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11 Mottos to Live By

Marjorie Kondrack

Marjorie loves music, dancing and the arts, and is a former amateur ice dancer accredited by the United States Figure Skating Association. In retirement, she worked for eight years as a tax preparer for the IRS’s VITA and TCE programs.

    11 Mottos to Live By

    Marjorie Kondrack  |  Apr 21, 2023

    LIVING BENEATH OUR means is one of the best habits to develop if we want a secure retirement. Like many others, I learned this sort of thrift from my parents and grandparents, who lived through the Great Depression and, by necessity, had to avoid waste.
    Not only did our forebearers survive the Great Depression, but also the Second World War came right on its heels. These were years of conserving materials—such as metal, rubber,

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    Bewildering Benefits

    Marjorie Kondrack  |  Apr 7, 2023

    WHEN I CLAIMED SOCIAL Security benefits, I had no idea how much there was to know—and how much I didn’t know. Bear in mind that the Social Security website didn’t exist until the late 1990s, and back then only minimal services were accessible through the site. In addition, most people didn’t fully appreciate the advantages of delaying benefits.

    In my naïveté, I thought I would go to my local Social Security office to find out what options were available for claiming,

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    Luxury Liner Living

    Marjorie Kondrack  |  Mar 17, 2023

    MOST OF US REACH a point in retirement where we think about downsizing. This happened most recently for us when my husband was replacing batteries in our smoke alarms. This required him to stand on a ladder and look up, triggering a bout of vertigo.

    This and other elder episodes, happening as we try to perform simple, everyday tasks, caused us to rethink our ability to remain in our current home. We’re not decrepit yet,

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    The Envelope Returns

    Marjorie Kondrack  |  Mar 6, 2023

    HAVE YOU HEARD of the latest budgeting technique? It’s called cash stuffing. No, it’s not shoving money into your mattress. It’s the new name for an old budgeting method, where you divide your weekly pay into envelopes earmarked for various spending categories, such as food, gas, rent, vacations, clothing and so on.

    For each expense, you spend only from that envelope and, when it’s empty, that’s it. No cheating. No dipping into other envelopes.

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    Frugal or Miserly?

    Marjorie Kondrack  |  Mar 2, 2023

    MANY OF THE WEALTHY people I’ve studied were extremely frugal—to the point of eccentricity. Why is it that when rich folks are tightfisted, people call them eccentric, but—if you aren’t rich—people tag you as cheap?
    New Jersey Bell Telephone Co., now called Verizon, used to have small inserts with its bills that highlighted persons of note who had a connection to the state, whether they were natives or had resided there at some point,

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    Paper Chase

    Marjorie Kondrack  |  Feb 8, 2023

    I BEGAN BUYING Series I savings bonds in 1999. At the time, you could purchase them at a local bank and receive paper bonds. Amid 2022’s spike in inflation, those early bonds that I bought were—for a six-month stretch last year—yielding an annualized 13.08%. Not bad for a low-risk investment.
    One drawback to buying savings bonds: the limit on how much a person can purchase each year. When I began buying Series I savings bonds,

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    Hearing Voices

    Marjorie Kondrack  |  Jan 28, 2023

    READING ABOUT FINANCE can be a little dry at times, so I occasionally turn to TV for relief, relaxation and a little entertainment. What am I drawn to? More than anything, it hinges on a person’s voice.
    For instance, I like listening to Neil Cavuto on Fox Business Network. His interviews with business leaders are usually interesting and his demeanor holds my attention. He comes across as earnest.
    My parents were transplanted New Englanders,

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    An American Story

    Marjorie Kondrack  |  Jan 25, 2023

    MY MONEY JOURNEY began as a young girl when a confluence of events created tragedy and financial ruin for my family. I grew up in Brooklyn in the 1950s. After the death of my father at age 40, we lost our home and had only the barest of necessities.

    At that time, there was little help for people in our situation. The meager government benefits that existed were highly regulated and came with a lot of intrusion into your personal life.

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