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The Independent Investor: Paid Family & Medical Leave Overdue
By Bill Schmick,
04:28PM / Thursday, July 18, 2019
Paid family and medical leave are long-overdue in this country   What do the United States, Papua New Guinea and Oman have in common? Those are the only three countries in the world that do not legally obligate employers or taxpayers to pay for maternity leave.   Many American businesspeople will hide behind a knee-jerk response to the above statement: "We are a free-market society," they will argue, "and paid leave is paramount to just another form of socialism."   Good try, but that old argument is no longer based in facts. Free markets have given way to corporate socialism in this country, while corporations are now legally

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The Independent Investor: Home Equity Can Pay for Long-Term Care
By Bill Schmick,
04:54PM / Wednesday, July 03, 2019
A home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) might simply be a fancy term for a reverse mortgage, but there are an increasing number of advisers and planners who are using them for an entirely different strategic planning purpose.   If you ask most couples in their 60s and beyond what is one of the greatest fears for their future, I'm betting that going bankrupt and/or losing their home and life savings as a result of nursing home bills would be right up there near the top.   We all have horror stories to tell of how one or both spouses needed to go into a nursing home and the costs drained all their assets and then some. Before they could apply for Medicaid,

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The Independent Investor: Reverse Mortgages
By Bill Schmick,
04:17PM / Thursday, June 27, 2019
Some Baby Boomers have found themselves financially between a rock and a hard place. Rising costs, insufficient retirement savings and, in some cases, health issues, have forced seniors to consider taking out a reverse mortgage on the only asset they own. Is it a good idea?   For those who don't know, a reverse mortgage is a loan that uses a primary residential dwelling as collateral. It provides an option to generate cash by borrowing money against their home equity. Funds can be drawn as a fixed monthly payment, or a line of credit.   In order to participate, at least one owner must be over 62 years old. The bank or financial entity figures out what the

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The Independent Investor: Why FHA Loans Are so Popular
By Bill Schmick,
05:03PM / Thursday, June 20, 2019
Federal Housing Authority Loans have long been one of the most popular types of mortgage loans available. Roughly 20 percent of all mortgage applicants will choose an FHA loan because it makes total economic sense to do so. And the older you are, the more important having an FHA approved dwelling becomes.   To many, that may appear to contradict your understanding of the FHA loan market. Most believe it is a program to assist younger folks, who need a hand to purchase their first home. You wouldn't be far wrong from a historical perspective, but times have changed.   The FHA loan was originally designed during the Depression years to help home buyers,

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The Independent Investor: The Suburban Dilemma
By Bill Schmick,
04:25PM / Thursday, June 13, 2019
Over the last decade, the percentage of Baby Boomers, those aged 65 to 74, living in the suburbs increased by almost 50 percent. Over the next 20 years, that age group will double in size, and by 2040, 1 in every 5 Americans will be age 85 or older. The majority of them will continue to live in the suburbs.   Older adults, it appears, move less frequently than any other age group. Over the last 10 years, only 6 percent of persons over 65 years of age moved, according to AARP, compared to 17 percent of those under 65. It's called "aging in place," which is a standing trend that describes how older Americans prefer to stay in their homes and never move. They are

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