Retail Sales, Housing Starts Miss Expectations – Market Update

It was a great weekend! My favorite college football team, the Michigan Wolverines, beat their in-state rivals, the Michigan State Spartans. I only mentioned the win once or twice when we met my sister, a freshman at Michigan State, for lunch on Sunday. Hopefully your team won. Congratulations to those in Boston and LA whose teams will be in the …

5 Ways to Decrease the Cost of Raising a Child

In 2017, the United States experienced the lowest recorded number of births in the last 30 years. Fewer and fewer millennials are choosing to get married and, in turn, they’re choosing not to become parents as well. According to Pew Research, one of the top reasons this group is opting out of marriage and parenthood is that they are “not …

Right-Sizing Your Living Quarters: When to Downsize or Upsize

Gone are the days when living large is an earmark for success. These days, it’s more about right-sizing, or making sure the size of your current living quarters are a good fit for your needs and lifestyle. So should you move to a larger home, or to a smaller one? And how can you gauge this? Here are some pointers …

Do I Need Life Insurance?

When you buy a home, get married or have a child, it’s all too common for those celebratory moments to also bring a realization that there are people who depend on you for their well-being. That makes the purpose of life insurance pretty simple to appreciate: It’s a much-needed financial safeguard for the most important people in your life. A …

How to Spend Your Money When You’re Paying Off Student Loans

Student loans can be a big financial burden. They can take a big chunk out of your budget every month. But student loan repayment shouldn’t stop you from working toward your other financial goals. Life doesn’t stop just because you have student loans. If you find you have extra cash after making your student loan payments, here are a few …

Kitchen Maintenance You Should Be Doing (But Probably Aren’t)

Most people know the basics of kitchen maintenance: Wipe surfaces down with an all-purpose cleaner and throw out the old stuff in your fridge when it starts to smell. Right? Well that might cut it if you’re looking to do the bare minimum when it comes to keeping a clean kitchen, but if you want to have a healthy and …

Home Loan Options for First-Time Home Buyers with Poor Credit

Your credit score plays an important role in the home buying process. It’s how mortgage lenders determine your ability to responsibly borrow and, more importantly, pay back a loan. A high credit score will not only qualify you for a loan but will also allow you to access more mortgage options. A low credit score could limit your options of …

What Are the Differences Between Pensions, 401(k) Plans and 403(b) Plans?

When it comes to retirement plans offered by employers, workers have three main options, depending on where they work: 401(k) or 403(b) plans or an employer-funded pension plan. Of the three, pension plans are becoming the rarest option. And which plan you can use depends entirely on where you work and what your company offers. But what are the differences …

Is Graduate School Worth the Expense?

By the time they finish up their education, the typical graduate student who took out loans to fund their undergraduate and graduate degrees will owe around $45,000 in student loan debt. This is just the median – many students, especially those who pursue degrees in medicine and health sciences, rack up much more, often accumulating debt that exceeds $100,000. On …

Stock Market Licks Wounds – Market Update

I want to start this by saying that if you were affected by Hurricane Michael, our thoughts are with you. If you’re a Quicken loans client, we’re here to help. Here’s what you need to know. Home prices were up. As we’ll see, the stock market wasn’t nearly that fortunate, but we’ll get there. First, let’s go over the economic …