personal finance

Marriage and Money

Marriage and Money

Wedding season is upon us and with the national average cost of a wedding at nearly $34,000, according to The Knot's annual survey, newlyweds are getting a crash course in personal finance. Gone are the days when someone else pays for the nuptials, 91 percent of the respondents contributed some dough to the big event and 80 percent created a wedding budget, more than half who did so, spent more than the allotted amount.

Universal Basic Income, Capital Gains and Mortgage Payoff

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We started the show this week with Pat in Des Moines. Pat and her husband, like many others out there, are wondering if there's a way to lower their taxes.  And should they pay off their mortgage early? 

Next up was Laura from Connecticut who is struggling with capital gains.  One of those problems that we like to consider a good one to have! 

We rounded out hour one with emails.  We have tons more so we may need to do a couple shows where we just answer emails.  

Despite the fact that we are nearing the ninth year of a global economic recovery, poverty remains a problem.  

In the United States alone, recent numbers from the Census Bureau show the rate to be just under 13% with more than 40 million people considered to be living in poverty.

Globally, more than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty, meaning they subsist on less than $1.25 a day.

While there are no easy fixes, there are a few ideas that have been tossed around. Some that have been tried and proven, at least on a small scale, like the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI), something that has very much interested me over the last couple years, as well as our guest this week in hour two, author, historian and TED speaker Rutger Bregman

The basic concept revolves around the idea of all citizens of a country receiving a regular, livable and unconditional sum of money, from the government. You may think that this is a dressed up welfare program that will only encourage people not to work.  

On the contrary, dozens of successful basic income experiments around the globe have proven that the vast majority of us actually want to do something with our lives -- we just need the means to get on our feet.

Check your negative knee-jerk reaction at the door and open yourself up to at least learning about UBI, which can be an investment that pays for itself.  

After all, poverty in its current state is incredibly expensive and ineffective.  

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100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask

Home ownership has always been considered an essential part of the American Dream.

And while it may be getting harder to accomplish—especially for the millennials—it’s still pretty high on the list of goals. If you’re going to do it, make sure you do it right by doing your homework and asking the right kinds of questions:

  • What can you afford?
  • What do you want in a home, and what do you really need?
  • What does "location, location, location" really mean?
  • How do I decide what to offer on a house?
  • What exactly does the closing process look like?

While it’s hard to ignore all the financial implications of making such a large investment, there are, of course, the equally important issues related to life, family and relationships that arise in buying a home.

And quick postscript to all you millennials out there who want to buy, but feel like the cards are stacked against you...hit up the app store on your phone and put all the tools and technology at your fingertips to use to help you find the best deal possible.

And remember, the American Dream is still very much alive and achievable.  

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Inflation-Proof Your Life

Inflation-Proof Your Life

Worries about rising inflation have spooked stock and bond investors. As a reminder, inflation occurs when the prices of goods and services rise and as a result, every dollar you spend in the economy purchases less. The annual rate of inflation over from 1917 until 2017 has averaged just over 3 percent annually. That might not sound like much, but consider this: today you need $7,272.09 in cash to buy what $1,000 could buy in 50 years ago.

Better Off BONUS call: Investment Property

If there's a piece of property in the family that's on the market, would it make sense to buy it and keep in the family as an investment property? That's the question from Ryan on the latest BONUS call.

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

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Stock Market Correction: What to do Now

Stock Market Correction: What to do Now

We knew that a stock market correction was coming, but why then did everyone seem so shocked when it arrived on Februarys 8th? Corrections, defined as 10 percent drops from the recent highs (January 26th), usually occur every year or so. Until last week, it had been two full years since the major US indexes had corrected. In other words, we were overdue for a drop.

CBS This Morning: Why Stock Market's Recent Volatility is Healthy

A wild week on Wall Street came to an end with a small rally on Friday. I joined CBS This Morning to explain why such volatility might not be a bad thing. 

CBS This Morning: Wall Street Market Correction

Wall Street opens after the Dow suffered its second-worst points drop ever. It closed more than 1,000 points lower Thursday. The worst drop in history, nearly 1,200 points, happened Monday. I join CBS This Morning to discuss why the market is in correction territory.