Cheat Sheet Q&A:
Today’s question: I'm confused about what's happening with Windows XP. In January you reported that some support for XP would continue but I'm still hearing that it will end in April. What's going on and will it be safe to use?
Bottom Line: This is a good question because Microsoft did actually confuse the situation by trying to be helpful. Last year they announced that XP would no longer be supported in April of 2014. In January they said that they would offer antimalware signature support until July of 2015. That’s where the confusion comes into play. Let’s go through some key info:
- 29% of all PC’s still operate on the Windows XP platform
- Microsoft will drop full support of XP on April 8th of this year
- Microsoft will continue to update antimalware signatures for Windows XP through July 14th of 2015
So what does this mean and is it safe? First it’s note worthy that despite XP debut in 2001 and today’s high tech age with quick product cycles, nearly a third of all PC’s are still running on it. That actually speaks highly of the OS and the legacy computer running it. With Microsoft dropping full support this means:
- You won’t be able to get someone at Microsoft to help you with it if needed
- They won’t be offering regular updates to the OS as needed to keep it relevant and potentially as safe as it’s been
- The antimalware signature update will provide a certain level of protection for you to transition over to a new OS
In essence Microsoft isn’t going to hand you over to the hackers all at once on April 8th. That being said by the time July 14th of 2015 rolls around you certainly shouldn’t be using XP with any computer on an internet connection.
If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Florida kept on trucking – quite literally – with above average job growth in January:
Bottom Line: The Florida ADP private sector jobs report is in and the news continues to be positive for Florida:
January 2014 Report Highlights
Changes in Florida State Nonfarm Private Employment:
- By Sector
- By Select Industries
Natural Resources/Mining and Construction 2,790
Professional and Business Services 1,190
Trade, Transportation and Utilities 3,270
So all told…:
- Florida accounted for 11,610 of the 175,000 jobs created in January nationally
- That amounts to 6.6% of all job growth (Florida has 6.1% of the population)
- It’s the 5th consecutive month that all industries have posted gains
So while the growth wasn’t as substantial as in some previous months, Florida continues to grow jobs at a quicker pace than the rest of the country.
One of the best cases ever made for saving & investing more & getting your kids started:
Bottom Line: I’ve offered a lot of encouragement over the years to encourage you and your kids to save and invest. I don’t think I’ve ever been as effective in my communication as David Ning, the person behind http://moneyning.com/ , was with a recent entry. Consider this:
- You’ll likely not need to work one day
- You’ll have more personal freedom to choose your own path in life
- You’ll be able to improve your lifestyle
- You’ll have less stress
- You’ll have more confidence
If that were available in a pill every American would take it right? They are all the by product of saving and investing early and often in life. That may get the attention of your kids too if you’ve been looking for a good way to capture their imagination in a positive way.
If you do feel you're not paying enough in taxes you can do this:
Bottom Line: Anytime anyone in a high earning capacity indicates that they don’t believe they’re paying enough in taxes and so others should have to pay far more through still higher tax rates (as was the case in 2012 with the massive 2013 tax increases on upper income earners); I can’t help but to point out that there isn’t anything preventing them from doing so. So why don’t they ever seem to put their money where their mouth is? What am I talking about?
The Treasury Department does take “donations”. You’ve always had the ability to just pay more in taxes at anytime. What’s unusual is the Treasury Department talking about this program (it tends to be counter productive for the argument to raise taxes on everyone). In the fiscal year thus far $1 million has been donated to the Treasury for debt reduction. So who’s contributing?
No it’s not the Obama’s or the Clinton’s. Warren Buffet hasn’t offered up so much as a rounding error in his check book. So who are these people?:
- School children doing civic projects
- People who have passed leaving the Treasury as a beneficiary
That’s very patriotic. Now if only those who preach about doing more like the afore mentioned put their money where their mouths are.
If your wife makes more than you - the odds are she isn't happy about it:
Bottom Line: It’s becoming increasingly common for women to be the top earners in a traditional marriage and family environment. That doesn’t mean that they’re happy about it. Working Mother in conjunction with PwC interviewed top income earners in duel income households around the country. Here’s what they found:
- 75% of men who were the primary income earners were happy with that status and their spouses contribution
- Just 46% of women who were the top income earners are happy with that status
So guys, if you’re happy with your wife being the top bread winner you may want to check with her to see if she feels the same way…
The power you have to change the world as a consumer:
Bottom Line: Chick-fil-A has become the latest national company to quickly change policy going forward on food preparation. Chick-fil-A has announced that they will phase out antibiotics in the raising of the chickens for their tasty sandwiches within five years. That marks the third major change within the last week based on consumer outreach to these companies. The others include:
- Kraft announcing that they no longer use preservatives in the Kraft singles
- Subway removing some weird chemical from their bread
We all remember the pink slime changes of a couple of years ago. The point is that you do have power to evoke positive change. Companies are listening.