I heard an interview on Marketplace Money program on NPR (fast forward to 13:00 mark in the audio). Sociology professor Lisa Servon worked as a teller at a check cashing place for four months in order to understand what’s going on with the poor using check cashing services instead of banks. I love this kind of professors.
Googling the professor’s name led me to her article RiteCheck 12. A fascinating read.
The check cashing places are often bashed in the media as predatory. It turns out they are just providing a service, with up-front prices posted in big letters, willingly accepted by the customers. After paying a check cashing fee, some customers tip their teller. Some customers bring coffee to the tellers.
I also read these other article this week:
I Want to Be a Millennial When I Retire by Jim Sollisch at The New York Times
Some are lucky to become successful when they pursue something they love. I still believe doing what you love as a career is a luxury few can afford. It’s more efficient to maximize one’s human capital and save the pursuits to the future. It’s a form of delayed gratification.
Will Millennials Be Ready to Retire? at Square Away Blog
Yes they will, as will everybody else. The only difference is one’s level of comfort. Remember delayed gratification.
The rewards of staying invested through a crisis by Brent Hunsberger at The Oregonian
More rewards if you bought more.
Financial Advisers Get Little Respect by Rick Ferri at RickFerri.com
I don’t think they get little respect. Everybody prefaces their statements with "I’m not a financial advisor …" which implies that a real financial advisor knows better.
Bill Clinton Is Wrong: It’s Okay That Some People Can’t Keep Their Insurance by Matthew O’Brien at The Atlantic
I agree. Not everybody can win at all times. Adults understand that.
4 reasons your health insurance premium might go up by Nancy Metcalf at Consumer Reports
I’m becoming a fan of Nancy Metcalf’s common sense writing.
Should I Keep My Form 5498? by Mike Piper at Oblivious Investor
Uh oh. I threw away all my Form 5498′s. I will keep them from now on.
Intergenerational equity: Who should pay for past retirement promises? by Steve Vernon at CBS MoneyWatch
The right question is what promises? The Supreme Court ruled 50 years ago Social Security isn’t a promise. It will be progress if everybody finally accepts that as the law of the land.
Required Minimum Distributions Are A Good Thing by Scott Burns at AssetBuilder
It’s great to hear some sane voices. I like this quote:
While the many and complicated rules of Social Security can make you say, "Why?" it’s always good to remember that the fundamental purpose of Social Security is to provide an income safety net for older Americans. It’s a system to be respected, not worked or gamed, as many people now seem to see it.
Contract or Prepaid, Big Four or MVNO: Which Wireless Plan Makes Sense for You? by Matthew Amster-Burton at MintLife
Choices are good. The answer is easy for me: prepaid, MVNO.
Updated Review of the R Bank Reward Checking in the Austin Metro Area by Ken Tumin at DepositAccounts.com
If you are in Austin area, this looks like an excellent choice. The best part is that the reward checking account still pays good rate above the balance cap.
[Photo credit: Flickr user loreshdw]