June 2011

Preschool Children Learn about Saving

Paul Solman, a business reporter in Boston for the NewsHour on PBS, put together an excellent piece about educating preschool children about saving. In it, Solman interviews Grover and the children of behavioral economist David Ariely of Duke University, among others.

The piece discusses a research study on self-control among young children, which was covered recently by Squared Away.

The video is worth checking out.

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Over 50 and out of work logo.

Forced into Retirement? Downsize

Laid off from his job as a software engineer, Ken Wadland did something smart: he downsized.

After losing his job in June 2009, it immediately became obvious to Wadland that he could not afford his large house in the Rhode Island countryside. He sold it and purchased a condominium to reduce his housing costs, which are the largest single expense for most households.

The financial-services industry barrages baby boomers with tips for saving and investing their retirement nest eggs. But little attention is paid to the strategy of downsizing, an effective way for baby boomers to improve their retirement security by cashing in on the large amounts of equity built up in their homes over decades.

“I’d rather not have the expense,” Wadland, who is 60, said in this video.

Ken Wadland from Over Fifty and Out of Work on Vimeo.

Wadland explained how he came around to his decision in the online video series, “Over 50 and Out of Work,” which is featured occasionally in Squared Away.

His most recent job was at a large company, which once awarded him for being an innovator. “My passion is solving puzzles,” said Wadland. …
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A woman contimplating what to spend her refund on, her baby, her house, or other necessities.

D2D Lures Traffic to Video Games

The secret to D2D’s success in luring players to its financial video games starts with the $150,000 it spends to design each game with MIT researchers and an award-winning Web designer.

But the Boston non-profit puts just as much emphasis – and an undisclosed amount of funding from The Wal-Mart Foundation – into distributing the games.

D2D has used an e-mail blitz to 100,000 community college students in Indiana and hosted game competitions in city neighborhoods in Massachusetts, Florida, Texas, New York, and Maryland. It partners with large employers, financial companies, state governments, and the military – organizations it recruits to promote the games to its employees, clients, or members. New products aimed at distribution include Spanish-language games and apps for the iPad and Droid.

D2D’s five games have attracted a combined total of 106,000 unique visits since the first and most popular one, Celebrity Calamity, came out a year ago. That’s not quite in league with, say, Disney, which has had 750,000 visitors to its Great Piggy Bank Adventure and an Epcot exhibit in Orlando backing it up, according to T. Rowe Price, the mutual fund company that collaborated with Disney on the game. …Learn More

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