When you get married, you agree to share your lives — and your financial future.
Marriage can be a good financial decision that brings you a higher net worth as long as you stay married.
A 2005 study at Ohio State University found that after getting married, people’s wealth increased sharply, according to Money Crashers. After 10 years of marriage, the average net worth of couples was about $43,000. Single people had an average net worth of $11,000.
But those numbers apply only to those who stay married. People who divorced were worse off financially than any other group. After divorce, the average man was left with $8,500 in assets. The average divorced woman had only $3,400.
According to Kiplinger, it’s critical to have similar financial goals, or at least be aware of your spouse’s priorities. If you like a new car every couple of years, but your partner insists on driving cars until the doors fall off, you might be in for some arguments about spending until you can establish some kind of compromise position.
According to financial services company Merrill, you should know your partner’s credit score and have a good idea of their spending habits, too. But even bad news shouldn’t necessarily be a deal-breaker — if your future spouse is making the best of a bad situation from past mismanagement, you can make a plan.
When you marry, your credit files remain separate, according to Experian. But during the marriage, if you want to buy a house together or apply for a joint credit card, one partner’s bad credit history could make that difficult.
You don’t need perfect credit to marry, especially if you marry young and can build credit together. But your attitude toward money, spending, and your goals for saving count a lot in a relationship. Almost half of the married or cohabitating couples have experienced financial tension, according to the Journal. According to a 2018 MarketWatch report, about 41 percent of divorced
Gen Xers and 29 percent of divorced baby boomers ended their marriages over money.
Older couples definitely need to meet with a financial planner before marrying, according to the Journal of Accountancy. For one thing, divorced people may lose their claim to their ex-spouse’s social security if they marry again.
Four considerations for an online Christmas party
If you can’t visit your loved ones during the holiday season, consider getting together with them online. A virtual celebration is an alternative option that simply requires a bit of preparation. Here’s what you’ll need to think about.
When picking a date and time for your online event, consider everyone’s availability. Don’t forget to factor in time zone differences, if applicable.
There are several online applications you can use to host your virtual get-together. Select the most appropriate one based on how many people will be attending as well as their computer skills and available internet access. Some platforms also allow guests to join by telephone.
Plan a few activities to make the event more fun. For example, arrange for everyone to eat a similar meal or drink the same cocktail. You can also play games that work well remotely, like trivia challenges and bingo.
Set up your computer in an appropriate location, and if you need a table or room to move around, prepare accordingly. Then, add some festive decorations to your background. Consider wearing a headset for superior sound quality.
If you’re giving gifts to your loved ones, mail them ahead of time so they can unwrap them online during the celebration.
Four myths about Black Friday
The shopping phenomenon known as Black Friday grows in popularity every year. To help you find the best sales and discounts, here are four common myths you should know the truth about.
1. Myth: It’s best to wait until Black Friday to start your holiday shopping
Fact: Waiting until Black Friday to start your holiday shopping may seem wise. However, the gifts you want to buy may not be available with today’s supply-chain shortages. Consequently, starting your holiday shopping as early as possible is best.
2. Myth: You can’t use coupons or price match on Black Friday
Fact: There may be some heavily discounted items during Black Friday sales, but this doesn’t mean you can’t use coupons or price match. Many retailers will meet or beat their competitors’ prices, even on Black Friday.
3. Myth: Everything is cheaper on Black Friday
Fact: Items such as clothing, furniture, and the newest video game consoles aren’t usually discounted during Black Friday events, and you may get a better deal on these items at other times of the year.
4. Myth: You can get injured at Black Friday sales
Fact: You’ve probably seen news footage of shoppers getting trampled as they rush into stores for door-crasher sales. However, there’s a statistically better chance of getting struck by lightning than getting injured at a Black Friday event. If you’re wary of crowds, visit retailers later in the day.
Keep in mind that Black Friday sales typically start in early November and last until after Cyber Monday.
59 years later … where is Jackie’s hat?
When her husband was assassinated on November 22, 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy was wearing her iconic pink suit and pillbox hat.
Today, nearly 60 years later, nearly every detail is known about that dark day except one: What happened to Jackie’s hat?
Her suit, covered in her husband’s blood, is kept in a secret location at the National Archives and Records Administration’s complex in Maryland. It will never be cleaned. It will stay there until 2103 when the family can decide if it should be displayed.
But the hat won’t be there. Jackie had it on in the car and at the hospital, but she didn’t wear it when she stood by Lyndon Johnson as he took the presidential oath of office. It is known the hat traveled from Dallas to Washington, D.C. From there, it seems to have disappeared. According to the Seattle Times, it is possible that the hat was sold or stashed in an attic. It might surface eventually, but for now, it’s a mystery.
Driving under the influence: effects, detection, and consequences
The holiday season is in full swing, and celebrations of all kinds abound. However, amidst the merriment and festivities, it’s important to remember you should never get behind the wheel if you’re intoxicated. Here’s what you should know.
Many of the skills required for safe driving, such as sound judgment, acute concentration, impeccable coordination, pronounced visual acuity, and quick reflexes, are impacted by drug and alcohol use. Consequently, being under the influence can result in speeding, driving off the road, swerving into oncoming traffic, and dozing behind the wheel.
Police officers use their training as well as what they see, hear and smell to determine if a driver has drugs or alcohol in their system. Plus, they can take a breath sample to determine a motorist’s blood alcohol level. Police may also issue a standardized field sobriety test (SFST), which typically requires the driver to walk in a straight line, stand and turn or stand on one leg.
If you’re caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you could have your license suspended following your arrest, even before being convicted.
Once convicted, the severity of your sentence will depend on your background and the circumstances surrounding your arrest. For instance, you could receive a hefty fine and jail time if you injured or killed someone.
Make sure you drive responsibly to avoid collisions and other serious consequences of getting behind the wheel while under the influence.
Get home safe
Instead of driving while impaired, do one of the following:
• Take public transit
• Call a cab
• Find a designated driver
Are updates to Apple iPhones driving convergence with Android phones?
‘Tis the season for iPhone updates. Back in September, Apple unveiled its latest iPhone models, and units have been shipping for a few weeks now. While new hardware often takes the cake in media attention, new software typically accompanies new phones, which means other iPhone owners may also enjoy updates.
Still, some of the updates coming to iOS have long been available on Android systems.
For example, with Apple Maps, you can now easily plug in multiple stops, a feature Android users have been able to use for years. Apple also added a live caption feature that offers real-time transcriptions for videos, music, and the like. Apple is adding haptic feedback to their iPhones as well. Both of these features have been available on Android for some time.
Of course, Apple offers features that Android lacks. Many iPhone users proclaim that the Apple-hardware-only iMessage platform takes the cake for multi-device text messaging services. Apple’s backup and restore programs, along with voice chatting services, are also known for being more user-friendly.
Further, Android takes cues from Apple. From revamping menus to rounding the corners on widget icons, Android these days now more closely resembles Apple’s iOS than in the past.
The fact is both Google and Apple want to meet and exceed customer expectations. It’s no surprise then that both companies will copy each other’s good ideas. And as both Apple and Android phones improve, customers benefit. Still, while switching between Apple and Android is perhaps easier than ever before, many passionate users will probably stick with one camp or the other.
Robotics may soon become safety aids
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and university researchers have a common cause in robotics: Keeping workers safe and healthy.
Two years ago, as COVID-19 gripped the world, the CDC started looking into robotics as a way to keep healthcare workers safe. The idea seemed obvious: Use robots to decrease the risk of infection in quarantine and intensive care environments.
Since then, robots have also been developed for tasks such as helping workers in recycling plants sort out recyclables and discover potentially dangerous items.
Now researchers at West Virginia University are working on a project to reduce slips and falls in retail spaces by using robots. According to researchers, retail and wholesale workers suffer more than half a million non-fatal injuries yearly.
Robotic vehicles might well be able to detect hazardous conditions in warehouses and other spaces. The idea is that as the robot drives along, sensors compare wheel speed versus actual speed. A spinning wheel would warn of a slip hazard.