Best Prepaid Mobile Plans, Why should you stay on a contract plan with limited data and pay twice the price when you can get unlimited data for half that and no contract? Many are reconsidering the idea.Now may be a good time to start considering pre-paid phones. While in the past no contract often meant getting terrible signal and being stuck with an out-of-date, featureless phone, that may no longer be the truth. Pre-paid phones have come a long way and two of those services are now offering the newest iPhone to boot.
This may hurt a little. If you want a pre-paid iPhone you’ll have to pay for the phone’s full price up front. The damage is a total of $650. While that may sound like an automatic deal breaker, it isn’t really and you will likely still save money.
Getting a cheaper phone on a contract plan is much like making car payments instead of buying a car with cash. It may seem that you are only paying $200 for a fancy phone, but in the long run you are actually making larger monthly payments to compensate for what the phone company has lost by offering you such a cheap price for the phone. To make matters worse, in the end it also means that you are paying the company interest as well. Do you really want to pay interest on a $650 purchase? (Christian Post)
Federal Job Cuts, 154 federal government employees in Newfoundland and Labrador were issued redundancy notices on Wednesday.Most of the impact was felt at Service Canada, where 118 notices were issued. At Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 30 employees, mostly at the inland fisheries division, also recieved notices.
In addition, it was announced on Wednesday that at least two Transport Canada offices in the province will be shuttered.
Boating safety offices in Lewisporte and Corner Brook will be closed, eliminating four jobs. The remaining two jobs with boating safety will be relocated to a central office in St. John’s. (CBC News)
Best Places To Retire In The U.S. In 2012, This northwestern city has a low crime rate, nice climate, and the average home costs just $118,000. It’s time for our annual list of the Best Places to Retire.Reflecting what retirees say they want, there’s a slightly bigger bias toward warmer climates in states like Florida, New Mexico and Arizona. Only about a half-dozen Best Places are located in what could be called chilly parts of the country.This group includes Bloomington, Ind., Fargo, N.D. and Pittsburgh.
But the bigger bias is the importance we place on day-to-day economic issues: the average price of a home, the cost of living and the tax burden on retirees. So there are no entries here from states where it costs a lot to get by, such as California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.
We reviewed data for hundreds of cities in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. Besides the usual financial factors, we looked at weather, availability of doctors, serious crime rates and encouragement for an active retirement. To do this, we considered evaluations by Bicycling Magazine and volunteeringinamerica.org.
More and more retirees are working, at least initially. So we also took into account both unemployment rates and rankings of job and economic growth compiled by the Milken Institute.
Nationwide, the average price of an existing single-family house is $163,500, according to the National Association of Realtors. Only four cities on our list have median prices above that, and none really by all that much. The priciest, at $198,000, is Asheville, N.C. At the other end, the average price of a home in Atlanta is only $91,000, followed by Cape Coral, Fla. at $116,000 and Boise, Idaho, at $118,000.
Ingenious Ways People Cheat Casinos, Using age-old and high-tech methods, crooks scam millions a year, an expert says.There’s no doubt about it, gambling means big business. Casinos in the U.S. raked in $62.8 billion in 2011, according to Spectrum Gaming Group, a research and professional services firm.
But with the good comes the bad for the gaming industry — cheating is also a big money maker for those who find ways to deceive the house. Thanks to technology, it’s getting harder to pull off. Casinos have cameras trained on every table and are always on the lookout for anything suspicious. But some people still manage to do it. Casino cheating expert George Joseph of Worldwide Casino Consulting estimates the industry loses tens of millions of dollars a year in scams.
The scams can be pulled off with age-old sleight-of-hand tricks or with the aid of high-tech devices. Either way, they are illegal and could mean time behind bars for those who are caught. However, penalties vary from state to state. In Nevada, for example, someone convicted of cheating faces one to six years in prison, or a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
So what are some of the ways people cheat in casinos? CNBC.com spoke with Joseph, who is author of “The 101 Most Asked Questions About Texas Hold’em and Poker Cheating,” to compile a list. Some are common cheating methods; others are employed less frequently but can result in a big payday.
This casino cheat needs the participation of the casino’s card dealer to work. The dealer employs a false shuffle, which is meant to look like a regular shuffle but secretly leaves some cards in place. That allows the players involved in the conspiracy, who have been tracking the cards, to know when the unshuffled cards are dealt.
It was a scam used to great effect by the Tran Organization. The gang hit casinos all over the U.S., pocketing up to $7 million in false shuffle mini-baccarat and blackjack games. The organization was ultimately brought down, and more than 40 people pleaded guilty to charges relating to the cheating scheme, including its founders, Phuong Quoc Trong and Van Thu Tran.
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.