Author Archive | Matt Bell

Getting Real About Retirement

How current workers envision their future retirement differs greatly from the reality being experienced by people who are now retired. However, this time the disconnect may be an indication of unusually realistic thinking. According to a new study from the Pew Research Center, a non-profit “fact tank,” 77 percent of current workers expect to continue […]

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Where Old Cell Phones Go to Die

The average cell phone user–and there are 200 million of us in the U.S.–gets a new phone about every 18 months, according to a recent article on _MSN_. What becomes of the old ones? Tens of thousands of them, each one containing toxic materials, end up in landfills every day. Fortunately, there are alternatives that […]

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Life Without a Car

Just reading the above headline may have made some readers break out in a nervous sweat. We love our cars. We need our cars. Or do we? The _Washington Post_ recently reviewed a new book, _How to Live Well Without Owning a Car,_ written to challenge our assumptions that we need our cars. Author Chris […]

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Feeding the Hungry When You’re Starved for Time

For those with a desire to volunteer or donate to a good cause, but who are pressed for time, “Charity Guide”:http://www.charityguide.org may be of interest. According to a recent article in the _Chicago Tribune_, the organization’s web site lists 170 “flexible service projects”–everything from helping the homeless to protecting the environment–that can be done in […]

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Financial Lessons From 9/11

This month, as we remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks of five years ago, many people are reflecting on how life has changed since then and considering some of the lessons learned. While financial lessons are far from the most important takeaways, _Smart Money_ magazine recently summarized a few such lessons. First, don’t wait for a […]

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Labor Pains

“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.” – Proverbs 23:4 The many Biblical warnings related to wealth do not mean that the Bible discourages hard work.  To the contrary, we’re told that we are to work with all our heart (Colossians 3:23) and that those who do not […]

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Kids and Credit Cards – An Update

In the last issue of _Matt About Money_ I said that co-signing for a credit card for your teenagers is a good way to give them real-world experience managing credit before heading off to college. A reader rightly pointed out that there are other, possibly better options as well. They include a debit card tied […]

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The More You Buy the More You Save

It doesn’t take too many readings of the above headline, a standard phrase used to promote sales, to see its fallacy. However, buying things on sale makes all the sense in the world if an item we were going to buy anyway is on sale. Recent articles from “Smart Money”:http://www.smartmoney.com/consumer/index.cfm?story=20060824&src=fb&nav=RSS20 and the “Motley Fool”:http://www.fool.com/news/commentary/2006/commentary06082604.htm listed […]

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Money and Happiness – The Search for a Link Continues

The timeless search for a connection between money and happiness has spawned several new stories on the topic. A recent article on _Bankrate.com_, for example, said research has found some interesting variations in happiness by income. Most notably, while happiness increases a lot for one who moves from poverty to the middle class, beyond that, […]

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Savings Made Simple

Is confusion over asset allocation or investment choices in your 401(k) or 403(b) plan stopping you from participating? Get over it and get started. That’s the conclusion of new research by Putnam Investments (okay, they didn’t quite put it that way), which examined the impact of three factors on retirement savings. As reported in a […]

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