Our Mission at Year 2
The best place to invest, the coolest cash back rewards, the smartest or cheapest or lowest-rate mortgage – infinite spin ushers out of the financial world every day, and it’s all aimed at you.
That’s among the reasons the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College started this blog in May 2011. The blog’s focus is not financial products but financial behavior: what people do, why we do it, and how we can do it better. At its two-year anniversary, the Squared Away Blog hopes that it has become a reliable source of information for a growing number of readers of all ages who struggle every day to save and invest for their own or their children’s futures.
It’s important to explain to readers what “reliable” means for a blog housed at a university think tank. First, it’s about credibility. We are not selling anything. The blog is supported by a grant from the U.S. Social Security Administration, which has an interest in making sure Americans get good financial information.
Second, Squared Away routinely covers the latest research – our own or others – about financial behavior, or we use it to inform other articles you’ll read here. That’s because empirical research, which uses statistical analysis to figure out what’s really going on, is critical to understanding and tackling our personal finance challenges.
Research establishes that there are better and worse ways to manage one’s money, whether paying down a credit card or investing your 401(k). This research sometimes contradicts or tempers the advertisements and information flowing out of the influential and pervasive financial industry.
This blog is for people of all ages. Americans work in a DIY retirement world, requiring us to pay more attention than ever to our finances. Retirement is a shaky prospect for more than half of Americans, who may experience a drop in their standard of living when they stop working. Financial management must now begin for college students before they start their careers: the surge in borrowing to pay for an education has financial implications that we’re only beginning to understand.
Our supportive readers have been critical to making this blog work, increasing our exposure through Facebook, Twitter and word of mouth. And you have strong opinions, which we’ll continue to encourage in the comments section at the end of each article.
For now, below are links to our readers’ 10 favorite articles so far in 2013, according to our online analysis of blog traffic:
- It Pays More Than Ever to Delay – about Social Security
- Young Adults Adrift in an E-Spending Ocean – about online shopping
- Olen Explains ‘Pound Foolish’ – about financial advice
- Future Retirees Don’t Grasp Health Costs – about a large looming expense
- Questioning Wall Street Convention – it’s about what you need
- Jobless Boomers: How They Survive – about how they pay the bills
- Unemployed Boomers Resist Retirement – about efforts to keep working
- White-Black Wealth Gap Nearly Triples – about a grim 25-year trend
- Corporate Match Falls With Auto Enrollment – about the profit motive
- To Live Cheaply, See the World – about something other than money