Wow! I was stunned when I heard the statistics on the radio last Tuesday which was “Equal Pay Day” in Missouri that women working full time still make an average of around $10,000 less than men working full time. Imagine how much this results in over your career? They stated that in Missouri alone women EACH years have lost over 7 billion dollars! That is Missouri alone. What would the statistics be if you multiplied that to all of The United States? These statistics are staggering. The statistics are all clearly seen if you research Working Women and State’s Wage Gap. It is time for us to stand up. If the wage gap is eliminated, the statistics are again staggering. This would be equal for most families to eight months of mortgages for a family or 83 more weeks of food or 2500 additional gallons of gas or 14 more months or rent or 2.7 more years of family health insurance premiums. The Paycheck Fairness Act is a step in the right direction. if you want to read more, please look at the link below:
Dating Our Money
This date you won't regret!
About UsDating and money are not typically two topics that come together in the same sentence. Yet, for "suddenly single" women out there, the reality is that these two world will collide before we are often ready. Join me here as we explore these topics together and get ready for the release of my new book, "Dating Our Money." Welcome!
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to spend some time in a local Bank of America. The helpful representative told me that one of the biggest issues they confront with the older population is that women in their sixties and seventies have never had a credit card in their own name. This becomes a huge issue if their husband passes on. It is very difficult for them without any credit record. Being a financial planner, I was regularly given statistics that show a large portion of widowed women live below the poverty level but most of them never lived that way until their spouse passed on. Please be proactive! Ask your grandmother if she has her own credit card.
I encourage all woman to have one credit card in their own name. You only have to use it once a month and pay your bills on time to create a good credit record for yourself. This can be crucial if life throws you an unexpected curveball. Many divorced woman have a difficult time renting their first apartment because they don’t have a credit card of their own or credit record. Creditcardguide.com offers a wonderful website that compares the costs and benefits of all different credit card offers. You may go back to my post “A New Way to Save” to learn of one of my favorite ideas for a credit card.
Just this weekend I opened my mail and my ten year old son was offered a credit card with a $10,000 credit limit. When does it stop? One of the biggest ways that identity theft occurs is through people stealing credit card offers and getting personal information that they use falsely.
To be proactive, I have called and gotten myself removed from pre-approved credit card offers. You can call 888-567-8688 or go to www.optoutprescreen.com to do the same.
To eliminate all the annoying telemarketers, please call the national do not call registry at 888-382-1222 or go to www.donotcall.gov.
In a survey of 14 countries, what country had the largest issue of depression? America! Now, Nigeria where the average per capita income is less than $250. a year had almost no depression or less than 1 percent. Why? Could it be that communal living eliminates the depression created by loneliness? Maybe people in Nigeria do not watch commercials constantly discussing depression so it is not even in their thoughts? Could happiness in Nigeria not be governed by the sum in your bank account or the size of your house? You may question the validity of this study but it was done by Harvard Medical School and the World Health Organization in 2007.
Hopefully Americans are happier now but I doubt the statistics have changed much. I even believe the statistics could be worse because texting only creates a surface level relationship. I have a relative who has just become a teenager and has his first girlfriend. The mother of his girlfriend recently stated, “I think they communicate better texting than in person.” Will that be the future of our children?
Currently, I am trying to buy a short sale home. People are constantly asking what that means. Tonight I will explain and tell you how it relates to every one of us.
The news is constantly reporting on houses being foreclosed or short sales. What is a short sale? A short sale is when a piece of real estate is bought for a price that falls “short” of what the balance is on the loan. Here is an example. Let’s say you still owe $250,000 on a loan for your house. You can’t make the payments anymore and the house is about to go into foreclosure. You find a buyer who will buy the house for $150,000. The bank agrees to the sale because they want to avoid foreclosure and the heavy fees associated with it. Until January 1, 2013, the difference of $100,000 is waved by the bank and the IRS won’t even charge you a tax for the difference. There are so many houses in the short sale and foreclosure process for SO many reasons but one of them is the belief you should sell your short sale property NOW
Today, I am detouring from my typical practical blogs to share an email that I received today that offered a spiritual perspective to financial worries. We often get so buried in the fears of money that we really forget to look at the source of lasting riches. With my recent move, I have been praying about the sale of my house in North Carolina that is on the market. I would love for it to sell so we could buy this short sale home in Missouri. I have really had to watch my thinking to make sure I do not fall in the worry trap that seems to engulf the media with slowing home sales. Your thinking determines your experience. I have spent time reading Bible verses like “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth and rust doth not corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” Matt. 6:20 That is an interest line because it definitely can seem like thieves like Madoff can steal ones riches. You have to take the time to decide what true riches are. Is the true wealth you half in life your family, friends or health? These are priceless!
Guess how much time an average woman shops in her lifetime? I almost fell over in disbelief reading in a Real Simple November 2010 issue that the answer is 8 YEARS. That is crazy!!!!! Think of all the other ways a woman can spend eight years of her life that could be much more beneficial. I do feel like I spend way too much time at the grocery store with two growing boys but still this seems overwhelming. What a wake up call to all of us? Imagine how much time each of us spend in front of a computer versus interacting with others.
What is the benefit of interacting with others? #1 reason is if you are looking for a job it is crucial. NPR just stated that 70% of current jobs are never posted!!!! People get job offers through personal connections.
I love learning something new each day! Today, I learned of a new credit card that can help you save. So many readers say they have no money to invest with. I thought this credit card could be a nice way to help out many of the readers. Fidelity now has a credit card called Fidelity Investment Rewards Visa where for every $100 spent they will put in $1.50 into a Fidelity Savings, IRA or 401 K. After spending $15,000 annually they raise the cash back to 2% or $2.00 for every $1oo spent. There is no annual fee and no limits are the amount of cash you can receive! The APR is 13.99 which can be a little high but if you pay off your credit card each month that may not be an issue. The only thing is you must open a Fidelity account for this to work. Here is the link.
Hope this is useful to readers. If you pump gas all the time at Costco, I just learned there is Cosco TrueEarnings that gives you 3% back on gas and restaurants. This weekend take some time and research if there is a credit card that can help you. I am not promoting using a credit card or overspending but if you already use credit cards lets find a way to make it more beneficial to your lifestyle. Go to www.nerdwallet.com and compare credit cards and which is best for you!
So it make be more profitable to stay home this weekend and research credit cards than go on a date that is going nowhere. Sometimes you have to sacrifice short term fun for a long-term investment in yourself!
First, Social Security is an important call to make when you live in the United States. I know many readers are now outside the US but I only now laws in our country. I was shocked to know there is aid for young widows and their children. It is interesting because I have had to go back in to the social security office a few times and I am surprised how many people who work there do not know anything about this benefit. Make sure you persist if no one says this exists because there is a benefit if you make under a certain amount (approximately $24,000) and then your children are also eligible for monthly benefits until the age of 18. Some people may also qualify for burial allowance. Please make sure you know or have again in a safe deposit box easy access to your spouse or loved ones social security. You will need it often during all the steps to close joint bank accounts and file insurance claims.
Please clip a copy of the obituary in a dated newspaper because some insurance companies won’t process a claim without it.
WARNING: Please have someone stay at the loved ones house during the funeral service!!!! It is very publicly stated in a newspaper and possibly other places that you will be away from the house at that specific time. Unfortunately, many burglaries have occurred during a funeral. There is enough sadness at the moment, no need to add anymore grief.
Here is the blog I promised that shows initial steps one should take to support yourself or others if a loved one passes. Life can change unexpectedly! I cannot say it enough that the most loving thing you can do is create a financial plan to help your family and children, if you have any. When my husband passed when my kids were 2 and 4, I was totally shocked and numb. Calls were coming constantly to find a church for a service and needing to write and obituary and so much more. You may laugh but I wish there was a class in school that taught you how to write an obituary. This was one of the most daunting tasks. How do you sum up a person’s life in a paragraph? What do you leave in and take out? Everyone has there own thoughts. It would be so kind if each of us wrote a draft of an obituary for ourselves because no one knows what or how to write it gracefully. It may sound gloomy but really it may help put life in perspective. Now practical steps: 1. Is there a will and if so where?