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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
U. S. & Global Economy
Sierra Leone 2012

Lessons Learned from a Savings and Lending Group in Southern Sierra Leone

In January 2012, as part of my ACES in Sierra Leone Study Abroad course, our University of Illinois students worked with World Vision of Sierra Leone to assess their project to develop inland valley rice swamps and farmer groups since the war ended. Sierra Leone suffered a horrific 11 year-long civil war through the 1990s but since 2002 the country has been working to rebuild, heal, and get the...

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Global Food Economy and Your Food Bill

Have you noticed your grocery bill increasing? In February 2011, food prices increased 3.9% over prices in January , and food prices continued to increase in March with the eighth straight monthly increase. Overall,...

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What is the State of Your Economy?

This week I attended the Smart Women Smart Money Conference hosted by the Illinois State Treasurer's Office. There were numerous workshops going on including one by our own Karen Chan. To my surprise, my next door neighbor, Shundrawn Thomas, President of Northern Trust Securities, did a presentation on the State of the Economy. I decided to sit in on his session. He provided historical data, in...

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Global Balance in Your Portfolio

I am writing this from Beijing, China where I am traveling with my 15-year old daughter, Annie. I travel to India fairly often because I am doing research there and India and China share the characteristic of being large economies with significant economic growth, particularly over the past 10 or so years. China has experienced the higher rate of economic growth and it reports official figures of...

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Is it a good time to buy stocks? Real estate? Anything?

Last week at a workshop I was giving, one of the participants asked me if it was a good time to buy stocks. This is what I know for sure: This is a better time to buy stocks than it was a year ago, when the Dow was at 13,000. Right now, stocks are about 35% lower than than they were then. This is a worse time to buy than it was the first week of March, when the Dow hit...

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Getting Through Tough Financial Times

I have been thinking about financial wellness a lot in the last couple of months. On September 5 th , I wrote a blog, "Financial Wellness ... What does it mean to you?" exploring the definition of financial wellness. Over Thanksgiving weekend, my husband and I had time to sit down and think thr...

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IL Farm Economics Update: Impact of the Current Financial Crisis on the Ag Economy

Many of us from University of Illinois Extension are involved with economics -- whether it's family economics or health economics or agricultural economics. Some colleagues of ours have recently posted a series of articles that you may be interested in. The article, The Current Financial Crisis: How Did We Get Here?, I fo...

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