(StatePoint) It is hard to think about death, but organizing your financial paperwork, having a will, making sure you have an appropriate amount of life insurance coverage and even writing out funeral plans, can help ensure that loved ones left behind have a little less to worry about during a difficult time.Draw up a WillOnly 44 percent of Americans report having a will, according to a 2016 Gallup poll, and that percentage drops to just 14 percent for those younger than 30. Even if you don’t own much, a will helps family and friends know that they are following your wishes, which can be comforting. If you have children or pets, it is important to think about their future and who you want to take care of them in your absence. Specify if you have special directions regarding your funeral services, if you want one at all.Creating a living will is also critical. You’ll want to give your loved ones some guidance on making important health decisions, should you be unable to … [Read more...] about Additional Financial Protection for Your Family: What to Know
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A decade ago, as the financial crisis raged in the United States, Jesus Rodriguez told his kids a fib: he was selling the family furniture because they were moving to Disney World. The truth was Rodriguez was desperate for money, having lost his home as did hundreds of thousands of people in the Great Recession that began in 2008. Rodriguez's voice chokes as he remembers the painful episode. "My kids were very little and we started selling everything. They said, 'hey daddy, where are we going?'" Rodriguez recalled. "'We are going to Disney World,'" he remembered telling them. "And they said 'daddy, is it that expensive that we have to sell the fridge and the beds?'" "No, no don't worry, we'll buy new ones when we come back," Rodriguez said he told his children at the time. Today Rodriguez, 57, lives with his family in a rented apartment in Coral Springs, north of Miami. During the real estate boom that preceded the financial meltdown, it was dead easy to get a mortgage. Banks threw … [Read more...] about When the American dream became a mortgage nightmare
Chris Woodyard USA TODAY Published 3:06 p.m. UTC Aug 17, 2018 LOS ANGELES – If it's possible to build a fireproof house, Robert Balzebre is convinced that his stunning three-story personal sanctuary perched in the Hollywood Hills would qualify. The "warm contemporary" design is devoid of vents or roof overhangs where embers can penetrate or become trapped. The roof carries a high rating for fire resistance. Outside staircases are made of steel, and the wood used for decking and trim is mostly a dense hardwood called ipe, which is naturally resistant to fire. Inside, glass in the floor-to-ceiling windows, which afford sweeping views from the Sunset Strip to the ocean in the distance, is tempered to withstand temperatures up to 450 degrees. The house – situated on a narrow street in a neighborhood of steep, brushy canyons – underscores what homeowners in areas susceptible to wildfire must now consider: Climate change is reshaping the West in a … [Read more...] about ‘Difficult to realize your own home may burn’: Why it is crucial to build fireproof homes
opinion Alicia Baker Opinion contributor Published 9:00 p.m. UTC Aug 9, 2018 It was one of the happiest times of my life: I was preparing to marry my best friend, Josh. But because I was denied insurance coverage for the birth control I needed, the days and months leading up to my wedding were spent struggling to make ends meet and frustrated that decisions about my health were not my own to make. And if Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court, I fear many other families will face similar situations. Josh was one of the first people I met when I moved to Indiana, and we instantly clicked because of our shared values. We’re both Christians and have similar convictions, including our decision to abstain from sex until marriage. As our wedding approached, we knew it was time to prepare for that aspect of our married life, and so we started researching birth control. While we want kids eventually, we knew we wanted to wait. Like many other young couples, we … [Read more...] about I was denied insurance coverage for birth control. Kavanaugh would make the problem worse.
16 July 2018 United StatesEconomicsFinance Ten years ago the world focused on the US foreclosure crisis as thousands lost their homes in dodgy mortgage deals. Today, the crisis is still a reality for many. Jack Crosbie reports Julius Gallishaw lives in the left half of a maisonette on a nice, safe street in Trenton, New Jersey. It has windows on three sides, which means sunlight streams through in the mornings and evenings. Looking north, he sees a splash of deep red, the top of his prized Japanese maple tree. Julius is proud of his house. And for the past three years he has been in a desperate fight to stop his bank from taking it away. It’s been 10 years since the height of the subprime mortgage crisis, which sent the country spiralling further into the most severe recession since the Great Depression. Many areas have ‘recovered’ but in cities like Trenton, the crisis is still raging. Julius and Ellen bought their house for $125,000 in 2002. It was a … [Read more...] about Home sweet home