You can prepare for looming big financial problems

Big financial problems — everything from the fiscal cliff to the fallout of your decision to buy that car you can’t afford — are looming. Here are suggestions for dealing with them.

Retirement

In a letter to the re-elected president, MarketWatch’s Retirement Weekly editor, Robert Powell, outlines the “retirement problems Obama must solve.” These focus on the heavily burdened federal programs of Social Security and Medicare. Powell says it’s time for policy makers and politicians to quit kicking the can down the road and get some solutions into play. Another of the many problems facing the nation is the withering away of traditional retirement plans, making it imperative for younger workers to save more than their parents did. bit.ly/XpS8bs

Overspending

Individuals need to fix their acts, too, and a post on the “biggest money problems most people have” by Jeremy Vohwinkle at GenXFinance.com points to common mistakes that can cripple an individual or family. Those include, of course, buying more house than you can afford — an epidemic of which helped sink the economy. In addition, there’s the frequent problem of “having a vehicle fetish” that, Vohwinkle says, causes lots of people to spend more on cars than they’ve put away for retirement by age 65. bit.ly/UdOg6G

Big problems

Solving big problems is the subject of a package of articles at the MIT Technology Review. The package, published last month, starts with an essay, “Why we can’t solve big problems,” and uses the example of NASA’s Apollo moon mission to say that perhaps we can. Problems detailed include the issues of traffic, climate change, dementia, cancer and manufacturing. bit.ly/SIsw3I

Solutions

Fortune magazine’s Geoff Colvin and Allan Sloan got together in September to propose solutions to some of the nation’s biggest financial problems. Little has changed since then, given the outcome of the election. They suggest “supplemental end-of-life” insurance for people who want “heroic measures” to be kept alive, Medicare surcharges for smokers and the “ultra-fat” and eliminating the accounting gimmick called the Social Security trust fund, among many other things. bit.ly/UzC40p

More in Herald Business Journal

Peoples, HomeStreet banks bump lowest salaries after tax cut

The banks with Snohomish County branches will raise minimum salaries for employees to $15 an hour.

Electroimpact cuts Mukilteo staff by 9 percent

“What we’re missing now is a monster anchor project,” the company’s VP said.

Exotic animals find compassionate care in Bothell (video)

At the Center for Bird and Exotic Animal Medicine, vets treat snakes, hedgehogs and even kangaroos.

How can you tell if you are getting good financial advice?

Assume that it’s still the same buyer-beware market that has always existed.

Amanda Strong (left) tries on an Angel of the Winds Arena hat as she and Courtney Brown hand out gift bags after the renaming ceremony Dec. 13 in Everett. The new name replaces the Xfinity name. (Andy Bronson / Her file)
Angel of the Winds to break ground on $60M casino expansion

“We think we’re on the cusp of becoming a major resort.”

In this Dec. 20, 2017, photo, a clerk reaches to a shelf to pick an item for a customer order at the Amazon Prime warehouse, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Amazon’s potential HQ2 sites leaves many cities disappointed

And yet, some municipal leaders are looking at the bright side of being rejected.

How do you retrieve an errant Boeing 737 from a muddy slope?

Turkish authorities used cranes to lift a plane that skidded off a runway.

Don’t take economic forecasts to the bank — or the casino

Air travel delays could spur a rebirth of passenger rail service.

Emirates orders 20 more Airbus A380 jumbos, saving program

The Dubai carrier also has options to buy 16 more. The program seems safe until 2029.

Most Read