As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

Geico Cavemen: The Sitcom

by Luke Landes

Apparently ABC has ordered a pilot for a new television sitcom based on the Geico cavamen commercials. At first I found the commercials entertaining (though not very informative), but I don’t think I could handle a television show rooted in something developed by an advertising agency. What’s next? The Aflac duck getting his own show ... Continue reading this article…

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The Cost of Buying a Home: Projected Improvements

by Luke Landes

Last week, I cited an article in the Wall Street Journal outlining the true cost of owning a home over 30 years, which includes much more than just the mortgage. The main issue within the article is a warning to those entering retirement counting on not much more in the way of savings other than ... Continue reading this article…

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This Week in the Archives: Dividends, Real Estate, and Home Ownership

by Luke Landes

If you’re relatively new to Consumerism Commentary, these old posts may be new to you. Here’s what was happening here on March 16-22, 2006: * Mar. 16: What $300,000 Will Buy You in My Town * Mar. 17: Benefits of Dividends * Mar. 20: My New 401(k) Fund Option: Real Estate * Mar. 21: I ... Continue reading this article…

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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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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

Lazy Man and Money hosted the Carnival of Personal Finance today and he did a great job corralling the submissions. Here are some of my picks for the week, in addition to Lazy Man’s Editor’s Choice. * How to Invest in 4-Week T-Bills: The Complete Process at Sun’s Financial Diary * Planning for Receiving an ... 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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ING Direct’s Electric Orange Checking Account

by Luke Landes

As it was finally offered to me recently, I signed up for the new paperless checking account at ING Direct. Since I am a current customer of this particular bank, the account opening process was quick and straightforward. Right now, the account offers 0.20 percent APY interest on the first $50,000, which is great for a ... Continue reading this article…

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H&R Block Opens Virtual Tax Office

by Luke Landes

First, Reuters opened a news bureau in Second Life, a virtual reality game that people connect to through the internet to live out fantasy lives in the comfort of their own desk chairs. Now, while Congress is still trying to determine how to tax income in virtual worlds, H&R Block is joining the Land of ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup, Moving in Snow Edition

by Luke Landes

My little Civic got stuck in the snow in Queens no less than twice this weekend while helping my girlfriend move to a new location. I can’t say it was the best time of my life. Time Warner Cable showed up without any cable converter boxes, so that was a waste. This is the first ... Continue reading this article…

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The Cost of Buying a Home Over 30 Years

by Luke Landes

So you think it’s such a great decision to buy a house? Well, you need a place to live, and it’s better to own, right? Well, the cost of owning a home is something rarely described by proponents. Buy at $300,000, sell at $1,000,000 thirty years from now (an average 5.66 percent annual growth rate) for ... Continue reading this article…

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