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Richard Quinn

Richard Quinn

In addition to writing for HumbleDollar, Dick blogs at his own site, QuinnsCommentary.net. 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 200 articles and blog posts for HumbleDollar.

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Why the Long Face?

Richard Quinn  |  Sep 25, 2023

AS I READ ARTICLES and comments on HumbleDollar, I see concerns about taxes, Medicare, Social Security, health care costs, college, inflation, investing—and the anxiety caused by the complexity of it all. I also see very different views on what’s earned and deserved. In some ways, it’s about what we consider fair.

I suspect the HumbleDollar community is more aware and more involved in their overall financial life than the majority of Americans,

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My Car Journey

Richard Quinn  |  Sep 2, 2023

I WROTE AN ARTICLE in 2019 titled Mercedes and Me. It was about my 52-year quest to fulfill a promise to my father—one I’m sure he never even remembered. My promise: to buy a Mercedes, a vehicle my father sold for many years but could never afford, even at dealer cost.

In 2014, after 10 years of diligent saving, I achieved my goal. I paid $60,000 in cash to make good on my promise and to fulfill my dream.

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Going Bananas

Richard Quinn  |  Aug 22, 2023

“CLEAN YOUR PLATE.” “You’ll eat what’s for dinner and like it.” “There are children starving in Africa.”

Those are lines I often heard as a child. I guess my parents weren’t aware of hunger in the U.S.—or the long-term damage to our waistlines and health that such clean-your-plate advice could have.

Still, at least we weren’t squandering food, which is a big problem these days. Each year, 80 million tons of food are wasted in the U.S.

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Moody About Money

Richard Quinn  |  Jul 27, 2023

A RECENT ARTICLE on this site, written by the editor, put me in a contemplative mood: How do I think about money?

Actually, I was already pondering this question, something I do frequently and especially at the end of the month, when my pension is deposited into one of our bank accounts and earnings on our investments are displayed in our Fidelity Investments accounts. I also ponder this question when I see our stocks and funds go up or down each day.

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Retirement at Risk

Richard Quinn  |  Jul 17, 2023

I HAVE TROUBLE accepting things at face value. I like to validate information, checking it against several sources. This is especially true when it comes to all things money- and retirement-related. But it’s not always easy to do.

Do Americans tell the truth about how they spend their money? Do they actually know? Does it really take extreme frugality to save for the future, a talent many folks lack or refuse to embrace?

I look around and,

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And Yet I Did Okay

Richard Quinn  |  Jul 13, 2023

IF YOU WANT ADVICE on investing, don’t ask me. My investment knowledge is, shall we say, limited.

I don’t pay much attention to expense ratios, individual stocks, international markets, the VIX, interest rates or much else. I know nothing about evaluating stocks or the overall market, though I have learned the hard way that rising interest rates aren’t friendly to utility stocks.

In other words, I’m more like your typical saver who’s playing at investing.

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Foolishly Fixated

Richard Quinn  |  Jul 7, 2023

GOOGLE THE QUESTION, “How many Americans live on a fixed income?” You won’t find an answer. But we all know “fixed income” is used endlessly to describe the plight of us seniors.

For example, there’s this from the National Council on Aging: “Living on a fixed income generally applies to older adults who are no longer working and collecting a regular paycheck. Instead, they depend mostly or entirely on fixed payments from sources such as Social Security,

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Spending Tip: Don’t

Richard Quinn  |  Jun 27, 2023

I’VE DECIDED TO SELL some of my investments and buy a Bentley. The one I admire would cost about $300,000, including taxes and fees.
Just kidding. Besides, I couldn’t face my four children after such an indecent splurge, knowing that they’re dealing with high-deductible health plans, saving for college and socking away money for retirement—just like millions of other Americans.
While that Bentley purchase would be possible in theory, it would substantially reduce my assets,

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Ah, the Good Old Days

Richard Quinn  |  Jun 5, 2023

I GOT OUT OF THE ARMY in August 1969. In the months prior, my wife and I discussed our financial plans. Simply put, if I was given a raise to $160 a week when I returned to work, we could buy some furniture for our small apartment. Bingo—we made it. I was earning $8,300 a year.

The other part of our plan was to save my wife’s salary toward a house down payment. She left the job market for good the following July,

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Medicare for All

Richard Quinn  |  May 25, 2023

I CAN’T TAKE IT ANY more: I need to rant about health care.

There’s absolutely no reason to continue the current health-care payment system, none, not one. Where’s the rationale for having private insurance, Obamacare, Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)? Each was developed to deal with the same issue—paying for health care.

Some form of Medicare for all, or M4A as it’s sometimes known, is the only system that makes sense.

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Think for Yourself

Richard Quinn  |  May 19, 2023

I DREAD THOSE RED down votes on my HumbleDollar comments. Perhaps at times I come across as less than empathetic, but that’s not really me. I have sincere empathy for anyone who honestly struggles to make life decisions, including financial decisions. I also realize that adhering to good financial practices is made hard by the problems that arise with the ups and downs of daily life.

I spent my working life, which spanned nearly 50 years,

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Never Stops Raining

Richard Quinn  |  May 2, 2023

SELLING A HOUSE should be easy. Hire a realtor, find a buyer, the realtor takes a percentage and it’s a done deal. If only.

Try this version instead. Before we could sell our house in 2020, we had to fix a list of defects, including power washing the roof, having a dead tree removed, digging up an already drained oil tank and tearing up the pavers in the driveway to get at the tank.

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A Prize Inside

Richard Quinn  |  Apr 28, 2023

A LONG TIME AGO, when I bought gas for my car, the attendant gave me a miniature jar of grape jelly. In fact, every time I’d fill up, I’d receive a little jar of jelly or a juice glass—back in 1964.

If I didn’t get jelly, I’d get a faux tiger’s tail, which I dangled from my gas tank. When that tiger tail was stolen, I hung its replacement from my rearview mirror. Yes,

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Dinosaur Does Retail

Richard Quinn  |  Apr 25, 2023

I WAS READING HumbleDollar, minding my own business, when I heard those dreaded words: “I need to go shopping.” Frankly, I dislike shopping. If I need something from a store, I go, quickly find what I’m looking for, pay and leave. I use self-checkout whenever it’s available so I can get out as soon as possible.

To avoid the store altogether, I may go online and never leave my easy chair.

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Disney or Bust

Richard Quinn  |  Apr 11, 2023

AN ARTICLE PUBLISHED in The Wall Street Journal told the story of Americans in their 30s who are spending heavily and piling on debt as we leave the pandemic behind.

One family with an income of $80,000 in Lincoln, Nebraska—where the cost of living is low, with housing costs 22% below the national average—had $20,000 in credit card debt and $160,000 in student loans.

They used stimulus checks to work down their credit card debt.

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