#StudentAid #CollegeLoans #scholarships #FamilyContribution
When a family applies for federal student aid, the application process spits out an expected family contribution.
When the student chooses a school, the school may tell the family what ITS expected family contribution will be. Often, that number is higher than the federal number – often considerably higher and potentially unaffordable for the average family.
Tara Siegel Bernar tackled this subject in an article for The New York Times. It was also published Nov. 24. 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“For a long time, there has been this growing chasm between the need-analysis formula and accurately reflecting a student and their family’s ability to pay for college,” the article quotes Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, which has members at nearly 3,000 schools.
“The gap has grown wider not just because of the exponential rise in college prices, but also because of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) formula itself,” Siegel Bernar writes.
The EFC formula often assumes families have more income available for college than they actually do, the article quotes financial aid experts. “The reason lies in its basic assumptions: that a family of four, for example, can subsist on less than $30,000, no matter where they live,” Siegel Bernar writes.
There are certainly differences in the cost of living among various areas of the country. The East Coast and West Coast areas are generally expensive to live in, because that’s where where many job and career opportunities lie.
There are also different family circumstances. A family may have an elderly parent living with it, for example.
The point here is that formulaic calculations don’t always add up for everyone. Also, college is expensive. When a family sends a student to college, and may have trouble affording to pay for it, there had better be lots of thought: what will the student study, will that study pay off in terms of a lucrative career, is it worth incurring debt to make it happen etc.
First, college is not for everyone. Second, not every field of study will necessarily lead to a good-paying job. If a job is hard to find at the end, and the student is saddled with a big debt, it may be a long time before he or she gets on his or her feet as an adult.
Parents, meanwhile, need to have a nest egg for retirement. Sacrificing one’s retirement to send a child to college may not always be the best option for families.
Finally, there are many programs out there that allow a person, regardless of background or education, to earn a potentially lucrative income, if he or she puts his or her mind to it and follows a system. To learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
In sum, the cost of college is likely to be more than you originally thought it would. As with health care, colleges have to find economies, efficiencies etc., to make higher education more affordable.
Students have to think about not only which school to attend, but also what they will major in. Will that major likely produce a payoff that will make it worth it to mortgage one’s self, or family, for many years?
Certainly, no education is wasted. But there is a difference between payoff and waste. Think long and hard, and get good family and educational input, before deciding where to go to college, what to study or even whether to go to college.


#4DayWorkweek #work #jobs #layoffs
Since the 1970s, it’s been predicted that the economy would adopt, even embrace, the four-day workweek.
Some have experimented with it. Nursing, as an example, tried the Baylor plan that even cut the workweek to three days at 12 hours each.
Niraj Chokshi has discussed this concept in an article for The New York Times. It was also published Nov. 17, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Just recently, Microsoft Japan inspired a flood of stories after reporting that, in a trial, shortened weeks had boosted productivity by about 40 percent,” Chokshi writes. But the four-day workweek is “a profound advancement that has seemed just around the corner for decades,” the article says.
In fact, the article says, famed economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that the trend toward shorter workweeks would continue. Keynes imagined that by 2030 or so, people would work just 15 hours a week.
Of course, Keynes’ prediction came shortly after Ford introduced the five-day workweek decades ago, the article says.
Alas, today’s employers are often unwilling to experiment with the four-day workweeks. Adam Grant, and organizational psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, attributes employers’ reluctance to a lack of three things: interest, faith in employees and understanding of the benefits a shortened workweek can offer, the article says.
One of those benefits is appropriate for today: less exposure to others as a disease circulates.
In recent times, it’s been said that people are either overworked or unemployed. Many are time-broke, because of work demands. Employers want to get every bit out of every employee to get their money’s worth.
With all the emphasis on work today, many feel fortunate to have a job. However, if you are overworked, time-broke or unemployed, there may be a solution for all those conditions outside the traditional job market.
There are many vehicles that allow people to spend a few, part-time, off-work hours enhancing their incomes, without having to take a second traditional job.
The vehicles require only an open mind, a willingness to be coached and the desire to help other people. No other experience or education is required.
To learn about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
Meanwhile, technological advancements and other efficiencies are enabling companies to do more with fewer people.
Your job, if you have one, may not be there for as long as you want it. The ability to change jobs has gotten a bit better, but you have to ask yourself whether you are changing jobs for the right reasons.
People have a tendency to view themselves as a necessary component to their employer’s success. Know that no matter how “necessary” you are, your employer will not hesitate to let you go if he or she sees a better, cheaper way to do what you do. Or, the could let you go if they believe they can get along without you.
It’s a nice idea to be able to work at a job you love, for as long as you want to work. For most, that is a dream – literally.
The reality: you go to work every day not knowing whether it will be your last. Be on the lookout for something that can enable you to smile as you are being laid off.


#WorkFromHome #coronavirus #COVID-19 #commuting
Technology is allowing more people to work remotely.
That’s changing the way people think about where to live.
In and around big cities may not be the only option for those able to carve out office space at home.
Lisa Prevost took on this subject in an article for The New York Times. It was also published Sept. 25, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of last year, 24 percent of employed persons worked at least part of the time at home, the article says. That percentage has undoubtedly increased as coronavirus (COVID-19) fears and precautions have set in.
Among those with advanced degrees, it was 42 percent, the article quotes the figures.
In a survey last year of 23,000 new home shoppers, John Burns Real Estate Consulting, a firm with offices nationwide, 30 percent worked at home between one and four days a week. Some 13 percent worked at home full time, the article says.
States like Vermont are offering incentives for people to move there and work from home, the article says.
Is this a trend? Let’s look at it from all sides.
In past decades, employers frowned on people working from home for lack of supervision. They didn’t trust that employees could give full attention to their work, or give a full day’s work, from home.
It’s not that people would necessarily cheat their employers , though there are certainly those who might try. It’s more that home provides distractions – kids, TV, personal phone calls etc. – that would prevent an employee’s 100 percent concentration on his or her job.
But longer commutes, or even short commutes in heavy traffic are forcing people to spend more time getting to and from work, adding stress that could interfere with their ability to do their jobs.
Commuting and traffic add to the general societal problem of overcrowding and gridlock in cities, pollution from vehicles and portions of life wasted commuting.
So, the attitude about working at home may be changing, and technology is enabling people to do their jobs from anywhere.
Be careful what you wish for. You pay for the freedom to work from home with the electronic leash from work that never gets removed.
Certainly, technological advancement is a blessing and curse. But it is here, and people must adapt.
But what if you could work from home at a job you enjoyed, and could work when you wanted? There are many vehicles out there that allow people to work independently, yet have a network of colleagues they can call for help. These programs are designed for people who want to be their own bosses. They certainly require work, but, with no one watching you, are aimed at people who are self-motivated.
If you believe you are that self-motivated person, regardless of your education and skills, and want to learn about one of the best such programs, message me.
The bonus with these programs is you can live and work from anywhere.
Business and society are certainly warming up to the idea of having people work from home. They have to evaluate people more on tasks than hours worked.
Is it right for you? Remember, there are benefits and costs – freedom, but loss of interactions and gain of distractions. You have to evaluate your own situation to determine whether such an arrangement would suit you.


#robots #restaurants #FastFood #novelties
Maybe you went into a certain line of work thinking that a machine could never replace you.
Now, they have robots at restaurants.
Ligaya Figueras, food columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, found one such robot at Big Bang Pizza in Brookhaven, Ga. She featured the topic in her Sept. 23, 2019, column.
One customer, age 4, was excited by the robot greeter at the pizza place.
But, if you earn a living, or make a little extra money, as a restaurant server, you may one day be replaced by a robot.
Not only is it happening at Big Bang Pizza, some restaurants cut down on server time by allowing you to order at your table by computer.
That’s a modern variation on the “order first, be seated later,” restaurants.
If you are in the restaurant industry, the news is not all bad.
Restaurant workers are getting difficult to find in some places. Some restaurants or restaurant chains that would like to open in Location X, decline to do so for lack of good help.
If you live in a community where younger people are in relatively short supply – that means high school and college students who need to earn a little part-time income or summer income – you may be deprived of certain dining options for that reason.
The Big Bang Pizza owners used the robots as a hook to stand out among the plethora of pizza joints, Figueras points out.
“Here is your food. Please take it away from my tray and when you’re done, touch my hand so I can get back to work,” the robot named Pepper tells a Big Bang customer, according to Figueras.
The pizza place still has many human employees who take orders, mix drinks from the full bar, cook the pizzas and program the robots to deliver food to the table, Figueras writes. The employees actually like working with the bots, she says.
At Big Bang, the attraction becomes a practical alternative to people. It requires no benefits, no salary, no tips – nothing a human would require. In another article by Sam Dean for the Los Angeles Times, a robot named Flippy, being used in Pasadena, Calif., had sensors to tell it when to flip a burger, or pull a basket of fries out of the boiling oil. That article was published March 9, 2020, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. By the way, the restaurant’s cost to lease Flippy: $3 per hour, Dean’s article says.
Couple the food robots with the coming of driverless vehicles, delivery services by drone etc., and you can see where some jobs are headed.
But there is good news for workers. There are programs out there that can allow you to invest a few part-time hours a week to earn a potentially substantial income that could dwarf what you are earning in your W-2 job. You just have to be open to checking them out, since they may not be for everyone. To check out one of the best, message me.
Some jobs are inevitably going away, perhaps sooner rather than later. If you can prepare ahead of time for that day – remember, you may not get a warning from your employer – you might be able to be shown the door, yet leave with a smile.
To do that, you may need an open mind, a willingness to be coached, and a willingness to do something you may have thought you would never do.
So, open up, take a look and, perhaps, see your future.


#SuperCities #Seattle #KingCounty #SantaClaraCounty #MovingOut
For the first time in at least a decade, 4,868 more people moved out of King County, Wash. – home of Seattle and Amazon – than moved in.
Santa Clara County, Calif., home of Silicon Valley, lost 24,645 people, its ninth consecutive loss.
These figures from the U.S. Census Bureau were featured in an article by Eduardo Porter for The New York Times. It was also published June 2, 2019, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Eight of the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the country, including those around New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami, lost people to other places in 2018, the article says.
Thirty of the 44 largest counties, with populations above 1 million, recorded more domestic outflows than inflows of people in 2018, according to the article.
As the article points out, these big metro areas offer more opportunities for highly educated people. But, moving to opportunity it not what it once was, the article says.
“Big cities have lost their luster for workers without four-year college degrees. They will make no more than they would in, say, small-town Alabama,” the article quotes Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist David Autor. His work was part of another New York Times article by Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui, Porter’s article says.
If folks cannot get a big enough pay increase to offset the higher cost of living in those big cities, there seems little point to move there.
That begs the questions: where do YOU want to live? Do you live there now? Are you able to move?
What if you could live anywhere you wanted? What if the cost of living there didn’t matter to you? What if the job opportunities didn’t matter to you?
Well, there are plenty of vehicles out there that will allow you to potentially increase your income by devoting a few part-time hours a week. You just have to open to checking out something that you may have never thought you would do. If you’re in that mind-set and want to know about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
There are certain reasons we may live where we live. A job, family, friends etc., create attachments for us.
Plus, moving can be scary to some. Living some place where you don’t know a soul can be daunting. To others, the adventure of moving to a whole new place can be exhilarating.
What’s important is whatever makes a person happy. For some, who can’t change the people around them, changing the people around them — meeting all new people – may be just what the doctor ordered.
Cost of living can be important. Paying three times as much – or more – for rent or a house that’s basically the same as the one you left may seem ridiculous. Ironically, some of the most expensive areas to live are some of the most fun and opportunistic. Their desirability may have a lot to do with why they are so expensive.
Remember, rents and house prices usually are set at what the market will bear. The more desirable a location, the more expensive it likely will be.
So explore your options – if you dare. There are ways that will allow you to live wherever your heart wants you to.