Quick Hits

We’re always hearing politicians talk about the American Dream, but is it really a reality in this day and age? A lot of people don’t think so. A CareerBuilder poll finds that only 47% of workers believe they are living the American Dream, with women less likely than men to say so (41% vs. 54%).

Of course, what constitutes that American Dream is different for everyone. For most people, the idea of achieving the American Dream means making enough money for themselves and their family to live comfortably (85%). That's not the only criteria.  Other examples of the American Dream include:

  • Being able to help others (48%)
  • Getting a great education and providing that opportunity for my family (35%)
  • Making an impact on my community (30%)
  • Leaving a legacy (22%)
  • Seeing my ideas become a reality in business (17%)
  • Becoming a millionaire (10%)

Overall, 60% of workers don’t think all Americans have an equal shot at the American Dream. As for what’s keeping them from achieving it, the most common answers include:

  • Cost of education (58%)
  • Cycles of poverty (53%)
  • Wage gaps (52%)
  • Inequality (among women, minorities, etc.) (51%)
  • Access to education (41%)
  • Lack of belief that things can be better (34%)

Source: Yahoo Finance

When it comes to vacation, there will always be those who plan their trips out months in advance, But most Americans don't fall into that category.

According to a new Project Time Off poll, conducted in conjunction with National Vacation Planning Day, which is today, only 49% of Americans take time to plan out their vacation days each year. The main reason most don’t do any planning has to do with uncertainty of scheduling, whether it’s their personal schedule (64%), work schedule (57%) or their children’s schedule (50%)

And putting off vacation planning can result in lots of folks not getting the days they want. Overall, 91% of managers say they want to approve all vacation requests, but 43% say they sometimes can’t because employees don’t give them enough notice. The survey adds that 48% of folks give six weeks notice of less, and only 19% give three months.

Part of the reason people don't ask for vacations early could be a disconnect between bosses and employees. In fact, 27% of employees worry their boss wouldn’t like them to ask for all their vacation days up front, although 78% of managers say they actually would. For the record, 88% of managers saying employees who do are actually being responsible.

Source: Business Journals

Tax season officially began yesterday, and for a lot of folks that means a whole lot of stress. A new poll finds that 52% of taxpayers find the whole process of filing taxes stressful, with gathering together their many documents the most stressful thing about it, followed by understanding tax laws, and not knowing whether they did things correctly.

But there is one good thing about tax time, at least for some people – refunds. And while you’d think a good amount of people already have that refund earmarked for some big extravagant gift, it turns out most people are being sensible about it. In fact, 43% of taxpayers plan to put their tax refund into savings, while another 42% will use it to pay off bills.

Of course not everyone is sensible. The truth is, 13% of people plan to treat themselves to some sort of gift like electronics or jewelry, while another 13% will use it for an experience like a fancy dinner or vacation.

  • And while we all have until April to get our taxes in, a lot of people aren’t waiting that long. In general, most people will file their taxes by February (35%), with 23% waiting until March, and only 18% of people waiting to file until April 15thor later, with the most common reason for waiting being a natural tendency to procrastinate (28%).

Source: Yahoo Finance

Wish you and your sweetie could take off on a romantic tropical vacation? This time of year a lot of us are dreaming of warm sun and white sandy beaches, but summer is a long time off. That’s why we really want to win this Valentine’s Day sweepstakes from CheapOAir and Fiji Airways.

The prize for the sweepstakes is a romantic trip for two to Fiji! The winner will get complimentary round-trip airfare for two from Los Angeles or San Francisco to Fiji. And if you don’t live near those airports, you’ll also be awarded airfare from your nearest airport to one of those in Cali.

After the flight on Fiji Airways, the winning couple will enjoy a four-night stay at the five-star Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa. This beachfront resort will spoil you and provide that much-needed break from reality back home.

The Valentine’s Day sweepstakes is accepting entries through February 11 and the lucky winner will be randomly selected and announced February 14. What an incredible Valentine’s surprise that would make! Good luck, lovers.

Check out the Official Sweepstakes Rules for more details.

Source: Business Insider

Jay and Dawn

Jay and Dawn

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