Home for the Holidays / Open Thread

Good morning! We’ll be on our holiday schedule starting next week so we won’t have an official weekend estimate, but feel free to use this post to make estimates/go over holiday plans if you feel inclined to do so. We’ll be publishing some stories from some of our regular contributors with the theme of “Home for the Holidays” and highlighting some of our favorite stories of the year. Plus the editors here will get a much-needed break. We hope you’ll get one as well!

The Cost of an Ugly Christmas Sweater

It’s the time of year when everyone puts on the ugliest sweater they can find.

Transitional Furniture

Raise your hand if you’ve ever owned a Lack coffee table from Ikea. Keep your hand raised if your Lack coffee table was passed on to you from a friend, or found on the street, or bought for $10 on Craigslist, where you are bound to find pages and pages of Lack coffee tables for sale.

Our Current Reality and Our Future Goals

Carl Richards, a certified financial planner and the creator for the “Sketch Guy” column for the New York Times, is currently doing the “12 days of behavior gap” in which he gives out one of his sketches each day in his email newsletter and tells a story about it.

Monday Check-in

And how were your weekends?

Friday Estimate

What are your estimates?

The Unreachable American Dream

A recent New York Times poll found “that only 64 percent of respondents said they still believed in the American dream, the lowest result in roughly two decades.”

The Forces of Gentrification

We often ask whether gentrification is bad or good. Retenanting, it seems, is part of the bad aspects.

A Life Without Retirement Savings

At Vitae, a career site geared towards working academics, Stacey Patton has an interview with Debra Leigh Scott, a 60-year-old divorced mother of two now-grown children who works as an adjunct professor at Temple University and has no retirement savings. When asked how she would live if she were to lose her teaching position, Scott says grimly: “Suicide is my retirement plan…Unless you have a spouse or partner, you’re looking at dire poverty in old age. In addition to poverty, you’re looking at getting no additional work because of your age, or you’re looking at dropping dead in the classroom.”

Monday Check-in

And how were your weekends? Quickly filling up with holiday-related obligations?