February 2012 - Posts - The Dollar Stretcher
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The Dollar Stretcher blog will explore people and money.

February 2012 - Posts

  • Random Thoughts About Personal Finance

    Some random thoughts about personal finance:

    A lot of people who can't find jobs are going back to school. More education is usually good, but what happens if the take out additional student loans and still can't find a job after they complete their education. Seems that you'd need to be very sure that your chosen field will have job openings when you graduate to make this strategy smart.

    Baby boomers will have a rough time in the job market. Even if the economy suddenly got much better, employers will hire the many 20-somethings that are unemployed first. Their wage requirements are lower and their medical insurance cost is lower. Boomers need to rethink the kinds of jobs they're looking for. The odds of finding a job like the one they lost are pretty low.

    What would you do if gas hits $5 a gallon? Many experts think that's possible this summer. For most of us that would be a big burden on the family budget. Might be a good idea to start making changes now so that the adjustment isn't so painful later.

    Wish everyone had joined us for our Twitter #DlrChat last Tuesday. One participant (@scg003twitparty) won a Kindle. Everyone who participated learned something about preparing to buy a home. The next #DlrChat will be on March 20th and will discuss retirement accounts. If you can, put 3pm Eastern on your calendar.

    Finally, a reminder if you're getting a tax refund to use it wisely. Don't get a 'refund anticipation loan' (RAL). Typically you're paying an interest rate of over 100%. And, if you can apply your refund to a credit card balance you'll multiply the benefit. Kind of like the gift that keeps on giving!

    Keep on Stretching those Dollars!


  • RetireAndRenew

     As mentioned in an earlier post, I'm concerned about baby boomers and retirement. It's almost as if a whole generation is heading full speed ahead into a brick wall. So I'm always on the lookout for resources that can help boomers (myself included) navigate these times financially. Today I want to re-introduce you to a blog by someone that Stretchers already know.

    The blog is RetireAndRenew.com and it's done by Lori Blatzheim. If the name sounds familiar that's because she does the Thrifty Living Today blog and the Virtual Thrift Club forum for us here at The Dollar Stretcher.com.

    She's going to discuss all the live changing events that come with retirement. Changes in finances, friends and activities. And, if I know Lori, I suspect it will be an interesting journey that she'll share with readers.

    So drop on by and leave her a note. Especially if you're among those who are retired or are thinking about retirement.

    Oh, and don't forget to keep on stretching those dollars!


  • Baby Boomers and Retirement

    As many of you know, I'm a baby boomer. So it's only natural that I share many experiences and challenges with other boomers. One upcoming challenge is that I'm beginning to believe that many baby boomers will not get to retire. Not at age 62, 65 or 67. Not even at age 75. The reason is simple. Most of us simply haven't accumulated enough wealth so that we can live off of it for the balance of our lives.

    I'm working on collecting the statistics and won't take your time for that here. Suffice it to say that I'm betting most boomers, if they're honest with themselves know that they haven't saved enough for retirement. Or maybe they thought that they were on the right track, but the drop in housing prices and the value of 401k plans put a hurt on their plans.

    If you're a boomer how do you feel about your retirement plans? I'd love to hear what you think. As you enter or approach the 60's do you think that your plans are going well? Or are you becoming concerned that your nest egg just isn't big enough? Please shoot me an email and let me know what you're thinking.

    Keep on Stretching those Dollars!


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Gary is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who edits The Dollar Stretcher website <www.stretcher.com> and newsletters. You can follow Gary on Twitter.com/gary_foreman
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