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

The Power of Local

Several years ago, I wrote in these pages about my enthusiasm for the Buy Local campaigns popping up in communities from coast to coast. Cities like Portland and Philadelphia were building support and sales for their hometown businesses and especially for local retail and service firms.

Mar 1, 2012 Winnie Comstock-Carlson

Giveth or Taketh Away?

The ponderously named Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act, signed into law last December by President Barack Obama, brought good news to generous millionaires — and the larger population of nonmillionaires in this country — who have giving on their minds.

Aug 31, 2011 Dixie Reid

Trust Worthy?

Cognitive impairment claims challenge real estate plans

Lesli Pletcher’s parents were not extravagantly wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. However, true to form of a couple raised during the Great Depression, they were frugal and financially cautious so that, by the end of their lives, they had amassed a substantial estate capable of easily sustaining Pletcher’s father in his $9,000-a-month Alzheimer’s care facility.

Feb 1, 2011 Christine Calvin