Beer to Taxes

Dan Smith  |  Sep 14, 2023

I DON’T FIT THE USUAL profile of a HumbleDollar reader. I don’t have what I’d consider a high net worth, nor am I a college graduate. Still, I hope my story shows it’s possible to reinvent yourself.
Around 1920, my dad’s family moved—with few belongings but a willingness to work—from Tennessee to northwestern Ohio. My dad met my mom while working at Hostess Bakery, and he later worked at Willys-Overland, welding together Jeeps during World War II.

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An Early Start

Judy Brassaw  |  Sep 12, 2023

WHEN I WAS AGE SEVEN or eight, I had a glass piggybank where I saved all the small change that came my way. I loved the sight of all this money that I could save or spend as I pleased.  

One day, my mom needed to go to the grocery store for some bread and found she didn’t have enough cash. She asked to borrow from my almost-full bank. I gave the money to her,

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Going Nuclear

Ken Cutler  |  Aug 25, 2023

I BEGAN MY FIRST JOB out of college 38 years ago. A newly minted electrical engineer, I was assigned by Philadelphia Electric Company to work at its Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station in Delta, Pennsylvania. As a young child, I had visited the Peach Bottom Unit 1 Visitor Center, never anticipating that I’d someday return to the site as an employee.
My concentration in college was power engineering, so I fully expected to be working in the transmission and distribution side of the electric power business.

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Pin Money

Howard Rohleder  |  Aug 25, 2023

I’M OLD ENOUGH TO remember when companies rewarded employee anniversaries with lapel pins. The number of years you served determined the quality of the metal and how many jewels were embedded in the pin.
I also remember when two different hospitals where I worked moved away from this practice in the 1980s and 1990s. Human resources departments came to realize that many employees didn’t value the pins. Perhaps there had been a day when pins were something people wore,

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What’s in a Name?

Dennis Friedman  |  Aug 24, 2023

WE USUALLY HAVE Chinese food every Wednesday. It’s our weekly night out for dinner. While waiting outside our favorite restaurant for a table, I heard my wife call out, “Hey, Doe, our table is ready.” That’s what my wife calls me. It’s my new name. She used to call me Dodo. Now, she’s shortened it to Doe.
How did this nickname come about? One day, I called myself a dodo for a silly mistake I’d made.

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My Savings Journey

E. Smith Smallwood  |  Jul 19, 2023

THERE IS NOTHING special about my story—no amazing tales of picking stocks, no glorious path of salary increases. Instead, there was just the challenge of living well below my means and consistently putting my money to work for a better tomorrow.
Growing up, I don’t recall any major family financial issues. Of course, my parents would likely have shielded me from any challenges that they endured. I know that they sacrificed to make college available to all four of their children,

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Come a Long Way

T.V. Narayanan  |  Jul 12, 2023

WHEN I WAS BORN 80-plus years ago in Madathumpady, it was one of the remotest villages in India. The country was ruled by the British and the freedom struggle was underway, led by Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.
My parents hadn’t attended school because there were no schools in the village when they grew up. But they weren’t illiterate. Both learned to read and write. In fact, my mother taught me how to read and write before I attended school.

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Free to Give

Mike Finley  |  Jul 5, 2023

I WAS RAISED IN a small town in Iowa. My mother died of breast cancer when I was two years old. My father struggled to cope with her death, but he paid the bills and made sure my basic needs were met. Indeed, when I look back, my upbringing seems pretty normal.
I survived high school, but had no clue what I was going to do with my life. One day, my father decided to give me a nudge.

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How We Unretired

John Yeigh  |  Jun 22, 2023

ONE RECENT TREND among newly minted retirees: unretirement. According to an AARP study, some 3% of retirees are back in the workforce one year later, taking on either fulltime or part-time jobs. Often, unretiring wasn’t part of the retiree’s original plan—but we shouldn’t assume it’s necessarily about needing money.
Starbucks’s Howard Schultz, quarterback Tom Brady and Disney’s Bob Iger are poster children for unretiring. Even our HumbleDollar world includes many examples of those who have reinvented,

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Yes, They Give a Damn

Kenyon Sayler  |  Jun 5, 2023

HOME DEPOT COFOUNDER Bernie Marcus made headlines late last year with his claim that capitalism may not survive because “nobody works, nobody gives a damn.” I respectfully disagree. While Marcus has one example—people not wanting to work or work hard enough at the stores he founded—I believe America has a terrific future based on four observations:

I was a Boy Scouts leader for 16 years. I like to think that Scouts teach leadership and independence.

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A Game of Darts

Robert Solimano  |  May 22, 2023

IN GRADE SCHOOL, when my mother asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I recall saying “entrepreneur.” I’m sure she would rather I’d said “doctor” or “lawyer.” But the thrill of building something new and providing something of value to others has always appealed to me.

My first entrepreneurial memory was selling Entenmann’s donuts and coffee to captive motorists waiting on long gas lines during the energy crisis of the 1970s.

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Kicking the Habit

David Powell  |  May 17, 2023

REDUCTION IN FORCE. Layoff. Redundancy. For months now, the media have been running articles about technology companies shedding workers.
In October, the headlines became personal: My manager eliminated my position. It was the first layoff in my 37-year career and an early 60th birthday surprise. My last day would be in mid-December. After another year of positive performance reviews and accompanying financial rewards, the news was a shocker.
After that fateful call with my boss,

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Second Act

Marjorie Kondrack  |  May 16, 2023

IN THE SHORT TIME I’ve been writing for HumbleDollar, I’ve noticed that most readers and writers are either on the cusp of retirement or not too far along in retirement. Some have expressed a desire to find new careers, perhaps part-time and preferably more challenging than being a Walmart greeter or Home Depot helper. As they say, 60 is the new 40—still time for new ventures.
Life coaching is a profession that’s become more mainstream and,

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The Great Imposter

Steve Abramowitz  |  May 11, 2023

I’VE BEEN AN IMPOSTER all my life. In high school, I drove my silver Corvette Stingray into the teachers’ parking lot, revving the engine to announce my arrival. But once I came out from under my shades and joined the throng of students converging on the entrance, I reverted to the shy introvert walking tentatively with his head down.
From time to time, we all take on the role of great pretender to hide our fears of failure and humiliation,

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Born to Sell

Juan Fourneau  |  Apr 28, 2023

I ONCE DABBLED IN the world of sales. I wasn’t very good at it. In 1997, I got a job at Schwan’s, driving one of those yellow trucks you see in neighborhoods all over the U.S. selling frozen treats, ice cream and a variety of food. I thought it would be a delivery and service job. But I found out during the orientation and training that there was an element of sales.

I read the books of motivational speaker Zig Ziglar in my free time and got some basic training in sales from the company.

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