Here we present discussions of private or public funds, their management, and the financial system that serves them. And, as with mostother topics, we want to know the impact of politics across state and global markets.

Is Health Insurance Ever Going to Be Perfect?

Healthcare

Hearing the words “Obamacare” and “Affordable Care Act” strikes confusion into the minds of many Americans as the quest for the best health insurance plan continues for many.

People hear these terms and how health care and health insurance will be affected, but often times the outlook and options are misunderstood. The public wonders if health insurance will ever be perfect and what their coverage will look like in a few years.… [Read more]

The State of the Mortgage

home-price

Looking to buy a home? Believe it or not, it might be easier than it’s been during the last two decades to secure a mortgage from financial institutions.

According to a survey of senior loan officers commissioned by the Federal Reserve, at negative 18.3 percent, the net percentage for prime mortgages was the lowest it’s been since the central bank started tracking it in 2007.… [Read more]

The True Cost of Cashing out Your 401(k) – And Some Better Options

Piggy bank 401K and dollar

A leaky roof, a damaged septic system, a child getting ready to go to college—if you are facing any of these expensive propositions, you may be thinking about taking money out of your 401(k). Before you call your HR rep, check out the true cost of tapping your retirement account and these valuable alternatives.

You’ll Pay Penalties

If you are under the age of 59.5, you can withdraw money from your 401(k) for hardship distributions.… [Read more]

Top 5 Tips to lodging a successful workers compensation claim

Workers Compensation

If you are injured at work, you may find you are entitled to a certain amount of compensation. However, it is never as easy as simply claiming this and it then being awarded to you. You will have to go through a procedure to prove that not only were you injured, but also that it was the fault of your employer.… [Read more]

The Crisis in Pensions and Retirement Plans

Retirement Piggy Bank

Despite being considered the financial centre of the world, it’s still very possible for the United States to learn from other countries. See the infographic below; it presents a brief history of retirement plans in the U.S. including state and local government pensions and Social Security. Now let’s put things in perspective: Countries with strongest pension programs (based on 2013 pensions, both public and private) rank the U.S.… [Read more]

Tax Traps to Beware of in 2014

Taxes

When Americans all across the country rang in the New Year, many breathed a sigh of relief for more than a few reasons. First of all, taxpayers no longer have to wait for Congress to finish constituting the tax laws that impact their 2013 returns and, secondly, the American Taxpayer Relief Act — which went into effect last spring —  will extend many advantageous provisions for recently filed returns.… [Read more]

Why Payday Loans Should be Made Illegal

stack-of-dollars

Despite the many benefits that they pose to those who use them, payday loans have been outlawed in fifteen states – Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia – as well as in the District of Columbia. New York in particular expressly prohibits making such loans over the Internet as well as in person.… [Read more]

Bank regulators modified debt rules – How will it change things?

Bank

U.S. bank regulators have come up with some modified rules for the least possible holding company debt requirements. By the first week of July this year, the U.S. regulators disclosed the new set of rules which are supposed to limit the leverage that banks can engage in business. As per the economists, these new rules may have significant impact on the business decisions of eight of the most important financial institutions in U.S.… [Read more]

In Search of the Best Jobs in America

Man_consults_with_pharmacist_(1)

The best jobs are rewarding, fulfilling and have room to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) gives growth estimates for the 2010 – 2020 period for several occupations. The average growth rate predicted was around 14 percent, but some of the best jobs may experience 25 percent growth and more. If you’re looking for a new career path, these jobs show the most growth potential.… [Read more]

Equal Pay: Women Still Lag Behind Men, Young Women Closing Gap

Fighting for wage equality tug of war concept

It’s depressing to read that in 2013, women continue to be paid less for men for the same work. Weekly paychecks for full-time female workers are 82.4 percent of men’s earnings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Pay inequality is lessening at the younger end of the age spectrum, thanks to the increased efforts of high-achieving women in high school and college.… [Read more]

The Case for Expanding Social Security

Social Security

Our friends at Democracy for America and MoveOn.org posted this infographic that we want to see shared far and wide. The mission is to “combat this growing retirement security crisis and tell Congress that Americans support expanding Social Security — not cutting it.”

On this site we’ve commented about this issue repeatedly; we note that when politicians talk about cutting so-called “entitlements” they neglect to note that if a person has worked and contributed to the system, s/he is ‘entitled’ to receive funds back from that system because it’s actually an earned benefit.… [Read more]

Diagnosing the Causes of Medical Debt in the U.S. (Infographic)

medical bills

With the rollout — and consequential fallout — of Obamacare, the real importance of healthcare reform had been temporarily swept aside to clear the stage for politics. While the dust settles on the budget battleground, we are revisiting the initial reasons behind the reform. As the average age and weight of the people in the United States increases, health issues become more pressing.… [Read more]

Janet Yellen nomination for Fed Chair set for today

Janet Yellen

It was a good day when Larry Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury and economic advisor to President Obama withdrew his name for consideration as new the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. It’s an even better day now that Janet Yellen has been nominated for the position. If confirmed, Ms. Yellen will make history as the first female chair of the Federal Reserve, the nation’s central banking system.… [Read more]

How Excessive Paperwork Can Stunt Small Business Growth

small business owner paperwork

Small businesses help fuel the nation’s economic growth. Small business owners are already busy juggling plenty of challenges. Between tasks such as managing employees, keeping tabs on the industry, and striking a balance between operating expenses and turning a profit, small business owners have their work cut out for them. The last thing any small business owner needs is to heap on an unnecessary burden – such as excessive paperwork.… [Read more]

Retirement Saving: Steps for the Sandwich Generation

Saving for retirement for the sandwich generation

Maybe you’re one of those people who has two major responsibilities right now – your kids and your aging parents. Of course, your folks can probably depend on Social Security and their personal retirement funds for a little while longer, but your children are wholly defenseless. At the same time, you have to start seriously considering your own future savings.… [Read more]

College Tuition Costs and You

College tuition costs

Politics has its hands in everything. It even affects college and who attends and who doesn’t. Schools are inherently biased about who they will and will not accept as admissions is a selectivity game. As a result, prospective college students often feel as though they must throw everything noteworthy about themselves in their applications and, still, there is a possibility that they won’t be admitted to their higher education institution of choice.… [Read more]

Ending the “Doctor Shortage”

navydoc

We Americans do not have the world’s “best” health care, just the most expensive.

Health Care reform must consider skyrocketing costs if any progress is made. We walk a tightrope between cost and quality.

When I slung gin over the bar, one learnt rather quickly from frazzled nurses that “M.D.” too often stood for “Me, Doctor!”  The human body is a complex beastie, but we need choices other than which expired medico to raise from the dead, Dr.… [Read more]

Criminal Charges and Civil Inquiries for JP Morgan? No surprise…

JP Morgan Chase

Banks behaving badly (now referred to as BBB) should be the title of an on-going saga with the nation’s largest financial institutions. It’s also the reason why harsh penalties and strict regulations are needed to keep Wall Street from running amok.

In the latest episode of ‘BBB’, J.P. Morgan Chase, the nation’s largest bank based on its asset size, is back in the news again. … [Read more]

Another stop on the state of the economy road trip

President Obama

“How about a ‘grand bargain’ for middle-class jobs?” Indeed, that is the question. While Congress spends its time on the time-wasting activity of yet another ‘down with Obamacare‘ vote (does this latest vote make 40 attempts to snatch healthcare coverage from the country’s previously uninsured citizens?), President Obama spoke at a another stop on his ‘state of the economy’ road trip.… [Read more]