Get your kids to fund their nest eggs and Big bucks = bigger NCAA brackets

But as a parent, you don’t want your child to end up behind. And with fewer workers being offered corporate pension plans, individual savings are increasingly important in determining quality of life in retirement. As for convincing your kid of this …

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You know that time is a powerful factor in building wealth. But does your child? Demonstrate with numbers: A 25-year-old saving $250 a month before taxes — the equivalent of $188 after taxes in the 25% bracket — will have $656,000 by age 65, assuming a 7% average annual return; if he instead waits until 35 to start saving, he needs to stash more than $500 a month to get to the same amount.

Use the calculators on our website, at, to run more scenarios. Share your own experiences too. If you’ve been a disciplined saver, explain what it means for your retirement; if not, say what the consequences might be, says Atlanta financial planner Mary Claire Allvine. [Read the full article]

Who’s going to win this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament? Your guess is as good as ours. Probably better, actually.

But here’s one March Madness guarantee you can count on: the wildly popular tournament is going to generate tons of cash for the NCAA. And that’s why an expanded tournament is likely, possibly as soon as next year.

The 65-team tournament will bring in roughly $650 million for the NCAA this year — with the vast majority of that coming from broadcast rights payments from CBS.

That money basically funds the entire operation of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and is the financial lifeblood of many smaller schools’ athletic departments.

The big schools get most of that money. And more often than not, the more profitable programs make it to the Final Four over so-called Cinderellas. But profits aren’t a guarantee of success. There are plenty of big money schools not in this year’s tournament. [Read the full article]

Here’s the breakdown on the revenue, expenses and profits of all the Division I college basketball programs.

The comparison between basketball revenues and profits is interesting, but not precise. That’s because schools have latitude in their filings with the Department of Education in whether they attribute some expenses and revenues to a specific sport or a more general classification for their entire athletic department.

Many schools use that latitude to have revenue and expenses for one sport equal one another rather than show a profit or a loss, a trick of accounting that wouldn’t pass muster with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Some schools even make their programs look worse. Duke University, a top seed in this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament, reported the largest loss of any men’s basketball program last year after years of annual profits in the $4 million to $5 million range. [Read the full article]

Consumer prices in February rose from a year ago amid higher energy costs, but the pace of price increases slowed for the second straight month, the government reported Thursday.

The Consumer Price Index, the government’s key inflation measure, rose 2.1% over the past 12 months, driven by a 37% climb in gasoline costs during the period. In January, prices climbed 2.6% from the previous year.

The so-called core CPI, which is closely watched by economists because it strips out volatile food and energy prices, rose 1.3% over the past year, the smallest gain since February 2004.

February. For the month, overall prices were unchanged as declining energy prices offset increases in prices of food and other items. Economists surveyed by were expecting prices to rise 0.1%. Prices rose 0.2% in January.

Food costs edged up 0.1% during the month, while energy prices fell for the first time since April 2009, posting a 0.5% decline. [Read the full article]

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