Who is the Middle Class Now?

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The definition of middle class can vary depending on who you ask.  A young college graduate with a $22,000 entry-level job may consider herself middle class because her parents were, she graduated from college and she’s just starting her white-collar career.  A married blue-collar worker with two children making $41,000 a year may consider himself…

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There’s no Ceiling on the Number of Housing Possibilities

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America has long been dubbed the land of diversity, and our wide range of tastes is certainly reflected in our housing choices. There’s something for every preference, whether it be the architectural style (colonial, post-modern, Tudor, Victorian), the siding (wood, brick, stucco, vinyl) or the locale (urban, rural, coastal, plains).  However, popular trends do tend…

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Longer Life Means Longer List of Considerations

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“As a man grows older, his medicine cabinet grows bigger.” That quote, from the 1948 film “Heaven Can Wait,” certainly seems to hold true 60+ years later as lifespans stretch longer than ever. One in seven Americans are 65 or older, and there are now approximately 70,000 Americans living past the age of 100 —…

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Taking Stock of Changing Financial Landscape

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A recent report says 30-year returns won’t be as high as they were in the 20th century.  According to the McKinsey Global Institute’s stock and bond market research, a 30-year-old today will have to work seven years longer, or nearly double how much money he or she needs to save for retirement, to compensate for…

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Taking Your Best Shot at House Hunting

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It’s that time of year again. Homeowners have been painting, repairing, trimming and planting in an effort to get their properties ready for the spring real estate selling season.  It’s an annual ritual that, according to those in the industry, hasn’t created enough volume in recent years. Perhaps this year we’re poised for a change. …

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Consumption Isn’t Always a Dirty Word

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The word consumption can take on a variety of meanings, some good and some bad.  In the old days, consumption was an expression used to describe tuberculosis, presumably because the disease seemed to “consume” the body by drawing away its energy and weight. Today, it’s far more common to hear about the negative effects of…

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Crisis Management: Focus on What you can Control 

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How do you choose what to worry about? In the 24-hour news cycle, we’re hit from all directions with the latest “crisis” the world is facing. Obesity. Sleep deprivation. Student-loan debt. A shortage of biscuits. It’s constant and can be exhausting. That’s not even taking into consideration the “crises” we experience in our own personal…

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Equal Pay Debate Worth Another Look 

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What are we aiming for when it comes to equal wages these days? Sometimes it seems like a moving target. For example, should two workers doing the same job get the same pay? Or should the person who performs better receive more income, and is that judgment arbitrary or based on strict, measurable criteria? Should…

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We’re Living in a Digital World 

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Madonna, David Bowie, Lady Gaga: Some of the most successful entertainers in show business have been renowned for reinventing themselves. But, when you think about how much our lives have changed over the years, reinvention has become a part of our everyday routines as well. Twenty-five years ago, we had to stay at home if…

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Statistics on Centenarians Don’t Always Make Sense

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While it’s true that people, in general, are living longer than ever, unfortunately there’s no guarantee that applies to everyone across the board. A recent study showed men and women in the lower 25 percent of socioeconomic status have not achieved the same average longevity as those in the highest quarter. We believe the reason…

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