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A Middle Class Roundup

Another interesting week in the blogosphere. Let’s get right to it –

At Canadian Finance Blog – Tom Drake answers the age old question, How Much Do I Need To Retire? Actually, he offers more than that, a series of rules that will help lead the reader to his magic Number.

Andrew Gordon tells us Why US Middle Class Could Disappear.  He quotes Bloomberg “The rich are getting richer and the middle-class and below are living paycheck to paycheck” and feels that the spending being done by upper-income households and is not going to lead to a sustainable recovery.  Some sobering thoughts in this article.

Miranda guest posted at Personal Dividends Inflation: Silent Wealth Killer. Here we are reminded that our money buys far less today than it did 30 years ago, about 1/3 or so, and we should take inflation into account when we plan out our retirement 20-40 years hence.

At Personal Finance By The Book, Should You Borrow From Your 401(k)? Tim walks us through the rules, the pros and the cons. I like that author offered both sides and didn’t push one over the order. Just a bit of a warning on not borrowing what you can’t pay back. Ok by me.

At Moolanomy, I was honored, along with fellow Money Maven, Len Penzo, to be included in the 11 Lesser Known Finance Blogs to Read in 2011. An excellent group of up and coming bloggers.

And to wrap up another great week, at The Military Wallet Hank suggests ways to Use A Grocery Price Book To Save Money At The Grocery Store. I wondered if anyone else did this, as I think it’s a great idea. Hank offers an example how Splenda in his local commissary is $8.99 for 400 but $21 for the 1000 box at the warehouse store. A glance at the notebook made the decision easy. And he’s also a fan of Evernote which is where I keep all my price data as well.

Have a great week,


  • Arohan January 30, 2011, 1:43 pm

    Thank You for including the Personal Dividends’ post on Inflation! It is quite scary what inflation can do over time, eating away at your returns and savings

  • Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog January 30, 2011, 3:29 pm

    Thanks for the link Joe, and good job making it into that list of finance blogs to read in 2011!

  • Augustine January 30, 2011, 4:20 pm

    I’m from Brazil and America has been looking all the more familiar to me in the last few years: attacks on personal liberties, irresponsible government indebtedness, loose fiscal and monetary policy (I mention them together, because they have just come closer to become one when public debt is being monetized), etc. Pretty much a summary of the Brazilian economic history from the mid 70’s to the mid 80’s. And now this: luxury items seeing strong sales. Indeed, when Brazil was mired with high and then hyper-inflation, luxury items kept on selling strongly throughout the economic troughs. All the while people were literally starving to death on the streets (I took a woman to the hospital for malnutrition once).

    The most plausible explanation is that in the presence of significant monetary supply inflation (which may or may not be reflected in the CPI at the first moment), those who get the newly minted money first (even when it’s from fractional banking), enjoy more value than those who receive it last. So it’s not that surprising that those benefiting from the government’s largess (bankers, favored enterprises or interest groups) get to enjoy luxuries while the employment-to-population ratio plummets. Hopefully, we can always eat brioches.

  • JOE January 30, 2011, 5:33 pm

    I appreciate the comment, it’s a frightening comparison. If you ever wish to write a full article, I’d be happy to host it.
    I recall having this conversation 40 years ago. My Godfather was a social studies teacher, and even at 8, I was interested in this kind of thing. The disparity of wealth is an issue, a big one.

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