Forecasting Gridlock & Better Days

I’m cheering for gridlock tomorrow on Election Day. As a political independent and small government advocate, I prefer when the two major parties can’t convince each other to provide costly solutions to problems government almost never can solve. We came close to gridlock two years ago. The Georgia Senate seats went to a special election and the Democrats won both of them, giving them a … Continue reading Forecasting Gridlock & Better Days

Inadequate Advice for Saving

It’s as if the financial press WANTS people to be poorly prepared for a happy retirement. This chart from CNBC – dubiously thought of as a business channel – suggests the amount of savings people should have at different ages before retirement. A friend sent it to me a while ago and I think it’s simply terrible. First, the chart starts with the frequent financial … Continue reading Inadequate Advice for Saving

Ignorant Is No Way To Go Through Life

Northwestern Mutual just published their 2022 Retirement Planning & Progress study. It’s not a surprise that people are quite worried about the huge drop in their retirement accounts & soaring inflation over the last year. As a result, people are concerned their savings are way behind. Still, this chart was quite surprising to me. It shows that almost one-half of Americans have no idea how … Continue reading Ignorant Is No Way To Go Through Life

IRS Changes Don’t Keep Up With Inflation

With inflation (CPI) running a hot 8.3% for the twelve months ended in August, the Federal Government is busy adjusting numerous spending & tax parameters for the new year. Social Security is leading the way with a 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment for 2023. Here are some of the other changes due to inflation: IRS tax bracket “break points” are going up 7.0%, on average. The standard … Continue reading IRS Changes Don’t Keep Up With Inflation

Fight Those Vampire Fees!

With Halloween in the air this month, perhaps it’s fitting that regular reader and disciplined dividend investor, Klaus Wentzel, sent me this outstanding case study in fighting ‘Vampire Fees’. You know, those hidden fees and billing changes that companies increasingly tack onto our routine bills? Klaus has had extraordinary success in getting into the details of his monthly bills and uncovering hundreds of dollars in … Continue reading Fight Those Vampire Fees!

Surprising Halloween Collectibles

As the days grow shorter, our neighborhood is starting to light up at night with Halloween decorations. I usually set up a few things about a week or 10 days before Halloween night. My “decorations” are limited to some orange lights, flicker bulbs in our outdoor fixtures, and a few Halloween blow-molds like the ones above. I have these exact three. Each are about 3-feet … Continue reading Surprising Halloween Collectibles

Homeowners Insurance Inflation

Wildfires in California. Hailstorms in the Midwest. Hurricane Ian in Florida & South Carolina. It’s a crazy year for home owners insurance. On top of that add in the crazy inflation in the home construction market. After two white-hot years, only now are home prices starting to slow down from higher interest rates. We just got our 2022-2023 premium statement from State Farm. We received … Continue reading Homeowners Insurance Inflation