Money news you can use – Dec. 2021 edition
This is my occasional run-down of interesting money-related news I’ve been reading and that I think might be useful for photographers and other creative entrepreneurs. Do you find this type of news aggregation useful? Let me know what you think.
Home Prices are Up. For Black Families, is Selling Grandma’s House the Right Choice?
“In the Petworth neighborhood of Washington, D.C., 68-year-old Cynthia Harris is reaping the rewards of inheriting a family property. She lives in the home her parents bought more than 50 years ago.
“I think my parents paid $26,000 for this property in 1970,” she says. (Property records show her parents bought the house for $23,000 in 1969.)
About 15 years ago, she reached out to a real estate agent about selling the house, but he advised against it.
“The Realtor told me that he wouldn’t sell the house. … It was a corner house, a lot of property. The area would be improving and I should keep it,” Harris says, recalling that at the time, the house was worth about $220,000.
Today, she says, the house is estimated to be worth $1.2 million.”
My thoughts: Building generational wealth has been out of reach for many BIPOC Americans for reasons often out of their control (including redlining) so I’m happy to see this issue highlighted via a story about owning property.
Sharing Hard-Won Money Lessons to Build Generational Wealth
“Mandi Woodruff-Santos and Tiffany Aliche, co-hosts of the podcast “Brown Ambition,” decided they wanted to help women of color learn how to budget and get out of debt after the pair met at a conference for finance bloggers in 2014. Ms. Woodruff-Santos brought her experience as a personal finance editor, and Ms. Aliche brought hers as a teacher in Newark, and they have changed the content over the years as their followers’ questions have expanded.”
My thoughts: So cool to see some of my favorite financial influencers featured in this article!
Intimidated By Accounting? Five Simple Steps Are All You Need
“The good news is that you don’t need an accounting degree – or even to be good at math – to do what needs to be done. The five tips that follow are simple to do. Incorporating them into your everyday tasks and mindset will not only cover the basics – but will also give you a much clearer sense of your business’s financial health.”
My thoughts: Full disclosure — this post comes from the accountant I’ve used for over five years. They didn’t pay me or ask me to include this in my list of what to read. It’s just that I enjoyed reading their tips and think they might be useful for you, too.
What LGBTQ Couples Need to Know About Social Security
Read the full article on The Street
“Until November 2021, a surviving spouse or partner was only eligible to collect Social Security survivor benefits if the couple had been married for more than nine months. However, due to marriage bans, same-sex couples have not always had the freedom to marry, yet they’ve paid into Social Security for their entire working lives. This means that if your marriage or domestic partnership was not considered legal prior to 2015 and your partner passed away, you weren’t eligible to claim survivor benefits. In fact, even after same-sex marriage was legalized, if your spouse passed away within nine months of your newly legalized marriage, you still couldn’t claim survivor benefits.”
My thoughts: I didn’t know how the rules behind claiming Social Security benefits disadvantaged same-sex couples. I’m so glad this has changed.
What Biden’s Latest Student Loan Relief Means For Your Student Loans
“This is the same student loan relief that more than 40 million student loan borrowers have enjoyed since March 2020. This is Biden’s third extension of student loan forbearance after President Donald Trump made two extensions of the original student loan relief in the Cares Act, the $2.2 trillion stimulus package. The surprise extension means you have three more months to determine your best game plan for student loan repayment.”
My thoughts: An extra three months of relief will surely be a godsend for some federal student loan borrowers. Now is a good time to start figuring out how to incorporate student loan payments back into your budget, if you haven’t already. The end of this article gives a few options.