You: You’re watching pre-season basketball?
No.  Honestly, I might even watch golf first.
You: What’s wrong with watching golf?
I find it more boring than the prospect of playing it.
You: Wow.  So what’s with the “fourth quarter” reference then?
I’m talking about the fourth quarter of the year, which begins today.  For better or worse, many companies – especially [...]

Continue reading about Welcome to the fourth quarter: Five suggested tasks before New Year’s

Michael on September 28th, 2009
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Following up to my article last Friday titled Health care reform and rude behavior, I thought it would be best to provide a forum for some quick and easy feedback.  We’re going to that over at
You: Why there?
I am the guide to Retirement Planning at
You: When do you sleep?
I am sleeping right now.
You: [...]

Continue reading about Want to vote before Election Day?

Michael on September 25th, 2009
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You: Wait a second. This is a personal finance blog. Why are you weighing in on health care reform?
First, I’m not actually weigh in on what plan should be followed.  Rather, I am reporting some observations about our behavior. Second, health care reform is very much a financial planning topic.
You: How so?
In several ways. Here [...]

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Michael on April 27th, 2009
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You might already know that I’m a pretty big Red Sox fan.  This weekend’s series with the NY Yankees was filled with a lot of unexpected events including a 2 run bottom of the ninth comeback, a 16-11 game (during which the Red Sox once trailed 6-0) and in my mind the craziest: Jacoby Ellsbury’s [...]

Continue reading about Expect the Unexpected: The Jacoby Elllsbury Edition

Michael on April 24th, 2009
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Gary: Finally, a topic I can talk about!
Wow, it’s been a while, Gary.
Gary: You’ve been off-topic for a while with all this tax-related advice, education on saving strategies, and so on. I’ve been trying to talk product for a while!
When my youngest daughter was born last year, we received the opportunity to purchase $5,000 of [...]

Continue reading about Is Gerber Life Insurance a good idea?

Michael on October 17th, 2008
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It’s Friday, so it’s time for this week’s reader-submitted Q & A. If you’d like to submit a question, click here for more information or simply email a question.
Thank you for writing this book. In one place, I have found a way to understand my financial future!
I have on question, though: My wife and [...]

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Michael on June 27th, 2008
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Although I am often asked to speak to recent grads, I have never been asked to speak at any graduations. But if I were, I imagine I would deliver something along the lines of this speech.
Today is part 6. To see the entire speech released so far, click here and read from the bottom [...]

Continue reading about Graduation Speech Part 6: Use Protection

Michael on November 19th, 2007
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One of the most overlooked benefits–particularly during the annual enrollment period–is disability insurance. With all the attention paid to health insurance and life insurance, disability insurance often gets the short end of the stick.
While this often surprises people, most folks do need disability insurance. In fact, long-term disability insurance is an important benefit [...]

Continue reading about Annual Enrollment & Disability Insurance

Michael on November 15th, 2007
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It’s that time of the year again.
You: The ides of November?
No. Annual enrollment.
You: Almost as exciting.
As employees with company-provided benefits may recall, you get just one shot a year to make changes to your benefit choices (barring a major life event.) Over the next few postings, I’ll address a few annual enrollment [...]

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Michael on October 18th, 2007
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Doesn’t it seem like most life insurance conversations are related to the motivation of the accused killer in a syndicated Law and Order episode? Yet life insurance is a critical concern deserving of your limited time. Given an unfortunate circumstance, missing just this one element of an otherwise solid financial plan can [...]

Continue reading about Don’t PassOver: The Four Questions of Life Insurance