Archive for July, 2014

Giving Credit Too Much Credit?

Posted on July 31, 2014 by Saldutti

If you can’t bring yourself to cancel that credit card, you’re not the only one. In a recent survey by research firm Ipsos, 76% of Americans have at least one credit card. So why can’t we just get rid of these things? Probably because we think we’re the exception to the overspending rule. The reality is no one is exempt from slipping up. It’s time to break free from your credit card dependency once and for all. Dave Ramsey, syndicated radio host and best-selling author, offers these three warning signs that you’re too attached to your plastic. You get a…

Another Real Estate Bubble?

Posted on July 30, 2014 by Saldutti

With mounting indicators clearly showing that the so-called housing recovery was just an illusion, and many housing industry pundits who formerly touted the validity of said recovery now recanting their views, there should be no doubt that we are headed for another/further housing downturn, according to Lynn Effinger, executive vice president of ZVN Properties Inc. Effinger, who has over 30 years in the industry, offers the following to support his stance: There remains a “shadow inventory” of properties that have been foreclosed on but have not been released into the marketplace which has helped to artificially drive up home prices….

Spending More Can Save You Money

Posted on July 29, 2014 by Saldutti

It stands to reason that some people might believe that limiting their spending will help them to save money, and in some ways, they’re right. The problem, though, is that many people take the route of buying cheaper versions of things they may need in order to satisfy their desires to spend less. When you start looking closer at the mileage you’re getting out of your money, it often becomes clear that spending more may actually be preferable to spending less as a method for saving. Understanding why is the first step towards gaining more control over your financial health,…

What Salary is Equated with Success?

Posted on July 28, 2014 by Saldutti

Last week in a blog post, we learned the Perfect Salary for Happiness.  What makes you feel successful? Maybe it’s getting promoted or accomplishing a difficult task. Perhaps it’s a sense of fulfillment in your personal life or satisfaction at work. We all associate success with different things, and, according to a new CareerBuilder study, a six-figure salary isn’t always one of them. The survey, conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder, asked 3,372 workers and 2,188 hiring and human resource managers what salary they needed to earn to feel successful. A majority (55%) said…

Double-Whammy Coming to Housing Market Next Year

Posted on July 25, 2014 by Saldutti

Interest rate resets on many home loan modifications and home equity lines of credit seem to be on a collision course that may create a hardship for many borrowers who didn’t expect to be so vulnerable. HELOC originations peaked in 2005 and most of those second liens are due to reset in 2015. The peak year for first-lien modifications was in 2010 and most of those proprietary and government-sponsored modifications are also due to reset in 2015. A simultaneous hike in the monthly payments of both first and second liens is “sort of a double whammy,” says Aaron Horvath of…

7 Things You Might Not Know About Student Loans

Posted on July 24, 2014 by Saldutti

Did you know that 60% of graduates from the class of 2011-12 entered the real world with student-loan debt – having borrowed $26,500, on average?  That’s not small change, especially when you consider that interest charges will add thousands to debt payments over the life of the loans. It pays – literally – to understand your payment options. Repayment is a mountain you can climb, with the right guide. Kiplinger outlines these seven things that can help (or maybe hinder) your debt repayment: You can cut the interest rate on your federal student loans by 0.25 percentage points immediately with…

4 Ways to Ruin Your Retirement Plan

Posted on July 22, 2014 by Saldutti

Yesterday, we ran an article discussing the importance of retirement plans and the importance of saving enough.  Saving for retirement is a journey that can easily span a few decades. There are so many uncontrollable variables that it’s impossible to come up with the perfect plan. You need to decide how much to save in order to sustain your lifestyle in retirement and choose the right asset allocation and investments, even though you don’t know how long you will live or how those investments will perform. However, there are some mistakes that almost always make you worse off in retirement….

Nest Egg News: The Good and the Bad

Posted on July 21, 2014 by Saldutti

We’ll give you the good news first: The average worker’s 401(k) balance reached record highs in 2013. The rub? At least half of American employees still haven’t saved anywhere near what they’ll need to fund their golden years. How’s that possible? It all comes down to statistics—specifically the difference between the average and the median. According to a recent analysis from Vanguard, people who contribute to employer-sponsored retirement plans had, on average, $101,650 socked away at the end of 2013, which was a whopping 17.9% higher than balances in 2012. Vanguard attributes the trend not only to recent surges in…

"Normal" Housing Levels Still a Ways Off

Posted on July 18, 2014 by Saldutti

Consumer confidence in the housing market has trended upward significantly during the recovery but continues to be less than needed to return to “normal” housing levels, according to results from Fannie Mae’s June 2014 National Housing Survey. On average, consumers’ 12-month home price change expectation remained in positive territory in June at 2.4% but dipped slightly from the previous few months, likely in response to a lackluster housing picture in the first half of the year. Additionally, the share of respondents who expect mortgage rates to go up in the next year increased six percentage points to 55% in June…