Diamonds and Dogs #27

Jun 13, 2016 by

In each post of the Money Counselor “Diamonds & Dogs” series, I pick three items—an article, a website, a video, an image—that in my humble opinion would be especially valuable—the Diamonds—in helping Money Counselor readers make better money choices. And to contrast with the three Diamonds, I pick one lame item—the Dog.

money idea gems3 Diamonds

  • Here’s the most awesome commencement address you’ll never hear. But you can read it at ThinkSaveRetire, an excellent blog geared toward those aiming for early retirement. The guy who runs the place—Steve—is shooting to retire at age 35! “My Commencement Address to Graduating Seniors“.
  • Justin at Root of Good did it: he retired at age 33, after an unexpected layoff. In “One Thousand Days of Early Retirement” Justin reflects on his adventure so far. Like ThinkSaveRetire, Root of Good is also required reading in my opinion if you’re on the early retirement track. Yeah, I know: I featured Root of Good in my last Diamonds and Dogs post. What can I say—Justin’s doing some good work!
  • I really liked Derek’s article “Could ‘debt art’ help you pay off your debt faster? It helped these folks.” Characteristic of his fun and interesting blog How I Do Money, Derek’s piece describes a creative and innovative technique people are using to help them stay motivated to repay debt. All you need is a box of Crayolas®.

lame money adviceA Dog

As regular readers know, I consider CNBC a menace to small investors like us. But the article “Employees missing out on $24B in employer matches” highlighted the clear need for better personal finance education.

According to the CNBC article, an independent investment advisory firm (that alone is enough to cause me to be skeptical of anything the firm says) claims that 25% of employees are not taking full advantage of matching retirement plan funds offered by their employer. Many employers will match employee contributions to 401(k) plans or the like, usually up to some limit. This is free money! Failing to contribute enough to your 401(k) to earn your employer’s full match is like turning down a raise, only worse because tax on the match is deferred. If you think you can’t live on the money left over in your paycheck if you contribute enough to your workplace retirement account to gain the full match, I’ll just say this: you don’t know for sure until you try. Bump up your contribution and see what happens. More likely than not you can make adjustments to your budget and you won’t miss the take home pay.

Do you have a nomination for a Diamond or Dog? Send it to me please. I’ll give you credit if I use it in a “Diamonds and Dogs” post.

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