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Majority of Bankruptcies Due to Medical Bills

by Luke Landes

Not only are most personal bankruptcies due to medical bills beyond the ability of the consumer to pay, but most of the households declaring bankruptcy for this reason do so despite having health insurance coverage. Researchers from Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School, and Ohio University reported 60 percent of personal bankruptcies in the United ... Continue reading this article…

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Pros and Cons of Interest-Only Mortgage Payments

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, Consumerism Commentary reader Ryan suggested I write about interest-only mortgages. There is no such thing as an “interest-only mortgage.” Wouldn’t that be nice, though, to have a mortgage that did not require you to pay any principal back to the lender? Unfortunately, when you become a borrower, your lender will insist upon receiving interest ... Continue reading this article…

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Comparing the Visa Black Card with American Express Platinum and Centurion Cards

by Luke Landes

American Express created a frenzy among the wealthy when it decided to take advantage of rumors of an exclusive black-colored charge card, used by movie stars and music celebrities for purchasing jets and other items beyond the financial reach of us mere mortals. In 1999, American Express introduced the Centurion Card, a black charge card ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Balance Sheet, Net Worth, Income, and Expenses, May 2009

by Luke Landes

Every month, consistently for the past few years, I take the opportunity at the beginning of the month to develop financial reports. The first report I post every month outlines my “modified” net worth, basically a balance sheet including my bank accounts, investments, the approximate value of my car, and my credit cards. Following the ... Continue reading this article…

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Best of Consumerism Commentary, May 2009

by Luke Landes

Consumerism Commentary Podcast At the end of April, I began working with Tom Dziubek to create the Consumerism Commentary Podcast. During the month of May, we produced five episodes of the podcast, including interviews with Dr. Bonnie Eaker-Weil, Liz Pulliam Weston, Matt Wallaert, J.D. Roth, Kerry Taylor, and several others. The Consumerism Commentary Podcast is ... Continue reading this article…

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How Much of Your Portfolio Should Be in Stocks When You Enter Retirement?

by Luke Landes

March 9, 2009 was a bad day to retire. On that day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its bottom of 6,547, a low not seen since 1997. If you followed mass-market retirement investing advice, you may have entered retirement with a portfolio 100 percent invested in a stock market index, like the S&P 500, whose ... Continue reading this article…

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Tracking the Economy By Looking at Underwear

by Luke Landes

According to Alan Greenspan, this is of the first types of spending that consumers give up when a recession is felt personally: When men come to the point at which they need to save more money than usual and decide to cut bank their spending, underwear is at the top of the list of possible ... Continue reading this article…

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Un-broke TV Special on Friday, May 29th

by Smithee

I’ve often written here about the disappointing lack of financial education in schools, and it’s this same dearth of vital information that has apparently led to a new special airing on ABC this Friday: Schools teach us almost everything, but not “Money 101.” For the basics on finance, turn to UN-BROKE: What You Need to ... Continue reading this article…

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