What’s ENTAILED In Making a Will? (Get it? “Entailed”?)

All right, kiddos! It’s time for Part II of the conversation begun last week about estate planning for millennials, wherein we find a lighthearted way to talk about money and death. There should be a Schoolhouse Rock! cartoon on the subject. Unfortunately the show went off the air before it could find a catchy way to address the importance of bequeathing your earthly possessions and making provision for your dependents and heirs, so we’ll have to make do the best we can. Let’s start at the top.

WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY: What is a will exactly? Is it different from a Living Will? Is there such a thing as an Unliving, Unleavened, or Zombie Will? Do we still “entail” things, like they do on “Downton Abbey“? What if we’ve got nothing to leave but debt and a questionable browser history?

“Making It” in a Career

Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, and has toured internationally. She also has an advice column at LA Weekly called "Ask Fan Landers," where musicians write in to ask her everything from whether or not it's a good idea to manage your spouse's band, and what to do when one of your band members is always drunk. Her column this week addresses "making it," which can really be applied to any job really—this idea that we want to cross that imaginary line in our careers we set for ourselves to feel like we've finally "made it." [via]

‘Avoiding the Treadmill’ and Letting Stress Win: A Commencement Speech

The best advice and the worst advice I've ever gotten were three words long. The best advice was "avoid the treadmill". It was 2003. I was coming to the end of a master's degree in a subject (political philosophy) and a city (London) I was ready to leave. I was 22 years old.

Bad Incentives

Emily Oster is an economics professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and answers questions at The Wall Street Journal from the perspective of an economist. Her above answer is to a person who is trying to use a financial incentive ($10 a pound) to encourage his spouse to lose weight. I'm not surprised it didn't work either.

I Have 1 Job Offer and 1 Interview, What Should I Do?


This past Friday, I was offered a six-month contract position working for employer X. The conversation started out with: “Are you interested in this being part-time or full-time?” meaning they were flexible on the hours that could be worked, and I said that I’m interested in full-time only so long as it has the possibility of leading to a full-time, salaried job. There will be two full-time, salaried jobs opening up in 3-5 months, which she made a point to mention, though she also said of course that she obviously can’t guarantee that I’d get it. So we talked about it, and the hiring manager said she would draft a contract and send it my way early this week, like today or tomorrow. She sounded excited about it. And I should probably also mention that they are voluntarily paying me a little bit more than the rate I asked for (actual amount unclear until I see the contract). So I kind of verbally said yes, but did not say “I accept” or sign anything, as I haven’t seen the contract yet.

THEN: This morning I found out I am have a final interview for a full-time, salaried position with employer Y that I would very much want. The interview is tomorrow, but I suspect they wouldn’t be able to let me know their final decision until next week, or possibly Dec 1. I plan to let them know that I have another offer and hopefully ask them if they might be able to let me know by next week (right? this gives me anxiety about pressuring them, but I kind of have to).

WHAT SHOULD I TELL EMPLOYER X??? I have to tell them about this situation, right?

How Soon Can I Start Complaining About My New Job?

TO: Logan FROM: Marie SUBJECT: no subject

I had a job I hated for a long time. It dominated my life and it was terrible. But now it’s over. I have a new job. The new job saved me from the old job. I love the new job for that. But that’s about all I love about the new job. It’s so boring. The office smells. There isn’t anyone my age. It’s been a month. I’m going to stay at this job at least a year, I’ve already decided but my question for you is this: When am I allowed to start complaining about it? So far I’ve been getting a vibe from my friends that my life is supposed to be perfect because I left my old job, but it’s not. I want to speak my truth. But I also don’t want them to be like, oh, that Marie, never happy about anything, what a drag.

Why Won’t Anyone Hire Me?

I don't understand how I have such bad luck. Everyone I know is getting jobs, and I've been applying for jobs for over a year and I've gotten no jobs. Interviews, but no jobs. Statistically it seems impossible that I haven't had one single job offer. Is it impossible?

Who Opened My Mail?

How worried should I be about receiving credit card offers in the mail that have obviously been already opened by someone else? This has happened to me twice in the last six months, and I even notified my post office after the first time it happened. What else can I do to protect myself against identify theft and keep my mail secure? — M.V.

I Am Ready to Get My Prince Charming On

This girl I'm seeing (1 month) shops all the time and it's kind of ridiculous. I don't want to call her out on it, but like, what gives?

Help, I Have a Date and No Money

I have a date tonight and $3 in my checking account and no credit left available on my credit cards and it's literally too late to back out. WWYD?!?

Advice for Grads from Economists

Our pals at Planet Money asked a bunch of economists to give some graduation advice to the batch of college graduates who will be applying for jobs and entering the workforce soon.

Just Say No

Is there a kind and gentle way for C. to say "Mom, I can't give you any more money?" Are there resources we can suggest to help her develop better spending habits (if it matters, she's in her mid-50's and—thank goodness!—has a generous pension when she retires, so retirement saving isn't a big issue)?