Archive for the
‘Lifestyle’ Category

The Secret Recipe for Laziness For many people, laziness is not a virtue; it is something that has to be overcome with daily habits and willpower.  But what about the driven Type A personality who has been told by his/her doctor that the current lifestyle will almost certainly lead to a premature death?  How can […]

Last Call for HARP One of the most beneficial consumer rescue programs from the Great Recession era is about to expire.  The Home Affordability Refinance Program—known as HARP—was passed by a bipartisan Congress in 2009, to enable borrowers who were under water on their homes, or close to under water, to refinance into more affordable […]

More Good Job Numbers By now, we should be pretty well accustomed to getting good news from the employment reports issued every month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The latest report, released last Friday, announced (yawn) the 92nd consecutive month of positive job creation in the American economy—seven and two-thirds years of steadily falling […]

The Cost of Waiting The median retirement portfolio account balance for persons age 56-61 is just $25,000—which is obviously not enough for a healthy retirement, and suggests that many Americans followed less-than-healthy savings habits. In fact, this amount could have been accumulated simply by saving $6 a month in a 60/40 portfolio from 1980 to […]

Mega Cash Returns There wasn’t a lot of fanfare when Apple Computer announced that it would commit $100 billion of the excess cash it had laying around to buying back its own shares. This may be because, as you can see from the chart, the company has made a quarterly habit of committing enormous sums […]

A Better Place A recent global survey of more than 18,000 adults in nine countries asked a simple question: “All things considered, do you think the world is getting better or worse, or neither getting better nor worse?” As you can see from the graphic, the most optimistic country, regarding the future, is Sweden, and […]

Better Conversation-Starters Sometimes our social interactions seem to happen by default, and we don’t get much out of them. Consider the stock greeting: “How are you?” What information are you likely to get when you ask this tired question? Tired answers, like: “Busy,” “fine,” “okay,” or “good.” And what did you learn from that? How […]

Electronic Personhood Did you hear that the European Parliament has proposed to grant “personhood” status to intelligent machines (aka robots)? If you don’t believe it, here’s the exact language: “At the least, the most sophisticated autonomous robots could be established as having the status of electronic persons responsible for making good any damage they may […]

The REAL Causes of Death Most of us are afraid of the wrong things. When we worry about being killed, what often comes to mind is a terrorist attack, natural disaster, homicide, an airline crash—or, perhaps, the result of a drug overdose or some idiot’s car running a traffic light. But a comprehensive study of […]

 The Slack in the Labor Market   The U.S. unemployment rate has been dropping steadily ever since it reached 10% during the awful depth of the Great Recession; the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that today only 4.1% of Americans are out of work, the lowest rate in nearly two decades.   But most of […]

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