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New Jersey Ranks 4th Highest Credit Card Balances


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Americans are more likely to pay with a credit card than with cash than ever before. With a credit card, consumers can buy now and pay later and earn rewards like cash back and travel points for meeting certain spending thresholds. While credit cards have obvious appeal, they can also be dangerous, and easy credit appears to be saddling a growing number of Americans with considerable consumer debt.

According to the Federal Reserve, Americans owe a record $1.04 trillion in credit card debt. That’s up from less than $854 billion five years ago. According to Ted Rossman, an industry analyst at research group, about 40% of Americans have enough income to pay off their balance  and do so in full every month. For them, a high credit card balance is not a problem.

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Reader says , “time is money and money is finding other places to live”


Go west (or south) young families as leaving Ridgewood is sad but apparently, financially prudent. State and local governments have little leeway to manage their budgets given their contractual salary, healthcare and pension obligations. Population trends, prevailing taxes, and budget stress are tell tale signs that our Village and State’s financial problems are not revenue but expense related. Decades long deficits and massive unfunded pension obligations are proof that state and local fiscal strategies are out of sync.

Unlike the private sector, government wage and benefit payouts are not flexible. They increase with the passage of time. We in the Village have been served this sandwich for years and now people are moving faster to greener pastures that offer a different menu. With that said, it is encouraging that some of our state level elected officials recognize our financial crisis for what it is, as a spending problem. It would be nice to hear that locally…Our only hope is that the same political and perhaps certain union leaders will act bravely to modify current arrangements that mitigate growing budget deficits. In this matter, all interests are aligned.

Real and sustainable fiscal management is difficult to implement. It takes compromise and commitment but the resulting policy changes are not hard to understand. Some are obvious such as i) 401Ks for new hires versus a pension, ii) altering timing on pension payouts, iii) means based health care programs versus the gold standard regardless of house hold income, and iv) eliminating revenue draining white elephant projects such as municipally run/owned parking garages. (Sorry, I could not help myself.)

It is likely naive of me to hope that our leaders (again be they elected or union leaders) will deflect our current financial trajectory But it is a must because it is the only way to ensure what was contracted is delivered. A deal is a deal and we should stand by what we agreed to pay. However, all have to recognize that will be true only if there is money to pay for what was promised. The balance is we all have a line in the sand on how much more we will pay to support current services.

My comments are not intended to offend anyone. Their purpose is to be a call to action and compromise because I love it here. I enjoy my neighbors, the schools, teachers, the community, and I don’t want to bailout when my kids are off to college. I want to be apart of the solution and not just a piggy bank. I know others feel the same but we will vote with our feet if our leaders lead poorly and without reasonable foresight.

Village Counsel and union leaders, is there a willingness to make reasonable contractual changes now before it is too late or do you prefer the status quo? Your responses and actions are very powerful. Your decisions will dictate how fast our tax base erodes and how the Village will deliver on the benefits of your bargain. I respectfully suggest that your challenge is now because time is money and money is finding other places to live.

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Reader says ,”many of us are selling our homes and moving out not because we want to we have to survive”


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You know it’s a shame because so many of us love small towns and love New Jersey. But it’s just too expensive to live in the state. What the hell happened so many of us are selling our homes and moving out not because we want to we have to to survive. Especially the retirees they’re not going to give their pension checks for taxes .why would anybody do that even if they have the funds. It just doesn’t make sense.

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New Jersey Rated 2nd Worse Place to Retire

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the staff of he Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to MoneyWise , New Jersey is the second worse place to retire . MoneyWise  says New Jersey is  No. 2 on our list because the Garden State can take a serious financial toll on retirees. That’s despite its charming suburbs and small cities, its pretty beach towns and its golf links galore for your amusement.

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Both blacks and whites are leaving N.J.’s largest county, data shows

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By Myles Ma | NJ Advance Media for
on December 13, 2016 at 10:48 AM, updated December 13, 2016 at 12:59 PM

Bergen County has grown more diverse in the period since the recession, fostering growing Hispanic and Asian populations, but has also shed white and especially black residents.

The black population fell by more than 7 percent in Bergen County when comparing Census data from 2005-2009 and 2010-2015. The white population fell by more than 5 percent.

Anthony Cureton, president of the Bergen County chapter of the NAACP, said many black people he knows have moved to the South, where it’s cheaper.

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$100 in New Jersey is worth only $87.34


August 5,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ , new map shows $100 is not what it used to be ,this map shows how much $100 is worth in each state.

Prices for the same goods are often much cheaper in states like Missouri or Ohio than they are in states like New York or California. As a result, the same amount of cash can buy you comparatively more in a low-price state than in a high-price state.

The piece also explains what this means for people’s checkbooks and for public policy.

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New Jersey Must Focus on Cutting Spending All of our futures depend on it


March 30,2016
Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi

Ridgewood NJ, When looking at why the cost of living in New Jersey is so absurdly high, it is imperative to understand actual numbers for spending around the State.

Anyone following the proposed Atlantic City bankruptcy and/or takeover is probably trying to understand how Atlantic City got to this point. Most people are unaware that the population of Atlantic City consists of only 39,500 residents and 6,679 school age children. Yet, the municipal budget is $262,000,000 equaling spending of $26,531.64 per household of 4 people.

Likewise the school budget is $166,000,000 which equals an average spending of $24,887.56 per child. In other words, for a family of 4 with two school age children, the governmental and school spending in Atlantic City equals $76,306.76 per household. We must cut spending and figure out a better way. All of our futures depend on it.

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Record number of N.J. residents living in poverty, study finds


Record number of N.J. residents living in poverty, study finds

More New Jersey residents are in poverty now than in the past five decades and the outlook for the future is bleak, according to a report released Sunday, which aims to redefine the definition of poor in the state. MaryAnn Spoto, Read more

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Gas and food surge sends May prices on a tear



U.S. producer prices in May recorded their biggest increase in more than 2-1/2 years as the cost of gasoline and food rose, suggesting that an oil-driven downward drift in prices was nearing an end.

The Labor Department said on Friday its producer price index for final demand increased 0.5 percent last month, the largest gain since September 2012. That followed a 0.4 percent decline in April.

In the year to May, the PPI fell 1.1 percent, marking the fourth straight 12-month decrease. Prices dropped 1.3 percent in the 12 months through April, the biggest fall since 2010.

Economists had forecast the PPI rising 0.4 percent last month and falling 1.1 percent from a year ago.

A sharp decline in crude oil prices since last year and a strong dollar have weighed on producer prices. While rising oil prices are easing some of the downward pressure on inflation, the upward trend in producer prices will be gradual because of the dollar’s strength.

The greenback has gained about 13.2 percent against the currencies of the United States’ main trading partners since June 2014.

The stabilization in producer prices should support views that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year.

Last month, gasoline prices surged 17 percent, the largest increase since August 2009. Food prices rose 0.8 percent in May, the biggest gain in just over a year, snapping five straight months of declines.

Higher food prices were driven by a shortage of eggs after an outbreak of bird flu led to the culling of millions of chickens. Wholesale egg prices soared a record 56.4 percent last month.

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More expected to flee New Jersey as baby boomers age


More expected to flee New Jersey as baby boomers age

For Raymond Francisco, landing a job at the General Motors auto plant in Linden at 25 years old was like winning the lottery.

The New Brunswick native was a welder by trade, and enjoyed working hard for the good money he made at the plant. But when GM announced in 2002 it would close the factory — about six years after he started — Francisco decided he had to go where the jobs were.

That meant packing up his wife, two small children and moving to Lordstown, Ohio, where GM offered him another job at an assembly plant.

People are leaving New Jersey at a higher rate than 47 other states, just behind New York, which is No. 1, and Illinois, according to James Hughes, a demographer and dean of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. (Kachmar/Asbury Park Press)