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Pay Gap Widens Between Federal and Private Workers

May 21, 2009 | My Ramblings | Videos | 2 Comments

My father always tells told me I should get a government job.  I guess he is right! According to a report from CNN’s “Lou Dobbs Tonight”, the pay gap between pubic and private workers is exploding.  (See video below)

The average compensation for federal workers has reached $116,450 vs. $57,615 a year for the average private worker.  The main reason being federal workers continue to receive pensions and retiree health care benefits while private employers have reduced these benefits. Additionally, the difference in average compensation, which includes wages and benefits, between federal and private workers grew from 68% in 2000 to 102% in 2007.

The gap in pay is expected to continue to widen.  Federal workers just received a 3.9% pay raise while private employers are freezing pay, cutting pay or laying off employees.

It’s ironic that the private companies pay the majority of taxes that pays federal employees.  The federal government is not in the business of turning a profit so the pressure isn’t there to perform.  When more money is required for federal agencies, the federal government can just raise taxes.

CNN: Pay Gap Between Federal and Private Workers

The Madoff Affair by FRONTLINE

May 13, 2009 | Videos | 2 Comments

Below is part of a documentary by FRONTLINE titled, “The Madoff Affair.”  The video is of Michael Bienes, who was one of Madoff first two accounts hired in the early 1960s at Madoff’s small investment advisory business.

In the interview with FRONTLINE, Mr. Bienes describes the money making early years. It was “easy, easy-peasy, like a money machine.” When asked if he had ever questioned Madoff about his approach, Bienes answers, “Never. Why would I ask him? I wouldn’t understand it if he explained it.”

FRONTLINE: The Madoff Affair | Michael Bienes Exclusive Interview

Download Audio:  Behind the scene interview with the producers.

Watch video at

Middle Class Now Depending on U.S. Public Aid System

April 24, 2009 | Videos | No Comments

The U.S. middle class is getting hit hard with the downturn in the economy. Below is a video from CBS highlighting a middle-class family struggling to pay bills and finding a job.

Video: Middle Class Taps Public Aid System

MSNBC 10 Tips to Save on Your Cell Phone Bill

April 21, 2009 | Financial Tips | Videos | No Comments

MSNBC today reported that the average cell-phone user spends about $600 a year on cell phone service, while families that talk, text, or use other phone features spend about $1,800. The larger the bill, the higher are the service taxes and surcharges, which can add an additional 14.5 percent to the bill.

However, if you are diligent you can end up trimming your cell phone bill, per the following recommendations (See news video below):

1. Go prepaid
2. Don’t overbuy minutes
3. Don’t buy unneeded services
4. Buy enough of what you use
5. Check for employee discounts
6. Make temporary adjustments
7. Have your usage analyzed
8. Get local service
9. Choose the best carrier
10. Say no to phone insurance

Visit Today.MSNBC.Com to read full article.

Video: Trimming Your Cell Phone Bill

Video: Banks Battle Congress to Stop Credit Card Rules

April 20, 2009 | Banking | Videos | No Comments

Below is a video produced by The American News Project (ANP) highlighting how banks employ numerous bank lobbyists to stop Congress from banning the credit card industries worst abuses.  While there are only 3 consumer lobbyists trying to lobby Congress.

Video: Credit Card Industry Defeated for Now

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

April 10, 2009 | Education | Mortgage Loans | Videos | No Comments

A reverse mortgage is a type of home loan that lets you convert a portion of the equity in your home into cash. The equity that has built up over the years in your home can be paid to you. Unlike a traditional home equity loan or second mortgage, no repayment is required until the borrower(s) no longer use the home as their principal residence. You are still required to pay your real estate taxes, insurance and other conventional payments like utilities.

The amount you can borrow depends on your age, the current interest rate, and the appraised value of your home. The older you are, the more valuable your home is, the lower the interest, the more you can borrow. You can use an online calculator on the AARP website to get an idea of what you may be able to borrow.

You can be paid from a reverse mortgage in 4 ways: 1 – get cash all at once; 2 – a monthly cash advance 3 – a creditline which lets you decide when and how much of your available cash is paid to you; 4 – a combination of these payment methods.

To qualify for a reverse mortgage in the United States, you must be at least 62 years of age.  There are or credit or minimum income requirements, however, there are other requirements that homeowners must make sure they qualify for before they invest significant time or money into the process. You must also reside in the home. Some types of dwellings do not qualify such as mobile homes, however, condominiums and manufactured homes that meet FHA requirements may be eligible.

With most reverse mortgages the money can be used for anything, however, the borrower must pay off any existing mortgage(s) with the proceeds from the reverse mortgage and, if needed, additional personal funds.

Before proceeding with a reverse mortgage, applicants have to seek third party financial counseling from a source approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The counseling ensures the borrower completely understands what a reverse mortgage is and how it’s obtained.
You can contact the Housing Counseling Clearinghouse on (800) 569-4287 for the name and telephone number of a HUD-approved counseling agency and a list of FHA-approved lenders within your area.

For more information visit

Video:  Reverse Mortgage

Video: Dave Ramsey’s Advice on Financial Success

April 8, 2009 | Financial Tips | Videos | No Comments

Below is a very good 5 minute video of Dave Remsey’s recommendations on how to get your finances on track. Dave Ramsey is national radio personality and best-selling author of  “The Total Money Makeover” and “The Financial Peace Planner: A Step-by-Step Guide to Restoring Your Family’s Financial Health”. 

Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert who knows first-hand what financial peace means having lived a true rags-to-riches, riches-to-rags and back to rags-to-riches lifestyle.

By age 26 Dave Remsey established a nearly $1 million net worth making $250,000 a year only to lose it by age 30. He however rebuilt his financial life and now helps people with their finances.

Video: Dave Ramsey on How to be Financially Successful