Personal Finance and Business

Before co-signing a loan, know the risks

October 3, 2014

Shakespeare probably said it best: “Neither a borrower, nor a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend.” Four hundred years later, people still wrestle with whether or not to help out a loved one by loaning them money or co-signing a loan. Perhaps you want to help your kid qualify for a… [Read More]

“In Remembrance of Emmett Till” by Darryl Mace

September 15, 2014

What can you say about tragedy? When it’s imminent, you brace yourself and hope to come out unscathed. In its aftermath, you mourn and, eventually, you move on, healed… but not quite ever the same. Still, what, exactly, can you say about tragedy? Plenty, as you’ll see in the book “In Remembrance of Emmett Till” by Darryl Mace, and the strongest words come from influential places. Mamie Till-Mobley was born in Mississippi… [Read More]

Black women are the only demographic not gaining jobs

September 15, 2014

African American women are the only demographic in the United States whose unemployment rate has not improved over the past year, according to a National Women’s Law Center analysis of the latest jobs data. The overall unemployment rate dropped from 7.2 percent to 6.1 percent between August 2013 and August 2014, and women’s unemployment rate dropped from 6.2 percent to 5.7 percent, the NWLC noted. During that same time, however, the unemployment… [Read More]

Under 26? Should you stay on your parent’s health insurance?

September 15, 2014

In their quest to land a job, any job, many young adults will sacrifice what used to be called “fringe benefits” to gain a foot in the door. But many entry-level jobs either offer no healthcare benefits, or the employee’s cost share is prohibitive for someone barely making minimum wage. Add to the equation that most twenty-somethings are in good health and rarely visit the doctor and it’s… [Read More]

Social Security to resume mailed benefit statements

September 8, 2014

Call it a paperless experiment that didn’t quite pan out. In 2011, a budget-strapped Social Security Administration (SSA) stopped mailing annual benefit statements to workers over 25 in order to save $70 million on annual printing and mailing costs. In return, the agency launched the “my Social Security” online tool that allows 24/7 access to… [Read More]

Here’s credit 101 for your college freshman

September 8, 2014

To parents with a freshman entering college this fall: You’re probably expecting to shell out major bucks for tuition, room and board and a million other necessities over the next few years. But before you send your kid off, make sure you share one gift likely to steer him or her along the road to… [Read More]

Read contracts carefully before signing

August 14, 2014

If you always stop to read the fine print before signing anything, congratulations – your parents trained you well. If you don’t, beware: Your signature could commit you to a long-term gym membership you don’t really want, an apartment you can’t afford or worst of all, paying off someone else’s loan you cosigned. Broadly defined,… [Read More]

Divorcing? Protect your finances, personal data

August 13, 2014

No doubt you’ve seen many warnings against sharing personal or financial information with strangers, but what about your spouse – or ex-spouse? A recent study by McAfee uncovered some unsettling results: Although 96 percent of adults surveyed trust their significant other with passwords, intimate photos and other personal content, only 32 percent have asked their… [Read More]

Don’t let back-to-school tasks sneak up on you

August 13, 2014

Parents, if this is your first time at the back-to-school rodeo, let me share a few lessons my wife and I have learned the hard way. Chances are you’ll be spending the next few weeks filling out piles of pre-enrollment paperwork, lining up carpools and, of course, taking the dreaded shopping excursions for clothes and… [Read More]

Spend your tax refund wisely

April 17, 2014

Last year the IRS doled out over 110 million income tax refunds averaging $2,803. Another way to look at it is that collectively, Americans overpaid their taxes by nearly $310 billion in 2012. Part of that is understandable: If you don’t have enough tax withheld throughout the year through payroll deductions or quarterly estimated tax… [Read More]