With the weakening of home prices and lenders tightening credit, an increasing number of Americans are borrowing money from their retirement plans. A Duke University Magazine survey found in December that nearly 20 percent of companies have seen increased hardship withdrawals and loans from 401(k) accounts, often to cover mortgage payments or to avoid personal bankruptcy.
One of the most depressing moments I had during this tax season (of which I had several) was having to tell a retired lady that she owed close to $40,000 in taxes when she thought she was going to get a refund. The culprit that caused this unfortunate surprise involved the sale of her primary residence. Here is her sad story.
It's finally over. Sixty-five teams playing 64 games and scoring 8,853 points between them. It's official, the University of Kansas is the NCAA basketball champion, coming from behind in regulation play to force the game with Memphis State into overtime.
Today, Social Security covers about 163 million workers with 49 million people receiving benefits. Many people think that Social Security contributions are held in interest-bearing accounts to be used for their
What happens to your pet if you become incapacitated or die? We have seen many beloved pets abandoned or taken to the animal shelter because an owner has failed to include provisions for the care of their animals in their estate planning documents.
Many people consider estate planning as something that is only necessary for the elderly or for the rich. I would argue that estate planning is necessary for anyone over the age of 18. Before you stop reading, let me describe some actual incidents that have occurred in the past couple of months that illustrate the need for estate planning by younger adults.
With all the bad news going around about recession or economy in slow-growth, the one thing that's not debatable is that the employment market is weaker than it was a year ago. Let the economists figure out what's going on these days but you can do something about your income situation. There are two ways for you to go. You can sit at your desk or in your shop with a "the sky is falling" ...
This is the second part in a series of columns by David Poole, a partner in the law firm of Poole & Shaffery, LLP. In Part 1 of this article, we discussed the need for the prudent purchaser of legal services to represent them in a business dispute to have a thoughtful and thorough approach to the attorney hiring process.
In an effort to boost the U.S. economy, Congress passed the Economic Stimulus Package Act of 2008 on Feb. 7.
It seems that nearly every day the media is touting that some brand name business or an industry is on the verge of collapse. The reality is that every day businesses fail and industries consolidate, meaning companies are purchased by competitors or go by the wayside. Those businesses that cannot adapt or change will ultimately fail.
As a company grows, one area that often becomes a bottleneck is communication. There are certain dynamics that take place in communications, as the number of involved people increases. For example, in a small two-person company, there is the greatest opportunity for direct conversation and discussion throughout the day.
As people get older, they often hire individuals or companies to perform services for them, such as housekeeping, cooking, driving, paying bills and personal care.
You goofed! You just found a credit card bill stuck in your car's sun visor and it's due today. You forgot to file your tax return, and you're afraid to "fess up" to Uncle Sam. You got nailed for running that tail-end yellow to red light, and you're worried that you'll get your rates raised when your insurance company learns of the ticket.
Punitive damages are damages imposed to punish certain defendants for malicious conduct, fraud or other despicable conduct. Such damages have nothing to do with compensating the victim of such conduct. They are imposed, in addition to compensatory damages, to punish the defendant for egregious wrongdoing. Imposition of such damages used to be relatively rare, but the frequency and amount of punitive damage awards - especially on business defendants - has increased dramatically in recent years. ...
When it comes to investing, patience can have its rewards. In fact, for the 10 years ended December 31,2006, a hypothetical $10,000 investment in Standard & Poor's 500 Index would have almost doubled to $19,147. However, if during this time frame, the investment would have missed:
With the return of traditional homebuyers in ever-greater numbers, the powerful impact of an improved housing market on the local, state, and national economies is, quite frankly, palpable.
A former leader of a large Fortune 500 company was quoted in an interview that "People who do things make mistakes. The biggest mistake is doing nothing."
Once a month, like clockwork, a gentleman comes to my house in the early morning and sprays for insects and bugs. We've spoken a few times and he always hands me his card, telling me to let him know if he needs to come back between visits. I think I have called him once in the last decade.
Local home resale prices last month hit the highest level in five years, with each leap up in prices rescuing legions of underwater owners, in effect, throwing them a life preserver and pulling them to dry land.
Thirty-six years ago this month I graduated from college. I didn't study a major that paid immediate dividends, meaning a job, and I wasn't ready for graduate school.
Peggy Noonan wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal on April 20 about her attendance at Margaret Thatcher's London funeral service. She commented that Mrs. Thatcher was often frustrated with her staff. Thatcher once said to her aides, "I don't need to be told what, I need to be told how."
Heated market conditions fueled by a tight inventory and strong sales in higher-cost coastal regions drove California's median home price in March to its highest level since May 2008. Local prices, right here in the Santa Clarita Valley are headed higher, too.
This week I'd like to introduce a company in a far different place compared to just a year ago. The organization has gone from despair to celebrating success. At the end of the first quarter of 2013, the owner said his company had "…Increased sales, reduced costs and improved our overall financial position in terms of positive cash flow and profitability, as well as reduced debt."
This is part two of a two-part column.
Some homeowners who are still struggling to avoid foreclosure may soon benefit from streamlined rules that offer an easy way to lower monthly payments and modify their mortgage without requiring financial or hardship documentation.
Looking back on those individuals who were my bosses, a clear distinction comes to mind.
The only people who benefit when a house is built are the family members who get to live there, and the builder who constructed and sold the home, right?
This column is part one of a two-part column.
In 1970 I started my first official job. I worked nine hours a week at a small grocery store. For the next two years I grossed $11.25 a week.
The residential housing resale market in the Santa Clarita Valley continued to recover during February, with sales and prices up to their highest levels in years.