How the Home Buying and Selling Process Has Changed During COVID-19

Summer is usually a busy season for home buying and selling, but in this season of the coronavirus, it’s anything but typical.

As states are in various staging of opening up, sellers are dealing with new procedures with putting their homes up for sale and buyers are working hard to thoroughly search while still practicing social distancing.

I’ve found myself in the middle of this as I’m helping my mom this summer. She’s looking to retire in a few years and wants to be closer to the grandkids.

She’s already found work here in Raleigh and now during summer break, she’s selling her house and hunting for a place.

Being a Smart Home Buyer or Seller During This Pandemic

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home during the pandemic, you need to be extra prepared and willing to adjust as needed.

I had the pleasure of speaking with … Read the rest

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network Is Launching A New Voting Initiative For The 2020 Elections

This week media mogul Oprah Winfrey‘s television network, OWN, has announced that it will be launching the “OWN Your Vote” as a bipartisan initiative to encourage Black women to go out and vote in the critical 2020 election in November.

“We find our nation on the precipice, a true tipping point,” said Winfrey in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Our audience has a powerful voice. I am proud to be a part of this movement that will create the change we want to see for our country.”

The network will be partnering with various local grassroots and voting rights organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Advancement Project, Fair Fight Action, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Black Women’s Roundtable in addition to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, to provide necessary resources to inform voters on the upcoming 2020 elections.

“COVID-19 … Read the rest

How Long Does It Take to Afford a Down Payment in Each State?

The traditional American dream typically begins with great jobs, two kids, and a family home to grow in. If you’ve been dreaming of buying a house, then you’ve likely considered the financial factors, including saving and budgeting for the home. Just as America is huge and diverse, so is its housing market. 

The average home price in America is $270,726, which may be startling to homeowners in West Virginia, where the average home value is just $107,840. On the other end of the spectrum, families in Washington, D.C. can expect to pay over $700,000 for a home. There are huge differences in both income and housing costs across the country, which is why we set out to see just how long it would take to afford a home in each state. 

If you’re looking to buy your first home, then you already know you have to save for Read the rest

Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson Charged With Embezzling $600,000 in Federal Funds, Faces 20 Years in Prison

Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson, 39, is being accused of stealing more than $600,000 in grants from the healthcare company she founded and has been federally charged with theft and embezzlement involving government programs and wire fraud. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the charge this past Wednesday, according to a press release.

Robinson allegedly used the funds for “a vehicle for her daughter; clothing, accessories, and hair and beauty products; expenses related to her wedding and honeymoon, and later, legal fees for her divorce; payments on her personal debts, including credit cards, store charge cards, student loans, and other personal loans; travel and entertainment for herself and her family; improvements to her personal residence; expenses related to a body aesthetics business she owned and a snow cone business operated by her children; and an event for her State Senate campaign.”

If convicted, Robinson faces a sentence of up … Read the rest

Retirement Savings Calculator

Retirement Savings Calculator

It’s never too early to begin saving for retirement! Our retirement calculator makes it easy to set and keep tabs on your retirement savings goals.

Fill in the calculator with your information and retirement expectations, and we’ll show you how much you need to save to make your retirement dreams a reality. You can test out several scenarios to see how your retirement results change based on variables like your retirement contributions. Use this tool to monitor your savings progress and to ensure that you’re on track to retire with peace-of-mind.

Retirement Calculator
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Pretax income: Enter your annual salary before taxes.
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Lenny Kravitz Opens Up About the First 25 Years of His Life in Upcoming Memoir

Rock icon Lenny Kravitz‘s autobiography, Let Love Rule, will chronicle the first 25 years of the legendary Grammy-winning musician’s life. The book, published by Henry Holt and Co., is scheduled to hit shelves on October 6.

“Writing this memoir has been a beautiful and interesting experience taking me through the first 25 years of my life, from birth to the release of my first album,” Kravitz said in a statement. “That journey, full of adventure, was where I found myself and my voice. Through that experience, love was the force that paved the way and love became my message.”

Taking its title from Kravitz’s first album (and hit song), Let Love Rule covers a vast canvas of the musician’s time growing up in New York City to the years he spent living in Los Angeles, France, England, and Germany. The book unveils the story of a wildly creative kid … Read the rest

SURVEY: Is Shopping Alone Better for Your Budget?

You might think shopping alone saves you money, but it may be costing you more. Our survey reveals that when there’s no one there to peer pressure you, you may be your budget’s worst enemy on or offline. In fact, we found that 29 percent of shoppers admit spending more when shopping alone. 

We surveyed 1,500 Americans to see who spends more when shopping with others, and who is most likely to influence a shopper’s spending habits. 

We found that: 

  • 29 percent are more likely to spend more when shopping alone
  • One-third of women admitted spending more shopping alone, compared to 24 percent of men
  • 25 percent of shoppers have felt pressured by others to overspend

Women Are More Likely than Men to Overspend By Themselves 

Americans overspend by roughly $7,400 a year, even though 74 percent say they have a budget in place. Of those who budget, 79 Read the rest

Meet The Founder of Melanin Meetups, A Think Tank For Black Professionals

In a time where more conversations around race are occurring across the country due to the recent Black Lives Matter protests, many people have called for more hubs for Black professionals and entrepreneurs.

One entrepreneur answered the call by creating a space for Black professionals to network, thrive, and make change. Kirk Brown started Melanin Meetups in 2016 as a way for more Black professionals to network to obtain more opportunities in their respective fields.

“I started [the company] as a call to action to fortify my community’s narrative in this country in response to the 2016 election and impending events that would come after,” said Brown in an email interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE.

“Given my family is from the Jim Crow south, I saw how malleable my identity was through their narratives in relation to mainstream American narrative taught to us in school. As a result, I’ve always questioned … Read the rest

Future Self Journaling Guide: How to Set Financial Goals That Pay Off Later

Future self journaling is the practice of being in tune with your long-term goals to spark positive change in your actions today. This form of journaling is designed to make you more aware of your current behaviors and actions and how they impact your future goals. 

When it comes to your finances, future self journaling can help you manifest your dreams and identify bad spending habits getting in the way of your savings goals. For example, if you have a goal to save $1,000 dollars in three months, but you’re still eating out five times a week, you’ll likely have a harder time meeting your goal. By tracking your behavior, you can identify and put a stop to any bad habits, and replace those with positive actions today. Utilize our app to keep track of your purchases and address any spending habits.  

Setting goals is easy, but meeting them Read the rest

The Chamber of Commerce Urges Banking Committee To Pass Diversity Bill

The Chamber of Commerce has sent a letter signed by more than 15 banking groups to the Committee on Banking Housing and Urban Affairs urging them to pass H.R. 5084.

According to the letter, the Chamber is asking committee chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) and ranking member Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to pass the “Improving Corporate Governance through Diversity Act of 2019.

The Act will require certain issuers of securities to disclose the racial, ethnic, and gender composition of their boards of directors and executive officers and the status of any of those directors and officers as a veteran. The bill would also require the disclosure of any plan to promote racial, ethnic, and gender diversity among these groups.

The bill passed the House with bipartisan support in November, less than a week after it was introduced, but has been stuck in the Senate since.

According to PricewaterhouseCooper’s 2019 Annual Corporate Read the rest