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A recent study reveals that single parents are putting off saving for retirement so they can help pay for their children's postsecondary education.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 25, 2014 1:14PM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News. 

 

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyIn a perfect world, parents would not have to choose between putting money away for their retirement or saving for their children's college education. But that's the unfortunate reality for many single parents across the country.


That was one finding in a recent study by Allianz Life Insurance Co. that examines today's American family and finances. The study revealed that nearly half (45 percent) of single-parent respondents said their children’s education was their main motivation for creating and implementing a long-term financial plan, compared with just 26 percent of other "modern" families and 39 percent of "traditional" families.


Graduation cap © Brand X Pictures, PhotolibraryThree in 4 single parents said trying to prepare for retirement and save money for their kids' college simultaneously is stressful. No surprise there.


According to USA Today, the survey's single-parent respondents don't represent the standard income level for single parents, who usually sit closer to the poverty line. Single parents had to have a minimum annual household income of $50,000 to participate in the survey.


Despite being financially stable and having reported better-than-average financial planning skills, the single parents in the survey are still having difficulty trying to prioritize their spending. The Allianz press release said:

 

Yes, your little bundle of joy is priceless. Still, the adoption process can be costly.

By Credit.com Aug 25, 2014 12:30PM
This post comes from Gerri Detweiler at partner site Credit.com.

Credit.com on MSN MoneyWhat does it cost to adopt a child? The answer a friend gave when she was asked was "a lot less than it's worth." But while the value of a child can't be calculated, would-be adoptive parents need to have some idea of the amount of money they will need as they go through the adoption process.


Baby with money © Creatas, PhotolibraryBrooke Randolph, 34, had worked in adoption for several years before she decided she wanted to adopt. While she had an idea of how much money she'd need, she had some expenses she hadn't counted on.


The first, after she had applied to adopt, was a flooded basement. She used it as an opportunity to finish her basement, greatly increasing the value of her home but eating into her savings. Once she had a referral, she waited 17 long months before being allowed to bring her son, now 7, home to Indianapolis from Samoa. During that time, she was responsible for his living expenses -- "probably what some people pay in rent," she says.


For the most part, she was able to pay adoption expenses with savings and a small inheritance, but when it came time to travel, she took out an interest-free loan (more about that in a moment). "I wanted to be able to travel without worrying about the money," she said.

 

Wondering which vehicles get the most complaints? We tell you the five models most likely to have their owners swearing on the side of the road.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 25, 2014 12:12PM

This post comes from Maryalene LaPonsie at partner site Money Talks News. 

 

Money Talks News on MSN MoneySome vehicle models seem to be born lemons. Whether it's through faulty design, poor manufacturing or plain dumb luck, some models experience the same problems over and over again.


It could be a transmission that gives out well before its time. Or maybe the electrical system decides it no longer wants to open doors automatically. Once you start talking to other owners with the same vehicle, you realize that, oh, everyone has this problem.


Wouldn't it be nice to have that information before buying your next car?

 

Many of the cable giant’s employees are reportedly evaluated based on their sales, regardless of whether they’re in a sales position.

By Stacy Johnson Aug 25, 2014 12:06PM
This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyI imagine it would be incredibly frustrating to call Comcast's customer service line to cancel your service, complain about an issue with your cable or get help with a billing question, only to have the customer service representative try to sell you additional channels or faster Internet or some other Comcast upgrade.


Unfortunately, that is what's happening.


According to The Verge, the cable giant wants its employees to make sales, regardless of what position they hold within the company.


Despite the fact that Comcast has departments devoted to both inbound and outbound sales, the company encourages its employees in customer service, tech support, and other departments to make sales as well. This often puts the employee's interests at odds with the customer, who may be calling in to report a technical problem, billing issue, or to downgrade their service.


According to Ars Technica, Comcast call center employees are trained to follow a four-step call flow process.

 

If you're one of the millions of sleep-deprived Americans, here's how to find cheap sleep without pills.

By Stacy Johnson Aug 22, 2014 5:41PM
By Marilyn Lewis, Money Talks News  
Money Talks News

Are you driving sleepless? It's like driving drunk, maybe even worse. Even if you're not asleep at the wheel, you are sure to be sharing the road with sleep-deprived drivers.

 

Lack of sleep is "a national epidemic," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Almost a quarter of people the CDC surveyed confessed that sleepiness keeps them from concentrating.


What's worse, nearly 5 percent of them told CDC pollsters they'd "nodded off or fallen asleep" while driving at least once in the previous month.

 

A credit card is a good tool to establish a credit history -- if it's used wisely. Here are three cards college students should consider.

By Credit.com Aug 22, 2014 3:23PM

Credit cards © Imagemore/Getty ImagesBy Jason Steele, Credit.com


As students spend their college careers preparing to make their way in the world, it's also a critical time in their financial lives -- a time when they can establish good financial behaviors and the beginnings of a credit history. Credit.com

 

A student credit card can be a good way to do that, as long as you don't give in to all the temptations a line of credit can offer and become deeply indebted at a young age. However, a student card can also be a great opportunity to learn how to use credit responsibly, and build a good credit history that can help you qualify for car and home loans in the future, as well as help you qualify for more competitive rewards cards once you graduate.


What to look for in a student credit card

Most of the major credit card issuers offer products that are marketed directly to students. First, you should look for cards with the fewest fees. Thankfully, all of the student cards we reviewed have no annual fee, and some will even waive other fees.

 

A TripAdvisor survey found that 77 percent of Americans said they worked while on vacation in the past year.

By Stacy Johnson Aug 22, 2014 1:47PM

Man on couch with a laptop © Cavan Images/Getty ImagesBy Krystal Steinmetz, Money Talks News Money Talks News


A vacation, by its very definition, isn't supposed to involve work. But that hasn't stopped more than 3 in 4 Americans from putting in work hours while on vacation.


According to a recent TripAdvisor survey, a whopping 77 percent of Americans admitted to working during their vacation in the past year. That's nearly twice the rate of the nine other countries included in the survey.

 

Americans also receive less paid vacation time compared with their international counterparts. The U.S. worker average is 18 days. The number for the other nine countries ranged from 19 in Japan to 31 in France.

 

Managing your money properly doesn't have to be time-consuming.

By Credit.com Aug 22, 2014 1:25PM

Ever feel like you are drowning in stacks of paperwork? Have you paid bills late because you lost track of them? Or worse yet, does your credit report show late payments due to those missed payments? Maybe it's time to organize your finances.


But who has time for that?


Taylor Flanery says everyone does, and she should know. She’s a working mother with three young children who also created three websites in her "spare" time. One of them, Home Storage Solutions 101, is devoted to home organization. With no time to waste, she's developed systems for everything, including one that allows her to stay on top of her finances in as little as two minutes a day.


Here, Flanery shares the strategies she uses: 

 

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