Category - Family Finances

1
Is Housing Really More Affordable?
2
Social Security and the Non-Citizen Spouse
3
Saving in the Military
4
Consider the Needs of Caregivers
5
How Falling Gas Prices Could Help the Economy

Is Housing Really More Affordable?

Housing affordability indexes have been published recently showing that even with higher interest rates homes are 10% more affordable than in 1994 when interest rates increased a lot. However any comparison of affordability before 2009 is dubious and unreliable because of the use of Easy Qualifier loans from 1984-2009. These loans allowed borrowers to use stated income so that if a borrower had enough current income to qualify but didn’t have that income consistently for the past two years then he couldn’t qualify for the loan under current “fully documented income” rules, but he could qualify under the old method. …

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Social Security and the Non-Citizen Spouse

With our increasingly global society today, many married couples are made up of a US citizen and a non-citizen.  In some cases, the non-citizen spouse has never been covered by the US Social Security system – he or she may have been covered by another system in his or her home country.  In other cases, the non-citizen spouse may have worked in a Social Security-covered job while living in the US, and so may have generated a Social Security earnings record of his or her own.

At any rate, it is important to know that your lawful spouse who is …

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Saving in the Military

If you or a loved one are in the military and are about to be deployed you may be able to take advantage of a special savings account that is specifically for our Armed Forces members that are deployed in a combat area.

The Savings Deposit Program (SDP) is a unique savings account for service members that are deployed in combat zones and allows the service member to allocate some, most, and in some cases all of their combat pay to a savings account. The maximum that can be contributed to the savings account is $10,000 per deployment and that …

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Consider the Needs of Caregivers

If you have ever been in the role of caregiver to a sick family member, whether for a short period of time or for a long drawn out decline, you know it takes a huge toll on your own life and that of your family.  Caregiving can be an all-consuming task depending on the level of intervention needed.  Many times it forces the caregiver to completely rearrange their lives, taking unpaid leave from work, turning down promotions, stepping away from social engagements, spiritual interactions and even exercise to concentrate fully on caring for their family member.

For many caregivers, they …

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How Falling Gas Prices Could Help the Economy

I was recently driving to work and heard on the radio about gas prices in New Jersey falling to $2.99 per gallon of regular. Yes, that’s right, gas prices starting with a “2“! I was so happy to hear the story but I was quickly disappointed to realize it was just a passing comment at the end of the business report. I guess it’s hard to compete with a looming U.S. default or some other negative news that has taken priority.

Anyway, it is good news! According to AAA.com, the National Average Price for regular is $3.34 per …

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