Posts tagged with ‘unemployment’
Work from home?
Follow this flowchart to see if your home office qualifies for a tax deduction.
Does college debt make life too burdensome to bear?
Trying to pay back tens of thousands in student loan debt is hard enough. Throw in unemployment, and the burden is enough to trigger depression — and even suicidal thoughts.
Outstanding student loan debt now equals more than $1 trillion. The U.S. Department of Education’s “improved” income-based repayment plan is supposed to help slash this amount.
But where’s the relief for borrowers who are down on their luck with the job search and not able to afford monthly payments, causing their educational debt to increase at a faster rate?
"Suicide is the dark side of the student lending crisis," says C. Cryn Johannsen in The Huffington Post’s college blog.
Johannsen shares the story of Jason Yoder, a 35-year-old graduate student at Illinois State University with $100,000 in student loan debt and no luck finding a job in his field, organic chemistry. Yoder’s mother, Jan, noticed one evening that her son was more depressed than usual. He left home that night.
Jan went to look for her son on campus the next morning. She and a professor she ran into, who then helped her search for Jason, found his body in a lab. Jason had died of nitrogen asphyxiation – he was pronounced dead at 9:02 a.m.
According to the Department of Education, 8.8 percent of the borrowers who entered repayment in 2009 went into default by the end of the next fiscal year — a 1.8 percent increase from 2008.
That number doesn’t include the borrowers who may have defaulted after the two-year period.
In these dismal economic times, tackling student loan debt is a challenge, and suicides resulting from college debt are under-reported.
To learn more about minimizing student debt, check out these tips.
Bankrate.com Editorial Intern
Recent grads: My degree’s not helping me make a decent living
If you graduated college right before or during the Great Recession, chances are your outlook on life after academics isn’t peachy keen.
Four in 10 of you believe that you won’t have employment that will allow you a comfortable living situation anytime soon.
The Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, recently interviewed a national sample of 444 college grads from the classes of 2006-2011.
Here are some key findings from the survey:
· About 75 percent reported having at least one full-time job since graduation. (Median salary $28,000)
· At the time of the survey, 51 percent of graduates were employed full time.
· Only four in 10 said their job required a four-year degree.
· Only two in 10 regarded their first job as being related to their career path.
· 27 percent said their decision to live with parents or family members was due to their need to save money that could be directed toward paying off student loans.
· 37 percent said if there is one thing they could have done different in college to be successful today, they would be more careful about selecting their major or would choose a different major.
· Students who completed an internship during college earned nearly 15 percent more than those who did not complete an internship ($30,000 versus $26,000)
· The median amount of student loan debt was $20,000.
· Only 20 percent believed their generation will be more successful than the generation before them.
To help you ace your next job interview and secure your place in the workforce, Bankrate has a few HR secrets to share with you.
Bankrate.com Editorial Intern
Millions of Americans are still facing unemployment, but one of the biggest risks the employers are facing is a scarcity of skills in the workplace.
Companies face an immediate need for experienced workers who won’t need months of training.
Here are some of the jobs that are expected to be the hottest in 2012:
· Computer software developer: making more than $90,000 a year, computer software developers are in high demand. A bachelor’s degree in computer science and a desire to create and design software for business apps, computer games, or government security are all you need to get on this track.
· Physical therapy assistant: Unlike physical therapists, a physical therapy assistant doesn’t need a college degree to work hands-on with injured and disabled patients and still makes just under $50,000 a year. Two years of specialized training provide a strong background of knowledge on how to help your patients rebuild and strengthen their bodies.
· Pharmacy technician: These workers help licensed pharmacists count tablets and label bottles for customers’ prescriptions and handle insurance claim forms, customer service and administrative duties. With a high school diploma and three to 12 months of on-the-job training, you can be making just under $30,000 annually.
For more hot jobs in 2012, click here.
Retirement on the backburner
Were your parents hammered by the onslaught of recession ramifications?
A study by The Conference Board, a nonprofit economic research firm, points to the Great Recession as the reason why many baby boomers are still at work.
Between lost jobs or pay cuts, a decline in savings and a dip in home values, would-be retirees were hit with a financial triple whammy.
The states with the largest percentages of people delaying retirement are also the states where the housing crash was the worst: California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Colorado and Illinois.
Dismal savings rates certainly don’t help the matter. Boomers are scrambling to cut spending and save.
Employers have to grapple with this new retirement reality as boomers cling to their jobs. For some businesses, this is a good thing, as they rely on experience and technical expertise. But some companies want fresh ideas and would like to be able compensate employees for less.
Of course, the youth struggle to find work and earn promotions and raises as older workers stay in their positions.
Gad Levanon, researcher and lead author of the study, believes that as health conditions and other factors catch up to them, boomers may not be able to work as long as they’d like. But without work, they won’t be able to replace their lost savings and home values. So, ultimately, they’ll retire will less money, and that will reverberate through the entire economy.
What do you think? Will the future for retirees be this grim?
Spend less than you earn, and you’ll never be in debt. It seems like a simple concept, so why is consumer debt such a complex issue?
People can fall into the ranks of the red for a number of reasons. Here are the top 10 most common causes of debt:
1. Reduced income/ same expenses. Whether you’ve been laid off or received a pay cut, many people delay adjusting their spending when their income decreases, and they fill in the gap with debt. The sooner you adjust to your new reality, whether temporary or permanent, the better off you’ll be.
2. Divorce. More than half of those who marry end up in divorce court, and many more than once. Divorce is expensive no matter how you slice it. All fees aside, regular expenses nearly double. The assets and future income now pay for two households, rather than pooling everything into one pot that pays for one streamlined abode.
3. Poor money management. Planning your spending is no more difficult that writing down your expenses and income and reconciling the two, yet many don’t do this and have no clue where there money is going. You could be spending hundreds of dollars unnecessarily each month and up having to charge purchases for which you could have paid cash.
4. Underemployment. Like those facing reduced income in reason No. 1, those who are underemployed may see it as temporary and even see underemployment as a false sense of relief compared to unemployment. Again, it’s imperative to get your expenses in line with your current income, not anticipated income. Down the line, if your income increases due to more hours, a second job or a better job, then you can increase your budget.
5. Gambling. The house always win, but gamblers always play. Simply put, gambling is addictive.
6. Medical expenses. Medical treatment is expensive, and the need for it can be unpredictable. The medical industry wants to get paid at the time the service is rendered, knowing that if they don’t, their chances of ever collecting it plummets. Between the uninsured, underinsured, coverage gaps and lapsed policies, it’s no wonder medical care puts people in debt.
7. Saving too little or not at all. Not having a rainy day fund can put you in a financial pickle when it starts to pour. The simplest way to avoid unwanted debt is to have three to six months of living expenses saved. Between layoffs, illness, accidents or divorce, life happens, and having a cash cushion is important for avoiding immediate financial strain is necessary. No one has ever regretted “paying themselves first” or sitting on cash.
8. No money communication skills. Do you know where your spouse, children or significant other stand with their finances? Communicate financial obstacles such as debt and goals such as saving, investing, lifestyle and retirement. Many find their spouses have racked up thousands in credit card debt and they had no idea that the accounts even existed, which leads to No. 2 above.
9. Banking on a windfall. Don’t count your chickens – or cash flow – until they hatch. Just because you expect to receive a bonus, inheritance or to land a huge account doesn’t guarantee that you will.
10. Financial illiteracy. Cash, compounding, interest and investing … many people simply just do not understand how money works and grows. Don’t blame your teachers or parents for not being the best money coaches out there. Take responsibility for your life and money. You can educate yourself for free through sites such as Bankrate.com.
"The problem that a lot of professionals have with getting internships is that it feels like they’re going backwards,” says Shafer, whose internship paid $10 an hour. “It’s what I could be making at 7-Eleven. There’s a certain ego blow that comes with it.”
But some adult professionals have found success by taking a small step back.