Chris's Feed
Oct 19, 2012

Double the trouble when divorced parents get old

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Devin Pope never expected to find himself shuttling between his mother’s and father’s homes, caring for his aging parents separately.

Sure, the 33-year-old financial planner from Salt Lake City always knew his parents were going to get older. And he realized there would probably be health problems along the way, like when a stroke in 2001 left his dad partially paralyzed and without much of a short-term memory.

Oct 13, 2012

Five issues that could derail your refinancing

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The TV and radio ads make it all seem so easy. Walk into a lender’s office, refinance your home loan at a rock-bottom rate, and walk out with a lower monthly payment.

Here’s a little tip: It’s not so easy.

If you know the pitfalls, you can at least prepare for them – and perhaps chart a wiser course. A few issues that could have your application earmarked for the ‘Rejected’ pile:

Oct 13, 2012

Welcome to Hell: The joys of refinancing

NEW YORK (Reuters) – For Scott Laperruque, every day is Groundhog Day.

That’s because the commercial photographer from Short Hills, New Jersey is refinancing his house for a rate of 4 percent. Trying to, anyway. And every time he wakes up, just like Bill Murray in that classic film, he discovers he’s living the same day all over again.

“The bank will ask for one document, and a week will go by,” says Laperruque, 55, who now pays 5.75 percent and would save almost $400 a month if his refinancing would close. But the bank keeps asking for more, and more, and then because they have to have everything within a 30-day period, they have to re-ask for things like payroll stubs.

Oct 13, 2012

Five issues that could derail your refi

By Chris Taylor

NEW YORK, Oct 13(Reuters) – The TV and radio ads make it all
seem so easy. Walk into a lender’s office, refinance your home
loan at a rock-bottom rate, and walk out with a lower monthly
payment.

Here’s a little tip: It’s not so easy.

If you know the pitfalls, you can at least prepare for them
- and perhaps chart a wiser course. A few issues that could have
your application earmarked for the ‘Rejected’ pile:

Oct 10, 2012

Is your boss watching your cholesterol?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – If you’re an employee who’s looking to save money or make more of it, here’s a little advice: Step away from the cigarettes and chocolate éclairs. They might cost you – and not just in your lungs or on your hips.

That’s because more companies than ever are attaching financial rewards and penalties to their employees’ health. Do a wellness screening, get $50. Stop smoking, enjoy lower insurance premiums. Hit a weight or cholesterol target, get a contribution to your health savings account.

Sep 11, 2012

Me and My Money: Jack Bogle

NEW YORK (Reuters) – For a guy who helped create the modern investment-management industry as the founder of Vanguard Group, John “Jack” Bogle has an interesting relationship with money: He hates to use it.

Bogle doesn’t care for the fancy things people often buy, and he sure doesn’t like how it has corrupted the financial system. He thinks that everyone should save for the future, of course, but he can’t stand to spend on himself. He is happiest when he is at the family getaway in the Adirondacks with his wife, six kids and 12 grandchildren.

Jul 27, 2012

See you in 2 wks: When couples take separate vacations

NEW YORK, July 27 (Reuters) – This summer, I decided to take
a couple of weeks for a much-needed getaway in southern
California. I lounged by the Manhattan Beach pier, spent some
quality time with my parents and sister, and brought my two boys
to the wallet-destroyer known as Disneyland.

My wife stayed home.

As I write this, she’s in Haiti, visiting her hometown in
the country’s west. She’s eating local dishes like diri ak
djon-djon (rice with black mushrooms), getting all the village
gossip from her father, and getting respite from the summer heat
in the river that snakes down from the mountains.

Jul 20, 2012

The real costs of houseguests

NEW YORK, July 20 (Reuters) – When Peg Eddy decided to host
some old friends from Thailand at her San Diego home, she
thought it was going to be a few days of fun and reminiscing.
She didn’t realize it was going to break the bank.

First, there was the shopping. She and her husband
chauffeured their four guests to stores all over southern
California, racking up 1,100 miles in the process. In fact, her
guests loaded up with so many shopping bags every day that Eddy
had to rent a car with a bigger trunk.

Jul 18, 2012

Corrected: Generation Yikes: Why young savers are avoiding stocks

(Corrects to remove final two paragraphs because of questions about the source’s reliability)

By Chris Taylor

(Reuters) – Ask any money manager about people who don’t invest in stocks, and the answer is probably a little condescending. They just don’t understand the market; they’re not thinking about the long-term; they’re unsophisticated, preferring to stick their money under a mattress.

Jul 18, 2012

Generation Yikes: Why young savers are avoiding stocks

By Chris Taylor

(Reuters) – Ask any money manager about people who don’t invest in stocks, and the answer is probably a little condescending. They just don’t understand the market; they’re not thinking about the long-term; they’re unsophisticated, preferring to stick their money under a mattress.

But Diane Casaretti is no rube. She’s a successful marketing rep in Stamford, Connecticut, and in her career has worked with many Wall Street banks and brokerage houses. But she’s made a conscious, rational decision: Stocks just aren’t for her.

    • About Chris

      "Chris Taylor is an award-winning freelance writer in New York City. A former senior writer with SmartMoney, the Wall Street Journal's personal-finance magazine, he has been published in the Financial Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, Fortune, Money, and more. He has won journalism awards from the National Press Club, the Deadline Club, and the National Association of Real Estate Editors. The opinions expressed are his own."
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