Student Loans


44 percent of those with student loan debt are not aware that nonprofits offer free or low-cost counseling for borrowers. (Source: NeighborWorks America survey of 1,000 U.S. adults.)


Henry Clay Eulogy

[To comment:]

Read by Larry Litwin on behalf of the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association at Henry Clay’s funeral on July 7.

First I’d like to acknowledge your late pastor Reverend Britt Stargell. I miss his advice, counsel and friendship.

When I got the call last Saturday, the news of Henry’s passing hit me like a brick. I couldn’t sleep Saturday night. Like all of you, I am broken hearted. BUT, I am an optimist and continue to be – because Henry is in a better place.

Where do I start? How about at the beginning…when we first met – where else, but in a press box? This one…during a Phillies’ game at the Vet.

What kind of person was Henry Clay? Let me read from an email colleague Phil Neuman sent me soon after hearing of Henry’s passing: Phil speaks for many of us…

        “This IS sad news,” wrote Phil. He said Henry was very good to him…especially when he first started in Philly back in the mid-80s. It was Henry who showed Phil how things worked in South Philly…little things like where to plug in his microphone during post-game news conferences and what rooms were used for other interviews.

        Phil remembers there were a number of times he had problems…a broken tape recorder or his microphone went bad … or he may have missed an interview because he was interviewing someone else. He said Henry would hang around and make sure Phil had what he needed…all stuff he didn’t HAVE to do….but just helped out anyway. Phil speaks for all of us when he says…Henry WILL be missed by plenty of people.

        My early memories of Henry are similar. While Phil met Henry in the 80s, I go back even further – to the late 70s. A few years later, I was one of his sponsors to join the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association. His membership goes back nearly four decades. I will miss Henry because of his regular emails – containing information about Philadelphia media…and the Sports Writers Association.

        Before the days of email, it would be a Henry Clay phone call…just to assure I was in the know and wasn’t caught by surprise when changes were happening in radio, TV or in print.

Here are a couple of recent examples:

  • He was the first to tell me about the Philly Journalism Institute getting millions in new donations assuring The Inquirer would be around for years.
  • He wrote a mail telling me to “Be careful with PayPal. There’s a scam going on and HE – Henry, didn’t want the Sports Writers to lose any money because of the scam.
  • He wrote about Dawn Staley – South Carolina’s women’s basketball coach: He suggested, she’s got to be at next year’s banquet. Wrote Henry: I nominate Dawn Staley who just added another chapter in her unbelievable life as a basketball player, leading the South Carolina Lady Gamecocks to their first NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship. Getting her here will be difficult, he said, as they will be in the middle of conference play again. Just a thought, he said, she will be coaching in the USBA Basketball Season, this summer, but, she always comes into Philly for a girl’s summer league game no matter what she is doing. Maybe if she were chosen for the award, the presentation and speech could be pre-taped and shown at the banquet. If, she could be flown up here the night of the banquet and right back, I would think the ticket sales she would generate would offset a major part of the cost.
  • That was Henry – always thinking – not about himself – but of others.
  • He would mail me or call when one of the Sports Writers previous award winners was a guest on ESPN or another channel – or was interviewed on the radio and mentioned the Sports Writers Association and was among the first to call me when our colleague Frank Bertucci passed away unexpectedly. Henry would always say, “I just want to be sure YOU know so you can mass mail all the members.”
  • And: almost monthly, Henry would email me the Philadelphia radio ratings just so I could stay on top of the industry we love so much.

Henry – whose 73rd birthday would have been Aug. 19th –  spent years covering Philly sports…and thinking back to Phil Neuman’s experience…and mine, too, he certainly touched a lot of people – the athletes, writers and students who wanted to do what Henry did – cover the games we grew up playing and watching. There is no doubt in my mind, Henry – who faced personal challenges over years…as did many of us…  made a difference in this world and helped make it a better place for all of us. As we who are Jewish say of those who have passed: May Henry Clay forever be a BLESSED Memory.

[To comment:]

Firework safety tips

[To comment:]

  1. Do not allow children to light fireworks, even sparklers, without parental supervision.
  2. Do not allow young children to handle sparklers at all — certainly not those younger than 5, says Jefferson Hospital surgeon Randall W. Culp.
  3. Do not pick up firework debris. It might still go off.
  4. Avoid buying fireworks wrapped in brown paper. That often means they were made for professional displays, and are unsafe for regular consumers.
  5. Never position any part of your body over fireworks when lighting the fuse. Light them one at a time, then retreat to asafe distance immediately after lighting.
  6. Never point or throw fireworks at anyone.
  7. Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy to cool off used devices.
  8. Never shoot fireworks while holding them in your hand, or in metal or glass containers.

Sources: Consumer Product Safety Commission; Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

[To comment:]

Personal Finance — Some tips to help

[To comment:]

(From USA Today on Sunday, June 25, 2017)

From Robert Powell who suggests, “If you have to go it alone, use these tips to help you get started.” (See USA Today for full article.)

  • Knowledge is power
  • Build a budget
  • Set goals
  • Save as much as you can, as early as you can
  • Maximize the benefits you already have
  • Work with an adviser
  • (Powell is editor of Retirement Weekly and contributes regularly to USA Today.)

[To comment:]


Positive trend for small businesses

[To comment:]

(From USA Today and 2017 American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor survey of 700 USA small-business owners. Credit Jae Yang and Paul Trap, USA Today.)

Forty-five (45) percent of small -business owners are worried about their ability to save for retirement , down from 53 percent last year.

[To comment:]


Remote workers’ fear — “love”

[To comment:]

Psychologist Maxine Schnall once said, “Never love anything that can’t love you back.” Thus, one in six people have had a harder time “breaking up” with their car than ending their first relationship (CarMax survey of 3,044 drivers 18 and older) from USA Today – Michael B. Smith and Paul Trap.

– 0 –

Sixty-two percent of remote workers fear that other employees do not think they are working as hard as them. (Polycom survey of 25,234 employees) from USA Today – Jae Yang and Janet Loehrke

[To comment:]

Finance by the numbers…

[To comment:]

Reasons people age 50 and older give adult children money — according to Robert Powell, USA Today

  • Don’t know. Just give money = 36%
  • Rent/mortgage/home purchase = 20%
  • Cellphone bill = 18%
  • Purchase or lease a car = 17%
  • Education expenses = 15%
  • Health care expenses = 15%
  • Pay down debt = 13%
  • Insurance = 11%
  • Student loans = 11%
  • Credit card bills = 10%
  • Legal matter = 9%

Credit score analysis from Experian and Jae Yano and Janet Loehrke, USA Today

  • Payment history = 35%
  • Amount owed = 30%
  • Length of credit history = 15%
  • Credit mix = 10%                         
  • New credit = 10%                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               [To comment:]

Emergencies happen — here’s how to be prepared

[To comment:]

As warmer weather approaches, more travelers will be hitting the road, rails and airways. Not long ago, The Philadelphia Inquirer carried some hints from Shary Nassimi, creator of the UrgentCall emergency service mobile app. She offers Seven Ways to Be Prepared for a Travel Emergency:

  • Give your loved ones your emergency contact information.
  • Carry your health insurance card.
  • Set up and have medevac insurance so you can get airlifted to a medical center that can provide proper medical care.
  • Leave copies of your plans with someone at ho,e and tell someone where the copies are.
  • Carry money wisely and in multiple form. Do not just carry it all in your wallet or only as a card or cash. Mix it up. Put some money in your suitcase. Don’t just keep it on your person. Have a credit card on hand for emergencies.
  • Know the lingo. Be able to say I need help, and Please call police in the local language (or carry a card with the words in local script.)
  • Know yourself, know your locale. If you are traveling abroad, know where your embassy is and how to get there. Know where the nearest hospital and police station are.

[To comment:]

CHECKLIST: Improve you credit score

[To comment:]

Consumer Reports suggests the following to improve credit scores in the long run.

  • Sign up for automatic bill payment. A late bill can make your credit score drop by as much as 100 points.
  • Watch the timing of your spending, especially if you plan to apply for a loan. The lower the balance, the better the credit rating.
  • Limit credit-card applications. Each time a lender inquires to view a credit report, it gets noted and can reduce the score.
  • Think twice before canceling cards. Consumers gain points if they are tapping only a small percentage of the total credit available to them.
  • Make sure credit limits are posted


[To comment:]