Financial Dogma

Kristine Hayes

Kristine Hayes Nibler retired in 2022. She and her husband reside in Arizona. She enjoys spending her time reading, writing and training their four dogs.

  • Connect:
  • LinkedIn

Financial Dogma

Kristine Hayes  |  Sep 11, 2021

I’VE BEEN TRAINING dogs for nearly 30 years. I’ve won enough awards in dog competitions to wallpaper my office with rosette ribbons. My 15 minutes of fame also involved dogs. Almost 20 years ago, I appeared on an episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where one of my corgis happily demonstrated his ability to ride a skateboard.
Just as there are many ways to skin a cat, there are also many ways to train a dog.

Read More

Ignoring the Experts

Kristine Hayes  |  Sep 6, 2021

I’M NOT A RULE BREAKER. In the nearly 40 years I’ve had a driver’s license, I’ve received just one traffic citation. I follow all the laboratory safety rules when I’m at work. When I fly, I’m the person who removes the card from the seatback pocket and follows along with the flight attendants as they do their safety briefing.
But when it comes to finances, I don’t always follow the rules laid down by accountants,

Read More

Brace Yourself

Kristine Hayes  |  Aug 26, 2021

PARTICIPANTS IN 401(K) plans will soon be getting estimates of how much income they might receive in retirement if their plan savings were spent purchasing an annuity. Under a new rule, plan providers are required to provide participants with at least two annuity estimates annually on their account statements. One would project the lifetime income from the purchase of a single-life annuity and the other from a joint-and-survivor annuity. A joint-and-survivor annuity extends payments over two lives,

Read More

A Well-Placed Bet

Kristine Hayes  |  Aug 5, 2021

THREE YEARS AGO, I bought a home a few weeks before getting married. The purchase wasn’t so much an investment as a necessity: My new husband and I owned four dogs between us, and we knew we’d have a difficult time finding a rental that would allow that many pets.
I’d lived in the Portland, Oregon, metro area for nearly 30 years and had owned two other homes. I knew which neighborhoods to avoid,

Read More

Lean Times Ahead?

Kristine Hayes  |  Jul 30, 2021

THE HEADLINE GRABBED my attention—because it seemed to speak to my situation: “Planning for Retirement: Women in Two-Income Households at Highest Risk.” The article suggested that women in their 50s in two-income households are at greater risk of being unable to maintain their preretirement standard of living when compared to single women and women in one-income households.
A big factor: Dual-income households tend to save a smaller percentage of their income compared with single-income households.

Read More

Keeping My Cool

Kristine Hayes  |  Jul 23, 2021

MY 2007 HONDA CR-V’s air conditioning system started having issues about three years ago. I took it to a shop where they added refrigerant and declared the problem fixed. A year later, the AC stopped working again so I took it to a different mechanic, who declared the problem solved after adding refrigerant and replacing a relay. Several months later, I was once again driving around in a car at ambient temperatures. Because I spent much of the summer of 2020 working from home,

Read More

Aging Alone

Kristine Hayes  |  May 20, 2021

MY MATERNAL grandmother just celebrated her 100th birthday. She still lives a mostly independent life, residing in her own apartment within a senior living facility. She walks to the dining room three times a day for her meals, does her own laundry and is always willing to talk about current events.
At age 54, I often try to imagine what it’ll be like if I live to the same age as my grandmother. The process usually overwhelms me with angst.

Read More

A Firm Foundation

Kristine Hayes  |  Apr 9, 2021

I WAS 24 YEARS OLD when I started working fulltime. My salary at that first job wasn’t great—I was making about $16,000 a year—but the retirement benefits were stellar. As a government employee, I was entitled to enroll in the state’s pension plan. Every month, the government contributed an amount equal to some 17% of my salary. The money was guaranteed to never earn less than 8% interest a year. Most years, the rate of return was much higher.

Read More

Not What I Planned

Kristine Hayes  |  Jan 30, 2021

I WROTE MY FIRST column for HumbleDollar four years ago. In that article, I described how a midlife divorce had forced me to learn as much as I could about investing and personal finance. As part of that education process, I spent hours creating spreadsheets designed to predict my financial health over the next decade.
Planning didn’t seem difficult back then because my life was quite simple. I shared a one-bedroom apartment with my elderly dog.

Read More

Still Here

Kristine Hayes  |  Oct 29, 2020

I WAS AGE 31 WHEN I started my job as a department manager at a small college in Portland, Oregon. Back then, it wasn’t unusual for people to mistake me for one of the students.
Now I’m 53 and people assume I’m the mother of one of the students. I’ve been working at the college for more than 22 years, which means I’ve been there longer than most of the current students have been alive.

Read More

Easy Street

Kristine Hayes  |  Oct 22, 2020

A FEW YEARS AGO, my future husband and I took a trip to southern Utah to participate in a pistol shooting competition. We were taken by the area’s beauty and easy access to outdoor recreational activities. While there, we looked at a few homes and were pleasantly surprised to find the prices quite reasonable. We decided Utah would be high on our list of places to relocate to once I retired from my job.

Read More

Decisions, Decisions

Kristine Hayes  |  Sep 2, 2020

I’VE BEEN EMPLOYED fulltime for nearly three decades—and retirement is now on the horizon. That means I’m spending more time trying to figure out how best to generate retirement income.
One obstacle: I keep getting bogged down by the seemingly endless choices. Despite knowing how critical these decisions are, I often find myself throwing up my hands in frustration and opting to do nothing. My experience isn’t uncommon. Welcome to the paradox of choice: When faced with a host of options,

Read More

Day by Day

Kristine Hayes  |  Jul 13, 2020

I’M THE TYPE OF PERSON who likes to plan. I have at least 10 to-do lists going at any one time. I have calendars on my refrigerator, my desk and my phone. I plan out my days, my months, my years and, on occasion, my decades.
My job, managing the biology department at a small liberal arts college, is a perfect fit for my personality. For the past 22 years, I’ve methodically planned out every day of each semester.

Read More

Did It Myself

Kristine Hayes  |  Jul 9, 2020

I PURCHASED MY FIRST house almost 30 years ago. To call it a “fixer” would have been an understatement. It was 800 square feet of neglected space in desperate need of repairs and updating. Being fresh out of college and working at a job that paid less than $20,000 a year, I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on improvements. But I had the energy and enthusiasm of youth.
Over a five-year period,

Read More

While at Home

Kristine Hayes  |  May 22, 2020

WHEN THE COLLEGE where I work switched to a remote learning platform for the remainder of the academic year, I suddenly found myself out of work. The majority of my job responsibilities revolve around preparing laboratory classes for students—students who are no longer on campus.
Thankfully, I’m still receiving a paycheck, but only time will tell whether I’ll be furloughed or have my hours cut back like so many other employees at colleges and universities.

Read More