On the Sidelines

Richard Quinn

In addition to writing for HumbleDollar, Dick blogs at his own site, Before retiring in 2010, he was a compensation and benefits executive. Dick and his wife Connie have four children and 13 grandchildren, and they've been married for more than 50 years. Since retiring, they have been to 44 countries and driven across the U.S. twice. Dick takes pride in having kissed the Blarney Stone, drunk from the Fountain of Youth and placed a prayer in the Western Wall. He's written more than 100 articles for HumbleDollar.

On the Sidelines

Richard Quinn  |  Sep 24, 2022

ONE OF THE GREAT blessings in life is grandchildren. In fact, as I think back on our childrearing years, skipping the children and going right to the grandchildren would have been great. Just kidding, Rick, Chris, Caryn and Craig.

Here I sit as a retiree on a Saturday morning, what to do, what to do? Are you kidding me?

When you have 13 grandchildren all living within an hour or so from your home,

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My Retirement Hero

Richard Quinn  |  Sep 16, 2022

CAROL IS MY COUSIN. Long divorced, she raised three daughters on her own. Now newly retired, her life is one long adventure—tackled with an incredible attitude. Some people approach retirement with trepidation, but not Carol. She was out of the gate with gusto.

Carol retired from Medtronic in November 2021, after 22 years. She’s a registered nurse who assisted doctors with the insertion of medical devices. She has a pension—Carol became eligible just before the company stopped offering them.

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Barely Holding On

Richard Quinn  |  Sep 8, 2022

AS THE SAYING GOES, you get what you pay for. Does that mean a higher price equals better service and quality? When I purchase something, I assume customer service is built into the cost. But maybe I’m wrong.
One of my current life goals is to be one of those “other customers” who are currently being assisted while I’m on hold. When I call a helpline, I’m thinking my call is not that important to them.

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Best Option

Richard Quinn  |  Sep 6, 2022

BACK IN 2005, my employer was in merger talks. If the deal had gone through, I would have lost my job. I’d already received an offer of promotion to vice president. That made me eligible for an officer’s severance package that included, among other things, two years’ pay plus my full pension.
I was almost hoping the deal would go through, but it didn’t. Still, I was made a VP and worked another five years.

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Liquidating Assets

Richard Quinn  |  Aug 27, 2022

HERE I SIT IN MY local Starbucks, sipping an overpriced iced tea comprised of 50% ice. As I am prone to do, I’m observing the customers in line and what they’re ordering. Yeah, I’m that suspicious-looking old man in the corner with iPhone in hand.

What I observe is a line of young, really young people—like less than age 25. What I see is consistent with many other stores where I’ve loitered, that is,

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Separate Ways

Richard Quinn  |  Aug 24, 2022

IT’S CLEAR I AM a dinosaur when it comes to my views on money matters—and apparently several other things as well, but let’s not go there.

When I read in blog posts and articles that a married couple should separate their finances into his money and her money, that one person pays for this and the other for that, and never the twain shall meet, I’m shocked. Some articles indicate a severe division of money matters.

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Child Labor

Richard Quinn  |  Aug 16, 2022

WHEN I WAS A KID growing up in the 1940s and ’50s, I didn’t get an allowance. In my family, we had to earn our spending money—and earn we did. My childhood included working at all kinds of jobs, some of which kids today wouldn’t even recognize. Shoveling coal and hauling ashes? Please.
My recollection of my childhood jobs goes like this:

At age eight or so, I operated a lemonade stand in front of our apartment building.

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Chips With Everything

Richard Quinn  |  Aug 13, 2022

I EXPERIENCED a traumatic event recently: 24 hours without an iPhone. When I left the house, I felt out of touch, incommunicado. What if someone needed me or I needed them? What if I missed the latest Tweet? It was horrible.

My iPhone X was just about kaput, with a cracked screen and a weak battery. On a trip to the mall, I walked into an AT&T store “just to look.” I ended up with an iPhone 13 Pro,

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Moaning About Money

Richard Quinn  |  Aug 9, 2022

I’M SPENDING MONEY like water, even though I’m a tightwad, or so says my wife.

We’re on vacation—well, sort of. Since we’re retirees, “vacation” has less meaning. Still, we are away from our principal residence in New Jersey, instead spending the summer at our house on Cape Cod.

At various points, some of our four children and 13 grandchildren arrive—but, fortunately, not all at once. The house goes from quiet to pandemonium. Even so,

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Retirement Is Coming

Richard Quinn  |  Aug 5, 2022

AM I ALLOWED another rant?

I have a tip for anyone under age 50. Someday—if you’re lucky—you’ll stop working and still need income to live. Most of us call that retirement.

How in the world do people reach their 50s and suddenly have a revelation that retirement is somewhere in their future?

I get it. If you’re in your 20s or even early 30s, it’s time to have fun. But there’s the trap. Fun for too long,

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Retirement Riddles

Richard Quinn  |  Aug 1, 2022

I SPEND SIGNIFICANT time reading the viewpoints of people who are planning for retirement or who are already retired. My frequent reaction: What are they thinking?
When I review retirement planning discussions on Facebook and elsewhere, I often find the participants show little understanding of how to proceed or even what some basic terms mean. Here’s a sampling of the confusion and uncertainty I come across:

Should people aim to replace 70%, 80% or some other percentage of their preretirement income?

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Steady as He Goes

Richard Quinn  |  Jul 29, 2022

WHEN I GRADUATED high school in 1961, my parents offered this advice: “Find a good company to work for and stay there.” At the time, my choices were the phone company, a major insurance company and a utility. I applied to all three and would have taken a job with any of them, but ended up at the utility. I worked there until I retired in January 2010.

Today, my parents’ advice seems almost quaint,

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How Are We Doing?

Richard Quinn  |  Jul 16, 2022

FRANKLY, I DIDN’T KNOW how wise or prudent our investments are, so I decided to take a closer look.

Turns out my wife and I are fairly well diversified, but is it the right mix? Our investment goals are preservation of capital, generating income and modest growth. To achieve these goals, we have a mix of money market funds, dividend-paying individual stocks, and bond and stock mutual funds—mostly stock-index funds. The stock funds include large-cap and small-cap,

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Tipping Point

Richard Quinn  |  Jul 15, 2022

ON MY FIRST VISIT to Europe, I discovered a different approach to tipping—don’t. I left a euro for a bartender in Ireland and was gently admonished by our guide. I left it anyway. Just couldn’t help myself.

On the Italian island of Capri, to tip or not resulted in a confrontation with a waiter. We were told not to tip. In addition, the bill had a service charge. Was it for the waiter? Apparently not,

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Man Overboard

Richard Quinn  |  Jul 8, 2022

I’M IN THE SOUP—again. Italian wedding soup, to be precise.

On special occasions, my wife and I enjoy going to a fine-dining restaurant. By this, I mean a calm, quiet atmosphere with ambiance, white tablecloths, no need to ask for the water glass to be refilled, more than one server for your table, an extensive wine list and good, creative food. Generally, such a place will attract people with similar objectives for the night.

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