Black Coffee: Summer Is Still Here, But It's Christmas at Costco

It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe…

Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of what’s been going on in the world of money and personal finance.

Can you believe the end of summer is almost here? It seems like it was only yesterday that it was just getting started.

I guess that just goes to show that life really is like a roll

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Key Info to Keep for Your Financial Records (and for How Long)

Despite the fact that many businesses and services now offer paperless options, you can still wind up with a load of paperwork. It’s not uncommon for the average household to receive between 30 and 50 pages worth of paperwork in physical or electronic form each month. Obviously, the easy thing to do would be to just shred it all.

Shredding, of course, comes with certain risks. The biggest risk that you

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How I Live on Less Than $40,000 Annually: Jeff from Washington

Steadfast financial discipline and strategic planning has rewarded Jeff with the financial freedom to enjoy an early retirement.

My name is Jeff and I’ve been reading Len’s blog off and on for a couple of years now. I’m 55 years old.

After getting my high school diploma I spent six years in the military, and then followed up my service with a series of various jobs.

My wife is 57 and has

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4 Ways Duct Tape Can Fix Your Personal Finances

A while back I ran into this cool site that is devoted to the wondrous and wacky world of duct tape.

Duct tape was first created and manufactured in 1942 to keep moisture out of World War II soldier’s ammunition cases. The tape was originally known as “duck tape” because the tape was made using cotton duck cloth.

After the war was over, the tape was used in the housing industry to

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Why Pastry Chefs Are Financially Savvier Than The Common Man

If you ask me there are few things in life better than a warm chocolate chip cookie, fresh from the oven and accompanied with a little cold milk for dunking purposes.

As far as I’m concerned, the bar-none gold standard of chocolate chip cookies is the Nestle Toll House cookie.

In fact, a few weeks ago Nina and I whipped up a batch, as we like to occasionally do.

Normally, I faithfully follow

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Black Coffee: You Can't Eat Federal Reserve Notes (But Spinach Is OK)

It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe…

Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of what’s been going on in the world of money and personal finance.

What a week; I was out of town on a business trip that included a luncheon with the governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez. Now get this: It turns out she’s a big fan of my

Continue reading Black Coffee: You Can’t Eat Federal Reserve Notes (But Spinach Is OK)

6 Ways to Protect Yourself In Case of Serious Injury

If you have been seriously injured, you’re no doubt feeling overwhelmed with the number of decisions that need to be made. It can be helpful to keep a list of items that need to be addressed and cross them off one at a time. Regardless of your injury, your finances will continue to need your attention.

Here are six steps you should consider taking to protect your financial life in case

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100 Words On: A Guaranteed Way to Preserve Your Wealth

Fiat-based paper currencies facilitate commerce by acting as a medium of exchange that’s far preferable to bartering. Unfortunately, governments that wish to spend beyond their means can — and do — print fiat with impunity, thereby leading to chronic monetary debasement that can wipe out savings and even disrupt societies. On the other hand, gold and silver pay no interest, but they have no counterparty risks either; that makes them

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Fun Things to Do in New York City for Free

New York City is famously one of the most expensive cities on the planet. Not too long ago, Len covered ways to experience New York City on a budget. However, there is also a variety of attractions and activities you can include in your Big Apple itinerary for free.

The first money-saving tip for visiting the city is to wear comfortable walking shoes. New York taxis may be famous, but they’re

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5 Personal Finance Tenets That Aren’t as Smart as They Used to Be

When I was a kid I used to love the fun houses found at summer carnivals and local fairs.

I loved the sense of twisted reality provided by image-distorting mirrors and the wacky side-rooms where water appeared to flow uphill and it was nearly impossible to stand straight.

Today, thanks to an extended period of near-zero interest rates, years of massive government deficits, and central bank “money printing,” we’re all stuck in

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