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Planning - All posts in category Planning

  • Jul 18, 2012
    1:57 PM ET

    Student Loans Sink Mom and Dad

    A growing number of middle-aged Americans are struggling with student-loan debt – not all of it from their college days.

    While borrowers over 40 account for about a third of the nation’s $900 billion in student debt, they appear to be struggling with their loan payments more than other age groups, according to a report today in the Wall Street Journal. For example, the delinquency rate — the percentage of debt on which a payment has not been made for 90 days – for Americans aged 40 to 49 was 11.9% in March, compared to 8.7% for borrowers of all ages.

  • Jul 9, 2012
    5:12 PM ET

    More Job Searches Lead to Grad School

    As we wrote last week, the job market for young people is so dismal that only half of college graduates since 2006 currently have full time jobs. With those odds, many choose to go back to school.

    Graduate school enrollment is expected to increase 30% to 3.7 million over the next four years, according to estimates by private equity firm Education Dynamics and Aslanian Market Research. “It’s a direct result of the economy,” says Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity, a non-profit think-tank based in Arlington, Va. “Young people are trying to the best of their ability to invest in themselves.”

  • Jul 6, 2012
    2:49 PM ET

    The Jobless Class of 2012


    The Class of 2012 may have few reasons to celebrate this year. Along with the long-term unemployed, experts say their prospects are the bleakest among all job-seekers.

    The U.S. economy added a lower-than-expected 80,000 jobs last month, according to data Friday from the Labor Department.  Though the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2%, experts say this year’s 1.8 million college graduates have a rough job search ahead. “Over the last five years, the jobs situation has gotten increasingly intense for each successive graduating class,” says Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity, a non-profit think-tank based in Arlington, Va. “Their concern is now palpable.”

  • Jun 29, 2012
    2:15 PM ET

    Will Student Loan Reprieve Fall Short?

    A last-minute deal by Congress on Friday to prevent interest rates on student loans from doubling received a surprisingly lukewarm reception from some consumer advocates.

    Rates on subsidized Stafford loans, which were scheduled to jump to 6.8% on July 1, will remain at 3.4% for undergraduates for the coming academic year.

  • Jun 28, 2012
    12:56 PM ET

    Who the Health Ruling Impacts Most

    The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the key provisions of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act will benefit two groups the most, experts say: older Americans and the self-employed.

    The court found the individual mandate, the requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance, is constitutional. Signed into law two years ago, the sweeping reform is expected to give 30 million more Americans access to health insurance by 2014, making preventative care available to many who in the past avoided seeking treatment until absolutely necessary. It also requires insurers to give people free access to blood pressure, cancer, diabetes and cholesterol tests. “This is the biggest change in health care in this country in a generation,” says Susan Nash, a partner in the law firm McDermott, Will & Emery.

  • Jun 22, 2012
    2:06 PM ET

    Long-Term Unemployment Slowly Shrinking

    Luna Vandoorne/ShutterStock

    Though the job market remains bleak, there is one small bright spot: Economists say the ranks of the long-term unemployed are beginning to shrink.

    The number of those out of work for 27 weeks or more fell 13% to 5.4 million in May,  from 6.2 million a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate has been choppy in recent months, hovering over 5 million, but experts say there’s a long-term trend emerging. “It’s finally coming down – there’s no question about it,” says Patrick O’Keefe, director of economic research at J.H. Cohn consultants in Roseland, N.J.

  • Jun 7, 2012
    11:05 AM ET

    Is Law School Worth It? Readers Respond

    The numbers look grim for law school students. Almost one-third of graduates aren’t even working as lawyers. Meanwhile, legal salaries are shrinking and tuition continues to rise. Nearly half of 2010 grads made between $40,000 and $65,000. The average debt owed by law students is now about $91,100, up 14% from 2008.

  • Jun 7, 2012
    10:52 AM ET

    5 Jobs With the Most Layoffs

    Despite a slight dip in applications for unemployment benefits last week, the number of layoffs remains far higher than usual, Thursday’s data shows. And workers in a small handful of sectors continue to be the most likely to lose their jobs.

  • Jun 4, 2012
    6:38 PM ET

    How to Save on College Health Care

    Students shopping for a college may soon have to consider the quality of the campus health plan along with the academics.

    President Obama’s Affordable Care Act requires individuals, including students, to have a level of coverage well beyond what’s traditionally been offered by most colleges.  As a result, premiums are rising by several hundred dollars a year to around $2,000 per student, The Wall Street Journal reports. And while the new health-care law allows parents to enroll children in their own insurance plans until age 26, experts say there is still a lost generation of young people without coverage. “If it’s a close call between two colleges, students should make health insurance the deciding factor,” says Stephen JRose, a research professor at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce in Washington, D.C.

  • Jun 1, 2012
    10:09 AM ET

    Housing Sector Drives Job Losses

    The national unemployment rate increased to 8.2% in May, led by job losses in the housing sector, which remains among the hardest hit by the recession.

    The job market in virtually every field connected to real estate continues to suffer, data shows. Construction employment fell by 28,000 last month, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday. Despite a 30% increase in housing starts in April from a year prior, the number of people employed in home building hasn’t budged much at roughly 565,000. “There’s been a massive fallout with respect to employment in all housing-related sectors,” says Stuart Gabriel, director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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