Chris's Feed
Dec 10, 2012

Your money: The Apple Tax – America’s costly obsession

NEW YORK (Reuters) – With the “fiscal cliff” looming, taxpayers are wringing their hands about all sorts of things. Income taxes might rise, dividends might get walloped, lifetime gift-tax exemptions might get slashed.

But when it comes to immediate impact on their wallets, maybe they should be thinking about something else entirely: The Apple tax.

Dec 10, 2012

The Apple Tax: America’s costly obsession

NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) – With the “fiscal cliff”
looming, taxpayers are wringing their hands about all sorts of
things. Income taxes might rise, dividends might get walloped,
lifetime gift-tax exemptions might get slashed.

But when it comes to immediate impact on their wallets,
maybe they should be thinking about something else entirely: The
Apple tax.

Dec 7, 2012

Rebooting your career after a long layoff

NEW YORK, Dec 7 (Reuters) – As any astronaut will tell you,
re-entry is the trickiest and most dangerous part of space
flight.

The same might be said about returning jobseekers. Despite
the challenges of increased competition and gap-filled resumes,
more people who left the workforce, whether voluntarily or
involuntarily, are coming back into it, according to the U.S.
Labor Department. And they have not always found it easy to
reboot careers that may have stalled in the last recession.

Nov 27, 2012

Marriage and money: bridging the interracial divide

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Walk into any American conversation, and there are two volatile issues that could make it explode at any moment: Race, and money.

Combine the two, and spontaneous combustion is guaranteed.

Which is why no one ever talks about it. But given the rapidly rising number of interracial marriages in this country, perhaps it is time to discuss how coming from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds can sometimes lead to disparate attitudes toward money and security.

Nov 19, 2012

Charitable parents raise charitable kids

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Not long after the megastorm Sandy hit the northeast United States, Maryum Goodwin and her little girl Ryleigh, 6, saw a disturbing picture of the New Jersey shore devastation.

“That’s somebody’s house?” Ryleigh asked.

“It used to be,” said Maryum, a stay-at-home mother from Kennesaw, Georgia.

Nov 14, 2012

LGBT community has money but needs advice

NEW YORK (Reuters) – How well do financial planning firms respond to the needs of the LGBT community? The report card just came in. They flunked.

Financial giant Prudential Financial Inc today released an online survey of more than 1,400 Americans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. For institutions hoping to tap into this lucrative market, the numbers are a serious wake-up call.

Oct 27, 2012

Disaster-proofed homeowners aren’t sweating Sandy

NEW YORK, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Hurricane Sandy is charging up
the East Coast as a cold front is tearing across the U.S. from
the west and an arctic blast is barreling down from the north.
The resulting “Frankenstorm” could cause gale-force winds, heavy
rains and flooding – along with billions in damages along the
Eastern Seaboard.

Valerie Dziengiel isn’t worried one bit.

That’s because Dziengiel, for the last 11 years, has lived
in “survivalist luxury” in the Connecticut woods with her
husband, Walter, a homebuilder. They have a flood-proof
basement, backup power systems and freezers full of food. The
worst thing that might happen as Sandy rampages: They’d lose
their cable television.

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.

    • 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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