Today’s Money: The Bank of Mom and Dad

We’ve seen the research in the headlines for weeks now: Over half of all college graduates are still funded by the bank of mom and dad. Well, this morning on TODAY, I offered a lesson on financial independence to two graduates who make up that statistic. If you missed it, check it out below.

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New Beginnings Part Two

suburbFor Part One, head here.

Times of transition – think: getting married, having a baby, moving into a new home, even getting divorced – are noted for being exciting and daunting, energizing and exhausting. They can make us stressed-out and blissed-out simultaneously. But did you know they also change (and sometimes increase) your risk of falling prey to identity fraud?

Truth be told, neither did I. But some surprising new research conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of LifeLock shows that’s exactly what happens. By understanding how these life shifts impact your vulnerability, you also give yourself the opportunity to mount a good offense during these transitional times. Here, the highlights of the research and what you should do next.

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New Beginnings Part One

Work life balance conceptTimes of transition – think: getting married, having a baby, moving into a new home, even getting divorced – are noted for being exciting and daunting, energizing and exhausting. They can make us stressed-out and blissed-out simultaneously. But did you know they also change (and sometimes increase) your risk of falling prey to identity fraud?

Truth be told, neither did I. But some surprising new research conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of LifeLock shows that’s exactly what happens. By understanding how these life shifts impact your vulnerability, you also give yourself the opportunity to mount a good offense during these transitional times. Here, the highlights of the research and what you should do next.

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Money Sense on Fortune

XSmallToday’s Fortune column is based on an Arizona Pathways to Life Success (APLUS) study, which found that more than half of college graduates rely on their parents for financial support (that includes nearly half of those employed full-time). Additionally, these recent grads don’t seem to value the same things many of us did at their ages. Nearly 30% said marriage and having children wasn’t important — and roughly 20% don’t value owning a home. And 16% — gulp – said living on their own is unimportant. For more — and to see my take on the matter — head over to Fortune.com.

Jean on Morning Joe

Has it become impossible for America’s middle class families to save money? This morning I weighed in on Morning Joe. See my take below:

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Mailbag Monday: Life Insurance at Age 68

iStock_000016108788SmallI am 68 and I need life insurance. Should I purchase whole life or term insurance? I have a granddaughter, two great children and I would like to leave a financial gift for them.

– Amy

Amy, that is such a nice thought.  I’m sure that your children and grandchildren will be so grateful — especially when college tuition time rolls around.  If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that for most purposes, I recommend term life — it’s less expensive and therefore the best way for most people to get as much as they need.  However, as the name suggests, it terminates, which means the death benefit may no longer be in place when you die. Term life policies get pricier as you age (whole life policies do as well), but the hope is that by the time you get into your retirement years, you’ll have saved enough so that you no longer need it.

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New SEC Guidance for Financial Advisors

handshakeJust recently the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) granted money managers and advisors the right to feature third-party reviews on their marketing materials. Meaning: Your advisor can now use your dazzling Facebook review (of him) to boost his business. I asked WalletHub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou for the run down – why you should care and what this means for the advisory industry? Here’s what he had to say:

JC: What finally sparked the SEC to allow this?

OP: Not sure, but we hope that sites like Yelp & WalletHub that have allowed reviews on financial advisors irrespective of financial gain had something to do with this. 

JC: What does this mean for consumers/investors?

OP: This represents a major breakthrough for consumers and investors. In a world where everyone relies heavily on the internet for fast-paced information, this will allow investors to react faster. Additionally, consumers/investors are now free to compare the professionals who manage our money with the same level of discernment and transparency that has long been available in other segments of the market – from hotels to restaurants and consumer electronics. In other words, the SEC is making ground breaking strides to level the playing field.

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Wednesday Welcome: Boomer Housing

We’re pleased to welcome back Joy Loverde, author of The Complete Eldercare Planner. If you recall, she joined us last year for a post sharing her favorite resources for active aging, and this time, she’s back to talk about boomer housing options. They’re not what they used to be!

Screen Shot 2014-04-09 at 9.05.35 AMJust as the 76 million Baby Boomers have redefined every other stage of life from college to careers, we are now redefining and remaking the concept of living arrangements.  Developers take note.  No cookie-cutter “senior” housing approach for us.

While many Boomers will simply downsize, others will go straight to some flavor of housing that appeals to their lifestyle. This shift in how we think about living spaces has everything to do with the mindset that we have places to go and things to do no matter what physical shape our bodies are in.

We have proven over a lifetime that we are a generation that expects to stay involved in living. With that in mind, here are a few housing and lifestyle options to consider:

Age-in-Place

The ever-popular concept of staying put may require remodeling the home. Ground-level laundry rooms and walk-in showers, for example, help keep aging residents mobile and safe. National Association of Home Builders offers access to Certified Aging-in Place Specialists. When in-home caregiving services are needed contact The Eldercare Locator.

Shared Housing

Some people love living alone. If you’re not one of them, consider a home-mate. Sharing space with others solves a multitude of problems financially and otherwise, and may make it easier to go through difficult life stages together. Check out Sharing Housing and the National Shared Housing Resource Center.

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Money Sense on Fortune and Survey Results

Senior adults with their adult children.Last week, I asked my newsletter subscribers and some of my Twitter and Facebook fans to take a survey about how they feel when discussing money — if they talk about money at all, that is. In this week’s FORTUNE column, I go over my survey findings and discuss how couples can break down the barriers that prevent us from having regular talks about our money.

You can head over to Fortune.com to view the column, but below are some additional results from Talking Money in Your Social Circle: A Do, or a Taboo?

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Q: Please rank the following conversation topics (sex, money, politics, religion and health) on the level of discomfort you experience, lowest to highest (1-5), when discussing them in your social circles.

A: Out of the above, you’re more likely to break a sweat when the conversation turns to what happens behind the bedroom doors. Over the weekend, politics replaced money for second place.

Q: Now, tell us how you feel discussing money with each of the following groups.

A: When discussing money in specific social circles, you’re more uncomfortable having the conversation with your colleagues and siblings than you are with your friends, parents and partners.

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Q: In general, how often do you avoid having conversations about money?

A: Roughly 38% of you answered “sometimes,” while 33% answered “rarely.”

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Q: Why are you less likely to talk about money in your social groups? Check all that apply.

A: With colleagues, it’s privacy and competition. With family, you said it either turns into a conflict — or conversely, it’s not a problem at all. And with friends, it’s both privacy and jealousy.

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Q: Which of the following money-related topics do you avoid discussing at all costs? Check all that apply.

A: Total assets and income top the list.

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Today’s Money: Helping Aging Parents Manage Their Finances

When it comes to aging parents and money management, 70% families find it difficult to handle. How do you know when your parents need help with their money? It’s a tough question, and an even tougher conversation to have. This morning on Today, I offered my tips on how to get the ball rolling, while keeping emotions at bay. To see what I had to say, check out the clip below:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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