Pay It Forward by Re-Gifting

The story’s unfolded countless times, with many variations. The recipient of a thoughtfully wrapped holiday gift tears off the shiny paper to find a lovely present, and as she’s casting the gift box an admiring glance, a card tumbles onto her lap. “How nice!” she thinks. “The gift-giver cared enough about me to include a […]


Those Money Problems, They’re All in Your Head

We’re a nation of individuals who have way too much credit card debt and far too little retirement savings. We start the spending habit extremely early in life, and catch the saving bug much too late. Our confidence in our abilities to live on our meager nest eggs is far too high, and our emergency […]


Where Physical and Fiscal Health Converge

As I’ve asserted in this space before, news on the healthcare front has often seemed unrelentingly bad. And it’s been that way a long time. First came the demise of the house call, then the soaring cost of care delivered anywhere but where folks would like it, in the home. Ensuing decades brought more bad […]


Cliff Notes on the Fiscal Precipice

Years back, during the debate over the right to die via assisted suicide, I clipped from a newspaper an editorial cartoon I particularly admired. Drawn by Jack Ohman of the Oregonian, it is still tacked above my desk today, more than a decade after first glimpsed. In the cartoon, a man and woman walk through […]


Shifting Money Worries Into Reverse

If you’re old enough, you may remember when Americans were, by and large, pretty responsible about money management. They scrimped and saved, and stashed money into savings accounts. They squirreled away cash for vacations and home improvements, rather than funding those purchases with credit cards. And their belief was you kept on paying the mortgage […]


An Age Old Employment Myth Takes Its Lumps

One of my favorite conversational gambits with old friends and new is retirement. Questions like, “When do you hope to retire?” and “How will you fill your time after you stop working?” never fail to spur entertaining exchanges. I’m not shy about revealing my own feelings on the matter. I’ve seen too many living embodiments […]


Money-Saving Idea is One for the Books

I believe there’s a fail safe way of identifying people who are better money managers than others. The better money managers, generally speaking, are those who regularly patronize their towns’ and cities’ libraries. You may be tempted to reject my theory out of hand, but just take a moment and hear me out. Convincing me […]


Did You Miss a Semester of Financial Education?

In my more pensive moments, I often wonder why more schools don’t teach personal finance. This is a country in which many can recite the first lines of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, recall their literature class lessons about early Shakespeare, and wax eloquently about the principles of human evolution. Yet they would be hard pressed to […]


Waiting for the Dough

If you’re in your 40s, 50s or 60s, and thinking ahead to how you’ll fund the later years of your life, let me lay out a plan for you to make some serious cash. How much cash? Well, let’s just say it’s quite a bit more than you might imagine. As they get older, Americans […]


Funds and Games

According to a recent Reuters article, the worlds of personal finance and computer gaming are increasingly co-mingling. Financial firms are striving to create games that can be played online or on one’s mobile device. The object of the games? To teach kids and even some adults how to be better managers of their own money […]