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Bob and Vincent Phillips from my personal photo collection.

My 93-year-old father died from COVID on Saturday. He’d had the virus for three weeks and was stable until Friday, when he took a turn for the worse. In a matter of 12 hours, he was gone. They gave him morphine in his final hours to help him breathe easier, but it was to no avail. He passed away in a non-responsive state.

Sadly, I couldn’t be there with him. I live in Texas, and he lived in New York. He was quarantined in a nursing home and wasn’t allowed visitors. If I had gone to New York, I would have had to self-quarantine for two weeks upon arrival per New York state mandate. …


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Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

It seems that the majority of the news we consume via various forms of media is bad news. Recessions, violence, and the coronavirus dominate the headlines. And understandably so. But fortunately, it’s not all gloom and doom.

Yes, many businesses have suffered economically and have had to lay off many of their employees. The restaurant and airline industries are two of the most prominent. But there are other industries that have fared well, even prospered enough to reach new levels of revenue and profits during the pandemic.

Let’s take a look at five of these and see if you have done business with any or all of them. …


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Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

In the pre-COVID fall of 2019, open enrollment was an afterthought for many people. It was another box to be checked off in our busy lives. But not so in 2020.

As you consider your open enrollment options this year, you are probably considering yourself fortunate to have employer-sponsored benefits. You probably know someone who has lost their job and has found out just how expensive it can be for them to individually purchase the same benefits they had through their job.

You also may be suffering from sticker shock as you survey your options this year. Medical and insurer costs continue to rise, with no end in sight in the foreseeable future. It’s more important than ever to invest the time to carefully consider your options in light of these rising costs. …


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Photo by Pablo Heimplatz on Unsplash

The dual income, no kids (DINK) lifestyle is the envy of many adults with children. DINK couples are portrayed in the media as happy-go-lucky, enjoying travel to exotic lands while holding hands as the sun sets, and adorning themselves with the latest, expensive fashions.

But it may not be all sunshine and roses, as it appears. Couples with children may argue that DINK couples are being selfish by remaining childless and are missing out on one of life’s greatest joys. Some of these feelings may come from envy; others are sincere.

Regardless of your situation and opinion of DINK couples, their lifestyle can look very appealing. Madison Avenue has done a very good job with marketing campaigns directed specifically at them, featuring such tempting items as romantic cruises, luxury automobiles, designer clothing, and expensive jewelry. …


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Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) is a movement of people looking to accumulate enough wealth relatively early in life (30s or 40s) to have the financial means to retire early. And it’s very appealing to many.

Would you like to be financially independent? Who doesn’t dream of having enough money not to have to work if you don’t want to, traveling to exotic locations you always wanted to experience, or buying luxurious items without having to worry if there’s enough money in your checking account to pay for them.

And would you like to retire early? Have you daydreamed about walking into the boss’s office and telling them you won’t be coming back after lunch…ever? Have you dreamed of throwing the alarm clock in the trash can and waking up when your eyes open, and not a moment before? …


(5 Practical Tips)

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Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

Living within your means in 2020 hasn’t been easy. Scores of people have faced unemployment, furloughs, reduced hours, and pay cuts. Reductions in income have forced many to re-evaluate their spending and savings habits. They’ve had to reconsider how much they’re able to put into their retirement plans and college funds. People are carefully studying their finances like they never have before.

These financial realities have led many individuals and families to adjust their lifestyles to live within their means. For some, this is the first time they’ve put away their credit cards and corralled their spending. …


Aren’t Those The Same Thing?

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Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

“Expect the unexpected” is a saying that’s been around a long time. It’s wise advice when you’re evaluating the amount of money you have set aside for a time when something happens that you just didn’t see coming. This can be something inconvenient, like the brakes on your car needing to be replaced, or something more extreme like losing your job.

In either case, you’re going to need to get out your checkbook to pay for the unforeseen. That money is going to have to come from somewhere.

There are two very likely sources for you to dip into when you need funds to pay for extraordinary expenses: your emergency fund or your rainy day fund. …


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Photo by Pocky Lee on Unsplash

COVID-19 has been a nightmare for over 180,000 American families that have lost loved ones. You’ve probably seen or heard stories of families that had final conversations with someone with COVID that was struggling through the last minutes or hours of their life in a hospital. It’s heartbreaking, to say the least.

I’m living through a version of that nightmare right now. My father is in a nursing home in Upstate New York, and I can’t see him. I haven’t been able to see him since March. …


and how it helps me be a better husband.

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Photo by Vienna Reyes on Unsplash

I love sports and I love television. I’ll admit it — I’ve spent thousands of hours of my life over the past fifty plus years watching and enjoying competition in just about every sport imaginable. And I don’t feel like a minute has been wasted.

I’ve integrated watching sports with being happily married, raising three children, having a successful career, and staying physically active. If you read my life story you’d say I was well balanced and have done alright for myself.

There has been one hiccup. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder about fifteen years ago. In spite of it, with the help of a caring doctor and daily doses of effective medications, I’ve been able to carry on and pretty much accomplish all I’ve set out to do in spite of the daily struggle with my mental health. …


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Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Millennials are not job-hoppers. They stay with a company just about the same amount of time as the prior generation — 4.2 years in 2018. Considering a college graduate will spend over 40 years in the workplace, this equates to about ten different jobs in the life of a millennial. That is a lot of change.

It’s also costly for employers. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the average cost to hire an employee is $4,129, and the average time it takes to find a new employee is 42 days. This dollar amount doesn’t include the thousands of dollars it costs to train a new employee. …

About

Bob Phillips

I’m a freelance writer that loves writing on just about anything. Opinions are my own.

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