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Taking a Hike from Risk

Taking a Hike from Risk

I love to spend my free time with my kids and I love to spend my free time being outdoors, so it makes perfect sense to combine the two. While my children are still young, I can’t think of a better way for us to be together outside than walking on some of the easier trails that lace the mountain ranges of Southern California near where I live.
Filed in: Risk
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American Dream 2.0

American Dream 2.0

According to a recent survey by Credit.com, 25% of the respondents replied that being debt-free was their definition of the American Dream. That seems reasonable. But what was surprising is that it topped the conventional “American Dream” answer of owning a home by eight percentage points. (The most popular response, at 36%, was retiring at age 65.) It’s still too soon to tell if the concern about debt coupled with a reluctance to buy a home is a byproduct of the Great Recession that will fade with time as real estate prices firm (and getting a mortgage becomes easier) or is a reset to our overall relationship to debt. The overall aversion to debt, though, could become a deep-seated consequence of the Great Recession and stay with the Millennials the rest of their lives in a way that’s similar to those who grew up in the Depression.
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$19 Billion for What’s App: What Is Facebook Thinking

$19 Billion for What’s App: What Is Facebook Thinking

Earlier this year, Facebook’s acquisition of What’s App—a texting application that routes texts over the Internet instead of through cellular networks—for $16 billion, plus an additional $3 billion in restricted stock for the company’s 50 or so employees and its founders, was the talk of Silicon Valley, Wall Street and the tech twitter-verse. Let’s put this in perspective: at $19 billion, What’s App’s valuation is in league with such household names as Alcoa, Gap, Southwest Airlines, Campbell Soup and Xerox, all of which have thousands of employees each.
Filed in: Market, Other, Risk
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Student Debt by the Numbers

Student Debt by the Numbers

The stories have become a mainstay in economic reporting: huge student debt loads are crippling young adults and, in turn, adversely impacting the overall economy. Not exactly, according to a recent Brooking Institution’s evaluation of data reported on in The New York Times. The numbers are the numbers, but look deeper and they tell a larger story. Yes, education debt loads have risen substantially for this current generation: in 2010 more than a third of households that included people between the ages of 20 and 40 had education debt; in 1989 it was 14%. And the amount of debt, adjusted for inflation, more than doubled to $8,500 from $3,517.
Filed in: Higher Education
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A New Tool for Funding a Long Life

A New Tool for Funding a Long Life

While it’s impossible to predict how long any one of us will live, one thing is for certain; life spans are getting longer. And that presents a challenge for those planning for retirement: how not to run out of money before running out of life. Financial preparedness, which has always been important, is now crucial. Longer life spans coupled with a reduced government safety net puts responsibility for financial security squarely on the shoulders of individuals. Spending some time now on risk mitigation for funding a longer life will enable everyone to live more fully in the present day and worry less about the future.
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