Charting a Path to Renewed Frugality

January 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Economics, Retirement Planning

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.
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Simplifying a Financial Life

First, this post is not about Paris Hilton or any other “air where the brain should be” simpleton venturing into the Simple Life.

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


Your Home as an Investment? Let’s Re-think this.

December 14, 2008 by  
Filed under Investing, Retirement Planning

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


Financial Risk Management and the Nervous Investor

October 20, 2008 by  
Filed under Financial Planning

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


The New Social Security Benefit Calculator as a Reality Check

July 25, 2008 by  
Filed under Retirement Planning

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