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The Life Cycle of Wealth
Sequence of return risk exists not only in the financial markets but also everyone’s own personal finances. When you were born can have an outsized impact on where certain generations stand financially.

The Power of Raw, Honest Stories About Money
Personal finance professionals live too often in the realm of tools and tactics, optimization and automation. All too frequently, their advice — our advice — is utterly bloodless. Gaby Dunn, Chanel Reynolds and Vicki Robin are not everyday personal finance practitioners. Ms. Dunn and Ms. Reynolds use vulgarities in the subtitles of their new money books, and Ms. Robin speaks openly of dropping acid, mental illness and the cancer scars on her stomach.

Your Grandchildren Are Already in Debt
Medicare for All. The Green New Deal. Free college tuition. With each new entrant into the Democratic presidential sweepstakes comes a fresh cascade of ambitious social programs to entice and excite would-be supporters. The list of “payfors,” to use a bit of Washington jargon, grows more slowly. They’ll pay for this how, again? Tax the rich, tax the rich — or take cover behind a convenient bit of progressive dogma: Don’t worry about the fiscal impact because America’s rising budget deficits and debt levels don’t much matter.

If You Do Medicare Sign-Up Wrong, It Will Cost You
Tony Farrell turned 65 four years ago — the age when most people shift their health coverage to Medicare. But he was still employed and covered by his company’s group insurance. When his birthday came around, he began researching whether he needed to move to Medicare, and determined he could stick with his employer’s plan, said Mr. Farrell, a marketing and merchandising executive for specialty retailers. At the time, he was working for a company that makes infomercials in San Francisco.

Chilling Davos: A Bleak Warning on Global Division and Debt
As business and political leaders arrive in the Swiss Alps for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, a surprisingly alarming letter from an influential investor who studiously eschews attention has already emerged as a talking point. The letter, written by Seth A. Klarman, a billionaire investor known for his sober and meticulous analysis of the investing world, is a huge red flag about global social tensions, rising debt levels and receding American leadership.

Sorry About the Whole 401(k) Mess
In the nondescript world of public policy, oopsies don’t get any bigger than this. In a remarkable story in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, several early champions of 401(k)s, the now-ubiquitous tax-deferred plans that help workers sock away retirement funds, expressed regrets for what their efforts later yielded: Private pensions have withered. Individual workers now shoulder risks that large corporations once bore. Investment fees chip away at account owners’ returns. The typical American worker is badly underprepared for old age.

With Retirement, Many Are Making it Up as They Go
Roslindale social worker Edy Rees said she and her husband, software engineer Mark Katz, “had this great plan” for retirement: She would garden and volunteer. He’d build furniture at his woodworking bench. They’d travel to visit friends in the British Isles.But outside forces intervened. Katz, now 70, took early retirement when his company was sold, becoming an on-and-off consultant. Budget cuts forced Rees, 76, to leave her job at a charity, though she continued for a time as an unpaid volunteer. After her daughter had a baby girl, Rees was pressed into grandmother duties. Katz jumped into helping on political campaigns. There’s been little time for travel.

Enrolling in Medicare Can Be Confusing. Here's How To Do It. 
Dr. Marsha Lavoie, a family medicine specialist at Harrington Memorial Hospital in Southbridge, knows more about Medicare than most people because she routinely bills the federal health insurance program on behalf of her older and disabled patients. But when it came time to sign up for the program herself this year, Lavoie, 65, faced the same concerns and uncertainties as anyone else navigating the maze of Medicare options, regulations, supplemental plans, and potential land mines.

Milennials Are the Misfits of Modern Capitalism. Here's Why It's Not Their Fault.
Policymakers haven’t yet come to see millennials as an entire generation under siege. Yet today’s young adults have become misfits of modern capitalism, increasingly poorer and more vulnerable to the ups and downs of the economy. “It’s a scary issue,” says Harvard economist Nathaniel Hendren, a co-author of the 2016 report. In this age of massive income inequality, it’s easy to take shots at the legitimacy of the American Dream, the credo that as long as you work hard and stay out of trouble you’ll do just fine. Even still, Hendren and his fellow researchers revealed something few had spotted: That a significant rich/poor gap is emerging across generational lines, too.

The Market's Been Falling. I'm Putting My Money In Stocks Anyways.
The stock market has been plummeting and my own retirement portfolio has been shrinking. Am I worried? Sure. But I’m still buying stocks.

Why You Shouldn't Wait to Sign Up for Medicare Part B
Twenty years ago, George Zeppenfeldt-Cestero left his job as a hospital administrator in New York to open a one-person health care consulting firm. Since he was losing his employee medical coverage, he shopped around and bought a private health insurance plan through Aetna. But several years ago, Aetna informed him that it was discontinuing that plan, sending him scrambling for another insurer. That’s when, applying for coverage through the state marketplace under the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Zeppenfeldt-Cestero learned that he (and, he argues, Aetna) had made a serious error.

The New American Dream Home is One You Never Have to Leave
In the southwest corner of Elk Grove, Calif., about 15 miles outside of Sacramento, there’s a shell of a shopping center that was partially built during the peak of the real estate bubble, then abandoned when the market crashed. Locals have taken to calling it the Ghost Mall. Look in one direction from the Ghost Mall and you’ll see farmland. Turn the other way and you’ll see what looks like a brand-new town being built from scratch.

Seniors Are Losing Billions Of Dollars A Year To Fraud. What Can We Do About It?
American seniors are being duped out of billions of dollars a year, and con artists are getting more sophisticated all the time.  We're looking at what types of scams are on the rise, why prosecution of these cases can be difficult, and how best to prevent them. 

What to Do When You're Bad at Money
It was only a few years ago I started learning how money works. Like a lot of Americans I was very late to the game, in large part because there’s no formal system in place to teach us how to manage our money. There are tons of invisible forces working against us, and the end result is that being good or bad at money is sometimes viewed in moralistic terms or as a measure of someone’s character.

How We Sent Our Children to College Debt-Free
My husband and I have been sneaking high-fives because, come this fall, all three of our children will be in college. And here’s the sweetest part: They’re all going to school with no debt. We don't come from money. We didn't inherit cash because a relative died. There were no lottery winnings or strike-it-rich stock picks. My husband and I were raised in low-income households. We're first-generation college graduates. But as important as college was in pushing us up economically, we felt strongly about avoiding student loans for our children. Debt is a cuss word in our house.

Countdown to Retirement: A Five-Year Plan
For most of your working life, it wasn’t exactly a pressing concern. You might have pondered it for a few minutes as you skimmed your company’s benefits handout, checking to see if your new glasses were covered or if you’ll be reimbursed for your gym membership. Retirement was more like a vague, distant concept rather than something that would actually happen one day. Then, suddenly, you hit your late 50s or early 60s and you realize, almost without being aware of it, that you’ve begun paying closer attention to those commercials about annuities, reverse mortgages and Medicare Part B, and you’re no longer reflexively tossing those AARP mailings straight into the trash.

Demystifying the Blockchain
This is bonkers. A new so-called blockchain company is selling virtual real estate online with prices as high as $120,000 for a 10-meter by 10-meter piece of virtual land. You can buy a plot of virtual land in a virtual city, with certain neighborhoods costing more than others, like in a real city. Except that it isn’t a real city. It is all virtual. Follow? Me neither.

How to Talk About Moving to a Retirement Home: 'It's a Journey'
Dawn and John Strumsky agree about most things, a tendency that has served them well in 45 years of marriage. But there was one subject where they did not see eye to eye for the longest time: their retirement future.

Why You Should Hire a Financial Planner, Even if You're Not Rich
If the very idea of financial planning makes you break out in hives, you’re not alone. A new study found that perceived financial well-being — feeling secure about not only the state of your current situation but how well you’ve planned for the future — holds the key to your overall well-being. Your financial security can affect you as strongly as job satisfaction, relationship stability, and physical health combined.

A $76,000.00 Monthly Pension: Why States and Cities Are Short on Cash
A public university president in Oregon gives new meaning to the idea of a pensioner. Joseph Robertson, an eye surgeon who retired as head of the Oregon Health & Science University last fall, receives the state’s largest government pension. It is $76,111. Per month. That is considerably more than the average Oregon family earns in a year.


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