What's this, you say? Simply our monthly attempt to tell you all the money news you should know, so you can sound smart about it at your next work happy hour/cocktail party.
After all, we work more hours than ever before, so who can blame you if you haven’t kept up with all the financial news that’s fit to print, share or tweet?
Consider this your digest: We’ve scoured the headlines to bring you a cheat sheet to the stories that may affect your money life. Ready, set, get smarter!
Where the über-rich are moving: These 12 global cities are on their map
According to one wealth-management firm, Beirut, Lebanon; Istanbul, Turkey; and Chennai, India, are among the 12 up-and-coming cities where the wealthy should consider investing in real estate. Why? These areas still provide a bargain propertywise, but they're attracting the local rich and are expected to see growth in their economies. Is a U.S. city you're eyeing on the list? Only if you're considering relocating to Chicago or Miami.
Looking for a new job? There could be reason to rejoice.
The most recent government jobs report reveals the country created 217,000 jobs last month, exceeding expectations and putting the U.S. back to employment levels not seen since the recession. (Just one snag: The labor participation rate—the rate at which working-age people are actually working, or at least looking for a job—is at a dismal 62.8%. This number hasn't been this low since the late 1970s, which could be a signal that the out-of-work are losing faith in their search.) Even if you’re not looking, the jobs report brings good news. Job creation is a sign of an economy’s health, and many investors and traders are thrilled with the news. You should be too: If your income increases, you'll have more money to put toward your goals!
How paying too much for where you call home can hurt you...
It turns out a whole bunch of Americans are dropping more on where they call home. In fact, a new survey reveals that in order to pay their rent or mortgage, 52% of Americans have had to make financial sacrifices like delaying retirement savings, racking up credit card debt or even taking on a second job. It doesn’t help that in many major cities, home prices are outpacing median incomes.
The lesson here? You may not want to fall in love with a place until you’ve checked whether it fits into your budget. While we can’t stop the rent from being too darn high, here are some cities with more affordable housing. Plus, the New York Times revealed a cool tool that can help you determine whether you should rent or buy.
Your credit score is changing (maybe).
Check your score, because updates to how your FICO score is calculated are rolling out this month. FICO, the country’s biggest credit rating firm, announced back in March that it was changing its scoring methodology for the first time in six years to take into consideration how the lending market has changed. The end game is to determine better who might be a high or low credit risk. Fortunately, one FICO expert says most consumers see a score bump whenever they update their scoring system—but that assumes you’re already responsible with your credit.
Finally, here are some numbers that caught our eye this month:
- 42% of couples with joint bank accounts also keep their own accounts on the side, according to a survey by TD Bank.
- 51% of people would be happy making less than $100,000, says a CNNMoney poll.
- Research from Fidelity says that the best retirement savers are from San Jose, Calif., where the average worker stashes away 11% of their salary.
LearnVest Planning Services is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of LearnVest, Inc. that provides financial plans for its clients. Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. Unless specifically identified as such, the people interviewed in this piece are neither clients, employees nor affiliates of LearnVest Planning Services, and the views expressed are their own. LearnVest Planning Services and any third parties listed in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.