Tag Archives | Culture


An Identity Theft Like No Other

Identity theft has become a common crime, impacting millions people each year. As bad as the problem is, about a hundred years ago, an identity theft took place on a far grander scale. Everyone’s identity was stolen. Amazingly, this huge heist didn’t make headlines, and it didn’t prompt any calls for greater security. In fact, […]

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Navigating The Mixed Messages Of Our Consumer Culture

If you’re really paying attention, life can be a very odd experience. Especially when it comes to money. For example, in troubled economic times, front-page newspaper stories regularly quote economists expressing concern that the personal savings rate is going up. I still vividly remember reading one such story during a recession. I had to blink […]

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Bus Ad

This Ride to School Brought To You By…

As cash-hungry states look for new sources of revenue, several are now allowing advertisers to put paid messages on the sides of school buses. Currently, seven states allow advertising on school buses: Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.  Six others are considering the idea: Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Washington. […]

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Piggy Bank

Can’t Build Savings? I Say, You Can

The New York Times recently ran a series of six essays offering various explanations for the generally poor job we Americans do with savings. One blamed the disappearance of defined benefits plans, which, without any conscious effort on the part of workers, provided a steady income in retirement.  That same writer dismissed the efforts of […]

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Why Saving More is Good News and Bad News

Has the recession turned you into a saver?  You’re not alone.  According to government statistics, the average American is now saving about five percent of his or her income—quite an improvement from the negative savings rate of just five years ago.  However, as was noted on CNBC recently, an increase in the personal savings rate […]

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Recession Lessons: The Importance of Family Support

The number of children being raised by a grandparent spiked during the onset of the recession, growing nine percent between 2007 and 2008 to nearly three million kids.  That’s according to new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Of course, a far greater number of grandparents provide some help with childcare as […]

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Five New Financial Normals

Writing about the “new normals” brought on by the Great Recession has become, well, a new normal for many media outlets.  Adding to the conversation, Fortune magazine has come up with five new normals that it believes really will stick.  Here they are, along with my thoughts. 1. Long-term unemployment.  For those who have jobs, […]

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How Much Would It Take To Feel Rich?

CNNMoney.com recently posed that question among a random sample of people and financial advisors.  Most people based their answer on an overarching objective of having enough money so that they would not have to work.  Individuals said that would require anywhere from a couple thousand dollars a month to a billion dollars.  Advisors put the […]

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Is an iPad a Luxury or Necessity?

An Internet connection.  An annual vacation.  The financial freedom to shop for birthdays and other special occasions.  Are these essentials or luxuries?  For many of today’s baby boomers, they are essentials. According to a survey conducted by MainStay Investments and reported by MarketWatch, 84 percent of boomers consider an Internet connection a necessity, 66 percent […]

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