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Retirement: Focus on Contributing, Not on the Market

by Luke Landes

I like spending a few minutes (but not much more) plugging in hypothetical numbers into interactive calculators like this retirement income calculator (Java required). This calculator displays how much monthly retirement income you can expect with assumptions about market return, tax bracket, and contributions. This morning, I spent a few seconds exploring a few scenarios. ... Continue reading this article…

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Amount Charged is Less Than Estimate: Psychology Involved?

by Luke Landes

When I was helping my girlfriend move to a new apartment this past weekend, we had the help of a moving company. We also had the misfortune of a snow and ice storm. After offering to pay three neighborhood kids to shovel the driveway and get rid of the ice so the moving truck would ... Continue reading this article…

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McDonald’s Subliminal Advertising on Iron Chef

by Luke Landes

I didn’t think the frame insertion technique of subliminal advertising was still being used, at least not with a hint of irony. Of all things, for some reason Iron Chef or Food Network dropped a frame or two of a McDonald’s logo into their show recently. That is, of course, unless this is a hoax. ... Continue reading this article…

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February Heating Cost Way Up

by Luke Landes

My electricity bill from February was a bit of a shock. I have a one bedroom apartment, approximately 700 square feet. To heat this space (and to use any electronic devices) last month, I’ll have to pay $236. That must be the highest amount I’ve ever paid for electricity in one month. The bill provides ... Continue reading this article…

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Money Advice From Meg Tilly: Chinese Takeout

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, I shared some quick quotations from celebrities about managing money. I liked what several of them had to say, but I’m focusing on Meg Tilly. Here’s part of what she said regarding her life after appearing in Fame. When I danced in “Fame” that was more money than I’d ever seen. It was like, ... Continue reading this article…

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Great News Footage of Rats in New York KFC/Taco Bell

by Luke Landes

This has been a hot story on the local news, and I don’t know if it’s reached the rest of the country. As people walked by the storefront of a KFC/Taco Bell restaurant in Greenwich Village, New York City, they could clearly see the fast food place infested by rats. Rats are common in this ... Continue reading this article…

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Survey Says: More Money Leads to Better Sex

by Luke Landes

If this doesn’t motivate you to raise your net worth, I couldn’t tell you what does. According to this research, having more money means you’re having more adventurous and exotic sex. The numbers look even better for women. In the survey, three-quarters of men cited more frequent sex and a greater variety of partners as ... Continue reading this article…

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A Teen Millionaire’s 3 Principles to Success

by Luke Landes

This is an excerpt from You Call the Shots, by Cameron Johnson. You can find my full review here. In this guest post, the author shares 3 principles that led him to succeed. I started my first business at age nine with $50 and a home computer, and ran it from my room at home ... Continue reading this article…

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A Quick 40%+ Profit?

by Luke Landes

I went to the bank yesterday to deposit some checks, and I picked up two rolls of the new Presidential $1 coins. There are 25 coins in a roll, and you pay the bank $25 for each. That seems to make sense. What doesn’t make sense are the people paying upwards of $35 for each ... Continue reading this article…

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Coming Up: Cameron Johnson on Writing

by Luke Landes

A few days ago, I reviewed You Call the Shots, by Cameron Johnson. If you missed it, take a look at the review. I highly recommend the book for teens interested in building their own business, parents of those teens, and some adults looking for fresh ideas in networking and marketing. The author will be ... Continue reading this article…

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Yet Another TIAA-CREF Problem With My SEP IRA

by Luke Landes

Back in April, I was assured by TIAA-CREF that my new SEP IRA contribution would be “coded” for the 2005 tax year. Guess what? I viewed my 2006 tax form provided by TIAA-CREF, and my SEP IRA contribution is included for the 2006 tax year. I am disappointed but not surprised. I’ve written about TIAA-CREF’s ... Continue reading this article…

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Chicago Fed: Could the Penny Be Worth Five Cents?

by Luke Landes

Here’s a weird application of logic, brought to you by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. It started when the cost of creating the U.S. penny went above one cent. The Mint (and therefore the government) is losing money for each of the millions of one-cent pieces it produces and puts into circulation each year. ... Continue reading this article…

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How Low Will it Go?

by Luke Landes

Last night as I was filling up my car’s tank at my favorite (lowest cost along my route) station, I was pleasantly surprised to see regular unleaded was “under” $2.00 a gallon. (To be more precise, it was listed as $1.999.) It was similar to the excitement I felt several years ago, probably around December ... Continue reading this article…

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NetFlix: It Might Be Time to Dump It

by Luke Landes

When I ditched expensive digital cable television and reverted to $16/month basic cable with less than 30 channels (many of which do not broadcast in English), I decided to sign up for NetFlix. The theory was the mail-order DVDs would fill in the entertainment void due to the lack of Comedy Central, Cartoon Network‘s Adult ... Continue reading this article…

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Idiots in New Jersey Finally Allowed to Vote

by Luke Landes

(Do you foresee jokes about New Jersey becoming a red state by 2008 as a result?) Thanks to a ruling last week, “idiots” have been granted suffrage rights in the state of New Jersey. Prior to last week, this was strictly forbidden by New Jersey’s constitution. In 1844, language was added to the state constitution ... Continue reading this article…

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Suze Orman Teams Up With TD Ameritrade

by Luke Landes

Vince from Investorial and GuruWatch is skeptical of Suze Orman’s new relationship with TD Ameritrade. Here are the details of what she is promoting. You can receive a $100 bonus by opening up an account with TD Ameritrade in March and by following the “Save Yourself Plan,” which involves automatic monthly investments of at least ... Continue reading this article…

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Pathetic Check: Interest on Security Deposit

by Luke Landes

Since I rent rather than own the apartment in which I live, my landlord is required by law to keep the security deposit I paid several years ago in an interest-bearing savings account. Although it would have been better if the company kept the security deposits in a high-yield online savings account, the funds are ... Continue reading this article…

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Don’t Forget to Use Your Gift Cards

by Luke Landes

This year for the holidays, I received gift cards for Circuit City, Amazon.com, Best Buy, JCPenney, and even Wendy’s. Besides the usual warnings with gifts cards (watch out for purchasing fees, reduction of value over time, and expiration dates), the most basic tip goes often overlooked: Don’t forget to use them. I’ve heard that many ... Continue reading this article…

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New Computer Has Arrived, What Should I Do With the Old?

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, the shipment containing the new Dell Inspiron E1705 arrived. I took it home, configured everything and put it through the motions. It looks and runs fantastic, especially after today’s shipment, 2GB of speedy RAM, arrived. I got a great price on a machine with all the features I wanted, so waiting four months paid ... Continue reading this article…

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Frugal Answer: Make Your Own Holiday Gifts?

by Luke Landes

I made this half-pony half-monkey monster to please you But I get the feeling that you don’t like it What’s with all the screaming? You like monkeys, you like ponies Maybe you don’t like monsters so much Maybe I used too many monkeys Isn’t it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a ... Continue reading this article…

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