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Nov 8, 2012

Sandy’s victims could spend billions out of pocket

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Leave it to a financial adviser like Christopher Clayton of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, to keep a running tab on how much Superstorm Sandy has cost him out of his own pocket — money that no insurance company or federal emergency agency is going to cover.

Clayton says he is looking at close to $7,500 in expenses, and he’s still counting. He paid $2,000 to clear the cracked portion of a 100-year-old tree from his yard; his homeowner’s insurance only covers removal if the tree hit his house. There was the $700 in extra child care and close to $5,000 in lost business, in part because he’s been without a personal assistant for close to a week — she got stranded on Long Island during the storm and wasn’t able to get into the office for days.

Oct 31, 2012

A startup hub emerges in Chicago

By Lou Carlozo

(Reuters) – Bernhard Kappe, the chief executive officer of Chicago’s Pathfinder Software, steps up to a dry erase board and draws a crude graph, its slope curves upward. Then he plots a point in the middle to show where the city’s web entrepreneurs stand in terms of growth and progress.

“These things take 20 years to get to maturity, and they’re not linear,” says Kappe, who’s also an executive director of the Chicago Lean Startup Circle, a group that fosters local website development. “But we’re six to seven years in, and definitely in an acceleration stage.”

Oct 10, 2012

Freelance? An IRS audit may be in your future

(The writer is a Reuters contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.)

By Lou Carlozo

(Reuters) – This past New Year’s Eve, any impulse I had to ring in 2012 on a high note was drowned out by alarm bells from Uncle Sam.

On that day, my wife and I received separate eight-page letters from the Internal Revenue Service informing us that we were being audited for the 2009 tax year. It was, to say the least, no cause for breaking out champagne and noisemakers. In fact, it seemed like a cruel twist: 2009 was the year I was laid off by the Chicago Tribune after 16 years of full-time employment. I then entered the freelance ranks, where I’ve remained ever since.

Oct 5, 2012

Rambling retirees trade homes for boats, RVs, sofas

NEW YORK, Oct 5 (Reuters) – At 68, Barbara Miller Elegbede
is living proof that flower children need not grow up.

A self-described hippie, she attended a San Francisco
college at psychedelia’s height and remembers friends constantly
crashing on the couch of her apartment, just a block away from
Janis Joplin’s pad in the hip Castro neighborhood.

Oct 4, 2012
Oct 3, 2012

Me and My Money: Macy Gray

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Ask Macy Gray about her net worth, and the Grammy-winning R&B singer and songwriter is not sure – though she is perfectly willing to help out with a little online research. She stops the interview to trawl celebritynetworth.com, where she plugs her name into a search engine and pulls up a number. A very large number.

“Wow!” exclaims Gray, 45, an Ohio native who calls Los Angeles home. “It says here I’m worth $38 million. But I don’t know where they got that figure from, because I don’t even know how to figure that out. But if it’s right, I’d go cash that in right now and go shopping.”

Sep 6, 2012
Aug 30, 2012
Aug 2, 2012
Jul 26, 2012

Your money: Interest compounds in finance game apps

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The race is on, especially among financial firms, to develop games and apps that teach kids (and even adults) the basics of personal finance, whether for online play or mobile devices.

Take the newly released Struct, an iPhone and iPad app by ING, which also has an online game called Planet Orange. In it, players work with building materials that symbolize different investment categories – steel (cash), wood (bonds) and glass (stocks) – as they build increasingly complex towers, or “structs.”

    • 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
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