Through the Ages

Dennis Friedman

Dennis retired from Boeing Satellite Systems after a 30-year career in manufacturing. Born in Ohio, Dennis is a California transplant with a bachelor's degree in history and an MBA. A self-described "humble investor," he likes reading historical novels and about personal finance. Dennis has written more than 100 articles and blog posts for HumbleDollar.

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Through the Ages

Dennis Friedman  |  Nov 30, 2022

WHEN I WAS IN MY 20s, I was lucky to work for a company that offered a pension plan—and that put me on the road to retirement. Today, unfortunately, company pensions are rare. How can you ensure a comfortable retirement? Try shooting for these age-related milestones:
Age 25. Start saving at least 15% of your gross income. As I mentioned in an earlier article, a Fidelity Investments study found that if you save 15% of your gross income every year from age 25 through 67,

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Why I’m Sitting Tight

Dennis Friedman  |  Oct 28, 2022

WHEN I WAS AGE 10, we moved from Ohio to California. My father got a job by answering a help wanted ad in a local newspaper. When we first arrived in 1961, we lived in a 36-unit apartment building in Inglewood. It’s located about two miles from the Forum, where the Los Angeles Lakers and Kings sports teams used to play their home games.
One of our neighbors in the building was an older gentleman called Jack Tarentino.

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Carrying On

Dennis Friedman  |  Oct 11, 2022

I DECIDED TO TAKE a peek at our investment portfolio. I try not to look too often. But I was curious to see how our assets were holding up in this bear market.
What did I learn? Our retirement savings were down more than $500,000 this year, thanks to a combination of investment losses and our spending. Most of our shrinking balance is the result of falling stock and bond prices.
Still, our spending this year on travel has increased sharply.

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Coming Back to Me

Dennis Friedman  |  Oct 8, 2022

I WISHED I HAD MY friend Chuck’s memory. He can remember things from our college days as if they happened yesterday. My memory isn’t nearly as good. There are, however, a few moments I’ll never forget.
I remember in high school when a classmate asked a girl, who was also in our class, if he could have her leftover orange peels. I knew Floyd well enough to know he went to school hungry some days.

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Looks Can Deceive

Dennis Friedman  |  Oct 4, 2022

WHEN I TURNED AGE 24, a friend and I took a road trip from San Francisco to Vancouver. It was 1975. I was excited—it would be my first visit to Canada.
I didn’t know what to expect when we got to the Canadian border. All I knew was we didn’t need passports. The border officer gave us a suspicious look. After being on the road for a spell, we didn’t look our best. I was unshaven and wearing my usual T-shirt and jeans.

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Not Biting

Dennis Friedman  |  Sep 15, 2022

MY WIFE AND I GET together occasionally with our neighbors for a glass of wine. We became good friends with Larry and Kathryn since they moved into our neighborhood. They‘re retirees, just like us.
When visiting them, they often serve cheese and crackers. One day, Larry said to me, “Try one of these whole wheat crackers. They won’t hurt you. I can’t say the same thing about the cheese, though.” He knows I try to eat healthily.

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A Bridge to My 70s

Dennis Friedman  |  Aug 30, 2022

WHEN I RETIRED in 2009, I had two main goals: I wanted to buy a used Volkswagen van—and I didn’t want to touch the money in my tax-deferred retirement accounts. Instead, I wanted to let that money compound for as long as possible.
What was so important about the VW van? When I was growing up in the 1960s, those vans were a symbol of freedom. While I was in college, I remember a friend spending most of his days surfing.

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Less Is Better

Dennis Friedman  |  Aug 11, 2022

I CONTINUE TO LOOK for ways to simplify my life. At age 71, I want fewer things to deal with and to worry about. To that end, here are five steps that my wife and I are taking:
1. Consolidating finances. I mentioned in an article last year that my wife and I have consolidated our investments at Vanguard Group, while our savings and checking accounts are at a local credit union.

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Don’t Be Like Joe

Dennis Friedman  |  Aug 10, 2022

I HAD SOME GOOD bosses and some bad ones over my 35-year career. The worst was Joe. He tried to intimidate you. I once overheard him tell another manager that he likes to ride his employees and dig his spurs into them.
What was so terrible about Joe? It wasn’t that he was tough on employees. It was that he was unfair. You incurred his wrath whether you deserved it or not.
I remember the first time I attended a meeting held by Joe.

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Independent Minded

Dennis Friedman  |  Jul 28, 2022

I WOKE UP THIS morning at 4:15 a.m. I don’t need an alarm clock. My internal clock makes sure I’m up at that time.
I hopped out of bed and did a quick shave with my electric razor. I put on my running shorts, shoes and T-shirt. I headed down to the kitchen. I ate half a toasted organic sprouted-wheat muffin with a thin layer of peanut butter and a small portion of a banana.

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More Harm Than Good

Dennis Friedman  |  Jul 23, 2022

EVER SINCE COVID-19 disrupted our lives, I don’t go to the gym that often. I usually work out on my own. When I go, I sometimes see Tony. Tony is still Tony. He’s a chronic complainer. It’s usually about little things.
The other day, he was chatting with a woman at the gym. While Tony was talking, she gave me a smile. It was her way of warning me that Tony was complaining again.

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Just What I Needed

Dennis Friedman  |  Jun 24, 2022

I MENTIONED IN an earlier article that my wife and I were planning a trip to the U.K. Before we went, I thought I better see my primary care physician. I didn’t want any medical surprises. We’ll be gone for five weeks. A lot can happen to a 71-year-old during that time.
My doctor retired a few months ago, so I decided I’d go see my mother’s old doctor. He specializes in geriatric medicine.

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Memories All Round

Dennis Friedman  |  May 12, 2022

MY WIFE AND I ARE traveling to the U.K. This will be my first time in England, Wales and Scotland. We’ll spend a week in London before taking a train to Cambridge, where we’ll rent a car for the balance of the vacation.
My wife planned the trip, doing an enormous amount of research. It took her a couple of months to put this adventure together. I thought we’d be staying mostly in major cities with well-known attractions.

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Proud of Nothing

Dennis Friedman  |  Apr 27, 2022

I’M NOT SOMEONE who pats himself on the back when he does something right. I’m also not someone who takes compliments well. But this time, I want to toot my own horn.
After four years, I can finally say I’ve accomplished a goal that I’ve worked toward for many years, but was unable to achieve. It wasn’t easy. It took a lot of discipline and composure.
To accomplish this feat, I tuned out cable business news.

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Seven Figure Sale

Dennis Friedman  |  Apr 7, 2022

MY WIFE DECIDED to sell the house she bought before we were married. We’re both retired and I view it as another step in our ongoing efforts to simplify our financial lives as we age.
My wife and I interviewed a real estate agent who was recommended by a friend. Steven suggested we do some minor repairs before listing the house. Steven also gave us his opinion on the sale price. He told my wife she had a nice little starter home and we should list it in the middle of the estimated price range.

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