Rent the American Dream

Sacramento millennials aren't interested in mortgages

Brian Collins is a 26-year-old director of accounts at Sacramento-based mobile applications marketing firm Appency. He makes what he calls “decent money,” is putting lots of it into a 401(k) and has an eye on his financial future. And, like most people his age, he’s decided that buying a house is not part of the plan.

Mar 1, 2014 Steven Yoder
Chris Hay, owner and farmer, Say Hay Farms

Land of the Fee

Can micro loans dig farmers out of their financial holes?

Today’s small farmer climbs an uphill battle to find land, secure capital and overcome the hefty start-up costs. Today, farmers make up less than 1 percent of the population (compared to 15 percent in 1950), they tend to be older (the average age is 57) and about 25 percent are expected to retire in the next 20 years. “This is a new problem for human society,” writes Sharon Astyk, author of “A Nation of Farmers.”

Oct 31, 2013 Jeff Wilser

Cashing Out

Life among the ranks of the unbanked

Two hundred, four hundred … twenty, forty, sixty, eighty, five hundred …

As the young woman behind the glass divider counts out the entirety of my paycheck, I can’t help but think of how measly it looks before I stuff it in my wallet.

Apr 30, 2013 John Blomster

Bad Reasons to Buy

Home-ownership isn't for everyone

For all the tales of woe during the real estate downturn, many new homeowners see their purchase as a good move. Debbie Grose, a financial advisor at Lighthouse Financial Planning in Folsom, helped 32-year-old talent acquisition manager Pranav Damle and his wife walk through their decision to buy a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house in Folsom last year.

Mar 1, 2013 Steven Yoder

Million-Dollar Babies

Starting a family needn’t push retirement out of reach

Michael and Susan Pope had witnessed enough of parenthood to give them second thoughts about having children of their own. After seeing friends vanish into an abyss of diaper bags, sleepless nights, stress, arguments and the apparent loss of every conceivable freedom, they had plenty of reasons to reconsider.

Mar 1, 2013 Bill Romanelli
(istockphoto.com)

Bank of Tomorrow

New sources for business loans

Banks are running up against some odd new competitors these days. Big box retailer Costco is advertising mortgages. Wal-Mart has issued its own debit card. Amazon is offering loans to merchants in its online marketplace.

Feb 12, 2013 Robert Celaschi
Sean O’Brien, financial adviser, and chair, Metro Edge at Northstar at Tahoe

The Millennial 1%

Affluent YPs are a new breed of consumer

When he’s not jet-setting to Tahiti or hobnobbing with his best friend Tom Cruise*, Sean O’Brien is just a regular guy. He’s 29, single, never pays full price when shopping online and likes to snowboard with friends in Tahoe. 

Jan 1, 2013 Mike Graff

Will to Live

How proper planning can impact the quality of your final days

Many of my estate-planning clients grasp the importance of wills, living trusts and financial powers of attorney but feel unprepared when the conversation turns to quality-of-life for their final years.

In the 1970s and again in the 1990s, the nation became engrossed with end-of-life issues when the media grabbed hold of the stories of Karen Ann Quinlan and, later, Terri Schiavo.

Aug 31, 2012 David L. Kelly
(istockphoto)

Degree of Difficulty

The life-altering burden of diploma debt

Fluff the pillows and stock the fridge because, chances are, your adult kids are coming home. Nearly one-third of Americans age 25 to 34 have lived with their parents in recent years, according to a 2011 study by Pew Research Center. But before you start blaming a generation of millennials — known for their unearned trophies and sense of entitlement — remember it’s the generations past who wrought an economy with tuition hikes and growing unemployment.

Jun 30, 2012 Stephanie Flores