Infographic: How People Searched for Their Homes This Year

Buying a home will probably be the most expensive item you ever purchase… until you buy the next one. Finding the right home at the right price is always a challenge. Discover how other American homebuyers searched for – and found – their homes in the following infographic above, based on the latest report from the National Association of Realtors.

Will Social Security Completely Vanish Before You Retire?

Planning for retirement includes assuming that Social Security might not be able to cover all of your expenses. — but you should know that the benefits program probably won’t disappear either.

Yes, You Can Complete These Home Renovation Projects on a Budget

Summer is quickly approaching, and that means it’s the perfect time to start thinking about which home projects you’re going to do this year. Summertime is often jam-packed with trips to the beach, family vacations, and visits to the mall to pick up some warmer-weather attire. Because of all of this, you might not think you’ll have enough money to

How to Get Money Back from Western Union Scams

Act Before May 31 to Get Your Money Back Although Western Union has served as a reliable method for rapidly sending money over long distances since the late 1800s, the service is also used by scammers with increasing frequency. This has resulted the settlement of Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that Western Union had not been doing enough to protect consumers from these scammers. The FTC has tallied over 550,000 consumer complaints of fraudulent money transfers involving Western Union between January 2004 and August 2015.

What’s Holding Up Your Retirement Savings? It’s You.

Are retirement savings a priority for you? If not, why aren’t they?

The Cape Strikes Back: More Star Wars Swag for the Solo Premiere

Solo: A Star Wars Story premieres tonight, and some theaters are holding fan events before the screening that will include costume contests. If you’re considering attending — or even if you’re planning to see the movie at the theaters later on — the following list of costumes on Amazon might pique your interest. You’ll definitely enhance your experience of the flick with the following Star Wars swag.

By |May 24th, 2018|Categories: Personal Finance Tips|Comments Off on The Cape Strikes Back: More Star Wars Swag for the Solo Premiere

Higher Credit Scores Needed For Home Purchases

Average Homebuyer Score Rose from 700 in 2005 to 732 in 2016 Welcome to the 2018 home-buying market: Rising demand and an extremely tight supply of homes, especially in the critical starter-home market, make it difficult to realize your goal of home ownership. In this market, you’ll need two important things to land your dream home – more money and a higher credit score. Data from the Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) at Harvard University highlight the credit score issue. According to the 2017 JCHS study, “The State of the Nation’s Housing – 2017,” the median credit score for successful mortgage loan applications increased from a FICO score of 700 in 2005 to 732 in 2016. Lenders are still conservative in their risk assessments – aided in part by regulations put in place during the housing crisis.

By |May 24th, 2018|Categories: Personal Finance Tips|Comments Off on Higher Credit Scores Needed For Home Purchases

3 in 4 Workers Worry About Social Security

New Survey Shows a Bad Combination of Skepticism and Dependence Are you counting on Social Security for most of your retirement funds – and if so, how comfortable are you that the funds will be there at retirement? According to the recent Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers, you probably aren’t comfortable at all. A surprising 76 percent of survey respondents are concerned that Social Security won’t be there when they retire – including 65 percent of baby boomers, the generation entering their retirement years.

By |May 23rd, 2018|Categories: Personal Finance Tips|Comments Off on 3 in 4 Workers Worry About Social Security

New Tax Laws Should Lower Your Odds of Being Audited

The recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) represents one of the biggest changes to the tax code in many years. Will the Internal Revenue Service be up to the challenge of enforcing these changes? For the last five years, the IRS has been examining fewer and fewer returns. In calendar year 2016, 1.1 million tax returns were audited (0.5 percent of all returns), down from approximately 1.7 million returns in calendar year 2012. Now the IRS faces a new regulatory challenge with approximately the same budget as in 2017 – a decrease of almost $1.5 billion (23 percent) from 2010 when inflation is taken into account.

By |May 22nd, 2018|Categories: Personal Finance Tips|Comments Off on New Tax Laws Should Lower Your Odds of Being Audited

More Homebuyers Stretch Toward Excessive Debt

It’s difficult to purchase a home in today’s market. Pent-up demand and an extreme shortage of homes have led to a rapid increase in prices that outpaces recent wage gains. The problem is acute in the market for starter homes and critical in high-value markets like San Jose, Seattle, and Austin. Desperate homeowners are stretching their finances to buy a home, and lenders and mortgage backers are increasingly willing to accommodate them.

By |May 21st, 2018|Categories: Personal Finance Tips|Comments Off on More Homebuyers Stretch Toward Excessive Debt