This week’s picks for the best in personal finance from around the web – a day early this week because we’ll have DAA and Sector Rotation strategy updates tomorrow.

Bear markets are a learning experience. Really. (USA TODAY). No one knows the future, but all investors should be familiar with the lessons of past bear markets.

Older Americans are ill-prepared for hefty health-care costs (CNBC). How to buck the odds and be one of the few who is prepared.

Congress proposes three changes to Social Security that make sense (Forbes). Changes to cost-of-living adjustments, taxable income thresholds, and the amount workers contribute to Social Security are all up for consideration.

Protect your family from the unexpected (Fidelity). One family’s experience, and its lessons for the rest of us.

Buy experiences, not things (The Atlantic). We’ve reported on similar research in the past, but it’s worth letting these findings truly sink in.

And from the blogosphere…

Why volatility matters (Abnormal Returns). Great point about having a strategy vs. having a strategy you can follow.

Economics advances one funeral at a time (Bloomberg View). The dangers of predicting the impact of government actions such as Quantitative Easing.

Strange influences on financial decisions (Squared Away Blog). Social Security claimant, know thyself.

When history and finance go wrong (Think Advisor). Beware the planning fallacy.

Six reasons to live more simply—and give more generously (Randy Alcorn). Good, challenging thoughts.

We’d love to hear your responses to any of the above. To weigh in, just meet us in the comments section.