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  • Indoor Acrobatics: The Cure for Money Stress?

    July 24, 2014

    Living in a small home can be dangerous, for seniors in particular. When I lived in a sub-400-square-foot apartment, basic tasks required Cirque du Soleil-like acrobatics. Pulling out the salad bowl meant hoisting myself on top of the garbage can while holding on to a water pipe, stepping onto the lip of the kitchen sink, and grabbing the bowl with one hand while clutching onto a ceiling overhang with the other—all while avoiding the… read article

  • Tap in to Your Inner Feminist-Real Estate Mogul Without Holding Real Property

    July 17, 2014

    The new book titled #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso—reformed petty thief and CEO of a $100 million online clothing store—is the latest “live and work as I do if you want to succeed” book from a string of brand-building female executives. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has women “leaning in,” while Arianna Huffington’s sleep crusade marches on in her latest book, Thrive. Now, I should confess that I haven’t actually read any of these books; one… read article

  • In a World Where 26 Equals 18, Make “Home” Unwelcoming

    July 10, 2014

    My youngest son, who is now in his 50s, asked me what it felt like when all the children left the nest. I thought for a moment and said: For my entire adult life, I’d driven a boat down a clearly marked narrow channel. I had to stay between the markers in order to provide for my family. Then, when you and your siblings left, I came to a vast ocean with… read article

  • Rock Concerts, and How to Find On-Sale Stocks to Fuel a Rock-Star Retirement

    July 3, 2014

    Have you ever wondered what really happens behind the scenes at a rock concert? My good friend Stew is a top audio engineer—you know, the guy who wears thousand-dollar headphones and stands below the stage manning dials at rock concerts the world over. I shadowed him backstage a handful of times, and the scene was not what I thought it would be. Sure, they all dressed the rocker part, but I was blown away… read article

  • Six Women Who Made Me Rich, and What They Can Teach You

    June 26, 2014

    My grandmother refused to share the heart-wrenching details until I was in the Marine Corps. I’d heard bits and pieces about my ne’er-do-well father but didn’t fully grasp the devastation he’d left behind until Grandmother spilled the story with tears in her eyes: Your father never worked. After you were born, he stole all the money in the house, vanished, and was never seen again. Fortunately, your mother had gone back to… read article

  • In a World Where Mr. Rogers Rules Wall Street

    June 19, 2014

    Wall Street is “rigged.” That’s the word Michael Lewis, author of the new bestseller Flash Boys, is spreading among the news networks, and it’s produced a vast outcry in the financial community. Really? As Gordon Gekko, the unscrupulous corporate raider in the ‘87 classic Wall Street, says, “Come on, pal. Tell me something I don’t know.” There’s a lot to learn from Gekko, who spends the bulk of the film demanding a… read article

  • A Guy Leans on a Lamppost… and You Make a Buck

    June 12, 2014

    To paraphrase Scottish novelist Andrew Lang, some people use statistics like a drunk uses lampposts—for support rather than illumination. Numbers can be twisted and abused to support false claims, and even correct data is sometimes misinterpreted. Today I want to clear the fog around two critical statistical measures, beta and correlation, and explain how they can help you invest smarter. There are many other statistical measures out there, but these two are critical… read article

  • Your Key out of College Debtors’ Prison

    June 5, 2014

    This month, as proud parents listen to dull or overzealous high-school commencement speakers nationwide, many will (or should) wonder: Is paying for college the best way to equip my kid to support himself, and what will I give up to do it? The holder of a bachelor’s degree can expect to earn about $2.42 million over a 40-year working life, according to Synthetic Work-Life Earnings (SWE) estimates based on US Census Bureau data.… read article

  • Beer, Bears, and a Canoe: Your Guide to Lower Travel Costs

    May 29, 2014

    Since leisure was last weekend’s theme, I spent it in a canoe—a cheap and energy-efficient way to see the Everglades, though not at all speedy. That was fine—I just wanted to see alligators in their natural habitat, enjoy a frosty beverage with good company, and return to the city with my limbs intact. My nature-sighting report: zero panthers, one alligator, and one black bear (more on the bear later). No, Dennis did not… read article

  • How to Die in Dignity Without Leaving Your Spouse to Starve

    May 22, 2014

    We’d all been waiting for the big day, but the chapel the ceremony took place in was very small—just a room with Christian symbols and a few chairs. Jo’s father was waiting for us in his hospital bed, grinning from ear to ear. Despite the feeding tube, he still managed to devour a few bites of our wedding cake. Parkinson’s is a powerful disease; it can take the sturdiest tree in the forest and… read article

  • Hiroshima 2014: Should You Fear the “Nuclear Solution” to Underfunded Public Pensions?

    May 15, 2014

    Public pensions are sounding their death rattle, and you might be the one who ends up paying the undertaker. With few exceptions, state and local pension funds are woefully underfunded. Five heavily populated states—California, Illinois, Ohio, New Jersey, and Texas—are collectively underfunded by $431.5 billion. That’s according to those states’ own accounts published in a 2012 Harvard University study that was led by former Assistant Treasury Secretary Tom Healy. Accounting for current… read article

  • Collateral Damage: What You and Monica Lewinsky Have in Common

    May 8, 2014

    Collateral damage can assume many forms—and though some may be more newsworthy than others, the latter are no less real, nor any less frightening. On Tuesday, controversial radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh called Monica Lewinsky “collateral damage in Hillary Clinton’s war on women,” saying that President Bill Clinton and his wife destroyed the former White House intern “after he got his jollies, after he got his consensual whatevers.” Last month, Jeremy… read article

  • In Praise of Silda Spitzer’s $7.5 Million Payout from Client 9

    May 1, 2014

    Paying north of $80,000 for prostitutes has cost one AARP-eligible New Yorker a whole lot more. Per the terms of their leaked postnuptial agreement, Eliot Spitzer, the shamed but shameless former New York governor, will hand his stoic ex-wife title to their Fifth Avenue home plus $7.5 million in cash and will pay her a $240,000 allowance every year until she dies or remarries plus an annual $100,000 charity stipend. With their none-too-surprising… read article

  • How to Manage a Money Crisis, Marine Corps Style

    April 24, 2014

    My boyhood friend Tom G. has been a member of our hometown Citizens Corps for many years. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sponsors it and trains volunteers in emergency preparedness. When emergency responders become so swamped that fire, police, and medical personnel cannot handle things, these volunteers step in. Thousands of hours and millions of taxpayer dollars are spent training citizens in case some unforeseen catastrophe overwhelms the system. They work and… read article

  • Is It Time to Hide Your Money in a Mattress?

    April 17, 2014

    “I don’t know what to do. I know I should do something. Every time I think about it, it scares the hell out of me! Maybe I should just hide everything in a mattress.” So said my good friend Rob after inviting Jo and me to dinner for the third time in two weeks. Rob is a sharp guy—he’s done well for himself and his family. He also recently settled the last details… read article

  • Financial Freedom Starts Here

    April 10, 2014

    Saving money is difficult, particularly for low-wage earners raising young families. Truth be told, even though I already had a solid career as a twenty-something father of three sometime in the last millennium, it still required enormous discipline to sock away money. And I hadn’t forgotten those years when I scribbled my satirical letter about myRA—a letter that sparked quite a lot of feedback (which I love) from our readers. Judged… read article

  • Finding Junk Bonds That Don’t Stink

    April 3, 2014

    Riddle me this: Why would anyone ever buy junk bonds or a junk bond fund? It’s Andrey Dashkov here, your chief analyst making another guest appearance in this week’s missive. Now, before I share the answer, note that credit ratings from agencies like Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch do not reveal the whole picture about risk. Bond ratings only deal with one risk: default. These ratings should help investors discern investment-grade… read article

  • Kitchen-Table Economics

    March 27, 2014

    What is it about retirement that causes confident, successful businessmen and -women to lose that edge when they invest their own life savings? Many otherwise dynamic people become virtually impotent in the face of retirement investing. I have many friends who were very effective in business—folks who made sound decisions affecting how millions upon millions of dollars were spent. They would gather the facts, make a plan, and make the right call with confidence.… read article

  • Not All Debt Is Created Equal

    March 20, 2014

    Optimal diversification: We all want it. Diversification is, after all, the holy grail of portfolio management. Our senior research analyst Andrey Dashkov has said that many times before, and he echoes that refrain in this week’s editorial guest spot below. A brief note before I hand over the reins to Andrey. The last time the market tanked, many of my friends suffered huge losses. They all thought their portfolios were well diversified. Many… read article

  • Escape the Toy Trap

    March 13, 2014

    The toy trap: we all have friends who’ve fallen in. I received a wave of emails after publishing Debt: The Last Social Taboo?, all sharing similar sad stories. Author Dave Ramsey summed up the problem best: “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” Malcolm Forbes, lover of all-things extravagant, likely originated the phrase “He who dies with the most toys wins.”… read article

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About the Author

Over the course of his career, Dennis Miller has consulted with many Fortune 500 companies, training hundreds of executives to effectively communicate the value of their company's products to their customers. Among his many multi-national clients are: GE, Mobil, Shell, Schlumberger, HP, IBM, Corning Glass, Eastman Kodak, AC Nielsen, and Johns-Manville.

An active international lecturer for 40 years, Dennis wrote several books on sales and sales management. He was a contributor to... read more

The BookRetirement Reboot

I was 68 and recently retired when the bottom fell out from under my money, and I don't mind telling you I was scared to death.

I had several CDs that were earning 5, 6, and 7%, generating enough money for the needs of my wife and me. I felt sure I had a bulletproof retirement plan. But then...

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Premium GuidanceMoney Forever

Unless you started out with a very large nest egg, outliving your money is probably as deep a concern for you as it was for me just a few years ago.

And I'm not just talking about scraping by on pork and beans. To me, having money for life means being able to afford some – or all – of the fun and exciting things I always wanted to do.

I now know I'll be financially secure for life, no matter what the economy does, and you can do the same.

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