Posts Tagged ‘tips’

The Cost of Attending a Wedding in 2017

Posted on June 16, 2017 by Laura Lam

Wedding season is upon us.  According to theKnot.com, the average cost of a wedding in 2016 rose to an all-time high of $35,329.  But modern weddings aren’t just ultra-expensive for the happy couple, they’re actually a serious, wallet-emptying affair for guests as well. According to the Knot’s 2016 Wedding Guest Study, the average bridesmaid/groomsman spent just over $1,500 last year, while wedding guests spent $888.  Here’s a breakdown of the costs: Average bridesmaid and groomsmen spend per wedding: $1,154 Wedding gift spend: $177 Wedding attire: $207 Wedding travel: $342 Wedding accommodations: $293 Average wedding guest spend per wedding total: $888…

Beige Book: Slower Growth, Less Optimism

Posted on June 09, 2017 by Laura Lam

Economic growth slowed across parts of the U.S. in recent weeks, and some firms have become a bit less optimistic about the future, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve.  “A majority of districts reported that firms expressed positive near-term outlooks; however, optimism waned somewhat in a few districts,” the Fed said in its latest Beige Book report. Broadly, the Fed said economic growth was modest in 7 districts, moderate in 4 districts and “flattened out” in the New York Fed district. The prior beige book said activity expanded in all 12 regions with the pace equally split…

73% of Americans Have Financial Regrets

Posted on June 06, 2017 by Laura Lam

Nearly 3-in-4 U.S. adults have financial regrets, according to a new Bankrate.com report. The most common is not saving for retirement early enough, followed by not saving enough for emergency expenses and taking on too much credit card debt. Taking on too much student loan debt is fourth, however, it tops the list among older millennials (27-36 year-olds). Fifth overall is not saving enough for your children’s education and sixth is buying more house than you could afford. Baby Boomers are the most likely to regret not saving for retirement earlier; remorse over this issue grows steadily from age 18-62. It’s…

Home Prices Not Back To Pre-Crisis Levels

Posted on June 05, 2017 by Laura Lam

Home prices increase a little more each month, even hitting new peaks in many markets, yet experts insist they are not back at bubble-era levels.  The most recent Case-Shiller results show home prices rose 5.8% from last year to the highest pace in 33 months.  Black Knight also released its Home Price Index Report, showing home prices rose to a median $272,000 in March. This represents a new peak in home prices, and a rise of 2.3% from the start of the year. In fact, the chart from Calculated Risks shows home prices are nearing, if not level with, pre-crisis peaks, according to different measures of home…

What to Buy in June

Posted on June 02, 2017 by Laura Lam

Warm weather, wedding season, and hurricane season all bring discounts in June. Consumers will also find continuing sales on some items that were good deals in May. Here’s a look at the best things to buy this month from Cheapism.com. Tropical Vacation – June signals the onset of hurricane season and sweltering temperatures in the Caribbean. For travelers willing to take their chances with the weather, this is the perfect time to scoop up deals on cruises and tropical vacation packages, especially for last-minute bookings. Alaskan Cruise – Mid-June marks the end of the off-season for travel to Alaska, a popular summer…

Electronic Communications: A Growing Compliance Risk

Posted on June 01, 2017 by Laura Lam

The 7th annual Electronic Communications Compliance Survey from Smarsh reveals that finaical firms are struggling to keep up with the multitude of electronic communications channels.  More than half of respondents (52%) cited text messages as their current No. 1 source of non-email content compliance risk. About 33% of respondents cited social media communications as the greatest compliance risk, and 8% cited instant messaging. The survey also found that almost half of firms have no oversight or retention of text messages.  “Firms need to leverage new and emerging channels to communicate with their customers and stay competitive, but they’re failing to manage the risk,”…

First-Time Homebuyers Deterred by Misconceptions

Posted on May 25, 2017 by Laura Lam

The lack of knowledge around the home purchase process was cited by 39% of mortgage executives as the leading barrier keeping potential first-time buyers from entering the market.  That topped a lack of inventory (29%), excess student loan debt (27%) and rising interest rates (6%), according to a survey taken during the Mortgage Bankers Association’s National Secondary Market Conference by Genworth Mortgage Insurance. The greatest cause of confusion among first-time homebuyers is the role of a 20% down payment.  Of those surveyed, 28% said consumers still mistakenly believe that a 20% down payment is a requirement for purchasing a home,…

Switching Gears: Builders Turn to Starter Homes to Lure Millennials

Posted on May 22, 2017 by Laura Lam

First-time buyers are rushing to buy homes after a decade on the sidelines, promising to kick a housing market already flush with luxury sales into higher gear.  Tracking home sales to a particular age group is hard, but a series of data points form a mosaic of a generation of young people ready to buy: The number of new-owner households was double the number of new-renter households in the first quarter of this year, the share of first-time buyers is creeping back toward the historical average, and mortgages for first-timers are on the rise. “They’re crawling out of their parents’…

American Households Spend 53% of Its Income On These Expenses

Posted on May 19, 2017 by Laura Lam

If there’s one fairly steady theme over the past couple of decades, it’s that consumers are saving less of their income and their household budgets are being pushed to the limit.  According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank’s February data, the personal saving rating in America was a paltry 5.6%. Comparatively, U.S. workers were socking away more than 12% of their paycheck 50 years ago.  At the same time, a number of household expenses have largely outpaced the inflation rate and wage growth. These include healthcare costs, college expenses, and in recent years housing costs, since home prices have…

Millennials’ Financial Habits Differ from Previous Generations

Posted on May 12, 2017 by Laura Lam

More so than Gen X and baby boomers, millennials prioritize issues like buying a home, purchasing cars, saving for and planning vacations and weddings and college planning, according to a recent Stash survey.  Yet these are not issues that most financial advisers typically bring up with clients.  “We have a retirement, baby-boomer-centric service model that tends not to interest millennials,” said Alan Moore, co-founder of the XY Planning Network.  “Advisers need to look at where younger investors are in their lives and help them with those issues, such as navigating debt.” The financial habits of millennials,a giant generation of 92 million people…