Trim Your Car Costs

If your household is like most,160329_PLA you probably have two or three vehicles in your driveway: one for yourself, one for a spouse, maybe one for a teen. Indeed, 57% of U.S. families own two or more cars, KPMG found. Between gas, maintenance, fees, and insurance, the average cost to owners was $4,375 per vehicle in 2015, AAA found—even while fuel prices plunged. That’s money that you could be using for family trips or retirement planning. (The cash you’ll get by selling won’t hurt either.)

Abandoning car ownership altogether might not be practical. But eliminating even one vehicle could pay off for many families. Follow these steps to calculate whether you would benefit by cutting back.

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Should You Sell Your Home When You Retire?

House in human hands

If you’re approaching retirement, you may be thinking about selling your home. But unless you need to move—such as for health issues—should you? While the main questions on your mind might be how close you live to your grandkids or a golf course, it’s essential to weigh what makes sensefinancially first.

Because let’s get real: Whether you dig the notion of baking away your golden years somewhere sunny or remaining in the family home to host Thanksgiving dinner every year, neither option will make much sense if you can’t afford it. Right?

So to help you get a handle on the pros and cons of aging in place versus making a new start for this next chapter of your life, ask yourself six questions.

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Do this before you friend your boss on Facebook

Friending your boss on Facebook can be istock_000018815414small-3e42be492dafe94e86f5ad259fe254ddd25ee986-s900-c85a risky move. Let’s face it: We all have a skeleton or two in our virtual closet, and you’re basically giving your manager a front row seat. But studies show that adding your boss to your friends list can actually work in your favor—if you do it the right way, of course.

One-third of workers who are connected with their supervisor on Facebook say the online relationship enables them to perform more effectively on the job, according to a study by marketing firm Russell Herder. “There are benefits to connecting with your boss on Facebook, but you need to be hyperaware of how you’re managing your online relationship,” says Wharton School professor Nancy Rothbard, who studies the effects of social media in the workplace.

With the right approach, becoming Facebook friends with your boss—and effectively leveraging the connection—can help you build rapport, improve your offline communication and distinguish you from your peers.

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Career Guide 2016

What are the best career moves to makepower-career-moves-help-get-noticed1 in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond? Check out my series for’s 2016 career guide, starting with job advice for millennials.

Then see what your resume should look like in today’s job market. (Hint: you’ll need to add some modern touches, like bolding your achievements throughout your work experience.) has also designed a great resume template, courtesy of Wendy Enelow, co-author of Modernize Your Resume: Get Noticed…Get Hired. Click here to download it.

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7 crucial steps to scoring a flexible work schedule

Not a fan of putting in the traditional flexible-work-arrangements-3409 to 5,
or commuting an hour to the office, or having to stay chained to a desk all day? Can’t say we blame you.

It’s no surprise 64% of millennials say they would like to work occasionally from home, and 66% would like to shift their work hours, a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey found.

The upshot: 80% of employers offer some form of flexible work arrangements to employees, according to a Trends in Workplace Flexibility survey. But don’t expect to be handed a job offer with such perks: The survey also found that roughly two-thirds of managers offer flexibility to all or most of their employees at their discretion.

If you’re hunting for a job with work flexibility, you’ll need to convince a hiring manager why you deserve it.

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Why It Pays to List Your Home in Winter

Spring may still be peak home-shopping
season,151030_PLA_WinterSale since most families want to move when the kids are out of school. Yet it actually pays to list in the winter, when buyers tend to have more urgency: A study by online brokerage Redfin found that average sellers net more above asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than they do from June through November, even in cold-weather cities like Boston and Chicago. And homes listed in winter sold faster than those posted in spring.

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A Sound Proposition

Six years of working at a nonprofit 150609_pac_john-bialkoffering rental housing to low-income families taught John Bialk just how precious quiet can be. He frequently fielded noise complaints from tenants—from late-night parties to loud TVs. And these issues often led to nasty feuds between neighbors. “I’d see cars keyed, tires flattened, physical threats,” says the Neshkoro, Wis., resident. “As a property manager, you sit at your desk waiting for bad things to happen.” In the meantime, he came up with a solution: a noise-monitoring system that works on a wireless network to alert landlords to problems.

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