#housing #RealEstate #OverHoused
Buying a house is never easy, unless you are, say, an investor paying cash.
Most homebuyers need a mortgage, and getting qualified for one is a process.
Peter Dunn, a financial planner, says many people are “over-housed.” It’s a concept of paying too much money for housing, in relation to one’s income. In some areas, housing prices are over the top, and one cannot help paying too much for a house.
But some over-housing is self-inflicted, Dunn says. He wrote about over-housing in a column in the Jan. 18, 2016, edition of USA Today.
He cites the example of Mark and Jennifer, a Midwestern couple in their mid-40s, who decided 11 years ago to build their “family home.”
Mark and Jennifer knew they were pushing the limit of what they could afford, but the bank approved them for a loan. That gave them reassurance, Dunn writes.
“Things spiraled out of control from there,” Dunn quotes Jennifer.
When housing bubbles burst, it’s the over-housed folks who get slammed first. Are you over-housed? Here are Dunn’s pitfalls: if you’ve dumped everything into a house, and have no emergency fund, you could be in trouble. There are also the realities of increased utility costs, home maintenance, homeowners insurance, property taxes etc. If you didn’t budget for those increases, you could be in trouble.
Mark and Jennifer’s home was 2,000 square feet bigger than their previous home. Their utility costs were much higher and, after two homeowners insurance claims, their premiums went through the roof, Dunn writes. Their tax assessment was based on the value of the land alone. When the structure was added, their tax bill tripled, Dunn writes.
Worse yet, the couple hasn’t saved a dime for the future, Dunn writes. If you’ve given up vacations, new clothes and dining out to live in your new home, you are probably OK, Dunn writes. If you’ve given up your current and future stability, you’re in trouble, he says.
Dunn’s rule of thumb: don’t let the bank tell you how much house you can afford. Being house-rich and cash-poor is not a good situation, especially if housing values plummet, as they did in 2008. Your house is a significant investment, but don’t rely on the equity in it to secure your future. You need to be saving and investing regularly.
The folks who have a comfortable retirement are those who lived BELOW their means, and socked money away. If you buy or build a house, make sure your mortgage payment and other expenses leave a portion of your paycheck left over to save and invest.
Taking vacations and dining out occasionally are nice, too, but saving and investing for retirement are a priority.
Of course, there are ways to earn extra money so you can live in that dream house. For one of the best, visit You’ll see stories of people who bought their dream home, but not until they had the money – often the cash – to do it.
Remember, too, that homeownership is not for everyone. Though the American Dream may dictate that one owns his own home, give some thought to the life you want to lead before deciding to buy or build. That house could own you, in more ways than one.
In short, do the math before buying or building a home. Make sure the house doesn’t eat too much of your net worth. If you tap out your emergency fund for that down payment, it could come back to bite you.
Just because you think you CAN swing it, doesn’t mean that you SHOULD.


“God, today we pray for all those who are looking for a job. Guide them to the company you have for them. Grant them favor with employers and fill them with patience and wisdom as they search. Provide every need as they wait on you! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Prayer for Employment

#millennials #jobs #QuittingYourJob

A few years ago, if you were fortunate enough to have a job, you did what you could to hold on to it.
If you were out of a job, you pounded the pavement. Perhaps you prayed.
Today, according to a Bloomberg News article by Natalie Kitroeff, quitting is in.
More than 3 million Americans quit their job in December 2015, Kitroeff writes. That’s the highest number since 2006, Kitroeff quotes the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The quits rate, which measures how many people ended their employment out of everyone who worked in a given month, reached its highest level in seven years, Kitroeff writes.
Millennials, those between 18 and 34 years old, became the largest segment of the U.S. labor market, and that work force is expected to increase even more. They seem to be averse to spending their work lives at one desk, Kitroeff writes.
This shows that the economy is definitely improving. Workers, particularly young workers, don’t generally quit their jobs unless they have another one, or are confident they will get one fairly quickly.
Kitroeff quotes a survey by accounting giant Deloitte of 7,500 working, college-educated professionals born after 1982 in 29 countries. Sixty-six percent hoped to have a different job in five years from now, or sooner. Forty-four percent said they would quit within two years and 25 percent said they would quit this year, to either start a new job or “do something different.”
The millennials’ parents and grandparents, for the most part, craved the security of a job. They craved the benefits – health insurance, pension, vacation time etc. – as well as the steady paycheck.
Millennials seem to have a different outlook on work, the future etc. Much of the benefits their forebears craved have been significantly reduced, or have gone away entirely.
For previous generations, the benefits a job provided were both a blessing and a curse. They blessed those employees with something extra that was worth real money. They cursed them, because they kept them tied to a job, when they might have wanted to go to work elsewhere. Some have even used the term, “golden handcuffs,” to describe a benefit-laden job that a person just can’t afford to give up.
One of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act is that it allows workers to have health insurance that is not tied to a job. This could embolden them to want to leave one employment situation for another.
Are you now in a job that you hate, that doesn’t use the many skills and talents you have, or doesn’t provide you with the future you believe you deserve? If you need the steady paycheck, one solution might be to work on a Plan B outside of work. A Plan B might provide you with an income cushion so you can look for a position more to your liking. For one of the best Plan Bs, visit
Traditional employment is changing. Perhaps you seek the independence that a traditional job does not provide. Perhaps you want to be an entrepreneur and work for yourself. Perhaps your boss doesn’t see how valuable you really are.
Allow yourself to dream. Get a Plan B. Independence awaits those who want it, and are willing to look for it.


#PredictiveAnalytics #SocialMedia #jobs
We all know the job-search routine: find a job you might want, send a resume, fill out an application, sit for an interview and, assuming you decide the job is for you, get hired.
But with the advent of social media, employers not only have ways to find out things about you, they can do social media profiles, so-called predictive analytics, on you to determine whether you have the characteristics they want.
Rodd Wagner, best-selling author and confidential adviser to senior business and government leaders, discussed this in a Jan. 21, 2016, column in USA Today. Wagner’s most recent book is titled, “Widgets: The 12 New Rules for Managing Your Employees As If They’re Real People.”
Wagner’s book title is ominous, though most of us have probably had jobs in which the boss may not have looked at us as “people.” We were more like “assets,” or “human resources.”
Few people realize how much digital evidence they leave in their wake, Wagner writes. A person’s profile of the “Big Five” personality traits – openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism – can be discovered through a person’s Facebook posts and likes, and machine coding of what the person has written online, Wagner writes.
We’ve all heard creepy stories of prospective employers demanding to know one’s Facebook password, so he can delve more deeply into one’s personality. We’ve also heard stories of schoolteachers and other public figures being fired for posting a picture of himself or herself enjoying a harmless glass of wine.
Many of us don’t think that what we do online is in the public domain. We may think that only our “friends” see it. Now, Wagner asserts, an online profile of you can be created through patterns of activities on social media and elsewhere in the digital world.
Is this fair? Fairness doesn’t matter. Employers will do whatever is legal and possible to find out everything they can about you, especially if they are hiring you for a big-time or sensitive job.
Wagner writes that this process is messy. Poor decisions will be made because of that evidence. There will be abuses. There will be lawsuits, either because the computer picked someone else for a promotion, or, if predictive analysis proves far superior than human judgment, because a company relied solely on people rather than machines to make its decision.
Messiness also produces backlash, Wagner writes. There will be legislation and court rulings to redefine worker privacy and managerial discretion in the predictive analytics world. The goal is to ensure that science serves employees with a better job fit and opportunities, as much as it serves the business, Wagner writes.
The moral here is to be careful on social media. Watch out for political discussions, controversial posts etc. Read them if you must, but react to them publicly at your peril, if you ever intend to look for a job. “Like” a cute picture, but be wary of “liking” a controversial drawing or cartoon.
Most of all, take care in what you write. You can be yourself, and still be somewhat unassuming. Be careful in complaining about someone, or something. Make sure your posts are as positive as they can be.
Of course, if you’d like not to have to worry about predictive analytics, visit You’ll find a way to save money, make money and avoid confrontation with a prospective employer.
Your online activity can say lots about you, whether it’s correct or not. You may have a hard time correcting incorrect perceptions should you have to confront predictive analytics.


#lizards #WhatYouWereBornToDo #DoForOthers
If someone put a lizard (toy ) in your lasagna, would you: 1) go eeeuuu? 2) wonder why someone would do such a thing or, 3) just laugh?
Sam Glenn’s mother did that to him. He laughed. If it got him to laugh, his mother told him, then the idea worked.
Glenn’s story is one of creating a new life from having nothing. After having hardly a dime to his name, and feeling sorry for himself, Glenn today is a successful motivational speaker and author.
His book, as you might guess, is titled “Who Put A Lizard in My Lasagna?: Change Your Attitude, Change Your life.”
His mantra: “Talking about it never gets the job done. Doing does. Go do what your were born to do! Live the life your were born to live. Don’t look back in regret. Look back and say, ‘I’m glad I did.’ That is living.”
So it begs the question: how does one KNOW what he or she was born to do? As Glenn advises, don’t think about what you can do for YOU. Think about what you can do for others.
“I began learning long ago that those who are happiest are those who do the most for others,” Glenn quotes Booker T. Washington.
The back cover of Glenn’s book says it best: “Determine your unique gifts and then apply them to where you are right now, with a positive attitude. The result? You’ll begin to experience more of what you want in life by using the best of who you are.”
Again, how does one know what he or she was born to do?
We mostly get ideas of our talents from parents, teachers and other adult influencers as children. “You’re not good with your hands, so you need to do something with your head,” a mother might tell her son. “A woman’s job is to get married, raise a family and be supportive of her husband and children,” a mother might tell her daughter.
Then, as we grow, we get guidance on what our abilities truly are. Athletes figure out they are good athletes fairly early on. Students find out they are good students early in their education. But if you turn out to be a good athlete, or a good student, how far will that take you? In either case, it won’t take you very far if you don’t work at it.
Even if you do, you may find the competition more difficult at every level. You will reach your level of incompetence, perhaps, at a fairly young age. The few who combine ability with hard work will go furthest.
What if you are not a good athlete, or a particularly good student? How does one in that category find what he is “born to do?”
He or she may have to look harder and longer, but even he or she will eventually find his passion.
If you are someone still looking for what you were born to do, you may have to look in places you would not think to look. For one starting place, visit You may not find what you were “born to do” there, but you might find something that could give you a taste of success as you look for your passion, as you help others in the process.
Sam Glenn built his success from having nothing, and looking for something. His catalyst was borrowing $200 to attend a motivational seminar, featuring Jim Rohn and Mark Victor Hansen – two of the best motivators and success builders ever.
Anyone can do what Glenn did, if he or she has the will. If you are content to have nothing and do nothing about it, you’ll reap what you sow. The road to success begins with the mindset that one can achieve what he wants. Finding what you were born to do, and doing it, can give birth to great success for anyone. As you help others succeed, success will continue to be bestowed upon you.