Money and Happiness in the U.S. – Better Life Index

Better Life Index, just released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Americans’ household wealth is about $102,000 on average, significantly higher than those in many other developed countries. Income inequality is high, however, with the top 20 percent of the population earning nearly $82,000 a year while the bottom 20 percent get by

Continue reading Money and Happiness in the U.S. – Better Life Index

An Agile Workforce: Education Should Help People Adapt to Technology Careers

Technology is affecting our job market, our incomes and prosperity.
We haven’t done a good job adapting to technology as a society, as measured by unemployment and wage levels. We need agility in our workforce. Our institutions of education could help us. They can teach us to be more adaptable and provide us with tactical training,

Continue reading An Agile Workforce: Education Should Help People Adapt to Technology Careers

Debt Deleveraging – is Debt Deflation Coming?

Households and businesses have been reducing debt for a couple of years. But the debt has simply morphed into government debt. But in Europe and the U.S. we’re getting close to debt reduction time, or what’s being referred to as the “fiscal cliff”.
Soon we will be deliberating the possibility of experiencing debt deflation. Austerity is

Continue reading Debt Deleveraging – is Debt Deflation Coming?

Income Inequality Affecting Debt Inequality

Income inequality is largely explained by education equality – high school dropouts vs. college grads.
But growing income inequality is explaining the growing debt inequality.
The top 5% saw their share of total income rise to 34% in 2007, up from 22% in 1983. This excludes capital gains, which pump up the income of the rich even

Continue reading Income Inequality Affecting Debt Inequality

Unemployment Correlated With Happiness – Steven Kaplan: Implications for Education and Personal Growth

What are the financial predictors of happiness? We could look at metrics related to debt, spending, hours worked, percent of income saved, travel industry sales…so many to pick from.
Steven Kaplan, a professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, believes unemployment rates are better than income inequality in predicting

Continue reading Unemployment Correlated With Happiness – Steven Kaplan: Implications for Education and Personal Growth

Income Buys Satisfaction, Not Happiness – the Value of Intrinsic Goals

Most Americans want to spend less money, according to Gallup polling organization. Families continue to monitor spending closely but aren’t making meaningful changes in cutting back their spending.
While families manage their household budget and spending, behavioral psychology has found that spending money does not make people happier. Gallup polling data indicates that families’ sense of

Continue reading Income Buys Satisfaction, Not Happiness – the Value of Intrinsic Goals

Diversify Across Time, Taxes and Vehicles – Holistic Diversification

Investment diversification is an important concept for any investor. The markets these past few years have brought the lesson home that we need to reduce risk by investing across asset classes.
Christine Benz tells us that we should look at other dimensions of diversification, besides asset allocation.
Diversify Across Time
Dollar-cost averaging – or diversifying your purchases by

Continue reading Diversify Across Time, Taxes and Vehicles – Holistic Diversification

Buy an Annuity and Delay Social Security – GAO

Retirees may have to delay Social Security benefits and buy an annuity to have enough money for retirement, said a U.S. government study.
“The risk that retirees will outlive their assets is a growing challenge,” according to a study from the Government Accountability Office scheduled for release today. Increased life expectancies and health-care costs coupled with

Continue reading Buy an Annuity and Delay Social Security – GAO

Attempt to Reduce Debt is Difficult and Impacts Global Economy

The attempt by households and governments to reduce debt is showing that it is difficult to do. Today, U.S. consumers have more mortgage and credit-card debt than they did five years ago, and the U.S. budget deficit is worsening.
The government and individuals alike are still heavily in debt. U.S. consumer debt has skyrocketed by 37%

Continue reading Attempt to Reduce Debt is Difficult and Impacts Global Economy

Retirement Benefits, Accounts, Longevity: Delay, Change Lifestyle

If you are planning to retire soon, think again. Retirement, it appears, is only for the few, the rich or the benefit endowed.
First, given reduced benefits, reduced personal and retirement accounts, and increased retiree longevity, workers who have a choice will delay retirement, change lifestyles, and accept that retirement as they envisioned it may not

Continue reading Retirement Benefits, Accounts, Longevity: Delay, Change Lifestyle