Archive - October 2009

1
Can a Bank Eliminate my Unused Home Equity Line of Credit?
2
Just What Does a Career Change Cost?
3
The Bright Side of H1N1
4
College Pricing Trends
5
Don’t Max out Your 401k

Can a Bank Eliminate my Unused Home Equity Line of Credit?

Q: I thought about approaching my bank to discuss options but had concerns they might eliminate the unused portion of my Home Equity Line of Credit. Can they do that because I am unemployed?

A: Unfortunately, you don’t necessarily have to be unemployed to have your Home Equity Line of Credit frozen, as many homeowners found out the hard way over the last year or so. According to page 10 of this publication from the Federal Reserve, lenders are allowed to “freeze or reduce a credit line if the value of the home ‘declines significantly’ or, when the lender …

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Just What Does a Career Change Cost?

Just What Does a Career Change Cost?Following up on the topic mentioned in my last blog post, here’s an answer to a question I get asked again and again:  Just what does a career change cost??

An excellent question, and probably one of the most important things to consider before making any “go/no go” career change decision (and preferably well before that!)  While I agree to some extent with those who argue that you have to ”jump and grow wings on the way down”, I’m a planner by nature.  So I also think it’s a good idea to do a little reconnaissance to make sure you …

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The Bright Side of H1N1

All around us are some pretty ominous signs:  this has been a wetter than normal year (at least here in the Midwest), flu seems to have started earlier than normal (seasonal influenza, that is), and last Spring we saw a lot of signs pointing to the influx of H1N1 influenza – globally.  If this is as bad as some folks are predicting, it could get to be as widespread as the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic – when over 600,000 folks in the US alone died.The Bright Side of H1N1 Of course, many advances have occurred since 1918, and as such it is expected that… Read More

College Pricing Trends

Every October, the College Board releases its Trends in College Pricing report that highlights college cost increases and trends. While costs can vary significantly by region and individual college, the College Board publishes average cost figures, which are based on its survey of 3,500 colleges across the country.
Here are highlights from its latest report:

At four-year public colleges for in-state students, tuition, fees, and room and board increased by 5.9% from last year, with the total cost for 2009/2010 averaging $19,388

  • At four-year public colleges for out-of-state students, tuition, fees, and room and board increased by 6.0% from last
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    Don’t Max out Your 401k

    If you were to get on the Internet and poll the financial gurus, the message you would get load and clear is: Save Money. No matter how much you’ve saved, you will be woefully short when you get to retirement.

    The first suggestion of these pundits? Put money in your 401(k). (I will use “401(k) as a surrogate for all retirement savings plans: 401(k), 403(b), SEP, SIMPLE etc.) I’m not against 401(k)s. Actually, I’m a big fan. However, I think the advice is wrong.

    Here’s my message: Save 10% of your income. Put your money in a savings account. …

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