August 29, 2023

When to reject your employer's health care plan

Employer-sponsored health insurance plans are often more affordable than seeking coverage on your own. But if you need to, you can still decline coverage. Although some restrictions apply, you aren’t required to accept your company’s health insurance coverage.

It may make more sense to decline employer health insurance and opt for a plan through the marketplace, directly from a private health insurance company, or through another source, such as Medicare or Medicaid. Some people also get coverage under their spouse’s plan.

Learn more about your options by reading my latest work for on this topic, found here.

August 22, 2023

Too many home hunters, not enough homes

The law of supply and demand dictates that, when you don't have enough product but a lot of people clamor for it, the price of that product escalates, leaving a lot of frustrated folks on the sideline. That, in a nutshell, helps explain the lingering housing supply dilemma.

Consider that, in America, a healthy housing market should have around a six-month inventory of homes available. But right now, the housing supply is woefully inadequate, with some markets possessing less than a one-month supply of homes.

Take a moment to better understand why and how the lack of real estate inventory is contributing to our current housing crisis by reading my newest article for CTW Features, available here.  

August 16, 2023

Cineversary podcast proves Duck Soup still quacks us up 90 years later

Robert Bader
In Cineversary podcast episode #61, host Erik Martin commemorates the 90th anniversary of the Marx Brothers’ comedy classic Duck Soup, directed by Leo McCarey. His copilot this month is Robert S. Bader, director of the documentary Groucho & Cavett and author of Four of the Three Musketeers: The Marx Brothers on Stage. Erik and Robert will examine the lasting comedic power and influence of Duck Soup and the Marx Brothers and what makes this film worthy of kudos nine decades since its release.

To listen to this episode, click here or click the "play" button on the embedded streaming player below. Or, you can stream, download, or subscribe to Cineversary wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Audible, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Pocket Casts, PodBean, RadioPublic, and Overcast.

Learn more about the Cineversary podcast at and email show comments or suggestions to 

August 10, 2023

Most affordable places to buy a home today

First-time home buyers and even repeat purchasers are finding it challenging to locate an affordable home in a desirable market. That’s due to several factors, including higher mortgage interest rates and list prices as well as heavy competition among buyer prospects. But the good news is that there are less expensive real estate markets to be found where the annual earnings required are lower than average. In fact, a fresh report by ATTOM reveals the 10 most affordable areas around the country based on earnings.

Dig deeper into this top 10 list and learn why these markets made the list, what to think about before committing to a move to a less expensive market, and other criteria to consider by checking out my most recent story for The Mortgage Reports, available here.

August 1, 2023

Now orbiting planet granite

Initially introduced as a substitute for marble in the 1980s, granite has evolved to become one of the most popular countertop materials for kitchens and bathrooms worldwide. In fact, among homeowners who remodel, 23 percent choose to install granite countertops in kitchen areas versus 16 percent who pick granite as a bathroom vanity countertop, per recent Houzz data.

Whether you're remodeling your kitchen for a contemporary appearance, building a new home or simply indulging in design fantasies, you'll discover that granite countertops are more affordable and highly functional.

Take the time to better understand the price of granite countertops, factors that impact these costs, the benefits of granite countertops compared to other types of countertops, other criteria that can affect what you pay, and financing options for granite countertops by reading my latest article for Bankrate, available here.