Spending Their Future

Edmund Marsh  |  Nov 19, 2022

WHY DO SOME PEOPLE save more for retirement than others, even when their income is the same? It turns out that a difference in spending behavior, rather than a larger salary, may separate better savers from those who struggle to set aside funds for their future.
The Employee Benefit Research Institute and J.P. Morgan Asset Management joined forces to examine the spending and saving behavior of 10,000 households. The households, which were analyzed by age cohort,

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Know Your Worth

Austin Dorenkamp  |  Nov 10, 2022

WHAT’S MY NET WORTH? Do I know? Should I know?
These are questions I’ve thought about long and hard. After tracking the combined net worth of my wife and me for the past five years, I’ve concluded that the answer to that third question—should I know?—is a resounding yes. Before we get to the reasons, let’s start with a few basics.
What is net worth? According to Wikipedia, net worth is “the value of all the nonfinancial and financial assets owned by an individual or institution minus the value of all its outstanding liabilities.” Put another way,

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Fill Them Up

Mike Zaccardi  |  Sep 5, 2022

THE S&P 500’S RETURN so far in 2022, when compared to the same year-to-date stretch for previous years, ranks as the fourth worst since 1928. One result: Stocks look quite cheap. The market’s price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple has retreated as share prices have fallen while corporate earnings have continued to grow.
One chart in particular caught my eye last week. Each month, I peruse J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s Guide to the Markets.

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Didn’t Last Long

Kristine Hayes  |  Jul 5, 2022

JUST A HANDFUL of weeks ago, I posted about achieving a $1 million net worth. Now my status as a millionaire is already in jeopardy. While the value of some of my financial assets have held steady—and some have seen gains—the portion of my retirement account invested in the stock market has suffered significant losses.
My retirement account balance peaked on Jan. 4 at $478,000. Today, it hovers around $430,000. Since I retired in late May,

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Saving Your Life

Richard Quinn  |  Jun 10, 2022

I GREW UP IN a lower-middle-class family. We lived in a small apartment where I slept on the living room couch. My father sold cars for a living.

Today, my living standard is quite different. On average, 97% of retirees my age have less income and assets than my wife and me. Our friends are in similar economic circumstances. If they weren’t, they couldn’t live where we do.

The minimum needed to live in our condo community is $24,000 a year.

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Smooth Moves

Greg Spears  |  Jun 8, 2022

WHEN I ASKED MY college class this spring how many had been taught personal finance before, just a single hand went up. That’s why I teach Franco Modigliani’s lifecycle hypothesis of savings to my behavioral economics class.
A brilliant student born to a Jewish family in Rome, Modigliani was awarded first prize in a national economics contest by Mussolini himself. Warned to flee Italy while he still could, Modigliani soon after booked a zig-zagging trip through Switzerland and France before landing in New York in 1939.

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Seven Figures

Kristine Hayes  |  May 24, 2022

A FEW WEEKS AGO, my net worth hit the $1 million mark. It was a milestone I’d been looking forward to for years.
Almost a decade ago, I performed my first net worth calculation. Back then, I was recently divorced and living on my own for the first time in my life. My only assets were three retirement accounts and a seven-year-old car, plus half the proceeds from the sale of a house my ex and I had owned.

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Rant Ahead

Richard Quinn  |  May 8, 2022

WARNING: WHAT YOU read next may be interpreted as a rant—because it is.

I’m tired of hearing about how Americans are unprepared for retirement or even minor financial emergencies. A few years back, it was the inability of 40% to 50% of us to come up with $400 for an emergency. The $400 figure has been used to prove everything from the extent of inequality to how Americans struggle to manage money.

Other studies set the hurdle at $1,000.

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My Uncle’s Advice

John Yeigh  |  Mar 9, 2022

I LEARNED A LOT about finance and life from my uncle. He was an early investment advisor and published a book on wealth management. Even though he was not a registered investment advisor or a Certified Financial Planner, our family proudly extolled his ideas when I was growing up.
My family first introduced me to my uncle’s doctrines when I was a child of five or six. I had been given a small piggybank to store my life’s savings.

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Measuring Up

Tanvir Alam  |  Feb 3, 2022

AS I PULLED UP IN my used Subaru wagon to the high school drop-off line with two grumpy teenagers on the first day of school, I noticed something was different.
Because of the pandemic, our sleepy, semi-rural town in upstate New York had seen an influx of Manhattanites and Brooklyners over the past year. My Subaru was now bracketed by a shiny Tesla sedan and a polished Mercedes SUV. The usual collection of less flashy cars and trucks seemed to be missing.

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A Lucky Tortoise

Richard Quinn  |  Jan 6, 2022

I’VE BEEN REVIEWING my past writing on HumbleDollar, my own blog and social media. I notice I often throw out personal details, such as the second home we own, paying for our children’s college and our spending on travel. My intention isn’t to boast.

In fact, I don’t even think of myself as wealthy, though the statistics say my wife and I are above average. Perhaps that’s because what we have today was accumulated over 60 years,

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Clicking for Cash

Kristine Hayes  |  Nov 19, 2021

A FEW YEARS AGO, I searched a government database of unclaimed assets—and was surprised to discover the state of Oregon owed me money. I submitted a claim and waited a few weeks.
A check for $86 arrived. The funds were from royalties I’d earned from a YouTube channel that I’d long since forgotten about.
It’s estimated that one out of 10 Americans has unclaimed property waiting for them. A variety of websites allow anyone to search databases filled with unclaimed property,

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Financial Dogma

Kristine Hayes  |  Sep 11, 2021

I’VE BEEN TRAINING dogs for nearly 30 years. I’ve won enough awards in dog competitions to wallpaper my office with rosette ribbons. My 15 minutes of fame also involved dogs. Almost 20 years ago, I appeared on an episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where one of my corgis happily demonstrated his ability to ride a skateboard.
Just as there are many ways to skin a cat, there are also many ways to train a dog.

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Runs in the Family

Greg Spears  |  Aug 16, 2021

MY 28-YEAR-OLD wanted to know how much to contribute to her retirement plan at work. As a father, this was a text that I loved to get.
In May 2020, we toasted Genevieve over Zoom when she graduated with a master’s degree in social work. Within a week, she’d landed a job helping children in foster care and their families. Now, nearly a year later, she was invited to join the retirement savings plan at work,

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Unexpected Bonus

Mike Zaccardi  |  Aug 3, 2021

FRUGALITY GETS A BAD rap these days. It seems today’s standard advice is to “go ahead and buy your darn daily latte.” Instead, we’re told to worry about bigger financial issues.
That’s probably good advice. Small purchases here and there will likely boost our mood, while clipping coupons probably won’t move the net worth needle. Still, I’ve adopted a cheapskate practice that can be lucrative: brokerage firm retention bonuses.
To snag these bonuses, you typically need a sizable IRA or taxable account.

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