A broad coalition of state and national organizations is pushing to preserve a key federal program that has helped more than 1.1 million troubled homeowners and reduced mortgage payments by a median savings of $546 each month.
The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), created in response to the nation's housing crisis, is set to close shop on December 31. Housing and consumer advocates are urging the U.S. Treasury Department to reconsider ending the program.
ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY This month, "On Our Way To Wealthy" probes the business of the arts.
Cities across the country are seeking to strike a balance between the budgets required for public safety – such as fire and police – and those allotted to the arts. The need for solid, well-financed fire and police departments is generally recognized. However, the need for a strong arts community often requires more justification.
Cultural centers clearly offer value to all communities regardless of the levels of crime and poverty. Neither the size of your bank account nor your educational background is the sole factor when measuring appreciation of the arts.
April has been declared Financial Literacy Month in Memphis and the rest of the nation. This special, month-long observance should cause us to reflect more intently on financial literacy, which has received significant attention as a result of the Great Recession.
The loss of personal wealth by many households brought to the forefront the fact that too many adults, including those who are about to leave for college or enter the workforce, lack basic knowledge of financial topics.
This issue is of particular concern here because the Greater Memphis area in February was rated as having the lowest overall consumer credit score in the United States by Trans Union Credit Report Company. In addition, the City of Memphis has one of the largest amounts of unbanked and underbanked residents in the country.
Charles Sims Jr., CFP
Special to The New Tri-State Defender
What key estate planning tools should you know about?
Here’s a list to get you started.
Wills and trusts are two of the most popular estate planning tools. Both allow you to spell out how you would like your property to be distributed, but they also go far beyond that.
Just about everyone needs a will. Besides enabling you to determine the distribution of your property, a will gives you the opportunity to nominate your executor and guardians for your minor children.
We are quickly coming upon the deadline that many Americans not receiving a refund truly despise – April 15, the last day to file individual tax returns.
With Benjamin Franklin's admonition in mind – "...nothing is certain but death and taxes" – and serving as point of reference, here are some basics to help out those who have not yet done their tax duty.
America's most common jobs come with lousy pay.
Workers in seven of the 10 largest occupations typically earn less than $30,000 a year, according to new data published Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's a far cry from the nation's average annual pay of $45,790.
Food prep workers are the third most-common job in the U.S., but have the lowest pay, at a mere $18,720 a year for 2012. Cashiers and waiters are also popular professions, but the average pay at these jobs tallies up to less than $21,000 annually. There are 4.3 million retail sales workers out there, making them the most common job, but the position pays only $25,310 for the year.
In planning your estate, it is customary to consider wills and trusts (as well as intestacy) as a means of property distribution. As a matter of fact, the manner in which you hold title to your assets may supersede provisions contained in other transfer documents. Likewise, significant tax benefits can be gained (or lost) depending on the characterization of your property.
Let's take a look at the general classifications of ownership.