Computer Geeks Make Money. Literally. What You Need to Know

Nobody knows exactly who they are. But a group of computer geeks have created a virtual currency called “Bitcoins” that’s got everybody from the FBI to international bankers to the news media talking. Bitcoins are money that flows on the Internet – money that’s not backed by gold or governments. But it does buy things – like cars, pizza and guns. Starting from zero about four years ago, the Bitcoin economy was said to be worth about $2 billion earlier …

The Fiscal Crisis of Families

Washington and the news media have long been focused on a series of budget deadlines and fiscal dramas. But a different headline stood out for me the other day, as I read a story in the Washington Post: “Fiscal Trouble Ahead for Most Future Retirees.” The story provided dramatic support for recent findings of AARP’s Public Policy Institute that the security of middle class Americans is under attack from all sides. AARP’s Middle Class Security Project and the Post article …

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 …

Instagram Fans, Watch Out for Fake Flight Offer Scams

Instagram has become a leading social network to allow users to upload and edit photos, and follow and view other accounts and their Instagram photos. But when popularity comes, scammers often follow. Picture this: When browsing popular Instagram accounts, you stumble upon a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity from a trusted airline. It’s almost as if fate wants you take that all-expenses paid trip to visit old connections. The airline’s Instagram account is offering a free flight to your next vacation destination. All …

AARP’s Life@50+ = Bargain of a Lifetime!

Hands down, the best $25 I’ve ever spent: AARP’s Life@50+ National Event. That’s the price of admission for the entire three day event ($35 for non-members), and you easily get 10 times that amount in return value in the form of world class entertainment, cutting edge information, and schwag … lots and lots of schwag. This past week, Life@50+ 2012 was held in New Orleans, and on Saturday – the last day of the event – I woke up with a …

Jean Chatzky’s 12 Essential Money Rules

“Rules. A life without rules is exhausting and emotionally fraught.” That’s how Jean Chatzky opened her hour long session on financial security and retirement at Life@50+ today. She admitted that rules don’t seem fun – and the audience agreed. But soon she brought the crowd around to the virtues of boundaries, planning and delayed gratification. “Once you start planning, and get the numbers down on the page, things may not be as bad as you think they are,” said Chatzky, …