How to Engineer Your Financial Future in 2014

Financial resolutions can be the most difficult to keep. They can include minute detail, number crunching, plenty of files and discipline that can affect a person’s entire lifestyle, says veteran investment advisor Paul Taylor, a member of the National Ethics Bureau. “Many folks simply are not predisposed to combing through the details of their financial…

Real Estate 2014: The New Wisdom

By Beth Pinsker – When the housing bubble burst, a damage-control mentality replaced decades of conventional real estate wisdom. With the housing market now rebounding, there is still uncertainty. The old rules — such as getting a fixed-rate mortgage and refinancing when you can — don’t apply. But the post-bust rules don’t work either. “There’s a…

Rent-to-Own: New Mortgage Rules Can Make This More Appealing

  By Susan Johnston – New mortgage underwriting criteria went into effect Jan. 10 requiring a debt-to-income ratio of less than 43 percent for most qualified mortgages. Even if you don’t qualify for a mortgage under the current lending regulations, renting may not be your only option. Alternatives such as rent-to-own and contract-for-deed transactions make homeownership possible…

How Retiring Overseas Reduces the Major Living Costs

  By Kathleen Peddicord – Many people reduce their spending by eliminating or cutting back on minor discretionary expenses. For example, you could eat out less, buy fewer new clothes and start making your daily coffee at home. However, I’d argue that by cutting back relatively small out-of-pocket spending like this, you’re just tinkering around the edges.…

Water Woes Out West

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. — “My cat knows how to turn the faucet in the upstairs bathroom and I believe she ran the water for nine hours while I was out.” I’ve been hearing stuff like that almost every day since renting an office in a building that houses the local water company. Customers line up…

Two-Thirds of Consumers Still Value Homeownership

The worst housing crisis in generations and the slow rebound back to normalcy has not changed the view of homeownership for two-thirds (67 percent) of Americans, according to a new poll on housing from NeighborWorks America, a community development nonprofit organization. Meanwhile, renters have not been swayed to purchase a home despite near-record low mortgage…