Need A Job? Head To One Of These Cities, Eight metropolitan hot spots appear to buck the trends of the sluggish economy.Though we expect job creation nationwide to continue its sluggish pace, some areas will fare much better than others.
Here are eight metropolitan areas that we think are poised to become job-creating machines in the years ahead.
We zeroed in on metro areas of at least 1 million people and a track record of above-average population and job growth coming out of the 2008-2009 recession.
Our*n*lysis also considers demographic trends and industry growth that point to rapid job creation. We think each of these eight cities will outpace the nation’s 7% job growth average between now and 2017, a forecast based on U.S. Department of Labor projections plus our reporting.
They’re not the usual suspects — the Houstons, Austins and Seattles that are riding high because they’re well-known homes to lots of energy or tech firms. Take a look:
Metro area population: 1.6 million
Current unemployment rate: 6.5% (vs. 8.2% nationally)
Job growth next five years: 18%
Number of new jobs: 140,000
Nashville wins the prize for fastest two-year job growth among all the metro areas on our list — four times as fast as the U.S. as a whole. Vanderbilt University, the largest employer, will continue to add a variety of health care, education and service jobs. Nissan North America will add manufacturing jobs at its auto assembly plant and office jobs at its Nashville-area headquarters.
Tips From The ‘Garage Sale Millionaire’, Aaron LaPedis made his first million dollars by “flipping” second-hand items.Aaron LaPedis threw his first garage sale at age seven and has been buying and selling items ever since. In fact, he made his first million dollars by “flipping” garage-sale finds and used that money to open an art gallery in Denver.
This “garage sale millionaire” writes a monthly column for The Denver Post and hosted a PBS TV show on collectibles. Wiley releases the second edition of LaPedis’ book, The Garage Sale Millionaire: Make Money with Hidden Finds from Garage Sales to Storage Unit Auctions and Everything in Between, in June.
With yard-sale season upon us, U.S. News chatted with LaPedis about his strategies for pricing items, spotting money-making opportunities, and more. Excerpts:
How did you get into garage sales?
All I really knew when I was seven was comic books and baseball cards, and that’s what I started with. When we had our first garage sale with my mother, my mom said “we’ve got to go through all your toys and whatever toys you don’t want anymore, we’re going to sell them, and I’m going to sell some stuff in the house that we don’t need and whatever money we make is the only money that you can use for new toys.”
The sale did so well that around noon, we had nothing else to sell. So when my mother went to make lunch, she told me I was in control and to make sure we keep on selling. I went to the house and went to the living room and took some lamps, end tables, and some other stuff I could lift and brought onto the front lawn and sold that stuff. It wasn’t until the next day that she realized I sold half of her stuff in the living room.
Couple Living The Retirement Dream, At 68, they live very comfortably in this tropical paradise – on less than some pay in rent. ‘How did you find Bali?” and “What do you do all day?” are the two most common questions asked of us. I am a retired lawyer from California; my husband is a vintner (plus many other things). We’re both 68 years old, and most people can’t wrap their minds around the change we made moving to Bali, Indonesia, seven years ago.
As we approached retirement age, we kept a watchful eye for those places that were exotic, less expensive (we lived in California for 35 years) and comfortable for Americans. A top priority was warmth. We both grew up in Connecticut, and I spent four winters in Buffalo, N.Y., so we were done with cold and snow. We visited all the warm climates we could find on the globe.
It was by chance that a client/friend asked me to visit her in Ubud, Bali. When I returned, I said to my husband, “This may be it.”
What was “it”? A constant 85-degree temperature, stunning landscapes, and a warm and gracious people with smiles so perfect that seeing them every day is added sunshine. We moved to Bali in May 2005. Unless changes in our health necessitate a return to the U.S., we plan to spend the rest of our lives here.
Bali, with a population of about four million, is one of about 17,500 islands that make up Indonesia. We settled in a suburb of Ubud, which is considered the cultural and religious center of Bali. In our village, women and men wear sarongs as daily clothing, children take off their shoes and walk barefoot when the school day ends, and the entire community goes to a sacred spring to retrieve holy water.
We leased a half acre of land for 20 years for $50,000. The property overlooks a river valley with a small waterfall on the far side. We built a “villa,” as a single-family home in Bali is called. Our house has a swimming pool, furniture handmade to our specifications, and flowers everywhere. But in Balinese fashion, there is no front door. An opening, yes, but no door to shut.
The cost to build our house today (approximately 2,000 square feet) would be about $350,000. That said, a perfectly nice home could be built for half that amount. A reasonable monthly budget for home maintenance, transportation, food and entertainment is about $1,000.
When it comes to cooking-and cleaning and all of those other daily time-consumers-we hire Balinese help. Our cook, who is paid $75 a month, shops in the market at 6:30 a.m. and prepares all of our meals from scratch. It’s very healthy. Sundays we are on our own, and that is our brunch and pizza day. (We wouldn’t want to forget our roots.) A meal costs about $15 with no alcohol. Alcohol comes with a 300% customs duty. The local beer is good and keeps us looking younger.
Big Pitfalls Of Joint Accounts And Credit, Few realize the difference between joint credit, authorized use, and co-signing. Want to be legally joined in life? In most cases, you need a marriage license and a ceremony. If you’re lucky, you also have witnesses, music, a cake, some flowers, a few gifts and a nice meal afterward.
Want to be legally joined in debt? Just sign on the dotted line. No dresses, no tuxes and not so much as a cupcake for your trouble.
Before you enter into the world of joint credit, it pays to know a little more about what goes on behind the scenes, from how potential lenders view the debt to who is ultimately responsible for paying it — and how it impacts your credit score.
As with marriage, a lot depends on who you choose as a partner.
“The most obvious thing is to really be careful about who you open a joint account with,” says Anthony Sprauve, spokesman for FICO, the company that pioneered credit scoring.
“If the other person disappears or flakes, you’re going to be responsible for that debt,” he says.
So before you fill out that next credit application, here are six things you should know about joint credit:
No. 1: There’s more than one type of shared credit.
People throw around the term “joint credit,” but they don’t always understand what it means.
“I don’t think people understand the extent of their liability,” says John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education for SmartCredit.com. “If you’re a co-signer or co-borrower, you’re liable.”
There are three different kinds of shared credit (and sometimes both consumers and lenders will use slightly different terms.) They are:
Joint credit: You are a full partner on the account. You filled out or at least signed a credit application for a card or loan. The credit account or loan has your name on it, and the money or credit is yours to use.
What you might not know: You are responsible for 100 percent (not 50 percent) of the bill.
Losers In The Era Of Cheap Money, Even with excellent credit, Michael Shreve can’t find a bank to trade in his high-rate mortgage. Michael Shreve, a 57-year-old science teacher in Marysville, Wash., has watched helplessly as mortgage rates have fallen. He said that despite his stellar credit score, no bank had been willing to let him trade in his 6.35 percent 30-year mortgage because his house was now worth less than when he bought it.
“At some point,” he said, interest rates are going to go up again, “and I should have been able to get those low rates. It’s not fair.”
As interest rates have been dropping to new lows seemingly by the week, American companies have been taking advantage of the cheap borrowing costs, but consumers have been largely left on the sidelines.
New data this week from the Federal Reserve shows that in the first quarter of this year, American businesses were taking on new debt at the fastest rate since the financial crisis in 2008. American households, though, were heading in the opposite direction, increasingly shedding debt.
And as in the case of Mr. Shreve, the lack of borrowing by American families was not always by choice. Another recent Fed report shows that while more consumers are interested in buying homes or refinancing existing mortgages, banks remain hesitant to extend credit to them.
Consumers are also getting squeezed on the investing front. Wary of the volatile financial markets and worried about the continued weakness in the economy, they have been putting more money into ordinary savings accounts, the new data shows. But those accounts are paying an average of 0.1 percent, according to Bankrate.com.
“There’s definitely winners and losers in this kind of extremely low interest rate environment,” said Ed Yardeni, the president of Yardeni Research. “In this case, any borrower that has access to the capital markets and doesn’t have to fill out a loan application at a bank is definitely going to have a tremendous advantage.”
Of course, the declining debt load of households is not necessarily bad. Many economists see it as a welcome shift from the borrowing binge that helped cause the financial crisis, and the Fed data shows that the lack of new debt has freed consumers up to spend more.
Jobless And Forced To Take Social Security, Clare Keany has been unemployed since 2008, and now lives entirely on her $1,082 monthly check. This retirement oasis in the desert has long beckoned those who want to spin out their golden years playing golf and sitting by the pool in the arid sunshine.
But for Clare Keany, who turned 62 last fall and cannot find work, it feels more like a prison. Just a few miles from the gated estates of corporate chieftains and Hollywood stars, Ms. Keany lives in a tiny mobile home, barely getting by on little more than $1,082 a month from Social Security.
“I would rather be functioning and having a job somewhere,” said Ms. Keany, whose pixie haircut, trim build and crinkling smile suggest someone much younger than her years. “I really don’t enjoy living like this. I’ve got too much to do still.”
Even as most Americans are delaying retirement to bolster their savings accounts, the recession and its protracted aftermath have forced many older people who are out of work to draw Social Security much earlier than they had planned.
According to an*n*lysis by Steve Goss, chief actuary for the Social Security Administration, about 200,000 more people filed initial claims in 2009 and 2010 than the agency had predicted before the recession and he said the trend most likely continued in 2011 and 2012, though that is harder to quantify. The most likely reason is joblessness.
Ms. Keany had always expected to work into her 70s and add to her retirement cushion. But after losing her job as an executive assistant at an advertising agency in 2008, she searched fruitlessly for full-time work and exhausted her unemployment benefits. For a while, she strung together odd jobs and lived off her 401(k) retirement and profit-sharing accounts. Then, this year, with her savings depleted and no job offers in sight, she reluctantly applied for Social Security.