thA whole lot of U.S. residents are scared of outliving their money. According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, 57 percent of clients called it their biggest money fear.

That doesn’t surprise me. Although nearly 8 in 10 full-time workers have some money for retirement, 28 percent of them report that the total value of household savings and investments is less than $1,000 (not including primary residence and defined benefit plans).

Certainly I’ve had my own share of bag-lady dreams, so this topic really resonated when I researched it for a NerdWallet article called “7 steps to deal with our No. 1 money fear.”

Funding a retirement plan can seem daunting, but it’s not something you can put off. Even if your future is decades away, your new best friend compound interest is here right now.


read more

thI’ve taken a two-month contract job and my head, she is spinning. At 8 a.m. Monday I had my first conference with the editor and by 9 a.m. I had four assignments, all due within one week.

The articles are all based on insurance, a topic about which I know as much as any other freelance personal finance writer. Translation: I’ve spent a lot of time researching this week.

By the end of the first day I was utterly wrung out and wondering just what I’d done. The only thing that kept me going was the memories of my first day at The Chicago Tribune and the first few weeks at MSN Money. In both cases I felt completely at sea but I managed to survive, and to thrive.


read more

thThe 2015 Financial Blogger Conference starts today in Charlotte, NC, and once again I’m among my people.

Not rich people necessarily, but people who are nerdy enough about money and blogging not to be bored by conversations about compound interest and Google algorithms.

Is it any wonder that some relationships — and at least one marriage — have resulted from this annual money geeks meetup?

Last year I wondered how these romances began. Was it finding someone with similar financial values? Noticing that this person’s eyelids didn’t droop when you mentioned retirement planning?

Or maybe it was just the two free drink tickets that come with the receptions.


read more

thYep, I’m electioneering. This year I entered the #MoneyMinute contest sponsored by GO Banking Rates, and I’d appreciate your vote.

In fact, I’d appreciate your daily vote plus your willingness to share the info with friends and social media contacts. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The contest is being judged by reader votes vs. a panel of writing experts: Not ideal, but it’s the way this particular game is being played. That’s why I’m asking friends, relatives and readers to view my video and vote.

read more

thMy daughter just got tagged by the Sunshine Blogger Award, which is sort of like receiving a chain letter. In a good way, since it opens you up to new readers and gives you a chance to promote websites you enjoy.

How it works: Awardees get five questions to answer in print (here’s the link to Abby’s), and are supposed to send five of their own questions out to a handful of bloggers they read.

Of the questions Abby got my favorite was No. 3: “What do you think Victoria’s Secret is?”

Abby’s response: “That she’s very cold.” Snort.

But it made me think about putting my own questions out there – to readers, not writers.*


read more