Puerto Rico is in serious debt

Letters from a Lesbian 

Dear World,

It is a sad, and well-known fact that the island of Puerto Rico is in debt. Serious debt. Over $70 billion in debt. Puerto Ricans have been waiting for Congress to do something – anything to help the struggling island to get out from under this giant burden. Desperation is so high, that there is consideration to drop minimum wage from $7.25 an hour, just like it is here in the States down to $4.25 per hour for Puerto Ricans under the age of twenty five. Puerto Rico has defaulted on deadlines and payments, and is expected to do so again. It’s a huge crisis with no solid solution.

This dire situation did not happen overnight. This has been a long-time coming. Here are some important historical events that led to this current financial crisis. According to an article on

http://www.marketplace.org/2016/04/08/world/stranded-puerto-rican-debt-no-end-sight :

-In 1917, when Woodrow Wilson made Puerto Rico an American territory, he made some of their first shipping laws. When he did so, he made the bonds tax-exempt on local, state and federal levels. Thus, the bonds were very attractive to mutual funds. That meant that Puerto Rico was able to borrow a lot of money, but it was – and still is – money that the island is unable to pay back.

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‘Tis the season for……FORECLOSURE?!

As the popular American saying goes,“Tis the season.” For some,‘Tis the season for family time, traveling, shopping, gift giving, festivities, and good cheer. For others,‘Tis the season for increased debt, worry about money or lack thereof, skipping or missing payments, concern about the rising cost of living (especially heating costs in the Winter months), anxiety, depression, and stress. For many Americans with financial struggles, who are trying to make ends meet during the Holidays, it can be overwhelming. For homeowners in crisis and at risk of losing their homes, this can be an especially difficult time.

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Why was your Credit Card transaction denied?

We’ve all had these moments: You’re at a romantic restaurant and the evening went great. But just as you and your date are readying to leave, an embarrassed waiter appears and whispers, “I’m afraid your card has been denied.” So much for romance.

The same thing can happen at the grocery store, when shopping online or worst of all, when you’re traveling and don’t have a back-up means of payment. Why do credit card transactions get denied and what can you do to prevent it?

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Do Your Homework Before Buying a Timeshare

Full disclosure: I’ve always been somewhat skeptical of timeshares. I understand the appeal of having a guaranteed vacation home in an area you love and being able to swap your unit for a place halfway around the world.

But I worry that many buyers don’t consider all associated costs and mistakenly think timeshares are sound financial investments that will appreciate in value. In fact, sellers rarely make a profit – some only get pennies on the dollar. Plus, the waters are filled with sharks eager to rip off people desperately trying to unload unwanted timeshares.

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Understanding the ‘Kiddie Tax’ (children income tax)

For something whose nickname sounds so innocent, the “kiddie tax” certainly can wreak havoc on unprepared taxpayers’ yearly returns.

Congress first introduced the kiddie tax as part of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 to discourage wealthy parents from sheltering their investment income in accounts under their children’s names, thereby avoiding paying taxes on the amounts. The rules have been tweaked periodically ever since.

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FINANCES – August 2013

Protect Yourself Against Credit Discrimination

Have you ever been turned down for a credit card and wondered why? Or gotten approved for a car loan or mortgage but suddenly the interest rate and fees are much higher than in the initial quote?

There are many legitimate reasons why people are denied credit – insufficient income or a poor track record on past loan repayments, for example. But sometimes people are denied credit because of discriminatory lending practices – which are not always easy to spot.

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Your Financial Life After Graduation

To the millions of college and high school seniors who recently graduated (and to their parents, who weathered the ups and downs of reaching that summit): congratulations on a job well done. After the celebration dies down, you’ll no doubt be eager to embark on life’s next chapter, whether it’s finding a job, preparing for college or enrolling in military or community service.

Before you jump in feet first, however, let me share a few financial lessons I learned the hard way when I was just starting out. They might save you a lot of money in the long run and help you get closer to your life goals, whether it’s buying a house, starting a family or even retiring early – as far off as that may sound.

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