Thursday bits: Amazon 5% cash back credit card, Corporations are adopting their employees?

Did You Know?

Did you know that 98% of all adoptions in Japan are not made by individuals, but by corporations?

Did you know that you could drop off your FedEx packages at Walgreens?

Did you know that there is one airline offering free WiFi to all of its passengers?

Did you know that (as my wife always reminds me) Christmas is coming and there’s no reason not to start saving for it now?

Did you know that Amazon is now offering a 5% cash back credit card for purchases made on Amazon? (Hmmm….  I wonder if that includes the cost of Prime?)

Your Money

How Hiring an Accountant Can Transform Your Finances in 2017
Benjamin Franklin once said, “…In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Never is this phrase more applicable than in the world of finance.  Whether you are a big business, small venture, or an individual, finances must be a focus.  Unless you are a certified accountant yourself, you may not know as much about the intricate details of money-making even if you are surrounded by it every day.  Consider this:  you participate in the national and global economy every day, but you may know nothing about how it works. Instead of floundering about with your finances, here are a few reasons why you should hire a trained professional to help you in 2017.

4 Core Questions You Must Ask Yourself To Build A Successful Budget
Yes, we have Four Rules. And there are lots of step-by-steps throughout our software, but at a high-level, it is even more simple than all that. When we say “you need a budget,” what are we really saying?

For Young Entrepreneurs, College Debts Can Snuff Out Start-Up Hopes
Saddled with $40,000 in college loans, Catherine Berendsohn, 29, struggled to get a web design business off the ground after graduating from Florida State University in 2010. Ms. Berendsohn, an artist-entrepreneur, wanted to rent a storefront and start a roving studio in Monterey, Calif. Her student loans, however, prevented her from getting the money she needed.

Why (and How) You Should Start Saving for the Holidays Now
It may seem crazy to start thinking about the holidays again just as we’re starting to commence the new year. Let’s be honest, after the rush, chaos, extra poundage, and all-around craziness that goes along with the holiday season, the last thing you want to do is think about the new year’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or next year’s New Year’s.

Credit Cards

Amazon Prime 5% cash back credit card
Amazon just partnered with Chase Bank and is now offering to Prime members a cc with 5% cash back with all Amazon purchases, 2% cash back on gas, drug store and restaurants, and 1% everything else. PLUS a $70 store credit upon approval. No foreign fees on travel overseas also. More info here.

How did Google know about Credit Card payment due?
I’m scratching my head on this one. All our financial transactions are handled through our banks and financial emails come to my computer in Outlook. Then today I get a notification on my Google Nexus 6P phone that our Bank of America payment is due in 1 day.

Airlines

Southwest Companion Pass: Now May Be The Best Time To Qualify
Southwest Airlines offers a unique feature called the Companion Pass, which lets you pick one person to fly free with you on both paid and award flights. If you either fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 110,000 Qualifying Points in a calendar year, and you’ll earn the Companion Pass for the remainder of that year plus the following full calendar year. For example, if you earned it in March 2017, you would have the benefit for the rest of 2017 and all of 2018. You can change your designated companion up to three times each calendar year.

JetBlue Offering Passengers Free WiFi On All Flights
When traveling by air it might seem like you have to pay for every little thing: checked bags, seats with leg room, among other things. But passengers on JetBlue will now be getting one thing free: WiFi.

FedEx Customers Will Be Able To Drop Off, Pick Up Packages At Walgreens Stores
We’ve all seen what can happen when a package is left out in the open or otherwise unattended, but not everyone can be home during the day, live in a doorman building, or have their stuff delivered to an office. Also? Some carriers just hate coming to your house. In an effort to solve these problems, FedEx and Walgreens announced plans to put delivery lockers in as thousands of Walgreens stores by the end of next year.

Real Estate

Guide To Buying A Home: Young Families
If you’re like many Millennials, especially those with young families, you may be gun-shy about entering the housing market. That’s understandable, but having a growing family may be the push you need.

New York Secures the Most Affordable Housing Units in 27 Years
The de Blasio administration built or preserved about 22,000 housing units in New York City in 2016, the most since 1989, but advocates say the need is still great.

Consumers Underestimate How Quickly Home Values Rise
Home prices are rising twice as fast as consumers think they are. Lack of awareness could be costing home buyers thousands each year they delay their purchase.

Retirement Planning

A Satisfying Retirement on a Limited Budget
It is easier to lead a satisfying retirement if you have few financial worries. While money certainly doesn’t buy happiness, few would argue that your options for living how and where you choose are more likely to happen the fatter your investment portfolio. So, this post isn’t for you.

Gen X Must Commit to Personal Savings to Secure Retirement
As the first wave of Generation X workers begin to catch a glimpse of retirement age, the demographic group continues to face struggles in financial planning.

How To Save For A House?
I’ve spent most of my life in apartments. I enjoyed the flexibility and ease of relocating on a whim, back when I could live like the nomad I wanted to be. New states, new cities, new adventures.

Lump sum of 500K or $3500 PM @ age 65
I am still trying to find a lump sum retirement number from my HR (without giving them any hints that I dream ER @ 55).

Misc.

Apple is reportedly planning a major push into original TV shows and movies (AAPL)
Apple is preparing for a major push into original video content, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal — a move that could set it on a collision course with the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

The Average New Car Price Is Unbelievably High
If you were to guess what the average new car price is nowadays, what would you guess? I guessed $23,000, since my Honda Fit is a sweet and only costs $19,600 new. Given I’m frugal, leaving a 20% upside pricing buffer seemed logical. Too bad I was way off!

98% of all Japanese adoptions are employers adopting the adult men on their staff, not children
In Japan, there is  a several-hundred-year-old tradition in which businesses adopt their executives so companies or institutions are “family-run” groups. In other words, bosses adopt their employees.

Chart of the Day

Infographic: American Cities With the Highest Murder Rates | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

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