Raise Your Voice

Jonathan Clements  |  Jun 22, 2024

OVER THE PAST SEVEN years, HumbleDollar has become my professional life’s passion. Cancer means I have maybe another year in me—and then it’ll be up to you. My hope: The site will have a life beyond me.
On the site’s homepage, just below the latest articles, you’ll find a new feature dubbed Forum. Will HumbleDollar have a lively future, rather than fading into a dusty collection of old articles? That all depends on whether readers and writers embrace the Forum,

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Life After Cars

Douglas W. Texter  |  Jun 21, 2024

DO YOU REMEMBER the days before you could drive? You felt like you were on a leash. No freedom. No fun.
I have news for you: Those days could return.
One of the post-age-65 nightmares that we don’t talk about enough: Most affluent retirees live in the suburbs. Homes are miles from grocery stores, medical offices, movie theatres, restaurants and—perhaps most important—drugstores.
In the suburbs, the stream of city-based public transportation usually slows to a trickle.

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Favoring Fiber

Michael Flack  |  Jun 21, 2024

IN AN EARLIER ARTICLE, I detailed how Charter Communications wasn’t so much my internet provider as my extortionist. I thought I’d dealt with it all in an equitable manner. But then, exactly two years after our relationship began, Spectrum abruptly increased the price it charged for internet access by 67%, from $29.99 a month to $49.99. I guess we didn’t have a relationship so much as a contract.
While I didn’t take too kindly to that,

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Go Big Early

Jeffrey K. Actor  |  Jun 20, 2024

I VIVIDLY REMEMBER my father explaining how small sums of money could grow exponentially. Using the example of a penny that doubled every day for a month, he showed how it could grow to more than $10 million. Indeed, as Albert Einstein didn’t say, “The most powerful force in the universe is compound interest.”
Many authors tout the benefits of saving beginning at a young age. Radio personality Dave Ramsey and his daughter Rachel Cruze,

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Shouting Out

Dennis Friedman  |  Jun 20, 2024

AS WE GET OLDER, some of us have less patience and complain more. Maybe it’s because we’re frustrated. Many everyday activities become more difficult to perform as we age. As a 73-year-old, I probably have a shorter fuse when dealing with life’s daily hassles.
My friend Bill might also fall into the cranky category. He was complaining about how terrible customer service has become since the pandemic. “Prices keep rising, but we keep getting less in return,” he ranted.

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Many Unhappy Returns

Howard Rohleder  |  Jun 19, 2024

I WAS INSPIRED BY Rick Connor and other HumbleDollar contributors to sign up for the AARP’s volunteer-run Tax-Aide program. After completing 48 hours of training at a local college and passing the required tests, I volunteered two days a week at two different senior centers. I completed my first tax season in April.

Two clients, with whom I spent extra time, stood out. The first was a widow in her late 60s whose husband had always handled their finances.

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Facing the Truth

Venicio Navarro  |  Jun 18, 2024

WHAT WAS MY DAD thinking when he asked me to help him and my mom with their finances? Did he expect me to give him money? Maybe.
Up until that moment, my dad handled the family finances. Both he and Mom were retired, though my mom still worked occasionally as an adjunct professor. My mom assumed things were okay, though I had my suspicions.
One day, I saw a credit card bill that showed a large outstanding balance,

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Beyond Our Grasp

Greg Spears  |  Jun 17, 2024

MY TAX RETURN IS too complicated by far, and yours probably is, too. I lose hours looking up figures online, then toggling over to TurboTax to enter them in different boxes. It doesn’t help that I tend to pile, rather than file, important financial papers.
I take the job in stages because it’s so boring. I’ve also learned not to file early because late-arriving mail can upset my math. It happened again this year,

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Paid in Full

David Gartland  |  Jun 17, 2024

SPENDING ISN’T something I like to do. It doesn’t bring me lasting joy. I prefer just to buy what I need.
For many folks, spending involves borrowing. If spending is your thing, incurring interest charges on credit card debt and car loans probably isn’t a big deal. But to me, borrowing to buy something means I’m overspending. If I can’t afford to pay cash, I shouldn’t buy it.
Borrowing has been the downfall of many.

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Should We Worry?

Adam M. Grossman  |  Jun 16, 2024

BACK IN 2021, Keith Gill wasn’t well known. A video game enthusiast, he liked to spend time in his basement, day-trading and making videos. But with his online persona, Roaring Kitty, Gill drew a following that reached into the millions. He used that platform to direct attention to the shares of video game retailer GameStop, which was nearing insolvency. 

Gill’s videos drew enough attention in 2021 to cause a “short squeeze” in GameStop shares. The result: At least one hedge fund,

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The C Word

Jonathan Clements  |  Jun 15, 2024

ON SUNDAY MORNING, May 19, I was enjoying croissants and coffee with Elaine at the kitchen table, while watching the neighborhood sparrows, finches, cardinals and squirrels have their way with the bird feeder. All was right in our little world, except I was a little wobbly when walking—the result, I suspected, of balance issues caused by an ear infection.
It was going to be a busy week, and I figured that it would be smart to get some antibiotics inside me,

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Invested in My Opinion

Jamie Seckington  |  Jun 14, 2024

AS THE SAYING GOES, “Never ask a barber if it’s time for a haircut.”

This isn’t to suggest that barbers lack integrity. Rather, the point is that—when faced with a question with no definitive answer—business people often offer an answer that reflects their own best interest. For a barber, it’s always a good time for a haircut. The barber is neither wrong nor correct. It’s a judgment call. But the barber is undoubtedly invested in his opinion,

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Playing the Long Game

Sonja Haggert  |  Jun 14, 2024

IN A NEW YEAR’S article, I offered eight ways to potentially become a super-ager. A super-ager is a person age 80 or older who has the memory of someone 20 to 30 years younger. Vigorous exercise, a good diet and getting enough sleep were considered some of the key ingredients.
Or is it just luck? A new study conducted in Spain and published in The Journal of Neuroscience examined the world of super-agers by following two groups for five years: 64 super-agers and 55 typical older adults.

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Honeymoon At Last

Sanjib Saha  |  Jun 13, 2024

I’VE BEEN MARRIED TWICE, yet neither time could I take my newlywed wife on a proper honeymoon, let alone a lavish one. Hearing the honeymoon stories of others always left me feeling wistful, tinged with a hint of envy.
My first marriage was a bit rushed. My first wife—now my ex—and I wanted a no-frills civil marriage followed by a simple reception. But my parents insisted on a traditional Bengali wedding with its array of rituals,

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Summer School

Steve Abramowitz  |  Jun 13, 2024

RETURNING TO NEW YORK for the summer was out of the question. It was spring of my freshman year, and I wasn’t about to acquiesce to my parents’ wishes, not after the whirlwind of college life that included an introduction to pot and dating non-Jewish girls from small Midwestern towns. I didn’t give much thought to what I’d actually do. Maybe meeting girls taking summer school in The Grill or driving all the way to Miami and party,

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