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Miscellaneous Musings

November 12, 2010 · 28 comments

in Commentary, Personal Finance

It is Friday, and the weather has been fantastic here in Michigan. I am therefore going to just type and see what comes to mind.  (This should probably be a ‘Thoughts For Thursday’ post, but I just couldn’t resist today.)

  1. Will the Bush tax cuts expire?  According to the Huffington Post, it looks like the White House will actually continue the Bush tax cuts!  Of course, there is no guarantee since nothing is official, but at least it looks like things are going in the direction I want them to.  On a totally unrelated note, I am bummed that we did all our home improvements before the advent of the home improvement tax credit.
  2. I keep seeing people standing around either in an animal suit of some kind or wearing a placard telling me that they will buy my gold.  I don’t know that I trust Snoopy to be buying my gold at a fair price.  I don’t know where I would go to sell my gold actually.  I know you can even consider selling or buying gold online.  I don’t know which I would trust more, the dog, or the internet.
  3. I need to get my annual credit report.  I have gone to the online websites to make sure that someone hasn’t stolen my identity and taken a bunch of credit cards out in my name.  However, I really don’t know my credit score.  By the way, did you know the FICO credit score range is from 300-850?  I cannot imagine what it takes to be a 300, considering anything below 580 is considered a bad credit risk.
  4. I was reading a Lending Club Review the other day, and I thought “How come I have never heard much about investing in a Lending Club?”.  Then I read the rules and realized I live in a state that doesn’t allow participation.  Oh well, I guess that is one more thing I don’t have to worry about.  Did you know that residents of only certain states were approved to invest in Lending Club?
  5. I need a good book to read.  Suggestions anyone?
  6. How come my house is less organized now than it was when I had little kids at home?   You would have thought I would have torn this house up when I wasn’t working at all for those 9 months.  I am definitely making every minute count now though, because I don’t have a choice.
  7. I was reading a post about life insurance on Wednesday and it got me rethinking life insurance in general.  Do I need a policy for the kids?  Are my husband and I insured enough?  How will our life insurance needs change as we get older?  Will we need senior term life insurance, or will our savings be enough since the kids won’t be dependent on us anymore? (At least they better not be!)  I know insurance gets more expensive as you get older, and life insurance isn’t an area my husband and I have discussed in a really long time.
  8. On a lighter note, did you know that the a two-piece leather costume worn by Bubbles the Chimp (former resident of Neverland) will be up for auction?  The ensemble is expected to fetch between $2,000 and $4,000.  Half the proceeds are going to the sanctuary where Bubbles lives now, so you will be doing a good deed by bidding!  He is 26 years old now- how time flies!
  9. Happy Birthday to my husband!!!!!   He keeps wondering when he should start his ‘birthday’ rules…

OK, that just about wraps up all I had to say today.  Have a great Friday.  I think I will have a nice bowl of clam chowder for lunch.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole November 12, 2010 at 7:09 am

When you’re older, get long term care insurance. Unless you’re in charge of your grandkids or decide to adopt or something it is fine to let your term life insurance run out, unless one of you needs the other’s income or will need to purchase services to replace the other. Hopefully you’ll have enough saved at that point that it would be moot.

I read in a book somewhere that quoted a paper that showed that lending clubs encourage dangerous speculation and way too much trading. (Since you lose money in transaction costs every time you trade.)

Happy birthday to your husband!

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Kris November 12, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Nicole, I think I am too much of a fraidy cat to invest in a Lending Club, even if I could. People default so much, the last thing I think I would want to invest in is loans. But it is an interesting concept.

I am not exactly sure what I think of long term care insurance because I have read it has a lot of limitations. I am sure it is something I will explore further as I get a bit older. I do agree though that it is a better ‘investment’ than life insurance when you are older.

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Lara November 13, 2010 at 9:39 am

Hey Kris and Nicole: peer-to-peer lending has been around for 3+ years and has yielded over 9.5% returns in average. I’ve been doing it for the last 2, and my returns are a bit lower, but still good (about 7.5%). The trick is diversification (lend $25 at a time). Before trying it, I recommend checking out their information webcasts: http://blog.lendingclub.com/2010/11/11/upcoming-webcasts-investor-updates/

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101 Centavos November 12, 2010 at 7:12 am

For some light humor, try one of the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett. I’ve recommended Pratchett to a couple of friends. One liked it so much he went out and bought just about every book in the series, and another returned the loaned book mostly unread.

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Crystal @ BFS November 12, 2010 at 10:51 am

Discworld is awesome! Hardly anyone I know has any idea what I’m talking about, but they are so satirical and funny! I own every book in the series up until 2006 when we moved next to an awesome library…

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Nicole November 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I LOVE Discworld too. 🙂 The newest is on my Amazon wishlist so hopefully for Christmas.

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Kris November 12, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Don’t you love when you can get books you really like easily from the library? It almost kills me to buy a book anymore.

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101 Centavos November 12, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Sir Pratchett is huge over in the UK. Any airport bookstore will have a full complement of his titles. He’s written several children’s books, the latest of which I think is Wintersmith, the adventures of the 13-yr old apprentice witch Tiffany Aching.

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Kris November 12, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Does Pratchett write children’s books too? It seems like I have seen something around the house. I will look into it!

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Nicole November 12, 2010 at 1:38 pm

He does! Some of his early children’s books aren’t very good. But his more recent children’s stuff is quite lovely.

I also didn’t like Nation very much, though my husband did. Really I like his Discworld stuff best.

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etinca November 12, 2010 at 10:32 am

2 good recent books – ‘Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter’ and ‘Even Silence Has an End.’ Neither was quite what I expected but totally enjoyed.

If you haven’t read any of Kris Radish, or Jasper Fforde (the Tuesday Next series), try them out! Radish’s are stand-alone stories; Fforde’s are a series. If you like mysteries, Martha Grimes’ Richard Jury books don’t have to be read in order either.

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Crystal @ BFS November 12, 2010 at 10:53 am

Again, a person who reads Jasper Fforde? Fantastic! The Tuesday Next series is really fun! I also like his Nursery Crimes series. 🙂

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etinca November 12, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I’m sure if I were from England Fforde’s books would be even more amusing. I’ve read each of them at least 2x. What I turn to whenever I need a good laugh.

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Nicole November 12, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Apparently our post on Series that we love is scheduled for Nov 18th. It includes Thursday Next. (And Discworld.) Go funny fantasy!

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Kris November 12, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Thanks Etinca, I am adding those to my list!

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Crystal @ BFS November 12, 2010 at 10:55 am

I just finished reading “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins and it is by far my favorite book of this year. It’s thought-provoking, moving, and funny in parts. I’d suggest it to anybody. I’m currently on hold at the library for books 2 and 3…I’m also using it’s general ideas for a few posts in the next few weeks, lol.

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Money Reasons November 12, 2010 at 11:29 am

Nice list, as for a book to read, I’ve still trying to work my way through a stack of financial books that I said I would review… I heard “The girl with the Dragon Tattoo was good”, but my wife said it was just okay…

Good stuff, but boy am I behind!

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Kris November 12, 2010 at 1:37 pm

I liked the Dragon Tattoo series. I think I liked book 1 the least out of the three actually.

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Suba @ Wealth Informatics November 12, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Wow, you think too much 😛 I agree with Nicole, as you get older get the long term care and let the term life lapse.

I have never read any of the books mentioned above. Thanks for bringing up this topic, I am going to check out some of these books mentioned in the comments.

Happy birthday to you husband!!!

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beth November 12, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Happy birthday to your hubby! 🙂

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Squirrelers November 12, 2010 at 6:56 pm

About the animal suits and gold buying, the first thing I think of when I see that is BUBBLE. Yep….when stuff gets crazed like that, and gold buying/selling gets that mainstream, I start to wonder. Matching this with the price levels it has, I think this can only go so high…

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Kris November 12, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Squirrel – I am sure you are right. Plus, people are desperate for cash now, and I am sure that gold buyers are more than happy to take advantage of that too.

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Roshawn @ Watson Inc November 12, 2010 at 11:17 pm

I’m partial to James Patterson for my fiction. It will be interesting what will happen with the tax cuts. It’s amazing the difference in the balance of power that a year makes!

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Financial Samurai November 13, 2010 at 3:02 am

Bush Tax cuts will be extended for 1 year if not 2 FOR SURE! WHOOO HOOO!

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Heather November 22, 2010 at 10:20 pm

4. I knew Lending Club was limited to certain states (as are all banks, due to monopoly laws) because I wanted to get into it and can’t. Perhaps that’s OK…

5. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. The Poisenwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. The Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony. (I’m generally not a sci-fi fan, but those books were excellent!) What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell.

6. For most people, the more time you have, the less you use it…

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Kris November 23, 2010 at 2:13 pm

I have heard good things about the Poisonwood Bible, and I think I might even own it. I will have to check, and also look into your other suggestions.

Thank you!!

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