Blog Posts by The Fiscal Times

  • How Work Affects Your Love (and Sex) Life

    A generation ago, the old nursery rhyme of a relationship's timeline: "love, then marriage, and then babies in baby carriages," rang true for many. Today, a more pragmatic version might be needed - career comes first, followed by moving in together, then joint checking accounts, and maybe a marriage license.

    RELATED: How Unemployment Is Rocking the Love Boat

    With declining marriage rates, more women in the workplace, and careers preceding, superseding and serving as important criteria for marriage, the intersection of personal and professional life has never been more muddled. The supposed work-life balance seems more like a messy jumble of work, love and life that are all intertwined.

    For starters, simply having a job is a large determinant for meeting a future spouse. According to a survey by YourTango and ForbesWoman last year, 75 percent of women said they wouldn't marry someone who was unemployed; 65 percent likewise said they wouldn't marry if they were not employed. And a Pew

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  • Boomers' Savings Dwindle as Kids Return to Nest

    At age 55, Kathleen Walker, who works at an insurance agency, and her husband, are still providing financial assistance to two of her three grown children. The oldest, age 38, lives in his own apartment, but makes only $12 an hour as an electronics technician at a local family fun center. Since he also pays child support, his wages barely cover basic necessities, so Walker contributes to gas and groceries. The youngest, age 23, is an unemployed part-time student and lives in the Walkers' house with her boyfriend, who comes from a broken home. Neither pay rent or contribute to household expenses. "I'm angry, apathetic, discouraged, and generally disgruntled that I'm spending my declining years working to support them when I should be enjoying life," she says.
    Getty Images

    Read More: Gen Y vs. Boomers: Workplace Conflict Heats Up

    Walker's situation is becoming far more commonplace, largely due to extreme financial hardships among the younger generation. "We're seeing greater numbers of empty

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  • Marriage: Couples that Save Together, Stay Together

    After Stephanie Walker's husband lost his job in 2008, the couple faced foreclosure on their $799,000 mid-century, modern dream home in Los Angeles. So they gave up the home, with a view of the Hollywood sign, and declared bankruptcy. But these huge obstacles didn't threaten their marriage. "It is because of our financial crisis that we are as happily married as we are today," Walker said. They pledged to "rise above the depression, negativity and anxiety" and "took really good care of each other and our marriage in the process," using the experience as a chance to spend more quality time together.

    Read: 5 Financial Strategies for a Harmonious Marriage

    Walker and her husband started taking long hikes with their pug dog, cooking dinner at home together, and having conversations every morning about what they each intended to accomplish that day. They fought less "because we put each other first." Now both employed, they're renting a modest apartment in Chicago near their family and

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  • How Unemployment Is Rocking the Love Boat

    Julie Halpert, The Fiscal Times

    Unemployment is leading to trouble in the bedroom. With the jobless rate stuck at more than 9 percent, studies show that unemployment is taking a toll on all stages of relationships - from courting to marriage, and of course, to divorce. Instead of the traditional arch of a relationship, the trajectory of unemployed love looks a whole lot different.

    A study in the Journal of Marriage and Family says - not surprisingly - that marriage is sensitive to economic indicators, especially men's earnings, unemployment, and education. According to the research by academics Pamela J. Smock, Wendy Manning, and Meredith Porter, co-habitating men and women want both to be employed to consider marriage, but it is more important for the male to show he can be a consistent "breadwinner." Here's a rundown on how unemployment is affecting decisions of the heart:

    MORE: For Richer, For Poorer: The Growing Marriage Gap

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  • Rich Baby, Poor Baby: Overspending on Kids Is a Waste

    In the midst of one of the worst job markets since the Great Depression, Americans may forego new cars and skip fancy restaurant meals. But they'll do almost anything to avoid scrimping on their kids. A middle-income family ($57,600 to $99,730 in household earnings) will spend $286,860 raising a child over 17 years-a figure that continued to tick up even during the recession. More affluent parents, those earning $100,000 or more, spend $477,100, or nearly twice as much, according to the Department of Agriculture. And that doesn't include college.

    While consumer spending on everything from autos to ovens has dropped over the past 10 years, Americans continue to open their wallets for their kids. Overall, parents spend 66 percent more on childrearing than they did 10 years ago, according to Pamela Paul, author of Parenting, Inc., thanks largely to rising child-care and education costs. But parents are spending more across the board. Last year, the market for children's goods, which

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  • How to Deduct Your Vacation


    Before George McCutchen, a sales associate at commercial real-estate firm Grubb & Ellis, headed off for a week's vacation at an ocean-front condo in Litchfield Beach, S.C., he made a key vacation purchase: an iPhone. "I wanted to be able to open documents and see leases and contracts," he said, adding that he spent about two hours each morning of his week off dealing with business via email and cell phone.

    Ah, vacation time. Beach, glistening ocean, warm sun. Breezy novels and idle walks. A cell phone call from the office. Then, another. Tiny screens sadly have made manic up-to-the-minute communications with the office an integral part of the modern day family vacation. But here's the silver lining: The IRS - unlike your spouse and kids - may be willing to cut you a break for the hard work you carve out of your precious vacation days.

    The time spent reading messages on your BlackBerry, reviewing reports online and participating in conference calls may make you eligible for

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