Things to be Thankful For

On Saturday my husband and I joined with other volunteers to help smaller churches and community organizations prepare for Thanksgiving and the coming cold weather.   Our group worked at MEAC,  an organization that was created when 12 Cincinnati community churches came together to create a central resource for families and individuals that need help.  While Gregg fixed their basement dehumidifier (a skill he acquired from our move into an old house!) I helped unload boxes of donated food from the van. The food had been collected from variety of schools in the area from… [read more]
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Costco’s Credit Card Switch

My affinity for Costco is a topic that has been well documented in past blogs.  This has prompted discussions with many of our clients and readers that share a fondness for the retail giant.  While I enjoy the store, the customer service, quality products and competitive prices overall, I don’t always advocate everything they do, especially when it potentially involves my credit score (And don’t get my wife started on their decision to switch their food court fountains from Coke to Pepsi products)! When the store made a major announcement earlier this year regarding its… [read more]
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Popular Social Security Strategies Get the Ax

A couple months ago, I wrote a blog on Social Security which highlighted a couple things.  One – historically Congress has been inclined to expand Social Security benefits rather than reduce them.  Two – without any changes to Social Security, folks receiving disability benefits were going to see payments cut by as much as 20% as early as 2016.  I suppose Congress has been reading our blogs because here we are sixty days later on the heels of a budget bill that both reduced Social Security benefits and shored up funding for Social Security disability. … [read more]
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It Costs What to Trade a Bond?

(from Jason Zweig’s 10/23/2015 Wall Street Journal Intelligent Investor column published every Saturday in The Wall Street JournalClick here for the original post.  Jason is also the best selling author of Your Money and Your Brain.  Follow Jason on Twitter @jasonzweigwsj.) One reliable way to mint money is to charge customers hefty prices for your services without ever itemizing the bill. Welcome to the corporate-bond market, where the costs of trading are about as transparent as the waters of the Big Muddy River after a hard rain. Most investors own… [read more]
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Happy Money

We’re rapidly approaching that time of year when we’re encouraged to eat, drink and be merry, spend money on things without thinking about it, and then roll into January with a debt hangover because ’tis the season!’  Right? There’s a better way. Dr. Elisabeth Dunn, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, presented findings from research she conducted and documented in her book, Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending , at a conference for fee-only financial planning firms I attended last week.  Her research challenged us to think differently about how… [read more]
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Mattresses & Shoes

Growing up, my family and I spent many a Sunday heading to church and then driving 70 miles north to visit my grandfather in Troy.  Most visits meant Sunday brunch at either Perkins or Traditions (basically local Perkins).  Either way, I was staring down a stack of pancakes and a glass of chocolate milk which made for a happy little boy. At the end of the meal, Grandpa, a frugal man by all definitions, would study the bill carefully and pay.  Always in cash.  Almost always with exact change.  I can still picture him reaching… [read more]
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What are You Jonesing For?

What are you Jonesing For? I have a confession to make – I’m not sure the last time we mowed our lawn.  Judging by the fact that half of my dog disappears when he makes his trips outside, it’s been a while.  To be fair, we have been doing a major overhaul to our landscape which has taken most weekends for the last two months and getting plants in the ground before it snows has been a little higher priority than a good trim and edge on the grass.  Even so, I still have that… [read more]
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A six-figure income, and still paying off debt?

(from Kristin Wong’s Get Rich Slowly blog dated 11/18/2014 – click here for the original post. Kristin Wong is a freelance writer for television, websites and blogs and a staff writer at Get Rich Slowly.  Get Rich Slowly is an award winning (best blog by Time Magazine, Money Magazine’s most inspiring blog to name a few) blog devoted to sensible personal finance and is based on 12 key beliefs you can find here.) At another site, I recently wrote about a tool that shows you online prices in terms of hours worked. I… [read more]
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Jelly Beans and The Wisdom of Crowds

If you’ve stopped by our office the last several months, you were likely asked to do something a little outside the norm.  Clients, prospective clients, vendors, even the mailman submitted their best guesses as to how many jelly beans were in a glass jar atop Mary’s desk. Today, we’ll share the results and our motivations behind the study.  Very simply, this was an experiment in the wisdom of crowds and how markets work. The Results 95 guesses were collected in all.  Some guessed quickly with little, if any, thought.  Others spent several minutes with a… [read more]
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Social Security – This is Your Life

As I mentioned in my last blog, I spent a few days last month in D.C.  This was my third trip to the capital so I made it past the must-see attractions to some of the lesser known monuments. The FDR Memorial was the most pleasant surprise.  I had expected a single sculpture, but quite like FDR’s presidency, the memorial stretched on and on with sculptures depicting the long span of his tenure in office.  Aside from honoring the man my grandma once thought was the one and only US president, the memorial highlighted the… [read more]
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