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Expanding a student’s college options

Expanding a student’s college options

Would you be disappointed if your child or grandchild was not able to attend his or her "dream" college solely for financial reasons? If you aspire to help a student cover rising higher-education costs, it may be wise to start saving as early as possible.

Parents and other family members can contribute to state- and college-sponsored 529 plans that feature tax-deferred accumulation. Withdrawals are tax-free if used to pay qualified higher-education expenses. There are no income restrictions for participation, although each state sets a maximum annual contribution limit.

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Black unemployment rate rose slightly in June

Black unemployment rate rose slightly in June

WASHINGTON– The black unemployment rate rose to 13.7 percent in June, up from 13.5 percent in May as the economy added 195,000 jobs, exceeding most expectations. The unemployment rate for whites barely improved to 6.6 percent in June from 6.7 percent in May.

After falling for four straight months, the unemployment rate for black women 20 years and over rose sharply to 12 percent in June from 11.2 percent in May. The jobless rate for white women also increased to 6 percent in June from 5.8 percent in May.

The jobless rate for black men over 20 years of age fell to 13 percent in June from 13.5 percent in May. The unemployment rate for white men fell to 6.2 percent in June from 6.4 percent mark set in May.

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  • Written by Freddie Allen/NNPA News Service

BlackVoices.com founder Barry Cooper joins Real Times Media

BlackVoices.com founder Barry Cooper joins Real Times Media

DETROIT –Real Times Media (RTM), the multimedia parent company of The New Tri-State Defender, has hired digital media expert Barry Cooper – the founder of the original BlackVoices.com – to "strategically transition its traditional print properties into a more robust digital platform."

Focused on urban news and entertainment, RTM includes the nation's largest African American-owned newspaper and digital media operation. The multimedia company is focused on transitioning traditional Black Press properties into digital contenders for urban news, lifestyle information and entertainment.

"Barry's extensive experience with, and comprehensive understanding of, digital media is a tremendous addition to Real Times Media and one I'm sure will become a valuable resource to our clients," said Hiram E. Jackson, chief executive officer, Real Times Media. "It is truly exciting to have one of the founders of the digital black press as a part of our team as we flesh out a digital first strategy which will ensure a strong, vibrant future for our newspaper brands and a successful platform upon which we'll launch new online brands."

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  • Written by Real Times News Service

Life after layoffs, down-sizing and retirement

Life after layoffs, down-sizing and retirement

ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY Across the country, whether in the private sector or government, companies are laying people off, downsizing and/or forcing early retirement. In some circumstances it can be devastating to a household.

Immediately after the initial shock of learning your fate, it is easy to become paralyzed by fear. Next comes the scrambling around for a new job to replace the income that will soon be lost.

Some may wait to look for another job until savings or severance packages have been depleted. Still others will pursue unemployment pay as an alternative. However, this is usually only a portion of the lost wages and will not fill the gap.

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MULYP Empowerment Conference upcoming

MULYP Empowerment Conference upcoming

The Memphis Urban League Young Professionals (MULYP) is offering young professionals in Memphis and the Mid-South an opportunity to build their legacy during the Empowerment Conference August 16-18, at the East Memphis Hilton Hotel.

This inaugural conference will offer insights and panel discussions from locally and nationally known business leaders and entrepreneurs, as well as job opportunities and social engagement.

The conference will begin with an event to commemorate MULYP's 10-year anniversary, paying homage to founders and trailblazers. The "Hiring Lounge" will offer real-time opportunities for job seekers to meet business owners, decision makers, and hiring managers. Mixology is the social event of the conference.

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Wells Fargo plans Home Preservation Workshop

Wells Fargo plans Home Preservation Workshop

Wells Fargo & Company is hosting a free Home Preservation Workshop in Memphis for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Financial, and Wells Fargo Home Equity customers facing financial hardships.

Wells Fargo has invited 1250 mortgage customers to the free workshop, which will be held on July 11 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., at the Memphis Cook Convention Center – South Hall, located at 255 North Main St. Parking for workshop participants is free at the underground parking garage at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

Homeowners whose loans are "under water" – meaning they owe more on their mortgage than the value of their home – may be eligible to refinance their loan based on criteria including demonstrating ability to repay. Depending on eligibility for a loan modification, homeowners who are behind on their payments may also receive a principal reduction on their mortgage.

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Zeroing in on America’s pension problems

Zeroing in on America’s pension problems

MONEY MATTERS Many Americans are familiar with Social Security's projected shortfall and the public debate on how to fix the program's finances. Going forward, fewer workers will support a larger number of retiring baby boomers. Without some combination of tax increases and benefit cuts, Social Security's operating deficit is expected to exceed $800 billion over the next 10 years.

Some of the nation's public- and private-sector pension plans are facing similar financial challenges. Unlike defined-contribution plans such as 401(k)s, pensions are defined-benefit plans that promise to pay lifetime benefits to retirees based on length of service and their pre-retirement salaries.

Pension plans that become severely underfunded could eventually fail, leaving participants without the retirement incomes they were counting on, or transferring the burden to taxpayers if a government bailout is needed.

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