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Will Generation Y Live The American Dream Of Buying A New Home?

Since the real estate meltdown happened in the 2007/2008 time frame, many families across America have seen their home prices plummet far from the original purchase price they paid, even with home improvements.  Others that bought properties in the mid to late 90’s saw a spectacular run of home price growth only to see many of those gains wiped away over the past four years.   With much of the home ownership across America dispersed between the baby boomers and generation X, there is a looming question around whether Generation Y will even want to own a home in the future.    Is this actually still an American Dream or merely something that has turned into a Nightmare On Elm Street?   Here are three reasons why Generation Y may not be a major purchaser of new homes over the next decade despite the incredibly low mortgage interest rates we are seeing today.  Heavy Student Debt – Many people in the 20’s are ...

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Please Slap My Hand When I Spend Money!

For Generation X, I’ve noticed something over the past couple of years around money that seems to becoming a trend.    Even though you are college educated (maybe an MBA), have a great job as a VP of company, and have traveled to several countries around the globe, you’ve reverted to the behavior you had when you were in college.   The simple rule is this.  If there is money in your pocket, then it’s sure to catch fire sooner than later and burn a hole in your pocket.    It doesn’t matter if it is a new pair of boots you see in a magazine, a remodeling of your bathroom that could probably wait, or staying at the best hotels like a Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons.   Gen X’ers have seen a terrible recession over the past few years, but the trend is returning that spending money is a hard habit to break.   Gen X’ers have that Cyndi Lauper slang in ...

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How Much Do I Give For A Wedding Gift?

Your college roommate or long time childhood friend invites you to their wedding.   Or better yet, you’ve got a big family and your second cousin Joe is getting married and last time you saw him was two years ago at the family reunion.    Now you have got to spend money to get an airline ticket, book a hotel room, and possibly buy a new dress or suit for the upcoming wedding this summer.   It dawns on you that now you’ve got to figure out how much is the right amount to give for a wedding gift.   You are no Miss Manners by any stretch of the imagination, but you don’t want to walk away like some cheapskate that the wedding couple laughs at that evening when they open up their gifts.   So, how much should you give for a wedding gift? Everyone has different thoughts on this, but let’s talk first if you can’t attend the wedding.   By no means ...

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Personal Finance 101: Generation X – You Just Turned 40: Last Time To Get Life Insurance?

Generation X is classically defined at people born between the years 1965 and 1979.    Pretty much those of you in your early 30’s to the mid 40’s.  However, having given personal financial advice to thousands of people, I can tell you that many of you who were born 1960 to 1964 fit within the Generation X type of financial and personal attitude. In the last six months, I’ve seen both friends and family who are in the 40 to 45 year old range dealing with major medical issues.   I’m 42 and when people told me about 10 years ago the aches in my joints would be just a little bit worse . . . well I hate to admit but they were correct.    Recently, I had three different people I know who drove themselves down to the emergency room thinking that they might be having a stroke or heart attack.    I know three different people who were diagnosed with some ...

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Top 5 Celebrities Who Had Tax Problems With The IRS

If you ever get the chance to become famous, it may be followed by fortune.   Stars that get the chance to be in the Hollywood limelight or reach tremendous athletic prowess can often make tens of millions of dollars of the course of their prime in their given profession.    You don’t often hear about the bulk of celebrities running into trouble with the IRS, but there have been a fair share of superstars that got into the limelight for the wrong reasons around their tax problems.     Here are five celebrities who probably wish their star wasn’t burning bright with the IRS. Wesley Snipes – I have to admit that Wesley Snipes played one of my all time favorite roles in White Men Can’t Jump.  When he tells Billy, “It’s hard, hard work making you look so bad.”    Mr. Snipes ‘bladed’ himself by owing roughly 17 million dollars to the IRS which got him convicted to a three years sentence.   This ...

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5 Ways To Cut Down Your Cell Phone Bill

Many of the clients I sit down with tell me how their basic bills continue to rise year over year.   Two of the main monthly costs that keep going up and up for many families are the cable bill and the cell phone bill.   Since mobile companies offer so many different types of plans with minutes, data, texting, and other additional options, it’s important that you review your family cell phone bill each year to see how you can keep costs to a minimum.   Here are five ways you can potentially cut down on your cell phone bill. Who Is Your Top Ten?- Most of the mobile phone companies will offer some type free minute program around your top ten friends and family you call the most.   Between my phone, my wife’s phone, and the two phones my daughters have, we checked to see which numbers were called the most so we could access the most amounts of free minutes.    ...

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Is Your Homeowner’s Insurance Going To Cost You More Than A Few Shingles?

If you live in the state of Georgia, you may notice a big jump in your Homeowners Insurance here in 2012.   Often, people don’t really look closely at their homeowner’s policies because their mortgage payments are tied together with their principal, interest, real estate taxes, and homeowner’s insurance all paid at one time.  Even though you might get a statement from your insurance company, I’ve seen people not reviewing these statements closely on a year to year basis.   This can be especially true as people quickly scurry to the refinance window trying to lock in the incredibly low long term interest rates. After rising steadily for the past few years, homeowner insurance premiums are expected to jump another 5% this year to $1,004, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That’s the biggest yearly increase since the market downturn and will mark the first time the national average premium is above $1,000. (source: www.wsj.com) Premiums will rise even higher in some ...

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It’s March Madness – Are Money Decisions Like Picking An NCAA Basketball Winner?

With the first big day of March Madness tomorrow, we all have our brackets filled out and ready to go with our Final Four picks.   This year is sure to be filled with some Cinderella stories along with some dominant favorites making their way down the brackets to the eventual winner. While we all get focused on the office pools, March Madness can really teach you some great money lessons to help you make more smart money moves for the rest of your life. When two teams compete in the NCAA tournament beginning with the total of 64 (now 66) teams that make the tournament, they each get a line in a bracket.   Bracketology is the process of predicting the field of the NCAA Basketball Tournament, named as such because it is commonly used to fill in tournament brackets for the postseason. It incorporates some method of predicting what the NCAA Selection Committee will use as its Ratings Percentage Index ...

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Just One Pen Pal Letter . . . Please

Bills.   Nobody likes getting them in the mail and it’s even less fun for people to have to sit down over the weekend and pay them.    It’s part of the reason why on line bill paying has become so successful.  It isn’t just the fact that the whole process is much easier, but now that bills can be delivered electronically you don’t have that extra pain of opening up the envelope wondering just how much it’s going to be this month. If you are married or have a partner, usually one of you ends up being the main person that pays most or all of the bills.   You get that distinct pleasure of seeing cable, gas, electric, and credit card bills where you put most of your expenditures. Most of us, including me, for some bizarre reason look forward to getting the mail out of the mailbox to see what we get every day.   I don’t really know what we ...

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