Archive | Miscellaneous

Money Wise or Miserly?

Are you a smart shopper or stingy? Do people think of you as frugal or tight? And where is the line drawn? According to a story posted on MSN.com, it’s frugal to use a 2 for 1 coupon at a restaurant, but it’s stingy to base the server’s tip on the discounted price of the […]

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The Home Stretch

The Home Stretch

The conventional wisdom tells us to stretch to buy as much house as possible. A lot of people who followed that advice in recent years through the help of adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) are now feeling some pain from all that stretching. With interest rates now rising, it’s not uncommon for people to see their […]

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Where’s the Money?

Why is our savings rate so low? Lack of motivation? Denial about the need? A penchant for big screen TVs? In its 6/21 issue, the Wall Street Journal fixed the blame on our housing and transportation spending. It cited government figures showing that while the portion of our spending devoted to many categories has fallen […]

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Shock Treatment for Prospective Savers

Much has been made of the average American’s less than stellar track record of building savings. In the 6/17-18 issue of the Wall Street Journal, reporter Ron Lieber shared what “shocked” him into saving early in life. He saw a chart comparing how much a person would accumulate by age 65 if they invested $250 […]

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Moving Toward a More Secure Financial Life

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and with the growing problem of identity theft, much advice has been given about securing our financial records. Most of it goes something like this: Back up all of your most important computer-based financial files on DVDs and send them to a trusted out-of-state relative, make a video recording […]

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Removing that Lemony Old Car Smell

Used car buyers often struggle to balance the benefits of saving money with the risk of buying a lemon. To lessen the risk, a growing number of dealers are certifying their used cars. According to an article in the 6/11 _Chicago Tribune_, half of all used cars sold today carry the certification stamp—up from one […]

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When Cake and Ice Cream Just Won’t Do

A recent birthday bash for a five-year-old California girl included professional catering, 150 guests, ponies, and a magician. The tab? $6,000. According to a recent _MSN.com_ story, it’s a growing trend, with parents trucking in fake snow for an afternoon of front yard sledding, spending months planning Harry Potter-themed parties, or hiring horse-drawn Cinderella carriages. […]

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Another Voice in the Retirement Warnings Wilderness

While there’s no shortage of studies and warnings about our lack of retirement preparedness, now there’s another. As reported in the _Wall Street Journal_ on 6/6, new analysis from the indicates that nearly half of all working-age families may not be able to maintain their current standard of living in retirement. The Center pointed to […]

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Avoiding Retirement Killers

There are all sorts of ways to sabotage a retirement. Not saving enough is certainly at the top of the list. But the _Motley Fool_ posted several others on 5/26. Among them: Cashing in your 401(k) plan when switching jobs (an astounding 45% of job switchers do so) and not knowing how much to save […]

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