Clark Howard Show Notes – Labor Day 2009
What men’s underwear sales says about the economy
According to economists (and even Alan Greenspan), men’s underwear sales can indicate when the recession will end. Mostly, men’s underwear sales are stable. But, sales have been slumping due to the recession. In fact, men’s underwear sales are expected to fall 2.3 percent this year, the first drop since 2003 according to research firm Mintel. Mintel is predicting next year, men’s underwear sales will fall .5 percent and that could indicate that the economy is truly turning around.
When did you last buy underwear? Any plans to buy some soon? It could mean the recession is easing.
Taylor Bean Whitaker
ThinkGlink.com is continuing to follow the Taylor Bean Whitaker shut down. Here is a link to our most recent stories. We’re getting a fair number of Taylor Bean Whitaker customers sharing what’s going on with their loans. If you’re having problems either with Taylor Bean Whitaker or one of the companies that has taken over some of the loans, please leave your stories so we can try to help. We’re following up with the companies that have taken over these loans.
Read More About Taylor Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Company
How to Profit From Foreclosures: NEW DISCOUNT
We’ve already sold one-third of all available tickets for our How to Profit from Foreclosure event on October 24, 2009 at the Renaissance Waverly.
If you want to learn how to buy a foreclosure, whether because you’re going to live in it or because you want to start investing in real estate, you’ll want to be at our event. We have a NEW DISCOUNT that will be good only through Labor Day.
Go to our How to Profit from Foreclosure site and use the discount code: summer You’ll receive 30 percent off the price of our early bird ticket price. This will be the last discount we offer on the early bird pricing, so don’t miss out. The regular ticket price is $39.99 and that’s what you’ll pay once the early bird special is over.
The best part about our How to Profit From Foreclosures event is that you’ll get real information about how to invest successfully in real estate from the professionals and investors who are doing it every day. You’ll hear from people who have actually bought properties and are managing them, and from attorneys and enrolled agents who help you figure out what kind of tax structure to use (LLC or Inc.?). You’ll hear from real estate agents who are helping their clients evaluate these properties every day, and property managers who are working hard to keep these properties running.
Don’t miss out. Sign up today for our How to Profit from Foreclosure and join us on October 24th for the best real estate information you’ll get all year.
Free Book and Free Ebook Offer
I still have copies of my book 50 Simple Steps You Can Take to Disaster-Proof Your Finances and The REALLY Useful Guide to Working Smarter Not Harder available to you.
Go to the ThinkGlink.com Store and check out our FREE PAPERBACK BOOK page. You pay the shipping and we’ll send you books for free.
We have a free ebook offer: Buy 3 get 1 free. Just go to the ThinkGlink.com Store and type in the discount code: freeebook
Here’s how it works: You pick out the three ebooks you want. Put in the discount code, and we’ll take one ebook off your bill automatically. You’ll get 3 ebooks for the price of 2 ebooks! Great deal.
Loan Modification Hell
I wrote about loan modification hell and what you need to do to find your way out of it on my MoneyWatch.com blog. If you’re in loan modification hell, please leave your comments here or at the MoneyWatch.com blog. We will try to follow up and get some answers for you.
Mortgage Bankers Association Proposes Getting Rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Right now, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, Ginnie Mae and USDA account for somewhere over 90 percent of all home loans. The U.S. government backs all of these. So, why is the Mortgage Bankers Association calling for the elimination of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and replacing them with Mortgage Credit Gguarantor Entities, nicknamed “McGees,” that would buy loans and sell them as bonds with their own guarantee but BACKED BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT?
Isn’t that what we have now? How would this exactly benefit U.S. Taxpayers? It’s hardly capitalism if you need the backing of the U.S. Government to make it work. And after pouring $100 billion into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, why would the Obama Administration agree to this? Then, we’ll never get our investment back.
We’ll follow up in the coming weeks, but put me in the category of “I just don’t get it.”
Social Networking Coupons
Five years ago, social networking didn’t exist online. Today, there’s Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and numerous other online innovations that help people connect to each other. The next level of innovation is something called group coupons: if enough people don’t use the coupon, it isn’t valid.
What’s the Deal (sowhatsthedeal.com) is a Washington, D.C.-based coupon company that does group coupons. They plan on expanding nationally.
Groupon (groupon.com) is a Chicago-based coupon company that does something similar and has spread to 13 cities.
Watch for other coupon innovations.
Obama’s Plan to Help You Save For Retirement
The Obama Administration has put out several suggested reforms for your retirement savings:
- Auto-enrollment for Simple IRAs. Companies that offer auto-enrollment find that more employees will contribute to their 401(k)s than if they don’t offer it. But you can’t do auto-enrollment for Simple IRAs. This will change.
- Get your refund in a U.S. Savings Bond rather than in cash. The IRS pays 100 million tax refunds and the average amount is $2,200. Instead of getting the cash, the Obama Administration suggests you take out a U.S. Savings Bond that will swell your savings over time and produce additional income in retirement.
- Make it easier for companies and employees to contribute unused vacation and overtime pay into a 401(k).
- All employers must offer retirement plans, except the very smallest employers. As the owner of a small business, I can tell you I’m already dreading this.
- Expansion of the saver’s credit. For people of very modest means, expanding this will mean more people can contribute to a retirement savings account.
- Treasury and the IRS will publish a new guide to help consumers and employers understand the new rules governing retirement plans and requirements when you change jobs.
Thanks for listening and joining me on ThinkGlink.com. Please sign up for the Free Weekly Newsletter, take advantage of our FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY, the BUY 3 GET 1 FREE EBOOK DEAL and join us on October 24, 2009 for our How to Profit from Foreclosures Event.
Leave your comments and thoughts here.