You are probably thinking: “Enough with the facts and figures already, Mr. ToughMoneyLove. We want to read how we can save and invest in this awful economy.”
Hey – I feel your pain. I’m asking those same questions. I don’t have confidence that the government can provide the answers. Instead, I’m looking for answers in the data that are available. At least the government can provide data.
Second, this post is not about New Year’s resolutions. Mr. ToughMoneyLove sort of abandoned that whole concept a while back. Why? Because like so many others, I used it as an excuse to delay doing something that needed to be done now, not later. How many times did I say to myself “I will start my exercise (or diet, or savings, or love thy neighbor) plan at the beginning of the year!” Fortunately for my self-commitment credibility, I never actually specified which year. So technically I’m still in compliance. Read more
Mr. ToughMoneyLove engages in many debates over “good” and “bad” debt and the logic of having substantial equity in your home or even paying off your mortgage. Regarding the latter, some folks insist that their home is an investment and resist building equity through their own efforts (such as making a substantial down-payment.) Instead, they want to rely on market appreciation to build that equity. In other words, these homeowners assign their homes to the “capital appreciation” class of investments in their portfolio. I think it is time to re-think that entire concept. Read more
Millions of panicked and nervous investors left the stock market in the last six weeks by selling what they held and/or by diverting their periodic investment contributions to cash or cash equivalents. Ignoring for the moment whether such decisions made objective sense, that is the decision they made, based on their own tolerance for risk.
Now these nervous investors are looking to rebuild their confidence to a point where they can re-enter the market. For most Americans, that is what needs to be done for the long term, so that their retirement portfolios can withstand the ravages of inflation. Read more
Baby boomers and others thinking ahead about retirement have requested and have waited patiently for the yearly delivery of their hard copy Social Security earnings record and benefit estimate. My statement arrives each September. The benefit estimate information in this document can be useful in several different ways. Read more