For those with the courage to spoon money into stocks, come what may, a long bear market can be a great gift.

Benefits Lost

WHO IS YOUR worst financial enemy? Got a mirror? For millions of American workers, their employee benefits play a significant role in their financial lives—and yet this noncash portion of their compensation is often undervalued, overlooked and misused.
I designed and managed employee benefits for nearly 50 years. During those years, I tried every form of communication I could think of to get employees to pay attention to their benefits. I retired with a sense of failure.

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More Than Money

WHEN I DECIDED to retire, I kept asking myself, “Do I have enough money?” If I’m lucky enough to live a long life, my savings might have to last 35 years.
My coworkers, however, had a different question. “Hey Dennis, what are you going to do with all your free time?” I was asked that question so many times it became annoying. I soon realized they had doubts about how they would stay busy during retirement.

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Happily Misbehaving

IN SUMMER 2011, a rural Illinois man named Wayne Sabaj was in his backyard picking broccoli, when something caught his eye. Half buried in the dirt, he found a sealed nylon bag. Inside was $150,000 in cash. For Sabaj, who was unemployed and had, in his words, “spent my last $10 on cigarettes,” this was a godsend.
Though it remains a mystery who had buried this particular stash of money, these sorts of finds are not uncommon.

Read more »

Latest Blogs

Benefits Lost

WHO IS YOUR worst financial enemy? Got a mirror? For millions of American workers, their employee benefits play a significant role in their financial lives—and yet this noncash portion of their compensation is often undervalued, overlooked and misused.
I designed and managed employee benefits for nearly 50 years. During those years, I tried every form of communication I could think of to get employees to pay attention to their benefits. I retired with a sense of failure.

Read more »

More Than Money

WHEN I DECIDED to retire, I kept asking myself, “Do I have enough money?” If I’m lucky enough to live a long life, my savings might have to last 35 years.
My coworkers, however, had a different question. “Hey Dennis, what are you going to do with all your free time?” I was asked that question so many times it became annoying. I soon realized they had doubts about how they would stay busy during retirement.

Read more »

Happily Misbehaving

IN SUMMER 2011, a rural Illinois man named Wayne Sabaj was in his backyard picking broccoli, when something caught his eye. Half buried in the dirt, he found a sealed nylon bag. Inside was $150,000 in cash. For Sabaj, who was unemployed and had, in his words, “spent my last $10 on cigarettes,” this was a godsend.
Though it remains a mystery who had buried this particular stash of money, these sorts of finds are not uncommon.

Read more »

Blog archive »

Numbers

STUDENT LOANS outstanding have skyrocketed 130.3% since 2008’s third quarter, even as overall household debt has climbed just 4.2%, based on data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Act

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR GROWING WEALTH. You might avoid interest charges by paying cash for your next car, rather than borrowing. You could minimize financial account fees by always keeping the required minimum. You might save on insurance premiums by raising deductibles and lengthening elimination periods, and perhaps even opting to self-insure.

Think

EXPECTATIONS. Investment losses are most distressing when they’re least expected. For instance, many investors expect their stock portfolios to fall occasionally by 20% or more. But they’d be horrified if their money-market mutual fund—which they consider a haven of safety—“broke the buck” and slipped 1% from the standard $1 share price to 99 cents.

Home Call to Action

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Getting Up There

DEPENDING ON WHO you talk to, we have a major problem in the U.S. with productivity growth, economic growth, the trade deficit, the budget deficit, public sector pensions, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid—or, if folks are feeling especially gloomy, perhaps all of the above. But the reality is, these issues are, at least in part, merely symptoms of a far larger problem.
What’s that? We’re rapidly approaching the point where we don’t have enough workers producing the goods and services that society needs.

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Jonathan Clements

About Jonathan

Jonathan Clements is the founder and editor of HumbleDollar. He spent almost two decades at The Wall Street Journal, where he was the personal finance columnist. His latest book: How to Think About Money.

Money Guide

Start Here

Emergency Plan

YOUR PLAN FOR FINANCIAL EMERGENCIES might have four components: a cash reserve, credit lines, a Roth IRA and low fixed living costs.
One rule of thumb says that, as an emergency reserve, you ought to keep six months’ living expenses in conservative investments, such as a savings account or a money-market fund. This can be a heap of dough. For instance, if you make $75,000 a year, you might need to set aside $25,000 to cover your living expenses for half a year.

Read more »

Money Guide

Start Here

Emergency Plan

YOUR PLAN FOR FINANCIAL EMERGENCIES might have four components: a cash reserve, credit lines, a Roth IRA and low fixed living costs.
One rule of thumb says that, as an emergency reserve, you ought to keep six months’ living expenses in conservative investments, such as a savings account or a money-market fund. This can be a heap of dough. For instance, if you make $75,000 a year, you might need to set aside $25,000 to cover your living expenses for half a year.

Read more »
Home Call to Action
Jonathan Clements

About Jonathan

Jonathan Clements is the founder and editor of HumbleDollar. He spent almost two decades at The Wall Street Journal, where he was the personal finance columnist. His latest book: How to Think About Money.

Free Newsletter

Getting Up There

DEPENDING ON WHO you talk to, we have a major problem in the U.S. with productivity growth, economic growth, the trade deficit, the budget deficit, public sector pensions, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid—or, if folks are feeling especially gloomy, perhaps all of the above. But the reality is, these issues are, at least in part, merely symptoms of a far larger problem.
What’s that? We’re rapidly approaching the point where we don’t have enough workers producing the goods and services that society needs.

Read More »