focusing glasses

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Buy it for life: jeans 2. Water bottle for life 3. Shopping around for a furnace 4. Getting “in the zone” 5. Thoughts on income property 6. Voluntary car repossession 7. Handling own estate planning 8. Figuring out financial focus 9. Large savings account balance 10. Figuring out …

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Financial planners get a bad rap, and to a large extent that’s deserved. Far too many “planners” are really just salesmen in disguise, tasked with leading their clients into high-cost products sold by the companies they work for. But there are good financial planners out there if you know where to look, and in the right situations a financial planner can make your life easier, save you a lot of money, and help you reach your biggest personal goals sooner. After …

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I recently came across a collaborative research paper that caught my eye. The authors posed an intriguing question: Can business learn anything from the world of professional basketball when it comes to worker productivity? I was hoping to find out that I’d be a better worker if the lights were dimmed and they played pump-up music every time I walked into my office. Or that my creative output would double if we hired an assistant to hand me a Gatorade every …

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About two years ago, I published a lengthy compendium of “buy it for life” product suggestions, because I’m regularly asked such in the reader mailbag. What this article contains are updated entries about most of the items in the original article, as well as my notes about new “buy it for life” items that I’ve been asked about in the last few years. If you have the original article saved somewhere, you can completely replace it with this one. What’s …

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I had a great lunch today with an old friend of mine. We used to work together and he was a couple of decades older than I was, so today he’s actually starting to see retirement on the short term horizon. He was interested in what my life was like as a self-employed person who made a living on a mix of side gigs and contracts, and I shared some of my thoughts on that, but when we got down …

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“31 Days to Financial Independence” is an ongoing series that appears every Thursday on The Simple Dollar. You might want to start this series from the beginning! Last time, we took a look at saving and investing for educational needs, which pairs up nicely with our earlier look at saving for retirement. Retirement and college savings are two of the biggest goals that people have in terms of saving and investing for the future. But they’re far from the only …

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When it comes to holidays that place unreasonable expectations on our wallets, Valentine’s Day has got to be the worst. Every time early February rolls around, we’re expected to throw our budgets out the window to show our love. If you really adore your husband, you’ll buy him a $5,000 watch or a new car with a bow on it, right? Love your wife? Upgrade her engagement ring to include the diamonds she deserves. At least, that’s the story all the television …

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In 2017, I’ve chosen to take on a number of personal challenges. I’m trying to lose weight, with a goal of achieving the same weight I had the day I graduated from high school. I’m trying to slowly read and study a set of very challenging books. I’m taking a series of online classes, too. I’m also working on a YouTube channel and a book manuscript. Whew! In the past, I’ve addressed a lot of personal challenges, some with success …

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A Financial Cleanse?

February 1 2017

An old dear friend of mine has an absolute fascination with the idea of “cleanses.” She’s constantly trying out juice cleanses and organic fruit cleanses and other such things, with the idea of clearing her body and mind of “toxins.” I’ll be the first to admit that I doubt the usefulness of juice cleanses and other such strategies for improving one’s health, as the human body is already a pretty effective cleanser of almost anything we put into our bodies. …

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Are you trying to earn and maintain excellent credit — as in a score greater than 800? Do you want to live with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your credit can no longer hold you back from the things you want to provide for yourself and your family? If so, then studying and copying the behaviors of people with great credit is a fantastic place to start. Here are four habits common among the top credit achievers. 1. They Never Miss …

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