The Smart Start Money Podcast
The Degradation of America: A Decline in the Standard of Living, Quality and Basic Decency

The Degradation of America: A Decline in the Standard of Living, Quality and Basic Decency

October 21, 2021

Turning 50 years of age next year I have started to really think lately about how America has changed. The United States no longer seems to have the same values it once did just a few short decades ago. There seems to be a degradation of America that includes a decline in family values, helping one another, and just basic decency.

 

This Smart Start Money podcast episode talks about how America has changed for the worse and is it possible for things to improve. 

 

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Is Fine Print Advertising Deceptive and Misleading?

Is Fine Print Advertising Deceptive and Misleading?

October 7, 2021

Although numerous laws are in place for fair advertising, businesses do not always play by the rules. They many times try to bend them as far as possible. How can the tiny words on print advertising really be completely transparent when often the larger ad is there to quickly deceive someone not paying attention to the details?

 

Who is regulating advertisers and what makes an advertisement deceptive or unfair?

 

This Smart Start Money podcast episode talks about fine print advertising and how advertisements are rarely fully transparent.

 

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We Buy Houses: Scams and Unsolicited Buy Offers

We Buy Houses: Scams and Unsolicited Buy Offers

September 30, 2021

A shortage of homes for sale in markets around the country has resulted in an enormous number of investors and wholesalers turning to unsolicited purchase offers to buy houses. If you own a home, you have probably received texts, emails, and phone calls asking if you want to sell. Although it might seem like your home is in demand and the buyer is willing to pay a fair price, this is seldom ever really the case.

 

All unsolicited purchase offers to buy a home are not exactly scams. However, they almost always are not a good financial transaction for the seller. There are reasons real estate investors are sending out thousands of unsolicited offers regularly and it’s not to help a homeowner. More frequently they are looking to take advantage of sellers that might be in a desperate situation.

 

There needs to be a stop to the ridiculous amount of unsolicited home buying offers and to the scams some of the companies sending out the offers are running.

 

This podcast episode talks about the epidemic of unsolicited home buying offers and how annoying they have become.

 

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Where Does Your Donation Go When You Give to Charity?

Where Does Your Donation Go When You Give to Charity?

September 16, 2021

Giving to a charity or a non-profit is something a lot of people make the decision to do each year. Unfortunately, some of these organizations hide behind the disguise of kindness to create jobs with large paychecks. Even worse, there are some charities established for the only purpose to deceive and scam people out of their money.

Each year numerous charities are set up to improve people’s lives and the communities they live in. However, not all of them are exactly transparent on how they operate and where the donations received end up being spent. Just because an organization calls itself a charity, this doesn’t automatically mean all the donations they receive end up going to help the cause being represented.

 

This podcast episode talks about charitable organizations and the importance of researching them before giving.

 

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Should Future College Students Need to Take Student Loans Because You Had To?

Should Future College Students Need to Take Student Loans Because You Had To?

August 26, 2021

The answer is absolutely not. The reason for this is because higher education costs today are higher then they ever have been. Tuition rates tend to increase at about twice the rate of inflation. The average increase is around 8% per year. This means the cost of college is doubling about every nine years. A more expensive college education for each generation that outpaces inflation at about twice the rate has resulted in more student loan debt for each generation. Thus, this is why the student loan debt in America is now around $1.6 trillion.

 

College students today should look for every way they can to minimize student loan debt.

 

This podcast episode talks about the student loan debt issues in America and why the goal of today's college students should not be an education at all costs.

 

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Why Are Businesses Having a Hard Time Filling Open Job Positions?

Why Are Businesses Having a Hard Time Filling Open Job Positions?

August 19, 2021

It is easy to see with many businesses right now that they are having a difficult time finding people to work. Just take a walk around your town and you will see all the hiring signs in the windows. Although part of the blame for companies having a challenging time finding workers can be the favorable federal government unemployment benefits in addition to state benefits, I believe there is really something much deeper occurring with the high number of jobs available.

This podcast episode talks about why there are so many open job positions in the market that are not being filled right now.

 

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What Is the Average Cost For 4-Years of College?

What Is the Average Cost For 4-Years of College?

July 29, 2021

The average cost for four years of college in the United States is estimated at $35,720. The typical cost for four years of a college education is no doubt expensive. Add the cost to live during the college years and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the student loan debt in America is now approaching $1.6 trillion.

The average cost of a four-year college education is likely not going to decrease anytime soon. Moreover, it may just keep increasing at the alarming rate it historically has. 

 

This podcast episode talks about why college costs are so high in America and how the price compares to other countries around the world.

 

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You Need an Emergency Fund Starting Today

You Need an Emergency Fund Starting Today

July 15, 2021

If you don’t already have an emergency fund established for unexpected life events, you need to put one in place today. Unexpected things happen in life. Auto repairs, job loss, and health issues can arise at any time. Having an emergency fund in place not only allows you to take care of many sudden things that come up, but it can also keep you out of debt. 

What are the top reasons to have emergency money set aside?

 

This podcast episode talks about why it is important to have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.

 

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Pay Off Debt or Save Money for Emergencies?

Pay Off Debt or Save Money for Emergencies?

July 8, 2021

Should you pay off debt or save money for emergencies? This question often comes up about personal finance. The answer really isn’t just as simply one or the other as some supposed financial experts claim. There is a lot more that goes into deciding to pay off debt or saving for unexpected emergencies.

 

It’s essential to both save money for emergencies and pay off debt. Don’t just focus on one of these goals at a time. Both need to be achieved and finding a balance between saving money and paying debt is almost always the best solution financially.

 

This podcast episode talks about deciding to pay off debt or save for an emergency fund.

 

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What is the Student Loan Default Rate?

What is the Student Loan Default Rate?

June 24, 2021

The student loan default rate is estimated on average at around 15% at any given time. This number should not come as a surprise with the higher education debt problem now at almost $1.6 trillion. Student loan debt has been on the rise as colleges have historically seen their tuition rates rise at about twice the rate of inflation.
 
Defaulting on student loan debt can result in serious consequences to a person’s financial life and well-being overall. Carrying a mountain of debt for higher education expenses for so many people is a stressful situation that leaves numerous borrowers choosing to default on their student loans. 

 

This podcast episode talks about the student loan default rate.

 

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