Wealth Blog

Saturday, December 31, 2011 4:45 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

If you earned $150,000 per year, would you say you were rich? How about if you had a total net worth of $1 million? The top 10 percent of wage-earners bring home $150,000 per year, and, according to the results of a Gallup poll, that’s the median salary required to be rich. Men by and

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011 4:45 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

For another year, the gift tax rate favors wealthy taxpayers who want to reduce their estate and at the same time make a financial gift. For the remainder of 2011 and through 2012, individuals can give up to $13,000 to as many recipients as they’d like without owing gift taxes. Unlimited financial gifts can be

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Friday, December 23, 2011 4:43 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Americans have always been known as being generous. Times of crises bring out the best in us, and we’re quick to respond with offers of money and on-the-ground efforts to help. But a new survey makes it official. According to CAFAmerica’s World Giving Index, the U.S. ranks first globally in charitable giving this year, up

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Thursday, December 22, 2011 10:37 am
By Greg McBride, CFA · Bankrate.com

In my weekly appearance with Gary Goldberg’s “Money Matters” radio program, we discussed Bankrate’s December Financial Security Index and related economic trends. Here’s a partial transcript of my comments: In December, we actually saw a nice uptick in consumers’ financial security. We’re ending the year on a higher note than we’ve seen in the past

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011 4:15 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

One of the informal yardsticks of financial success is to ask whether you are better off than your parents. According to a recent survey, the answer depends on whether you’re a man or woman. Women make $1.17 for every $1 their mothers earned 30 years ago but men are making 10 cents per hour less

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Sunday, December 18, 2011 2:00 am
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Just because the rich and famous can afford the best legal representation for their estate, doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes — sometimes enormous errors that not only greatly diminish the value of their assets through legal fees, but tarnish the image of the family whose founder worked so hard to earn the fortune. Too

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011 6:41 am
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

One of the fastest-growing segments of the retail industry is on track to have a prosperous holiday season, especially since stores have begun leasing space in more upscale neighborhoods. Consignment and thrift stores that sell used merchandise have proven alluring to those looking to cut back on price but not quality. According to U.S. Census

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Sunday, December 11, 2011 10:41 am
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Giving with no strings attached and no expectation of acknowledgement has to be the sweetest form of charity. And when times are hard, many donors find that giving directly to a person who doesn’t anticipate it provides even more gratification. Three Michigan shoppers were surprised to find that their Kmart layaway bills had been nearly

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011 3:51 am
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Given that most lottery winners lose it all within three years, it’s notable to take a closer look at how the three Connecticut money managers are handling their $254 million Powerball win. The partners in a wealth management company, Greg Skidmore, Tim Davidson and Brandon Lacoff, opted for the lump sum of $103.5 million instead of

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Sunday, December 4, 2011 2:01 pm
By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com

Discussing money used to be one of the taboo topics of polite society, along with religion and politics. Unfortunately, many wealthy parents won’t even discuss money with their kids, leaving them ill-equipped to handle finances and the emotions that often come with inheriting wealth. One survey, by SEI Private Wealth Management, showed that about a

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