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What Would You Grab If Your House Were on Fire?

Occasionally, I play a grim game I call "Grab and Run" -- a mental exercise in which I plan which items I would take with me were I to flee an impending disaster. If a fire, flood, killer bee swarm or alien invasion happened right now, how prepared would you be?

The 10 States That Pay Out the Biggest Lottery Jackpots

On Friday night, a Mega Millions jackpot of more than $500 million is in the offing. Somebody may win big. Now, the only guaranteed winners of lotteries are state treasuries. But we're betting you're more interested in your own odds of winning a lottery, and where the payouts are best.

$4 Gas? What a Bargain! (And, No, We're Not Kidding)

Most Americans say that if the price of gas rises to between $4 to $6 a gallon, they're going to make "major" changes in lifestyle. Well, get ready to change, America: In some states prices have already touched the $4 mark. But it could be ever so much worse.

Why Public Universities Are a Bad Deal for Your Kids

Here's a higher education shocker: Thanks to tuition hikes at California's state universities on one hand, and Ivy League financial aid policies on the other, attending Harvard is actually the better deal for the Golden State's middle class students. And that's not just a West Coast phenomenon.

Savings Insecurity Is Growing: Share Your Stories

Far too many Americans haven't got enough liquid assets set aside to get them through a temporary job loss or other fiscal crisis. If you're among them, we'd like to hear from you: How has an underfunded emergency savings cushion affected you and your family.

Tax Doomsday Is Coming for Amazon

It sometimes seems like every new idea Amazon has dreamed up lately has been designed to help it lose money more efficiently. But the truth is more subtle: If it doesn't take these short-term hits now, it's destined to get crushed in a few years when the tax men come a-calling.

Doing Good to Do Well Gets a Legal Boost in California

You might not yet have heard of "B corporations" -- these companies with the dual missions of boosting social good and generating profits are a relatively new idea. But thanks to a recent California decision to make that social mission legally binding, the idea is poised to really take off.

The 10 Best U.S. Cities for Raising a Family

Choosing where to raise your kids can be a deeply personal decision, but some things are universally desired, like good schools, health care and recreation. 24/7 Wall St. looked at these factors and more to identify the 10 best U.S. cities in which to raise a family.

U.S. Homes Lose (Only) $700 Billion in Value in '11

The year-end housing news is sobering: U.S. homes are expected to lose more than $681 billion in value in 2011. But there's an upside: That's 35% less than the $1.1 trillion lost in 2010, according to research from Zillow.

Men's Wearhouse: Suits for the 99%

The Occupy Wall Street protesters might not believe they've got too many "suits" on their side, but retailer Men's Wearhouse took a stand for them last week. On Wednesday, Occupy Oakland planned a citywide strike to protest income disparity in America, and the local Men's Wearhouse closed its doors in support.

Bank Transfer Day: Small Protests, Big Changes

Did Bank Transfer Day work? Over the weekend, many Americans came out to protest big banks, and while there's no hard data yet to gauge the day's impact, credit unions around the country are reporting a continuing upsurge in interest. And the protests don't appear to be fading.

Seven Celebrities Who Went from Hot Shot to Homeless

On the heels of the New York Post report this week that funk hit maker Sly Stone of Sly and the Family Stone was broke and living in a van, The Price of Fame presents a tragic list of seven other celebrities who ended up homeless, desperate, and on the streets.

Advice for an Exec Laid Off After 37 Years With One Firm

Rhonda, a 57-year-old Californian, was laid off in September after 37 years with a medical laboratory company. Now she needs to dust off those rusty job hunting skills, and figure out her financial next steps too. DailyFinance's Laura Rowley brought in a couple of experts to guide her.

Latest Mortage Mod Scam Is an Audit to Nowhere

A raft of con artists have cropped up over the last two years offering "forensic loan audits." They promise to review your mortgage documents, looking for errors and legal flaws that they say they'll use to expedite a loan modification deal. All they usually end up doing is taking more money from already stressed homeowners.

Will Latinos Drive the Housing Recovery?

More than any other demographic, Latino homeowners were slammed by the mortgage crisis: Two-thirds of total Hispanic wealth in the U.S. evaporated from 2005 to 2009. But as the fastest growing demographic in the nation, they are also well positioned to power the housing rebound.

Meet the 12 People Who Have to Fix the U.S. Budget

There has been a pleasant lull in reporting about the debt ceiling and budget debate, but don't let the quiet fool you. Right now, 11 men and one woman are crafting a plan to reduce the federal budget deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. They are the members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction -- aka, the Deficit Supercommittee

10 Most Popular U.S. Summer Vacation Cities

When it's time for some R&R in the sun, Americans have a wealth of options. But based on summertime hotel room rentals, which one takes the crown? Orlando with its theme parks? New York with its culture? Washington with it's history? L.A. with its beaches? None of the above. Curious? Read on ...

Unemployed and Seeking Shelter from the Storm

The housing crisis continues unabated, and millions of unemployed Americans remain at risk of ending up homeless. But additional government help is arriving from the Obama administration, and nonprofit agencies are making a difference in the efforts of some families to get help from their lenders.

Layoffs Are Back as Public Sector Workers Get the Ax

Massive layoffs were both a cause and a symptom of the recent recession, but job creation began to revive late last year. Unfortunately, in May, the U.S. added only 58,000 jobs, and layoffs may be on the rise again. This time, they're taking a particular toll on state and local government workers.

What Would the Rapture Do to Real Estate Prices?

Christian broadcaster Harold Camping miscalculated in his prediction that the world was going to end on Saturday. But he's not the only one who thinks the Rapture could be nigh in the not-so-distant future. Which begs the question: Where will those who are left behind hang their hats?

Disaster Plans: Prepared for a Worst-Case Scenario?

The deadly tornadoes and flooding that struck the South and Midwest in April, the devastating earthquake in Japan, and concerns about terrorist reprisals after Osama Bin Laden's death should serve as reminders to property owners: You may hope it never comes, but you need to plan for the worst-case scenario.

Jackpot! States With Biggest Lottery Payouts

Lotteries are big businesses in most states, and they can provide windfalls for both the winning ticket-holders and state coffers. But which states give the most back to ticket-holders and through government services?

Homes of the Super-Rich, and Their Prices in Real Money

Every year, Forbes magazine compiles a list of the highest-priced zip codes in the country, showing us where the most expensive real estate sits. But however far from your home those mansions sit, the real distance is what separates the world of average Americans from that of the ultra-rich.