Oops, I Did It Again

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September was a tough month for the GOP presidential campaign, marked by a series of unfortunate utterances by Republican candidate Mitt Romney. The most damaging of all was an hour-long video of him speaking at a private fundraiser, which came on the heels of misspoken comments about recent foreign policy.    You’ve probably heard the…

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The Fed Steps Up

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Five million Americans have been out of work for more than six months. Less than half of the eight million jobs lost during the recession have been restored. In his press conference announcing the latest plan by the Federal Reserve to help improve the U.S. economy, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke made it clear that the…

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Scraping Together Retirement Income

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  According to the Federal Reserve’s 2010 Survey of Consumer Finances released in June, the typical U.S. household between ages 55 and 64 held just over $42,000 in their tax-exempt (IRA, 401(k), etc.) retirement plans, and the average value of bank savings accounts dropped in half, to $18,000. That’s about $60,000 available for retirement which, when coupled with…

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Great Recession Strikes Home

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According to a new study by Prudential Financial, the majority of women today are financially responsible for providing their own and their families’ income. Among the 1,400 women surveyed, 53 percent are primary breadwinners, and 22 percent of women who are married or living with a partner report being the one who makes the most…

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A Health Care Plan – For You

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A survey released in late July found that one in three doctors say they will quit practicing medicine in the next decade. But not because they’ll retire. Reasons given included declining reimbursement, unprofitable practices, and the high cost of doing business. According to the report, “this confluence of economic and regulatory pressures is driving some…

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What “Recovery” Feels Like

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What “Recovery” Feels Like Today’s headlines are dominated by the claims, promises, accusations and trash talk of our noble presidential candidates. Each says they’re fighting for the future of middle-class Americans, a category of citizens for whom neither can admit to being a card-carrying member. But who is the middle class, anyway? Recent research and…

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Making Homeownership Viable Again

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There’s been discussion in recent years about renting being a better investment than buying a home. Analysts have emphasized that homeowners need to take the perspective that owning a home is more about quality of life than the road to riches. But that’s like saying don’t invest in stocks when prices are low, which is…

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Midyear Recap

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The commentaries are in – July brought with it a host of analysis about how the economy is doing so far this year.   According to Fidelity Investments, “The U.S. remains in a mid-cycle expansion and the corporate sector remains solid, but improvement has slowed, and global and policy risks dampened the overall outlook for…

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Banks: Too Big to Break Up?

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After the Great Depression, Congress passed the Banking Act of 1933, which included banking reforms such as the Glass-Steagall Act (named for its Congressional sponsors, Senator Carter Glass (D) of Virginia and Representative Henry B. Steagall (D) of Alabama). That Act was designed to limit the activities and affiliations commercial banks could engage in with securities and securities firms. In…

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Does Student Loan Debt Make You Smart?

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It used to be that garden-variety wisdom behooved you to go to college to make something of yourself. These days, with around $1 trillion in outstanding student loan balances nationwide ($150 billion in private student loan debt), many are questioning that wisdom.   According to finaid.org, the average college student’s debt is more than $18,000,…

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