Virtual Kidnapping: The Latest Fear-by-Phone Hoax

It sounds like something out of Hollywood, but it’s hitting homes across the country: “virtual kidnapping,” where fraudsters try to extort money by claiming that a family member has been taken hostage. This fear-provoking fraud isn’t new; there was a nationwide wave of similar calls two years ago in which swindlers usually claimed a loved one was being held after causing a traffic accident and refusing to pay for damages. But in recent weeks, the scam has exploded — and this …

Financial Planning You Can Afford

Whom do you turn to when you need advice on managing your personal finances? A family member? A close friend? Or do you have a financial planner on speed dial? When there is mention of a financial planner, people often think it’s a service for the wealthy. It’s time to debunk that myth. Financial planners are not only for those with lots of money, they are for anyone needing to get financial matters in order. If you don’t think it’s …

Spice Up Your Life!!!

Poet and civil rights leader Maya Angelou once said, “Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” With that anecdote in mind, imagine how enlightening, educational and inspiring it could be to experience the richness of other cultures — especially with all the racial unrest that we experience in America. In fact, I …

5 Steps to Cure Binge-and-Purge Shopping Disorder

I once had a dirty little secret. No, it wasn’t an online flirtation, a crush on actor Mark Rylance (that’s common knowledge) or a tendency for midnight fridge raids. It was a brief problem with BPSD, aka Binge-and-Purge Shopping Disorder, and it’s why online retailers such as Amazon, Target, Sephora and Beauty.com are such a success. Women 50 and older are the biggest buyers of online beauty and fashion. Buy, try, return, repeat is a familiar but addictive habit. The revolving door …

Debt: A Deal Breaker in Millennial Romances?

We heard through the grapevine about a boomer couple upset because their son, who graduated from a prestigious college and professional school without loans, was marrying a young lawyer with tens of thousands in educational debt. The parents feared that paying off this financial burden would delay the couple in buying a house and starting a family. Wisely, they chose to say nothing. Their concern is not unwarranted. Millennials who are able to get ahead financially by owning a house …

The Truth About Your Adult Child’s First Year After College Graduation

They’re back! With costly college diploma in hand, thousands of 20-somethings have returned to the nest. Some will be starting jobs, while others ponder their next move. No matter which category, odds are most parents will provide some financial support to their adult child for a year or two — or more. A recent Upromise Sallie Mae poll found that 65 percent of parents expect to support their children for up to five years after college graduation, including those with …