Share Awesome Contest

Awesomeness is all around us. At least that’s how it appeared during a recent #ShareAwesome Twitter party. For an hour, 140 character stories of kindness to the homeless, to people in hospitals and neighbors in need, to kids left out on the fringe pored into the twitterverse – some accompanied by pictures, one more heartening than the next. Judging by the speed at which she was retweeted @caraleeball said it best when she tweeted, “so hate to see this party end…love talking about kindness and caring #shareawesome.”

What’s the fuss all about?  Believe it or not, digital safety. That and the fact that kids and teens do awesome things on a daily basis – and that they should be able to tell their friends, BFFs and the rest of their social networks in a safe way that parents approve of.  (more…)

Wednesday Welcome: Know Your Worth, Three Reasons Why Women Need Life Insurance

CT-ssToday, we’re welcoming Cynthia Tidwell, President/CEO of Royal Neighbors of America, to the blog. Royal Neighbors of America is one of the largest women-led insurers in the U.S. September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, and Ms. Tidwell, nationally recognized as an expert in life insurance for women, discusses the importance for women and their families to be financially protected.

When I look to the future, I see great things for women. At no other time in our country’s history have women had so much opportunity to pursue education and careers; grow as leaders in their communities; and raise healthy families. A recent Shriver Report analysis found that women — including both married and single mothers — are breadwinners or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of families with children as of 2009. Plus, women dominate the global marketplace controlling more than 80 percent of consumer spending — the power of the purse! (more…)

Today’s Money: Save on Back-to-School Shopping

Don’t let back-to-school shopping blow your budget this year by using some of my tips from this morning’s segment. Tweet me your thoughts and suggestions @JeanChatzky.

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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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