What’s the Nation’s No. 1 Problem?

It’s the government, stupid. Bill Clinton won a presidential campaign with the motto, “It’s the economy, stupid.” But these days the top issue to most Americans is the government, according to a new Gallup poll.   Some 21 percent of Americans polled in the Jan. 5-8 survey said that the most important problem facing the country today is the government itself - including poor leadership, corruption, abuse of power and general dissatisfaction with Congress and politicians in general. The second most important …

Density: The Scary Word

Americans love traveling to cities where there’s excitement on the streets and people-watching is rewarding and fun; places where it’s easy to take care of the needs of daily life, yet these same routines often bring pleasant surprises. We take photos and put them on the mantelpiece to preserve fond memories. These cities – as small as Winter Park, Fla.; Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.; Princeton, N.J.; Burlington, Vt.; Sitka, Alaska; and Charleston, S.C. – have much in common, but the glue that …

When It Comes to News, There Are Gazers and Grazers

If you’ve turned the pages of a newspaper in public to find out what’s going in the world, you may have felt just a bit out of place among all the twenty-somethings using tablets and smartphones for the same purpose. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter According to a new survey from the Pew Research Center, what you noticed is a profound generational difference in how Americans get their news. Those of us who are 50 and older, …

Dear Abby Weighs In on Older Workers Debate

The debate over older workers staying on the job longer, and crowding out younger employees, won’t go away. In a recent Dear Abby column, “Disgusted in Columbus, Ohio,” blasted older workers for hanging onto their jobs “so they can live lavish lifestyles” at the expense of younger workers who don’t advance in the workplace, or worse, get laid off. Yet as Dear Abby pointed out, many older adults stay on the job these days just to survive.  During the financial crisis and …

Workers’ Pay Raise Next Year: 3 Percent

Salaried workers can expect a slightly fatter paycheck next year, but the salary bump you get may be considerably different from what your colleague in the next cubicle takes home. Overall, workers’ base pay in most industries is expected to climb an average of 3 percent in 2014. While that may seem relatively modest, it’s actually the biggest wage hike that employers have given out since 2008, according to a report by business consultant Aon Hewitt, which surveyed 1,147 U.S. …

The Constantly Moving Target of Debt Freedom

In my line of work as a professional cheapskate, a week rarely passes when I don’t receive a money-related press release or see a news item that leaves me shaking my head about people’s attitudes and behavior when it comes to money.  Adlai E. Stevenson said it 50+ years ago, but it’s apparently all the more true today.  Stevenson said:  “There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it seems to happen to …