More than one-third of Americans could not sustain a basic livelihood without government assistance. Almost 60 percent of seniors are dependent on the government. Why is this? This book examines how the U.S. economy's failure to deliver high-quality, universally accessible basic necessities is creating acute financial insecurity among the American middle class. Over the past 30 years, America's middle class has grown more financially insecure. How much of this pressing problem is due to Americans' failure to restrain their spending versus their upwards spiraling--and increasingly necessary--expenditures on health care, education, and housing? And how can Americans choose between financial security and paying for essentials on a day-to-day basis? This book answers these tough questions and many more in its evaluation of a complex and contentious issue: how basic expenses of life in the 21st century are bankrupting American families.
What if a happier life was only a few simple choices away? A successful entrepreneur living in Southern California, Scott Rieckens had built a "dream life": a happy marriage, a two-year-old daughter, a membership to a boat club, and a BMW in the driveway. But underneath the surface, Scott was creatively stifled, depressed, and overworked trying to help pay for his family's beach-town lifestyle. Then one day, Scott listened to a podcast interview that changed everything. Five months later, he had quit his job, convinced his family to leave their home, and cut their expenses in half. Follow Scott and his family as they devote everything to FIRE (financial independence retire early), a subculture obsessed with maximizing wealth and happiness. Filled with inspiring case studies and powerful advice,Playing with FIRE is one family's journey to acquire the one thing that money can't buy: a simpler -- and happier -- life. Based on the documentary
On the eve of the financial crisis, Jacob S. Hacker wrote "the policy book of the year" (E.J. Dionne, Jr., Washington Post) that demonstrated and explained the hidden story of growing economic insecurity. In this fully revised and updated second edition, he brings his powerful expose of the"Great Risk Shift" up to date with startling new evidence covering a decade of social and economic trends as well as compelling new policy ideas. Hacker shows that the safety net was unraveling long before the late-2000s economic crisis, as more and more economic risk shifted from the broad shoulders of government and business onto the fragile backs of American families: the problems of risky jobs brought on by corporate restructuring and the "gig economy" of contingent work; risky families created by the rising costs and instabilities of parenthood; risky retirement caused by the collapse of traditional guaranteed pensions; and risky health care fueled by skyrocketing costs and unstable coverage - all have grown worse in the decade since the first edition's publication. Hacker shows what has changed and why, the ways in which ordinary Americans have been affected, and how we can fight back.
Financial Independence (Getting to Point X) offers practical, time-tested advice for reaching your financial goals--whatever they may be. Whether you're recovering from debt, putting kids through college, planning for retirement, starting your own business, or just seeking a healthier financial outlook, this book shows you how to get it done. No platitudes or empty advice here--just a clear roadmap to your goals, based on the effective management of the 10 Key Wealth Management Issues that threaten to derail us all. Saving, budgeting, managing debt, minimizing taxes, and living within your means--all classic financial advice, but easier said than done, right? In this book, you'll find real, practical advice for actually doing it--to the extent that makes sense for you.
Quickly make sense of mortgages Taking out a mortgage to purchase real estate is a huge decision, one that could affect your family's finances for years to come. This easy-to-follow guide explains how to secure the best and lowest-cost mortgage for your unique situation. Whether you select a 15- or 30-year mortgage, you'll get all the tips and tricks you need to pay it off faster--shortening your payment schedule and saving your hard-earned cash. Fine-tune your finances Qualify for a mortgage Secure the best loan Find your best lender Refinance your mortgage Pay down your loan quicker Must-knows about foreclosure Top mortgage no-nos
Today nearly half of all Americans live from paycheck to paycheck, and income volatility has doubled over the past thirty years. Banks, with their high monthly fees and overdraft charges, are gouging their low- and middle-income customers, while serving only the wealthiest Americans. Lisa Servon delivers a stunning indictment of America's banks, together with eye-opening dispatches from inside a range of banking alternatives that have sprung up to fill the void. She works as a teller at RiteCheck, a check-cashing business in the South Bronx, and as a payday lender in Oakland. She looks closely at the workings of atanda, an informal lending club. And she delivers fascinating, hopeful portraits of the entrepreneurs reacting to the unbanking of America by designing systems to creatively serve many of us.
Americans as a whole view themselves as reasonably prudent and sober people when it comes to matters of money, reflecting the puritan roots of the earliest European settlers. Yet as a community, we also seem to believe that we are entitled to a lifestyle that is well-beyond our current income, a tendency that goes back to the earliest days of the United States and particularly to get rich quick experiences ranging from the Gold Rush of the 1840s to the real estate bubble of the early 21st Century. Inflated examines this apparent conflict and makes the argument that such a world view is so ingrained in us that to expect the United States to live in a "deflated" world is simply unrealistic. It skillfully seeks to tell the story of, money inflation and public debt as enduring (and perhaps endearing) features of American life, rather than something we can one day overcome as our policy makers constantly promise.
Former con artist Frank Abagnale's new book is about the very latest tricks that today's scammers, hackers, and con-artists use to steal your money and personal information. Using plain language and vivid examples, Abagnale reveals: the type of photo you should never post on social media; the conditions under which you should use WiFi networks at the airport; the best way to protect your phone from being hacked and more. Explaining his simple rules to protect yourself, Abagnale also makes use of his insider intel to paint a picture of cybercrimes that haven't become widespread yet.
Not sure where to start? Let's find the right bankruptcy option for you. You know bankruptcy will help you get back on your financial feet. But which chapter type is best? The New Bankruptcy explains the benefits of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. You'll learn that Chapter 7 bankruptcy will:Not sure where to start? Let's find the right bankruptcy option for you. wipe out credit card balances, utility bills, and more protect property you need to work and live, and take about four to six months to complete.Chapter 13 bankruptcy works by keeping creditors at bay while you: catch up on a house or car payment pay off an overdue tax or support balance, and pay less on other debt, such as credit cards and student loans. The 8th edition's expanded online companion page includes downloadable worksheets and easy-to-use charts, as well as a sample bankruptcy filing on the latest official legal forms.
Save your nest egg from the IRS About to retire? Over 70 and facing mandatory withdrawal rules? Just inherited money from a retirement plan? Whether you have an IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k), Keogh or other retirement plan, this book will help you make sense of the rules for taking your money out. Even more important, it will show you how to avoid the stiff taxes and penalties that lurk in the fine print. It covers: tax strategies before and after retirement required distributions and how much you need to take penalties for taking money out early and how to avoid them how to divide a plan at divorce what happens to your retirement plan after your death, and different rules for taking money out of an inherited plan The 14th edition is completely updated with the latest tables and methods for calculating required minimum distributions. It also covers the special tax benefits for conversions to Roth IRAs and explains how to recharacterize IRA or Roth contributions.