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.
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 know the onus is entirely upon me to pursue an informational interview with this man; it's just that figuring out how to politely pick his brain is proving a challenge. I tend to be reserved and to way over-think things; please help me figure out how to smoothly and tactfully request a career chat with this guy. — K.G.
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?
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 just noticed that the credit available on my three credit cards has been drastically reduced. For example, I used to have a $5,000 limit on one, and now it's down to $1,800. It's not a problem, since I am determined not to use these cards Ever Again, but it seems counterintuitive.
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.
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)?
Dear Mike, My father turns 70 this year. He's lived a fantastic, globe-trotting life as a journalist, but his freelancing gigs dried up about a decade ago and now he's living off Social Security and some meager savings with old medical bills to pay. He's very private about finances, so I'm not exactly sure what his situation is, but I am pretty sure he is right on the line of being able to support himself. He lives alone, and is friendly, but somewhat distant from our extended family. (I am his only child.)