Jean Chatzky: Our Relationship With Money Is a ‘Hot Mess’

Jean Chatzky has a few choice words for how most folks describe their relationship with money: Confusing. Frightening. Chaotic. Stressful. Precarious. “For two decades now, I’ve been watching how we make our money, save it, spend it, borrow it, invest it and protect it,” Chatzky told an audience today at the AARP Ideas@50+ conference underway in San Diego. “And I can tell you that, overall, our relationship with money is a hot mess.” Chatzky, AARP’s financial ambassador, is a best-selling author and …

Fed Report Paints Dreary Retirement for Some

Five years after the Great Recession, many Americans say they’re still struggling to get by financially. Nineteen percent of adults ages 55 to 64 say they have no retirement savings or pensions to fall back on, according to a survey by the Federal Reserve. Also troubling was that an additional 20 percent of people age 60 and older say they’ve given no thought at all to planning for their retirement. That was also the case for about 19 percent of …

Oldest Americans Weathered the Recession Better Than Others

Many Americans are still reeling from the last recession, although the oldest among us weathered the economic decline better than other age groups. That’s according to a recent report by the Census Bureau that looked at how Americans ages 65 and up fared during and after the 2007-2009 recession. These older consumers were somewhat buffered by more conservative investment strategies as well as high homeownership and a resistance to squeezing all equity out of their property by refinancing. It wasn’t …

Low-Wage Jobs Replacing Middle-Income Jobs, Report Finds

First the good news: Millions of jobs that were lost during the Great Recession seem to be finally coming back. Now the bad news: Most of those newly created  jobs are low-paying ones in fast-food restaurants, retail stores and temporary administrative services -  industries that are less affected by an economic downturn, according to a new report by the National Employment Law Project, a research and advocacy organization. Today lower-wage industries employ 1.85 million more workers than at the start of the …

Rate Reset for Some Homeowners May Trigger Defaults

The home foreclosure crisis that swept through the nation during the Great Recession may not be over for thousands of troubled borrowers. Some homeowners who sought help from the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) are about to see their mortgage payments rise this year. In some cases, those payments could eventually go up by more than $1,000 a month, according to the Washington Post. The loan modification program lowered monthly mortgage interest rates for some 1.3 million at-risk homeowners …

Jobs Poll: Things Are Better … but Not Good

Only 15 percent of Americans age 45 or older looked for a job in the past year because of employment uncertainty, according to our AARP Bulletin poll published in September. It has been six years since the start of the Great Recession, but people are still uneasy about their current jobs. Confidence about job stability has improved since 2009, but fewer than half of those polled feel that their jobs are stable (49 percent now versus 39 percent in 2009). …