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Lower consumer earnings means lower retail revenues (access required)

Why is it that Macy's, which used to be my favorite department store, and now Wal-Mart and other retailers, are reporting lower earnings and slowdowns in revenues? The financial data report low interest rates, better employment and good home sales, and that General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are selling cars and making huge profits. What's wrong here?

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Life estate requires maintenance (access required)

Mother died April 9, and her will provides a life estate for me. My sister is the executor of the estate, which isn't large. If I move – or don't maintain the house – the proceeds are to be divided three ways, between me, my sister and my deceased brother's family.

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