Roundup time! Here's our latest collection of interesting reads on investing, personal finance, and stewardship.

  • What to do if you have to retire early (Kiplinger). Many older workers find themselves suddenly retired — sometimes well in advance of their target date. 
  • Fidelity 401(k) accounts soar sixfold to $300,000 in decade (Bloomberg via Financial Advisor). Ten years ago, in the first quarter of 2009, investors had an average account balance of $52,600.
  • 2019 Modern Wealth Survey (Charles Schwab). An informative survey, even if the results aren't surprising. Among the findings: "The pressure to spend as a result of social media envy and the desire to not be left out of friends' experiences is particularly acute among Generation Z and millennials."
  • How to decipher those college financial aid offers (Los Angeles Times). Colleges sometimes use their own in-house jargon to describe certain types of financial aid, which can make it difficult to compare aid offers from two or more schools.
  • What's your retirement housing strategy? (Kiplinger). An overview of 10 options, from "aging in place" (i.e., staying in your current home) to moving to a "Continuing Care Retirement Community."

And from the financial bloggers and pundits...

  • Financial superpowers (Ben Carlson, A Wealth of Common Sense). "Having, and sticking to, a true long term perspective is the closest you can come to possessing an investing superpower."
  • Realistic personal finance hacks (Morgan Housel, Collaborative Fund). You don't need to make lots of great decisions to do well financially over time. But it sure helps to avoid bad decisions.
  • When market volatility meets your retirement portfolio (Christine Benz, Morningstar). Because they're living off portfolios rather paychecks, retirees experience weak markets differently — and more viscerally — than their still-working counterparts.
  • Don't dig yourself deeper in debt with these 'solutions' (Liz Weston, Nerd Wallet via USA Today). Weston notes that "personal loans, which are often used to consolidate other debt, have become the fastest-growing type of debt." I didn't know that.
  • Help yourself (Rand Spero, Humble Dollar). Have family members who aren't financially savvy? You may be able to guide them by pointing out a few salient facts and asking just one or two well-chosen questions.

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