The Fallacy of Percentage Based Numbers, or Why You Can Retire

Ah, it’s just not a good week unless we have a healthy article from Mr. Money Mustache taking on another ridiculous article stating how impossible it is for a middle class family to retire. You should head over to read the original article, wherein the author states that a family with a $150,000 income would take 110 years of work to retire; or the reply from the ‘Stashe about how absurd the tone of the article is and how it draws a populist CEOs-get-paid-too-much-and-that’s-the-problem conclusion.

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Net Worth: January 2014 Progress

January turned out to be a volatile month in the markets, with a correction from the huge upswing last year. For our family, it turned into being the month of expenses: with the biggies being the bill that came due for the rebuilt Nissan Altima transmission and the down payment on the new CX-5. Our auto budget is blown out of the water for the year and we just started! We’d been operating under our typical insurance/gas/maintenance before and haven’t had any huge maintenance issues or new car purchases in a very, very long time – so I suppose our auto bill was likely underestimated as a result. This will certainly cause some budget adjustments on my end.

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What is a “myRA”?

How many of you managed to catch the State of The Union address last night? I happened to catch the last 30 minutes or so of the speech and my ears perked up at President Obama’s mention of a “myRA”. He intends to issue an executive order to create a new retirement account vehicle for people to use. The speech was light on details, and unfortunately so was the press briefing/details issued at the time. Thankfully the White House gave more details today. So what is a myRA?

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Savings Account Lottery

There’s been an interesting idea floating around for a while that seems to finally be coming to fruition here in the United States: savings account lotteries. You may also hear them called “prize-linked savings accounts”.

I first heard mention of the idea from Freakonomics a few years back. Apparently this idea has been around and in practice for over 50 years now in various other countries and has had a profound impact on increasing the number of people who save. The idea is pretty simple: instead of buying lottery tickets and hoping for a big win, people deposit money into savings accounts or CDs and occasional lottery winners are drawn from the depositors. It offers a sort of no-lose proposition.

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Net Worths of Members of Congress

Good morning everybody! Our family is all slowly recovering from our awful colds and follow-up sinus infections. It’s nice to all share the same exact Amoxicillin prescription. We’ve gone through three boxes of tissues and counting, but we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel here. Or at least the end to our runny noses.

In any case, over the weekend I ran into a nice “heat map” showing the net worths of our congressmen all laid out over at Vizual Statistix. This is a fun little chart that lets you see what everybody in Congress is worth. It’s neat to compare and see how you stack up to your representatives. Continue reading

Take Advantage of the Energy Efficiency Tax Credit – Improve Your Insulation

We’re getting very close to year’s end, which is a good time to review any tax-related items on your todo list, as well as look forward to next year with a plan in mind to help reduce your taxable income. For many, the 2013 tax year plans may be too late at this point if you don’t have a lot of free cash, but at least going through the options may help you plan for next year. One high priority item for me is to improve my home’s energy efficiency and take advantage of the federal tax credits before they expire this year.

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