Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

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This week: How Russia created our student debt problem, what Medicare doesn't cover, what a Benjamin buys around the world, the rudest generation and why investors shouldn't watch the news.

1. “How Did Student Loan Debt Reach $1.4 Trillion? Blame Russia (Sort Of)”

[Credit.com] “There is little disagreement that adult life in America without a college degree is a struggle, and it’s only going to get harder as the economy continues to modernize and manual labor continues to be devalued. So it’s imperative that America figures out how to educate its young people without bankrupting them — but it’s important to understand how we got here.”

Did you know that the student loan program was an offshoot of the space race of the 1960s? According to this author, that’s why Uncle Sam began insuring student loans; to create a population with the education necessary to beat the Russians to the moon. This is an interesting look at how we got where we are today, but there’s not much in the way of a solution to this growing problem. Check it out, then check out “How to Get Free Help With Your Student Loans.”

2. “Medical Expenses Medicare Doesn’t Cover”

[The Dollar Stretcher.com] “Many baby boomers assume that Medicare will cover all their medical expenses after age 65. Not true! Medicare covers many, but not all, medical expenses.”

I happen to be one of those boomers approaching the age when Medicare will matter, so this article was a must-read. What’s not covered by Medicare? As it turns out, no real surprises: “dental care, vision screening or care, hearing screening and hearing aids, or long term care services.” I already knew those things weren’t covered, but if you didn’t and you’re approaching your golden years, give this one a read. While you’re at it, you might also want to read “The ABCs of Selecting a Medicare Supplement Plan.”

3. “What $100 Will Buy You Around the World”

[AOL] “Traveling isn’t cheap. But once you get to some places, adventure is. In fact, you might be surprised how much fun and adventure 100 bucks can get you around the world.”

This is a slide show featuring 17 things you can do for a Benjamin or less all over the world. And most of them looked super cool, from ballooning over Laos to rappelling down a Colombian waterfall to camel riding in Morocco. I think you should do all 17. What better way to spend $1,700?

4. “The Rudest Generation”

[Debt.com] “Just when you were getting used to hating on millennials, another generation is on the cusp of adulthood. You can start blaming them for everything now, according to new research.”

Frankly, I’m really annoyed with this arbitrary and subjective partitioning of generations. If you’re not, however, now you’ve got a new generation to criticize: Generation Z. According to research quoted in this article, members of this generation are most likely to curse at, and hang up on, phone customer service reps.

I really don’t understand this compulsion we seem to have with dividing people into “generations,” as if nothing other than age matters. Personally, I’m not buying it. But then, maybe that’s because I’m a member of the skeptical generation.

5. “Want Your Investments to Do Better? Stop Watching the News”

[Wise Bread] “If you pay close attention to investment news, it’ll either make you laugh or it’ll drive you bonkers. Within the same hour, and on the same market news website, you will often see completely contradictory articles. One says the market is headed higher; the next says the market is about to tank.”

I’ve expressed the exact same philosophy many times in both articles and books. If you want to be a good investor, information is your friend. Too much information, however, is your enemy, at least if it causes you to make moves when you should be sitting still.

If you find yourself losing when you should be winning, it’s probably because you’re trading rather than investing. If that shoe fits, check out this article.

Don’t forget to share your thoughts and reactions in comments below or on our Facebook page!

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


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