Category Archives: Habits

Savings Rates Decline

You don’t hear much about America’s personal savings rate these days, and the reason may be because the news is discouraging: collectively, the percentage of our income that we save is trending downward again, and may be about to hit record lows.  The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis tracks the U.S. personal savings rate, going back to the late 1950s, when when people were setting aside a thrifty 11% of what they made.  Americans achieved a record 17% savings rate in the mid-1970s (see chart) before a long decline set in.  In 2013, the rate briefly spiked again above 10%, but as you can see from the chart, Americans have become less thrifty since then.  The most recent data point shows Americans saving just 3.6% of their income.

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The Economic Myth-Destroyer Gets His Due

Imagine a person who always, in every circumstance, makes rational decisions with his money.  He saves when he ought to and spends exactly as he should spend, in order to maximize the “utility” of whatever wealth he happens to possess.  He defers gratification with ease.  When he invests, he has instant and total access to all possible information related to every item in his, including the details of every company’s financials and any impactful world events, even if they haven’t reached the news media yet.  If he found a $100 bill on the sidewalk, he would immediately go out and invest it in a steel mill.

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Health and Financial Wellness

Your financial plan is about your goals and finances.  But is it also about your health?

In a recent blog post on the Forbes.com website, financial planner and medical professional Carolyn McClanahan suggests that your health status may be a crucial input into your overall financial plan.

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The Professional Mindset

Have you ever noticed that some people seem to be consistently successful at complex and creative tasks, while others see only fitful success and repeated failure?  The difference might not lie in talent or motivation, but simply in mindset—in the way these tasks are approached by people who take a professional mindset vs. the great majority of people who function as amateurs.

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Aging Dilemma

Iks

Should today’s 70-year-old American be considered “old?”  How do you define that term these days?  Statistically, your average 70-year-old has just a 2% chance of dying within a year.  The estimated upper limits of average life expectancy is now 97, and a rapidly growing number of 70-year-olds will live past age 100.

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Putting Off Fun is a Bad Idea

If you’re like most people, you carefully put off doing something fun—like taking a trip or treating yourself—until you finished your work.  Of course, for most people, the work never ends, and the fun gets put off over and over and over again.

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