Before the Financial Plan for Retirement


Much of the discussion on retirement comes in publications that focus on the best tools, investments and advisors for managing your retirement nest egg.  Those are important, but more important as a first step is to establish your choices on what you want to do during retirement and when retirement should start. For most, a […]

Navigating the Maze of Homeowner Insurance


Approximately 40% of the US population lives in a coastal county, and that percentage is expected to continue to increase over the next decade.  Their homes are often high value and face greater risks than properties further inland. According to the recent Storm Surge Report by CoreLogic, over 6.5 million homes along the Atlantic and […]

Potential Consumer Strategies for Impending Interest Rate Hikes

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The Federal Reserve Board (Fed) has kept short term interest rates near zero for several years.   Large banks were able to borrow at near zero rates and lend at higher rates for home mortgages, and for automobile buyers and for businesses.  The Fed governors intended to increase interest rates when inflation approached their discomfort level […]

Was Ending Flood Insurance Reforms Part of Eric Cantor’s Undoing?


A political earthquake struck Washington last week with Rep. Eric Cantor’s defeat in Virginia’s GOP primary. The stunning loss has already been blamed on a myriad of factors, from Cantor’s support for immigration reform to low turnout in the district. One angle that has gone unexamined, however, is Cantor’s critical role in undoing flood insurance reforms […]

ACI in Charlotte Observer: NC Auto Insurance System is Price Fixing


There has been some disagreement on how North Carolina’s auto insurance regulations affect consumers.  Those favoring the current system say that it keeps auto insurance rates low, while opponents say that it is an arcane regulatory system that stifles competition and requires good drivers to pay a hidden tax so that riskier drivers can pay […]

ACI Expert in the Charlotte Observer: Insurance Price Controls Stifle Innovation


There has been a great deal of heated discussion regarding auto insurance reform during the past several years.  The insurance industry is divided and parties are trying to make their case to legislators in the General Assembly.  It can’t be denied that the average premium for drivers is ranked as one of the lower in […]

ACI in Real Clear Policy: A Flood of Private Insurance


The National Flood Insurance Program is $25 billion in the red, and because many of its 2012 legislative reforms were rolled back with the passage of recent legislation, there is little hope that the fund will ever be financially solvent. However, a new approach could bring about some relief. This week, Representatives Dennis Ross and […]

Changing Attitudes toward Home Ownership

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Recent developments in the construction industry suggest the single family housing market may be recovering.  Closer examination leaves that in question.  Unemployment in the construction industry dropped from 1,077,000 in April 2013 to 796,000 in April 2014.  Since construction’s employment trough in January 2011, it has recovered 568,000 jobs.  Despite a sizeable increase in payroll […]

Home Bittersweet Home


For decades housing was a buoyant force in our economy. Lately it has been a dead-weight in the lives of many who are in or who are approaching retirement.  Their retirement portfolios are not generating enough income to pay the bills, and because of spotty employment, many are failing to make regular contributions.  A generation […]

ACI in the Tallahassee Democrat: Preparing for Hurricane Season


Will Florida be storm-free for another hurricane season? Members of the Florida Legislature must think so, as they have once again hesitated to demonstrate fiscal prudence and protect Florida consumers from the ongoing and unfair financial mess known as the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (Cat Fund). There is a great opportunity for reform of the […]