A Windfall

Last October, The Billfold asked a bunch of people what they would do if they got a surprise $20,000 windfall. Most people said they would use the money to pay off their debt, then save and invest some of it, and then use a little bit of the money to travel. My thoughts then were pretty much in line with everyone else’s.

And then last week, I got a windfall. My parents were left some money by a relative, and they gave me $6,000 to use however I wanted.

Look At Your Old Self and Save for Retirement

Me in the future. Me save for retirement now.

Retirement Security Is Also About the People You Have In Your Life

Obviously we should all try to prepare our nest eggs for the kinds of lives we want to be living in the future, but I thought this interview by Chris Taylor in Reuters was interesting. The idea is that strong, secure relationships are just as important as socking money away because if, for whatever reason, your finances are wiped out, you'll have people who care about you who can help you turn things around. I don't always agree with Suze Orman, but I've always agreed with her mantra of "people first, then money, then things."

Retirement Preparedness Questionnaire

You may think retirement is out of reach, and you’re probably right!

To better assess your retirement needs and preparedness, please answer the following simple questions:

 

1.) I would like to retire at the age of:

a.) 55, as I am already a multi-millionaire who works solely to alleviate the ennui.

b.) A spryish 87.

c.) It all depends on whether or not I’ve saved enough vacation days by 2067 to attend my death.

 

2.) I’m in my:

a.) 30s, but I have no children, hobbies, student loans, rent, or dietary needs, so I’m ready to start modestly planning ahead.

b.) 50s, with no history of conveniently-timed dead-on-the-spot strokes in my family.

c.) Grave, which we still need to figure out how to pay for.

In 2014 Our Government Is Still Filing Retirement Paperwork by Hand

In Boyers, Pa. there are 600 people who work in a limestone mine, but they're not digging out natural resources or anything like that—they work for the Office of Personnel Management, and their job is to process the retirement paperwork of U.S. government workers. They work in a mine because they need the space, and they need the space because they need room for 28,000 file cabinets. Though it's 2014, the majority of the paperwork is still processed and filed by hand. David A. Fahrenthold explains how this came to be in his appropriately titled story for The Washington Post, "Sinkhole of Bureaucracy."

Tim Armstrong Apologizes; Mother of ‘Distressed Baby’ Speaks Up

On Saturday, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong apologized for his comments about distressed babies being a part of the reason why 401(k) benefits were being cut for employees, and announced that the old retirement savings plan would be restored (somehow?).

Quitting 1 Career at 57 to Start Another

Bill Robson is 57 and lives in Sammamish, Washington. Last year, he quit his career in computer engineering to write a book and start a business. We spoke recently about his transition.

Bracing for Pension Cuts

At Newsweek, David Cay Johnson takes a closer look at the Detroit ruling lifting protections on state pensions, and explains some of the history that has led to the shortfalls all across the country. This, of course, is a huge deal for retirees who've worked who are bracing for pension cuts.

Investment Advice from Warren Buffett (It’s All About Low-cost Index Funds)

The latest edition of Warren Buffett's shareholder letter champions the low-cost index fund as the smart way to invest (as we've mentioned previously.

The Things Retirement Calculators Leave Out

In the Financial Times, "undercover economist" Tim Hartford talks about the unforeseen costs that retirement calculators seem to leave out.

How a 26-Year-Old Singaporean Does Money

Jillian Wong, is a 26-year-old Singaporean who works for a design website. Not too long ago, she visited New York and asked to meet with me so we could talk about the culture of money in Singapore.

Retired, But Working Part-time by Choice

In The Globe and Mail, Joyce Wayne has a column about leaving her full-time job after working for 37 years, and what retirement means to her: Being able to pursue a dream of writing books, while continuing to work part-time for additional income (so she can continue helping her daughter pay for her college education; her partner was also recently laid off). She says retirement has never meant ceasing to work for her.