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You Can’t Take It With You

by Luke Landes
Beach

According to a recent study by the National Bureau for Economic Research, 46.1 percent of retirees die with a net worth of less than $10,000. There are two ways to achieve this outcome. The first is for those with a comfortable level of wealth in retirement. Wealth does an individual no good after he or ... Continue reading this article…

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Should Congress Eliminate the Capital Gains Income Tax?

by Luke Landes
Paul Ryan

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has selected a running mate, Paul Ryan, who has proposed eliminating the income tax on capital gains. The Vice President of the United States doesn’t have the authority to change the tax law, of course, so there’s no reason to think this idea or the rest of Ryan’s fiscal plan will ... Continue reading this article…

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Earning a Living With Rental Properties: Should You Be a Landlord?

by Luke Landes
For Rent

If you have the option, owning assets that produce income is a better financial strategy than owning assets that generate expenses. If you own a house or apartment for your own residence, for example, you need to pay for maintenance, repairs, taxes, mortgage interest, landscaping, utilities, or a homeowner association fee that covers some of ... Continue reading this article…

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Should Rich Families Leave Their Wealth to Their Children?

by Luke Landes
Cash

One of the great promises of the United States of America is economic mobility. In the Land of Opportunity, in theory, you can design your life’s economic fate. Immigrants from Europe looked forward to leaving economic and religious oppression in their past, as they came to the land that is or would become the United ... Continue reading this article…

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The Importance, or Lack Thereof, of Making Money

by Luke Landes
Cash in hand

In my article earlier today about the recession era bail-out programs, I touched on the idea that sometimes, there are methods to judge a decision outside of its immediate profitability. The bail-outs may have provided a return on investment for taxpayers or they might not have. The idea that the programs could earn money was ... Continue reading this article…

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One Million Dollars Isn’t What It Used to Be

by Luke Landes
Scrooge McDuck

There was a time the word “millionaire” carried cachet. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was first used in French in the early eighteenth century and in English nearly a century later. Regardless of your station in French society in 1719, you would recognize a net worth of one million livres being notable. ... Continue reading this article…

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The Latte Factor: Your Spending Reflects Your Priorities

by Luke Landes
Latte Factor Coffee

The concept of the Latte Factor is one of the most divisive issues in personal finance. Money gurus get so worked up over whether the Latte Factor is a valuable lesson in money management that one might think the issue were as important as war, the national debt, or capital punishment. Most of the time, ... Continue reading this article…

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More Women Than Men Value Career Success

by Luke Landes
Career woman

A new survey by the Pew Research Center shows women have surpassed men in placing value on career advancement. Among 18 to 34-year-olds, 66 percent of women consider being successful in a high-paying career or job is one of the most important things or very important, compared to 59 percent of men. In 1997, 56 ... Continue reading this article…

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When Your Friends Become Social Sellers and Multi-Level Marketers

by Luke Landes
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I can’t completely fault companies like Amway, Mary Kay, and Lia Sophia. They know that friendship results in two important qualities: trust and guilt. These two qualities are important to companies because they make the process of selling products much easier. I find it relatively easy to politely decline — and hang up on if ... Continue reading this article…

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The Dangers of Motivating Kids Through an Allowance

by Luke Landes
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Parents who offer their young children an allowance or pocket money are helping to introduce the concept of money at an age when they are susceptible to ideas they will hold for the remainder of their lives. It’s a good idea to allow kids to gain exposure to to concept and application of income and ... Continue reading this article…

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Improve Your Finances By Modifying Your Behavior

by Luke Landes
Money

Improving your financial situation requires more than just trying harder. People who write financial websites offering advice often think or imply that the reason for financial misfortune is ignorance of the basics. Recently, there was one website that claimed that the only thing people need to know was spend less than you earn, as if ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank Switch Kit and Checklist

by Luke Landes
Broken piggy bank

With Wells Fargo changing their policies to be less consumer-oriented this week, I’ve received several questions about the logistics switching banks. In previous decades, closing your account at one bank and opening an account at another was a simple process. All that was required was to walk into one branch, ask to close your account, ... Continue reading this article…

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Your Ego and Your Wallet

by Marc Pearlman
Poker chips

This is an article by Marc Pearlman. Marc is a money management professional who has been in the finance industry over 20 years, and he is the author of The Positive Money Mindset and host of the radio show, Your Money Matters. I watched as these two were duking it out — at the poker ... Continue reading this article…

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The Role of Money in Choosing a Relationship

by Luke Landes
Relationships couple

Do people have any kind of control over whom they fall in love with? Perhaps Cupid’s arrow strikes randomly, and there is no choice but to obey the heart — or chemicals in the brain — or sexual urges. But once that initial response has subsided, if you and your partner are headed for a ... Continue reading this article…

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How to Solve the Financial Literacy Problem

by Luke Landes
Kid with money

Many Americans experience financial jeopardy at some point in their lives, and experts share an opinion about a strong cause: there’s no formalized way to learn how to use money properly, so most people must learn by experience, making mistakes as they learn what is necessary for building a solid financial foundation. It would save ... Continue reading this article…

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Home Mortgage Interest Deduction

by Luke Landes
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Although the home mortgage interest deduction is one of the most oft-cited benefits of owning a home, most taxpayers don’t take advantage of it because it requires itemizing taxes. If itemized deductions including mortgage interest paid throughout the year exceed the standard deduction, a taxpayer can take advantage of the benefit. The benefit isn’t as ... Continue reading this article…

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Suze Orman’s New Prepaid Debit Card: The Approved Card

by Luke Landes
Suze Orman

As Ron Lieber reported in the New York Times, personal finance guru Suze Orman is launching her own debit card brand, the Approved Card, following in the footsteps of music mogul Russell Simmons and his Rush Cards. Suze Orman’s debit card will be a prepaid debit card, ensuring customers using the card can spend generally ... Continue reading this article…

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Binding Arbitration: Wells Fargo Taking Away Customers’ Rights

by Luke Landes
Wells Fargo

February 14, 2012 update: The change in terms described here goes into effect tomorrow. It’s not too late to switch banks. If you enter into an agreement with a company, and that company does something to wrong you, most of the time you can avail yourself of the American judicial system to correct the problem. ... Continue reading this article…

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Could You Survive at the Poverty Line?

by Your Finances Simplified
Thrift store

This guest article is written by YFS, owner and author of Your Finances Simplified. YFS was born and raised in west Philadelphia and is now a financial adviser, IT contractor, landlord, and treasurer of a non-profit. If you and your family of four received an annual income of $22,350, could you survive? You would be ... Continue reading this article…

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Why Americans Take Fewer Vacation Days

by Luke Landes
Beach Vacation

In most workplaces throughout the United States, employees receive vacation days to use every year as a benefit, and in some cases, unused vacation days expire at the end of the year. According to the latest survey by Expedia, on average, Americans earned 14 vacation days this year but used only 12. While the survey ... Continue reading this article…

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