quality too), so I was well equipped to wear one every single day. (I would later learn that you just left a jacket behind your door and wore a full suit only to meet with clients.)
Even with five suits, I wanted to make sure I maintained them properly so that I could get the most out of them. While they were under $80 each, a great price for a great suit (that’s what happens when you go straight to the tailor), I knew they were worth two or three times that and wanted to treat them that way.
So I read up on how to maintain a suit and was surprised how simple it was.
Don't dry clean after every wear
First, understand what dry cleaning is. Next, understand that you don’t need to dry clean your suit after every wear. That great Art of Manliness article cited above covers when you should dry clean your suit or will a quick brush or ventilation do the trick. Dry cleaning is a pretty harsh (and expensive) process and so if you can avoid it, it’s best to dry clean when only absolutely necessary because it damages the suit.
Ventilation for 24 hours
After you wear your suit, let the suit ventilate for at least 24 hours. The idea here is that the suit has picked up some moisture from your body and will need some time to dry out. Also, if your suit picked up any new scents, like perfume or smoke, this also gives the suit a chance to rid itself of its new friends.
A new study says one-fourth of millennial couples buy homes before marrying. Before plunging into homeownership, go see a lawyer.
About one in four married couples younger than 35 bought their first home together before they actually tied the knot, according to a recent study from Coldwell Banker.
The millennial generation is marrying later but -- contrary to its slacker image -- is facing up to "financial realities" right now, psychotherapist Robi Ludwig told U.S. News & World Report.
"The boundary of needing to be married before purchasing a home has been broken," says Ludwig, a lifestyle correspondent for Coldwell Banker.
"It requires you to be financially transparent and you have to have the maturity and forethought to say 'What do you want in the next five, 10, 15 years?' going into homeownership."
Lower interest rates have likely encouraged this trend. Why not grab the opportunity to buy if you know you're getting married eventually? It just makes financial sense.
That is, unless you split up.
Their son earned a master's degree in business, but he hasn't found a job after more than 2 years of looking. The parents think the problem is a lack of experience. I think it's something else.
Our son graduated with a master's degree in business. His undergrad degree was political science and history. He has not found a job after 2 1/2 years because he does not have experience! No one will give him a chance or even an interview! He scored high but could not work due to the massive reading, writing during his master's. We are scared!
-- Gayle and Fred
I disagree with your assessment, Gayle and Fred. I don't think the failure of your son to find a job is because he lacks experience. That's simply not logical. Everyone who's ever had a job found their first one without experience.
So if a lack of experience isn't the problem, what is? There's no way to know for certain from the information you've provided, and odds are it's a combination of factors.
But let's go over some potential problems and possible solutions.
Last year, I ran an ad for a video producer. I specifically asked those without the required five years' experience not to waste their time or mine by applying.
Result? Tons of applications from new grads.
Submit a thousand applications for jobs you're not qualified for and you'll get a thousand rejections.
A different story: Six years ago I hired a guy right out of college for $12 an hour. His degree wasn't related to this business, and his job was grunt work.
A $40 million settlement was approved that provides for compensation for consumers who bought sneakers advertised that they would do the exercise for you.
The sneakers at issue in the case — Skechers' Shape-ups, Resistance Runner, Shape-ups Toners/Trainers, and Tone-ups — were sold between August 2008 and August 2012. Those who have submitted claims in the case — more than 500,000 consumers — will be eligible to receive refunds up to $84 per pair of Resistance Runners, $80 for Shape-ups, $54 for Podded Sole Shoes, and $40 for Tone-Ups.
It has taken a while for the case to get to this point. The Federal Trade Commission a year ago reached an agreement with Skechers, which admits no wrongdoing in the matter, to repay consumers and dial down its claims.
With scarce employer benefits and recession-ravaged 401K's, retirement for many boomers is looking tight.
This post comes from Emily Brandon at U.S. News & World Report.
The oldest baby boomers have already turned 65, and the older population of the U.S. is beginning to swell. The age-65-and-older population grew 18% between 2000 and 2011 to 41.4 million senior citizens, according to a recent Administration on Aging report.
These numbers are expected to further balloon over the coming decade as baby boomers continue to reach traditional retirement age. Here's what retirement looks like for the typical person age 65 or older in the U.S.:
Most retirees have very modest incomes. The median income for people age 65 and older was $27,707 for males and $15,362 for females in 2011. The typical household headed by someone age 65 or older had a median income of $48,538. The median income increased by 2% between 2010 and 2011 after adjusting for inflation. Almost 3.6 million elderly people (8.7%) lived below the poverty level in 2011.
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