Happy New Year, and I hope you’ve made it into today with a clear head and ready for great things in 2013. I always believe great things are always around the corner, but I also look at the beginning of a new year as a way to list those things we hope will happen. Thus, this post will look at what we expect will be the top 5 financial issues to address in 2013, and none of them will be called “fiscal cliff”. Before I go there though I’d like to mention that I wrote my first financial guest post that was published on the site Fat Wallet titled 5 Personal Finance Resolutions for the New Year. If you can’t get enough of me and finance advice check it out. Meanwhile, on with the show:

Dollar Sign in Space - Illustration
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1. Jobs. It seems jobs are always on the list in some fashion and this year’s no exception. Unemployment is going down and experts are saying it’s because people are falling off the list and have stopped looking for work. I doubt that second part but maybe not the first. This one isn’t a federal issue, as much as politicians want you to believe it is, as much as a local community issue. Training programs, small business training programs… these could get things started in the right direction.

2. Health care. In some ways this is the most important year because hopefully we’ll finally start getting some details on what’s coming, which we still are yet to have. Just how affordable with a government program be when compared to having to purchase traditional insurance on one’s own, and what will it mean for companies right on the threshold of having to think about insuring everyone or paying the penalty instead?

3. Housing. The housing industry is starting to recover but it’s slow. I’m of the opinion that all banks that foreclosed on people that were found to have been doing some unethical things should be made to reach out to everyone who was foreclosed upon to see if something can be worked out so they can move back into their homes, especially if those homes haven’t been sold or auctioned off yet. It would be the right thing to do.

4. Credit reform. This one could be seen as controversial, but I think the time has come where companies offering credit of any kind, including home loans and such, need to have standards to adhere to. I also believe credit card companies and credit reporting agencies need to come under more strict standards as well. Come on now, should a person really have 3 credit agencies reporting 3 different standards of information and giving you 3 different credit scores when they all have access to the same information?

5. Congress. I said I wouldn’t talk fiscal cliff but I didn’t say I wouldn’t talk government. For the last 4 years all government has done is give themselves raises and basically work as hard as possible to one-up each other and not care about us as citizens at all. Part of it is our fault for not using our votes properly but there’s nothing that can be done about that for another 11 months or so. We need our government to get back to the art of negotiation and taking care of our finances so that we can start our recovery. Folks in politics, it’s not about you but about us. We need true leadership so we can get our financial houses in order; without it, we’re going to flounder another 4 years. Can the more than 70% of the populace that believes you’re the problem with the country’s financial issues be wrong?

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