Washington D.C.

I'm a writer covering the topics of career, retirement, savings, budgeting and entrepreneurship.

Six Things I Learned from Watching “Shark Tank”

I don’t have the next billion-dollar invention in my pocket – not yet, anyway. But if I did, my weekly consumption of ABCs “Shark Tank” will have prepped me well for that pitch with a hotshot investor. The show where small-business owners and inventors go before a group of self-made moguls seeking moolah is more than just great entertainment. Will the Sharks praise or pooh-pooh the idea? Will they get five doses of rejection? (“I’m out!”) What snarky comment will the …

5 Flu Myths Debunked

We can think of an excuse to get out of anything we don’t want to do – like getting a flu shot. Maybe you’re one of those folks who rarely get sick so you scoff at the flu messages each year. Maybe you’re plain scared. But the truth of the matter is, if you’re over 65, you’re playing with fire if you don’t get the flu vaccine. This age group has the highest rates of influenza-related deaths and hospitalizations, says …

All In the Family Business

I probably couldn’t work with my mother. Don’t get me wrong, she’s one of the loves of my life. But at this point in her journey, she’s ready to do less. I’m the opposite, so I’d annoy her…lovingly so. It’s a different story for Ernestine and Chrystal Dailey, the mother-daughter team who started WeLoveWreaths.com in 2009 via handmade marketplace Etsy.com. I couldn’t wait to check out their hand-crafted all-occasion wreaths, since I’ve been dusting off the same tired one every December for …

Starting a Business? Find Your Niche

I marvel at entrepreneurs who can take an idea and sell it, no matter what it is.  Sometimes it’s the marketing machine that does the trick.  Or the entrepreneur’s sheer passion. But other times it’s the discovery that there’s a niche community of fans out there salivating for their “thing.” John Findra’s thing is the fantastically beat-up classic car as art – distressed, rusted, gutted and all.  The more weathered, the cooler.  His firm Classic Wrecks turns out pint-sized replicas …

Ready for a Permanent Vacation Abroad?

I’m just back from vacation in the U.S. Good for me, but not so good for friends who confided they are suddenly on “permanent” vacation. As in “laid off” and with no prospects in sight. They’re being forced to explore their options. Suddenly, I’d become very popular at cocktail parties and other gatherings. “Can you really live inexpensively outside the U.S.?” my friends asked. “What’s it like to live in a foreign country? Is it safe? Is there Internet? English-language …

If I Go Abroad, What Happens to My Medicare?

No matter what happens this November or in the four years that follow, one thing is for sure: your Medicare coverage won’t be going with you should you decide to retire overseas. Luckily, though, there are many countries where, as a legal resident, you can qualify for a local health care plan that’s often even more comprehensive and less costly than Medicare. Here’s what you need to know:”¨ Medicare doesn’t normally cover health care costs outside the U.S. (And the government’s definition …