Wisdom on Wealth Columns

What We Can Learn from Japan and Canada

In the last few weeks, I’ve been discussing how your financial future could be impacted by our national debt, our changing demographics, and our leaders’ reluctance to act decisively.  You may be thinking, “Is there any way out, short of national bankruptcy?” One, I don’t believe the United States will ever declare bankruptcy. Two, I …

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4 Ways to Respond to America’s Economic Situation

Last time we looked at three economic problems that loom large on our nation’s horizon: debt, demographics, and decisions. Lured by the economic steroid of borrowed money, we’ve accumulated debt as if we’d never have to re-pay the proverbial piper (i.e., the bank).  Politically, Social Security is known as the “third rail” of politics. The …

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Three Challenges Facing America

I am routinely asked, “Is the U.S. headed for a financial crisis? And, if so, what can we do to get ready for it?” I get the feeling some questioners expect me to reply, “Buy 40 acres and some livestock, plant a garden, and stock up on gold and ammunition.” While that isn’t what I …

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How to Pay for College

Most parents eventually think, “College…oh yeah…what’s THAT going to cost?” Smart question to ask—and answer—ASAP. (Have you checked the price of higher education lately?) According to SoFi, as of the 2022-23 school year, a four-year degree from Harvard (tuition, books, and all other expenses) now runs $334,152. If you want to tack on a degree …

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Thinking About Taxes and Retirement

Susan’s getting close to retirement. She has money in two mutual funds and in a traditional IRA. Susan loved the tax break she got annually on her IRA contributions while she was working. But now she’s realizing she’ll have to pay taxes on that money when she starts withdrawing it. Consequently, as she plans for …

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Can Money Buy Happiness?

Can money buy happiness? More than a decade ago, Nobel Prize-winners Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton decided to tackle that question.  They studied the results of a 2008-2009 survey of 450,000 Americans (i.e., the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index).  Kahneman and Deaton observed that the more people earned, the more inclined they were to report being happy—up …

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