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‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the Season

By now, the families all around the country who were waiting for the ping in the email inbox and/or the letter in the snail-mailbox letting them know which colleges have accepted their high school seniors have heard the news – both good and bad. Any family that has ever gone through it knows it’s a high-anxiety, emotional rollercoaster ride. What’s changed over the past five years or so, though, is that an acceptance that isn’t accompanied by sufficient financial aid can cause as much grief as a rejection. There are cases, one reported recently in The New York Times, where a family is choosing to send their child to a university from which they didn’t receive any significant financial aid instead of a state school that offered a full scholarship.
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Entertainment Value

Entertainment Value

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal points out that there is a wealth of financial lessons to be learned from the trials and tribulations of Downton Abbey’s Crawley clan. The series may take place in the 20s, but many of its lessons apply to our financial concerns today. Investment Diversification: Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham, invested most of his wife’s fortune – which was keeping Downton Abbey afloat – in a speculative Canadian railway stock. When the company went bankrupt, the Earl lost the money and came close to losing Downton.
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Wanted: The Purple Squirrel

Wanted: The Purple Squirrel

The most recent employment numbers are encouraging, even taking into account job cuts resulting from the federal government’s current sequestration. There is growth in almost every category, including business services and construction. The unemployment rate has dropped and some economists are encouraged. There are still hurdles, though. Part of the reason that the unemployment rate has fallen is that some people have given up on the search for a job. And then there’s the hesitation on the part of businesses to pull the trigger and hire for open positions. Companies are looking for Purple Squirrel, which, in HR speak, is an employee who is perfect and then some.
Filed in: Jobs, Other, Unemployment
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The 411 on 529s

The 411 on 529s

I was at a birthday party for a friend of my son a few weeks ago and the topic of discussion among parents turned to saving for college. Higher education has always been costly and, historically, considered well worth the price. Despite savings, grants and scholarships, Millennials and their parents (who, for the most part, are Baby Boomers) bore the brunt of those escalating costs in real time. Now the most educated – and debt-burdened – generation in American history is beginning to have children of its own. Possibly, the only way Millennials are going to avoid prolonging the education loan cycle is to start saving for their children’s education the minute they are born.
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