Category Archives: Smart About Money

Smart About Money: Can I get a mortgage or home equity line if I’m retired?

Writing in The Wall Street Journal’s Wealth Management Report, retired senior editor Carol Hymowitz said there is “no single road map or retirement plan” these days. She seemed to wish there was.

Was there ever a “single” tried & true retirement road map? Possibly it may have seemed that way. 65 used to be “retirement age.” Today 65 is just another number. Some people are retiring much earlier than 65. Others don’t want to ever retire. If there was a “cookie-cutter,” it’s long gone now. Which is a good thing.

Continue reading Smart About Money: Can I get a mortgage or home equity line if I’m retired?

Smart About Money: But what if the world doesn’t end?

In Martin Scorsese’s “American Masters” documentary about Bob Dylan, Dylan recalls how as a boy he and his classmates had to practice getting under their desks in case of a nuclear attack.

According to Dylan, “Our reality was fear that at any moment this black cloud would explode and everybody would be dead. We grew up with all that.”

Continue reading Smart About Money: But what if the world doesn’t end?

Smart About Money: When the bank won’t make you whole …

One of the biggest misconceptions about banks involves bank insurance. Specifically, many people believe that the FDIC and SIF insurance they hear so much about covers them for various kinds of losses, sort of like an insurer of last resort.

And if the bank insurance won’t cover them, surely the bank will, right?

Continue reading Smart About Money: When the bank won’t make you whole …

Smart About Money: “Don’t let clickbait rob you of your dreams …”

Clickbait is one of the biggest nuisances on the internet but the concept existed long before computers.

People have been using words to affect other people’s behavior since Day 1. It’s always been up to the individual to be skeptical and doubting, especially when “controversial” ideas are being presented as established truth.

Continue reading Smart About Money: “Don’t let clickbait rob you of your dreams …”

Smart About Money: “If only she’d looked at her bank statements sooner …”

A local news network’s web site recently recounted an unfortunate story about something that absolutely did not have to end up the way it did.

Recently a woman in Metro Boston discovered that her long-time housekeeper was embezzling. Specifically, her housekeeper had been forging checks against a checking account that this woman and her husband had for their kids’ college tuition savings at a large national bank.

Continue reading Smart About Money: “If only she’d looked at her bank statements sooner …”

Smart About Money: “Only send money to people you know …”

The other day, a colleague told me about what seemed to be a public service announcement (PSA) on the radio. It was addressed to young people.

Apparently, a young man had received a request for a Venmo payment from someone he knew. Venmo – a mobile payment service owned by PayPal – describes itself as “the simple, fun money app for sending cash quickly between friends.”

Continue reading Smart About Money: “Only send money to people you know …”

Smart About Money: Should people be required to have cash reserves?

Personal finance expert Suze Orman often speaks about the importance of “expecting the unexpected,” and she’s right.

Of course, sometimes people face disasters no one could have seen coming or planned for. But things such as higher property tax bills, “emergency” dental surgery, significant veterinarian bills for pet operations and car repairs are among the common “unexpected” expenses everyone runs into sooner or later.

Continue reading Smart About Money: Should people be required to have cash reserves?