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Health and Habits

I recently found out that in my whole group of friends here, I’m the only one who regularly schedules dentist appointments. A few of my friends still go to the dentist, but only because their parents schedule appointments for them. The rest don’t go at all!

I don’t get it. My parents had me calling to schedule my own dentist’s appointments and doctor’s appointments since I was very young, and they made it clear that it was important to go. My friends may not have been so lucky, but I’m shocked by the result. Is it common for people to skip things like dental care as adults? What can I do to get my friends back on the right track?

Making regular appointments with doctors, dentists, and relevant specialists is a huge part of living a healthy life. It’s important to be healthy in your personal life, too, of course, and we should all eat healthy and exercise. But we can’t wait until we’re sick to visit the doctor, or until we have a cavity to visit the dentist–that’s a path to pricier care and worse overall health, professionals say. It’s a shame, then, that only about 65 percent of adults regularly go to the dentist. Numbers related to medical care are a bit better, but still not great: we should all be visiting our primary care physician, our dentist, and relevant specialists at least once a year.

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Helping Through Healthcare

My father was a doctor, and growing up he told me two things: first, that I should choose a career that helps people; and second, that I should not be a doctor, because his hours were terrible.

And they really were terrible–he was on call for the emergency room a lot when I was growing up, and I didn’t get to see him as much as I would have liked. So I’m pretty sure I don’t want to be a doctor like him, but I do want to help people, and I am drawn to healthcare. What can the experts tell me about careers in healthcare that can help me make an impact like doctors can–without having to work their hours?

There are plenty of ways to help people, and just as many ways to turn a calling into a career. If you feel strongly about helping others heal and stay healthy through your work, you should have no trouble finding a job that fits the bill–even if you may have some trouble, as you point out, finding one that fits your schedule!

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Property Prices

I’ve always dreamed of owning my own home. Where I’m from, just about everyone does! It’s hard for me to imagine having an apartment and paying rent rather than enjoying a whole house and paying a mortgage. I always understood owning a house to be the smarter financial decision of those two options, too.

I was pretty young back when the 2008 crash happened, but I know that a couple of my family members ended up in some rough spots with their mortgages. I think some of them just stopped paying and walked away, even though they could afford it, and I never understood that. Why not just pay off the house and sell it? Now that I’m in college, I’m trying to understand a bit more about how all of this works. I don’t want to ask the family members themselves, so I’m asking the experts instead!

On the surface, mortgages are pretty simple things. They’re loans that allow the borrower(s) to buy a house. The house is collateral for the loan, so if the borrowers don’t pay back the bank, the bank can foreclose on the house. That’s it–but an in-depth look reveals some more complications.

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Gauche Gifts

For relatives like uncles and aunts, my siblings and I usually work together to buy gifts. We like to send something that is easy to send by mail–chocolates, centerpieces, stuff like that. But my aunt’s birthday is coming up, and we’re feeling a little weird this year because we know that she’s in a ton […]

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House of God

My grandmother has gotten very involved in a large church back home. My family has no problem with that–most of us are at least somewhat religious. But we’re worried about my grandmother’s finances, because she has started to give a ton of money to this church. She gives constantly, and my parents recently discovered that she took out a reverse mortgage on her house to cover the costs. My family and I don’t want to interfere with my grandmother’s religious life, but we’re concerned. What can we do?

It is not unusual for your Grandmother to be giving money to her church, of course. Churches have asked for donations for as long as they’ve existed, and churchgoing Americans of all stripes contribute. The trend is more notable with so-called “megachurches,” where donations can range between an average of $1,368 and $1,865 per person depending, some studies suggest, on the age of the church.

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House Headaches

My grandmother recently bought a new home in my hometown (Chicago), and it has been nothing but a disaster. It’s in a bad neighborhood, but worse than that, things are dangerous inside the house! According to my parents, the place has exposed wiring, problems with some plumbing fixtures, and possibly even foundation issues. I’m concerned that the seller took advantage of my grandma. Does she have any way out of this?

It is a shame that your grandma did not end up with the house she wanted. While the real estate industry is thriving–5.5 million existing homes were sold last year, the highest such number in a decade–it is always important to remember that buying a home is a big commitment, and that it is vital to do all the research you can before committing. Even when shopping in a town you know, it pays to work with real estate agents that know the area. Some of Chicago’s award-winning real estate experts make neighborhoods a key part of how they organize real estate listings. That makes sense, because location is key in real estate. The median price for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan is $2,090, but the same apartment would cost only $680 in Detroit.

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The Money Pit

Is purchasing an off campus house a good 4-year investment?

Buying a house is usually one of the largest purchases you ever make. Conversely, spending thousands of dollars on rental housing during college is good money lost. There are pros and cons for both renting and buying, so we will look at the big picture.

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A Time to Buy

Should I get a job after grad school or try to buy my own business?

This question touches everyone dreaming of running their own business after college rather than getting a salaried job. The majority of grads will follow the traditional path in their working lives with a position at somebody else’s company. But owning and managing your own business has both pros and cons as we will discuss.

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Table for One

I was homeschooled from 6th through 12th grade and starting college this semester. What do I need to know to make this a smooth transition?

With an estimated 2.3 million home-schooled students in America, many of these students have concerns about making the transition to a college-learning environment. Most homeschooled students flourish in college, with some research suggesting that these students actually achieve higher GPAs than their freshman counterparts. However, the social elements and shift from one-on-one attention to a larger learning center are things that the homeschooled student will face. Acknowledging the potential issues and concerns can help to smooth the transition.

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New internet start-ups are dominated by men, which makes me hesitant to work on my idea. Why are there so few women entrepreneurs?

While your observation is correct, the good news is that female entrepreneurship is on the rise. Our culture is growing more robust with enterprising women equipped with knowledge, inspiration, creativity and funding. The rate of women entrepreneurs has been increasing at a percentage at least double that of males. But the gender composition of our culture’s most influential leaders indicates that there is still a way to go. Differences among the genders in terms of work experience, resources, deep-rooted biases, and social ties are a few of the issues that you need to overcome.