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The Latest Business Headlines

    A vacation rental company is hiring for a job that sounds like a dream for many. Glamour magazine reported that ThirdHome, which provides luxury vacation rentals, has listed what it’s calling the “best job on the planet” on its Facebook page. >> Read more trending news The three month contract position is for a “storyteller” who can blog, write and take photos of “up to twelve of the most luxurious homes,” according to the listing. The position pays $10,000 per month for three months and includes travel expenses. Pets can’t stay with the person chosen, but one person is allowed to come with the finalist while they travel, although they have to pay for their own expenses. Those interested are asked to send in a one-minute video to apply by March 30.  The full requirements on the job are on the ThirdHome Facebook page.
  •  A unique U-shaped building that could be the longest in the world might be coming to the United States. Plans for building “The Big Bend” could redefine the Manhattan skyline. >> Read more trending news “If we manage to bend our structure instead of bending the zoning rules of New York we would be able to create one of the most prestigious buildings in Manhattan,” design studio Oiio said in a news release. The building, which at 4,000 feet long, would be more than 1,000 feet longer than any other building in the world if stretched out. Plans call for an elevator that would travel in curves, horizontally and continuous loops. The world’s tallest building is currently the 2,722-foot-high Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates. The building's 163 floors went up in Dubai in 2010. The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.
  • MoneyTips It is hard to beat the convenience of a credit card for purchases, but does that same convenience make it worth paying your taxes by credit card? It might, but that depends on several factors involving money and time. The major ones are listed below. Fees – By law, the IRS cannot pay credit card transaction fees. As a result, credit card payments to the IRS are handled through secure third parties approved by the agency. See http://www.irs.gov/uac/Pay-Taxes-by-Credit-or-Debit-Card for a list of the approved payment processors and their fees. Credit card fees are percentage-based with a minimum “convenience fee” for smaller bills ranging from $2.50 to $2.69. Percentages range from 1.87% to 2.00% of the total tax bill depending on the vendor and the type of card used. You will also find debit card information for each listed vendor. Debit card t...
  • The news from retailers across the country this quarter has not been good.  More than two dozen stores and restaurants, including the likes of Macy's, Payless Shoes, Outback Steakhouse and Noodles and Company, have either closed locations or have announce plans to shutter stores across the country. As people choose e-commerce over shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, experts said customers can expect to see more deserted storefronts and “going out of business” signs. 'It's going to be a year of transition and a year of reckoning and a year of awakening for retailers,' said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analysis for the NPD Group. NPD Group conducts market research on consumer trends. More shoppers are eschewing retail outlets for the convenience of online shopping, made sweeter with deals from the likes of Amazon, which offers free shipping if you are an Amazon Prime member.  Amazon has seen the benefits of such features. In the fourth quarter of 2016, the company saw a 22 percent increase in revenue over the fourth quarter of 2015. U.S. shoppers spent a record high $91.7 billion online during the 2016 holiday season. While e-commerce is seen as quick and generally easy, a study conducted in 2013 by WD Partners showed that nearly 80 percent of respondents said instant gratification was what got them out of their homes and into the malls.  Here’s a list of 15 retailers that have announced store closings for 2017. American Apparel – all 110 stores closed CVS – closing 70 stores Chico – closing 120 stores Crocs – closing 160 stores Family Christian – closing all of its 240 stores  JCPenney – closing 138 stores Kmart – closing 108 stores Macy's – closing 63 stores Office Depot – closing 100 stores Payless Shoes – closing 400-500 stores Radio Shack – closing 552 stores Sears – closing 42 stores The Limited – closed 250 stores in January The Children’s Place – closing as many as 200 stores H.H. Gregg – closing 88 stores  Several restaurant chains have also announced they will be closing locations in 2017 as well. Forty “underperforming” Carrabba’s, Outback, Bonefish Grill and Flemings restaurants will be closing by the end of the year, according to the company that owns them. In 2016, chains Bob Evans, Logan’s Roadhouse, Old Country Buffet and Ruby Tuesday all announced restaurant closings.
  • MoneyTips In his first few weeks in office, President Trump has issued multiple executive orders covering a range of topics, and done so with great fanfare. He has established himself as a man of action — but how will his actions affect labor and the workplace? Predicting Trump's strategy is difficult, if not impossible, but we can make some reasonable guesses based on his actions so far. First, consider if his presence affects whether or not you have a workplace at all. Even before he assumed office, Trump made it quite clear that he would single out individual companies planning to move operations overseas, overstepping traditional presidential bounds (and possibly his legal authority). If you are a traditional factory worker in labor-intensive fields, President Trump may indirectly save your job. The President's trade policy may also affect the viability of your workplace, in either a positive or a negative fashion. Those who primarily import their goods or raw material...
  • MoneyTips Contributing to a retirement account can be difficult for lower income households, but one can argue that it is even more important for those families to take advantage of all the retirement savings options that are possible. One of the lesser-known options applies directly to lower-income families – the retirement savings tax credit. Note that this program is a tax credit and not a deduction, meaning that the amount you qualify for is subtracted directly from the taxes that you owe. The credit applies to most retirement plans – 401(k)s, IRAs (both Roth and Traditional), 403(b)s, 457(b)s, SIMPLE IRAs, SARSEPs, and other plans. It does not apply to rollover contributions, and any recent distributions that you received from these plans can reduce the amount of your credit. A tax credit of up to $1,000 is possible on $2,000 in contributions (or $2,000 credit on $4,000 in contributions if married filing jointly). Even better, for traditional 401(k) and IRA plans, you can also claim the deduction for contributing as well as receiving the tax credit – so you benefit on your tax form both above and below the line. (For Roth IRAs, you can only receive the credit, but not a tax deduction since Roth IRAs use after-tax dollars). The credit is scaled by income, and eligibility is capped by limits on Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). For tax year 2016, those limits are $61,500 for married filing jointly, $46,125 for head of household, and $30,750 for all other filers. You can claim a full 50% of the contribution if your income is under $37,000 for married filing jointly, $27,750 as the head of your household, and $18,500 for all other filers. The next tier is 20% of your contributions at these ranges: $37,001 to $40,000 for married filing jointly, $27,751 to $30,000 as the head of household, and $18,501 to $20,000 for single filers. You can receive a tax credit equal to 10% of your contributions at the following income ranges: $40,001 to $62,000 for married filing jointly, $30,001 to $46,500 as the head of household, and $20,001 to $31,000 for single filers. This tax credit is non-refundable, so if other credits have already wiped out your tax liability, you will not be able to claim this credit. To qualify, you also need to be at least age 18 and not a full-time student or claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return. You are considered a full-time student if you were enrolled as such during part of any five calendar months (effectively a semester). Mechanical, technical and trade schools are all included within that definition, but on-the-job training and correspondence or Internet-only schools do not. Make sure that your contribution takes place in the correct tax period. For IRAs and plans not associated with the workplace, you have up until the filing deadline for a particular tax year to make the contributions (in other words, you can contribute until April 2017 and count it on your 2016 taxes). For 401(k)s and other workplace plans, contributions generally need to take place within that calendar year. For further details on qualifications, see IRS Form 8880, 'Credit For Qualified Retirement Savings Contributions'. The instructions walk you through the figuring of the credit and the credit limit worksheet, as well as all of the qualifications and limitations. A 2016 study from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies noted that only one in three Americans were aware of this tax credit. Sadly, these include workers with incomes below $61,500, the people who are most likely to qualify for and claim this credit. If you are in this lower-income range, it is even more important that you check out all of your options for tax credits – not only the retirement savings credit, but also any others that apply to your situation. However, because of the triple benefits of tax credits, deductions from taxable income in most cases, and an increase in your tax-deferred retirement accounts, the Retirement Savings Tax Credit should be on the top of your list. Let the free MoneyTips Retirement Planner help you calculate when you can retire without jeopardizing your lifestyle. Calculate your tax bracket. Photo ©iStockphoto.com/skynesher Originally Posted at: https://www.moneytips.com/retirement-savings-tax-creditTaking your first minimum IRA distributionTraditional vs. Roth IRAs and 401(k)sSIMPLE IRAs 101
  • MoneyTips Contributing to a retirement account can be difficult for lower income households, but one can argue that it is even more important for those families to take advantage of all the retirement savings options that are possible. One of the lesser-known options applies directly to lower-income families – the retirement savings tax credit. Note that this program is a tax credit and not a deduction, meaning that the amount you qualify for is subtracted directly from the taxes that you owe. The credit applies to most retirement plans – 401(k)s, IRAs (both Roth and Traditional), 403(b)s, 457(b)s, SIMPLE IRAs, SARSEPs, and other plans. It does not apply to rollover contributions, and any recent distributions that you received from these plans can reduce the amount of your credit. A tax credit of up to $1,000 is possible on $2,0...
  • MoneyTipsA significant debt or a sexually transmitted disease (STD): which one would be a bigger deal breaker in a potential dating partner? A recent survey conducted by SoFi found that, for a surprising number of millennials, the answer is debt. Nobody would be eager to disclose either one of those conditions to a potential mate, but the SoFi survey found that if given a choice between disclosing an STD or their level of debt, 39% of millennials would choose to reveal the STD. This age group was greatly affected by the Great Recession, and it appears that their aversion to debt is strong. Even if a millennial finds a partner that will accept debt, he or she must understand how the debt can affect the relationship. Certified Financial Planner® Leisa Peterson offers money management advice that is applicable to bringing debt to a relationship: 'Take a moment to...really understand not just how they feel about it, but also how it's affecting the other person.' Someone who loves you in spite of your debt may be reluctant to discuss it honestly with you. Debt has more tangible effects on a relationship, especially with respect to joint accounts. Excessive debt can harm your credit score. While the credit histories and scores of both participants in a relationship are separate, joint accounts are not by definition. 'If you apply for joint credit,' says Rod Griffin, Director of Public Education at Experian, 'both of [your] credit histories are going to be considered, and as a result, your bad history could drag down your ability to qualify for joint accounts, mortgage loans, and other kinds of joint agreements.' You can check your credit score and read your credit report for free within minutes using Credit Manager by MoneyTips. It's important to deal with debt as soon as possible, because the same compounding principles that make your investments grow will also make your debts grow if you don't take immediate steps to correct the situation. If you are a millennial dealing with deal-breaking debt, how do you go about correcting the situation to avoid scaring off potential mates? We can offer some advice on debt relief (but not STD relief). Start with a realization: if you didn't have enough discipline to avoid excessive debt in the first place, you probably will not be able to get out of that debt without some help and advice. Author and Financial Educator Tiffany 'The Budgetnista' Aliche puts it bluntly: 'Get a professional to help you...just like you wouldn't set your own leg if you broke it, don't fix your own money [problems] by yourself if you have not been educated in how to do so.' A wide variety of financial experts could help you, but make sure you do research on any expert that you choose. Anyone can claim to be an expert. Ask for certifications and references as proof. Are you more of a DIY sort? Remember Aliche's advice, and educate yourself on basic budgeting. A realistic budget is the baseline for any debt reduction program. By setting a budget, you must analyze your income and expenses in detail over an extended period of time, and you will start to see where money can be saved. After tracking expenses for a short time, you will be amazed at how much the little expenses add up. Budgeting will also establish the habits of dedicating a certain amount of your income to reducing your debt and making that debt reduction a priority. Sticking to a budget will eventually become a habit itself. Your new skills will change your former debt liability into an attractive money management asset for any potential mate. We leave you with a final bit of advice about both debt and STDs — your best line of defense is prevention. Both situations are easy to acquire; both are difficult (and potentially painful) to eradicate. If you want to reduce your interest payments and lower your debt, try the free Debt Optimizer by MoneyTips. Photo ©iStockphoto.com/izusek Originally Posted at: https://www.moneytips.com/whats-worse-debt-or-herpes/1284 Ways Your Love Life Can Affect Your Credit RatingHow To Marry A DebtorConsequences Of The Millennial/Debt Relationship
  • MoneyTips A significant debt or a sexually transmitted disease (STD): which one would be a bigger deal breaker in a potential dating partner? A recent survey conducted by SoFi found that, for a surprising number of millennials, the answer is debt. Nobody would be eager to disclose either one of those conditions to a potential mate, but the SoFi survey found that if given a choice between disclosing an STD or their level of debt, 39% of millennials would choose to reveal the STD. This age group was greatly affected by the Great Recession, and it appears that their aversion to debt is strong. Even if a millennial finds a partner that will accept debt, he or she must understand how the debt can affect the relationship. Certified Financial Planner® Leisa Peterson offers money management advice that is applicable to b...
  • Forbes has released its annual list of the richest people in the world, but President Donald Trump’s position on the list has dramatically declined. USA Today reported that Trump’s ranking dramatically fell 220 slots from No. 324 to No. 544. That ranking is a 20-way tie. >> Read more trending news At No. 1 for the fourth year in a row is Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, 61, whose net worth increased over $10 billion from $75 billion to $86 billion. Warren Buffet is in the second spot. His net worth increased $14.8 billion from 60.8 billion in 2016 to $75.6 billion, according to Forbes. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had a significant net worth increase from $45.2 to $72.8 billion and closes out the top three. Here are the top 10 richest people in the world, according to Forbes: Bill Gates: $86 billion  Warren Buffett: $75.6 billion  Jeff Bezos: $72.8 billion Amancio Ortega: $71.3 billion  Mark Zuckerberg: $56 billion Carlos Slim Helu: $54.5 billion  Larry Ellison: $52.2 billion Charles Koch: $48.3 billion David Koch: $48.3 billion Michael Bloomberg: $47.5 billion

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • For the second time in less than 24 hours, police have swarmed the Las Vegas Strip after at least one person was killed in a shooting near the Cosmopolitan hotel and casino. >> Related: Burglary at Bellagio Hotel and Casino prompts lockdown on Vegas strip Police said Saturday afternoon that the situation was not an active shooter situation.  The suspect peacefully surrendered around 6 p.m., according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. >> Read more trending news Around 11:30 a.m. Las Vegas police reported that they were investigating a shooting that occurred on South Las Vegas Boulevard. Authorities believed an individual who was on a bus that was traveling on the strip is responsible for the shooting. Police closed portions of the strip, and set up a staging area and a barricade. Guests at the Cosmopolitan resort were evacuated. Shortly after 11 a.m., KSNV reported that at least one victim of a shooting had been transported to University Medical Center trauma in unknown condition. At 1 p.m. Saturday, authorities reported a second victim had been killed. According to USA Today, police evacuated the nearby Cosmopolitan hotel and casino shortly after 1 p.m. “The shooting incident happened on the bus,” said Larry Hadfield, a spokesman with Las Vegas Metro police. “We had one single shooting incident with two victims. Both were transported to the trauma center and one is deceased.” Hadfield said police were negotiating with the suspect Saturday afternoon in an effort to take him into custody, USA Today reported. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 
  • Las Vegas police are investigating a burglary at a retail store in the Bellagio Hotel and Casino after an incident that occurred overnight Friday, The Associated Press reported.  >> Read more trending news Police said Saturday they believe at least three people entered the store. It was not immediately clear what items were stolen. The store was closed at the time of the burglary.  Authorities said the suspects broke into a high-end jewelry and watch store, where they may have used sledgehammers to break into the shop's jewelry cases. A witness said she saw an armed burglar wearing a pig mask near a Rolex store. Authorities said they are reviewing surveillance tape, where they saw multiple suspects wearing “character masks,” ABC News reported. According to ABC News, the Bellagio was on lockdown for approximately a half-hour after the incident. Police initially thought at least one of the theives may have fired gunshots during the burglary, but later said they believed the sound of the sledgehammers breaking the jewelry cases may have been confused for gunshots. Guests fled the hotel and casino in the midst of the incident. No one was injured.  Police have taken one suspect into custody.  Portions of the Bellagio were closed Saturday as police continue to investigate.
  • A couple has been indicted on accusations that they murdered their deaf teenage son and then burned down their house to cover up the crime, the Associated Press reported. >> Read more trending news  According to the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office in New York, Ernest F. Franklin II, 35, and his wife, Heather Franklin, 33, of Guilford, New York, were charged with second-degree murder, arson and tampering with physical evidence. The two were indicted Friday on charges of second-degree murder in the death of their adopted son, 16-year-old Jeffrey Franklin, People magazine reported. Following an investigation of a fire on March 1 at the family’s 1,300-square-foot home, the couple was arrested. Investigators believe they set fire to their home to cover up the killing of their son. An autopsy determined he died prior to the fire, according to the sheriff’s office. Local law authorities have not said how or when the boy was killed. The Franklins got married in 2011 and adopted Jeffrey six or seven years ago, the sheriff’s office said. According to People magazine, Ernest is an Iraq War veteran. Heather wrote in posts on her Facebook page that she is pregnant. The Franklins are being held without bail. They entered a plea of not guilty. “People are asking themselves, ‘How could this happen?'” Chenango County Sheriff Ernest Cutting Jr. told People magazine. “Certainly for the public here, it’s a mix of anger and frustration and disappointment.” Just days before Heather Franklin was arrested, she posted an update on her Facebook page about how much she missed her son, who she called JR. She also informed friends and family that she and her husband had added their “needs” and “wants” to the CheckedTwice.com Family Gift Registry because they lost everything in the fire. A GoFundMe page was also established, but it has been taken down. The Associated Press reported that police who responded to a 911 call about 1:15 a.m. on March 1 found the Franklin’s house, located about an hour away from Syracuse, engulfed in flames. Jeffrey was inside and unable to escape the fire, according to the sheriff’s office. Authorities initially said the cause of the fire appeared to be a wood stove, the residence’s main heating source. “People are wondering how anybody could do something so brutal to a developmentally disabled and handicapped 16-year-old boy,” Cutting told People. “There are a lot of people who would have taken him. There are organizations that would have taken care of him. Why resort to that? … It’s just a terrible, terrible tragedy.”
  • North Carolina police said they have found the bodies of two missing children Saturday morning in Hoke County. >> Read more trending news  Fayetteville police had been searching for 2-year-old Serenity and 4-day-old Genesis Freeman overnight Friday. They were in their father's custody when they disappeared and he reportedly refused to tell police where the children were. Tillman Freeman, 30, was first charged with two counts of child abuse and child neglect.  When their bodies were found in a wooded area off of Highway 211, two counts of first-degree murder were added to those charges. The children's mother was in the hospital at the time the children went missing for an unrelated reason.
  • After the collapse of health care reform legislation in the House on Friday, Republicans in the Congress and President Donald Trump now must decide what’s next on their respective agendas, as the GOP tries to pick up the pieces from a very public legislative failure over an issue that had been their central political focus for the last seven years. Here’s the look from Capitol Hill. 1. The first big setback for the Trump agenda. You can try to downplay what happened, but there was little positive to take from this health care debacle in the House. “I will not sugarcoat this; this is a disappointing day for us,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan after the vote was canceled. President Trump tried to blame Democrats, but that rang hollow since the White House had done no serious outreach to the other party. With this setback, it’s even more apparent how little has been done so far by the GOP Congress with respect to the Trump Agenda. Other than approving a series of plans to reverse specific regulations of the Obama Administration, no bills of any import have been passed. Infrastructure, jobs bills, tax cuts, cutting government – all of that sounds good – but so far, no action. And Trump wrote 'The Art of the Deal' — Bill Mitchell (@JerseyGuy_Bill) March 25, 2017 2. Trump allies turn their sights on Speaker Ryan. It wasn’t hard to hear the low rumbling of some supporters of President Trump, as they used the Friday health care debacle to immediately try to make Speaker Ryan the scapegoat. Ann Coulter bluntly said, “Ryan is not on Trump’s side.” Pro-Trump websites like InfoWars and Breitbart immediately attacked Ryan as well, with some conservatives urging the House Freedom Caucus to help dump Ryan, arguing that he is the perfect illustration of the Republican Establishment that needs to be excised from Swamp of Washington, D.C. Paul Ryan is not on @POTUS' side – https://t.co/QVOHBDIKiT #KilledTheBill #FunFactFriday — Alex Jones (@RealAlexJones) March 24, 2017 3. Full repeal of Obamacare needs 60 votes in the Senate. If Republicans couldn’t muster a majority in the House – how are they going to get 60 votes in the Senate to really change the bulk of the Obama health law? The answer – they’re not going to do that any time soon. But full repeal was still the mantra from a number of Republicans as the House GOP health care bill went down the tubes on Friday. “I remain committed to repealing Obamacare and replacing it with conservative reforms,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN). “Congress should take its time and pass a good bill that actually repeals ObamaCare,” said Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). But the truth is, unless Republicans get 60 votes in the 2018 elections, an Obama health law repeal bill faces a difficult road in the Congress. I applaud House conservatives for keeping their word to the American people. I look forward to passing full repeal https://t.co/ftyj6sCw0v — Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 24, 2017 4. This fight on health care is already over? It seems hard to believe that Republicans are just going to drop the issue of health care reform, especially after making it such a central part of their political message in recent years. But President Trump seemed to send the signal that he is going to focus his political capital on other issues, like tax reform. “That one is going to be fun,” the President said earlier this week, as his Treasury Secretary predicted a final tax bill would on the President’s desk by early August. The last time Congress approved major tax reform was 1986. There’s a reason it hasn’t happened in over 30 years. It is not easy. And the lobbyists of Gucci Gulch will be ready. President Trump says tax reform is the next item on his agenda https://t.co/dLNduSPgl6 — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) March 24, 2017 5. This wasn’t really much of an effort. The White House said the President “left everything on the field” to get a health care bill. But it doesn’t look like that at all. Go back eight years, and Democrats were just launching their 13 month effort to forge what would become known as Obamacare. It went through the spring, summer, fall, winter, and then into the next spring of 2010, before being achieved. By contrast, the GOP introduced its health care bill on March 6 and gave up on March 24. Back in 2009 and 2010, Democrats struggled to keep their side together, but managed to get 60 votes for their package in the Senate. The GOP couldn’t even get a majority in the House. There is still time to go back to the drawing board. But it takes more than 18 days of work. Remember when Republicans promised they would try to fiddle with Obamacare for a few weeks and then give up? — Ramesh Ponnuru (@RameshPonnuru) March 24, 2017 6. Let the Republican finger pointing begin. One of the biggest immediate targets was the Freedom Caucus, the group of more conservative lawmakers which for years has been very good at holding out against the GOP leadership, but has done almost nothing in the way of substantive legislating. Some of that ire was aimed at Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the head of the Freedom Caucus. “Mark Meadows is more interested in being on the TV than solving problems,” fumed Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), who then aimed some more barbs at Meadows and pointedly made sure to tell a reporter – “You can quote me on that.” Exactly right. GOP & Trump own this,but @freedomcaucus & @Heritage_Action & others caused it. They are the pie-in-the-sky caucus. https://t.co/9tMcfk45ox — Brit Hume (@brithume) March 24, 2017 7. Don’t downplay the importance of this setback. Yes, it’s just one bill. Yes, it’s not the end of the world. But this failure was a big deal. Republicans have been talking for years about how they would repeal and replace the Obama health law. Donald Trump said he would do it right away. But for years, I have been reporting – and taking flak for saying – that while the GOP had lots of ideas, they didn’t have consensus on any plan. And that was obvious as they desperately tried to stitch together deals at the last minute to keep the bill moving. It’s pretty easy to lob verbal grenades at the other party – it’s a little different to offer substantive legislation and pass it. Humiliating defeat for GOP after years to prepare. Real blow to their argument that they could govern if only given the chance. — carl hulse (@hillhulse) March 24, 2017 8. This was not a good week for President Trump. It started Monday with the FBI Director publicly confirming that not only was there an investigation of how Russia meddled in last year’s election, but also a probe of any links between the Trump Campaign and Moscow. The FBI chief also made clear there was no evidence to back up Trump’s claim that he had been wiretapped in 2016. And the NSA shot down talk that British Intelligence had helped with surveillance on Trump Tower. Meanwhile, the Trump travel and refugee ban stayed on hold the courts, despite Mr. Trump’s declaration that judges were overstepping their authority. Then the week ended with a health care thud. Tomorrow's cover: Trump forced to cancel health care vote in stunning blow https://t.co/53Po4iXVbM pic.twitter.com/lEQe5Qc22g — New York Post (@nypost) March 24, 2017