Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For August 24, 2008

Percentage of U.S. workers who regularly attend after-work drinks with co-workers who say they bad-mouthed a colleague, according to a survey for 16

Percentage who kissed a colleague: 8

Percentage who confessed to singing karaoke: 4


Percentage of American teens who agree that the Olympics help to build a better and more peaceful world, according to a study conducted by Harris Interactive: 62

Percentage of teens interested in the Olympics who agree that the Games are about more than merely medals and marketing: 71

Source: Harris Interactive.

At the end of four years, the expense of keeping a 2003 6-cylinder, 4-door sedan that gets 21 miles per gallon (mpg) -- includes costs of fuel, license, registration, taxes, insurance, maintenance and tires, according to Runzheimer International: $16,548

With a resale value of $3,759, the total four-year cost: $12,789

At the end of four years, the expense of buying a new 6-cylinder, 4-door sedan with 23.5 mpg that costs $23,451 with a down payment of $10,158 -- the trade-in value of the older car -- and includes the car payment, interest on the car loan, fuel, license, registration, taxes, insurance, maintenance and tires: $32,258

With a resale value of $8,575, the total four-year expense: $23,683

Over the four-year period, the difference in the savings between keeping a car and buying a new one: $10,894

Source: Car Care Council.

Estimated number of Americans who move to a new location every year, according to research conducted by the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing: 40 million

Percentage of adults who admit to feeling some level of anxiety about moving: 70

Percentage who say they "dread it completely": 35

Source: CTAM.

Percentage of Americans ages 18 to 39 who say they have credit card debt, according to Employee Benefit Research Institute: 63

Percentage who have a car debt: 48

Percentage who have a student loan debt: 31

Percentage who have medical debt: 27

Source: EBRI.

Estimated number of U.S. workers who telecommute at least once a week, according to a CCH nationwide survey: 22 million

Percentage of U.S. companies that offer telecommuting programs: 53

Percentage of employers who offer a compressed work week option: 45

Source: Wolters Kluwer Law and Business CCH.

Ranks of online training (60 percent), video conferencing (52 percent) and collaborative-workspace software (43 percent) as the most popular responses made by chief information officers when asked which tools their firms currently use or anticipate using, according to Robert Half Technology: 1, 2, 3

Source: Robert Half Technology.

Percentage of car shoppers who say they have made changes to further the betterment of the environment, according Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research study: 75

Ranks of recycling (54 percent), cutting back on driving (46 percent) and purchasing a fuel-efficient car (31 percent) as the top lifestyle changes mentioned: 1, 2, 3

Source: Kelley Blue Book.

Estimated number of homes in the U.S. that were sold to foreign nationals from May 2007 to May 2008, according to the 2008 National Association of Realtors: 150,000 to 190,000

Cost of a single-family vacation home purchased by the typical international buyer: $297,400

Length of time that the typical international owner stayed at his or her U.S. property during the year: 2.6 months

Source: National Association of Realtors.

Idle Thought

"Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love." -- David McCullough

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600