Lou's Feed
Dec 28, 2011

Limited-time offer: Savings bond deals, certificates

Dec 28 (Reuters) – As the times and technology advance,
once-essential parts of our lives turn into pop cultural
relics, from transistor radios to cell phones the girth of
six-inch subs.

Now add the once ubiquitous paper U.S. savings bond, which
will no longer be sold as of Sunday, January 1. That’s enough
for some folks to make a pre-New Year’s Eve dash to the bank or
credit union.

Dec 28, 2011
Dec 27, 2011
Dec 23, 2011

How to make a fortune after 50

By Lou Carlozo

(Reuters) – At an age when others might ready for pre-retirement, some folks pass age 50 determined to start a new life in the business world – and succeed beyond their rosiest business plan projections.

In a sequel to our October piece that looked at wealthy whiz kids (see link.reuters.com/dug75s), Reuters spoke with four entrepreneurs who have created successful businesses after 50. And take note: Three of the four leaders featured here are women, having shattered the twin glass ceilings of gender and age.

Dec 21, 2011

Sending out 2011 with a rush on flexible spending

By Lou Carlozo

(Reuters) – If you needed a clue that Chicago’s Eye Spy Optical does brisk business in late December – the time when many healthcare flexible spending accounts expire for American employees – just take a look at its storefront in the city’s Lakeview neighborhood.

You’ll see three signs alerting passersby to spend those flex dollars, including a sandwich board that warns: “Use it or lose it. Only – days until Flex Spending Account Deadline!!”

Dec 14, 2011

A more animated explanation of annuities, this one from a duck

By Lou Carlozo

(Reuters) – Warning: This article concerns annuities, long treated by many consumers as the bottomless bowl of cold oatmeal at the personal finance breakfast bar.

But it gets better – promise – or at least more entertaining, because this story begins with an animated cow and a Mallard duck riding choppers on a desert highway a la Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda singing the praises of complex retirement financial products.

Dec 12, 2011

Collectors evolving into ‘passionate investors’

By Lou Carlozo

(Reuters) – Dennis Varni remembers buying his first car, a 1931 Ford Model A, more than a half century ago when he was 14. It cost him $45 and to amass that princely sum, he picked fruit, hawked his model train set and even sold the clothes off his back.

Now 67 and retired from owning several successful businesses, Varni no longer sweats scrimping and saving to buy motor vehicles. In fact, his collection of 65 cars and 13 motorcycles, valued at $10 million, has bolstered his bottom line at a heart-racing pace.

Dec 9, 2011

How to raise financially smart children

By Lou Carlozo

(Reuters) – If you worry whether your kids will fall into the future ranks of “haves” or “have-nots,” consider your own financial behavior in a more imperative duality: Are you a “doer” or a “dreamer”?

As college tuition and student loan debt continue to soar and job growth for graduates looks sluggish in many fields, the guidance parents give their kids matters more than ever, according to a new investor survey by TD Ameritrade (AMTD.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).

Nov 21, 2011

Families talk turkey at Thanksgiving financial meetings

By Lou Carlozo

(Reuters) – For most American families, there’s one major money-related tradition associated with Thanksgiving: Black Friday shopping. But for others, bargain hunting takes a back seat to a financial reality check.

They use this time together as an opportunity to discuss and review a host of financial issues ranging from estate planning and wills to investment and philanthropy.

Nov 15, 2011

Bargains, stability abound in college towns

By Lou Carlozo

(Reuters) – In March 2010, Elliott Vanskike and his wife bought a 2,000 square-foot home in Madison, Wisconsin for $375,000, pondering the quality of life for their kids as well as the quirks that come with thousands of college kids literally on your doorstep.

“The University of Wisconsin is a huge school,” says Vanskike, 47, “so when the students are here, they kind of take over.” But the writer/editor, who’s also an avid cyclist, loves the town’s bike-friendliness. (Madison often tops national rankings for its biking system), and its cultural vibrancy via museums, music and ethnic diversity.

    • About Lou

      "Lou Carlozo most recently served as the managing editor at WalletPop.com, AOL's personal finance website. He also wrote and created "The Recession Diaries" column at the Chicago Tribune, where he served as an editor and staff writer for 16 years. The author of a journalism textbook and an adjunct professor at National-Louis University, Carlozo is the lead popular music critic for Christian Century magazine, a contributor to Downbeat magazine and also writes the "Green Dad" column for DealNews.com. The opinions expressed are his own."
      Joined Reuters:
      Bob Briner Impact Award, Biola University, 2007
      Chicago Tribune Innovator Award, 2005
    • More from Lou

    • Follow Lou