A Brief History of Generational Spending

August 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Economics, Spending

generational_spendingGallup published its survey of average daily spending by U.S. adults, according to their generation and annual household incomes. The results are interesting but not altogether surprising. Read more


My Life as a Volunteer Tax Preparer – Week 2

February 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Taxes, Tough Love Stories

Yesterday was my second weekly visit to the AARP Tax-Aide office where I am volunteering as a tax preparer for elderly and low-income taxpayers.  I had not originally planned on writing a lot about these experiences but it turns out I am learning so much – about people, not taxes – that I have decided to continue to share with readers.

I had five appointments yesterday and was able to complete five returns.  All of the taxpayers that came in were retired (collecting pension income and/or Social Security).  Here are my week two observations:

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Planning Your Wealth Preservation Options for a Post-Election Economy

October 30, 2008 by  
Filed under Financial Planning

The election will be over in few days.  The end of this interminable campaign has good and bad components.  The good is that we will no longer be subjected to the candidates’ incessant misstatements of fact and making of promises that we know will be broken.  The bad is that the media will dedicate even more coverage to the “economic crisis.”   This will further reinforce the market-crushing fears in the minds of consumers and investors.  Read more


Reviewing My Social Security Statement in a Time of Economic Insecurity

September 23, 2008 by  
Filed under Retirement Planning

Yesterday Mr. ToughMoneyLove received his annual Social Security Statement, including earnings history and the estimate of retirement benefits.  It actually made me feel more secure in this time of economic upheaval.  Skeptical?  Read on.  Read more


Check the Health of Your Company Pension Plan

August 8, 2008 by  
Filed under Retirement Planning

If you are one of the dwindling number of employees who have vested rights in a private sector pension plan (also known as a defined benefit plan), you should make it a habit to periodically check the financial health of the plan.  Why should you do this?  Because many prospective retirees are counting on receiving all of the pension benefits that they have been promised by their employers. Read more