Let’s Talk Money Today
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Let’s Talk Money Today
Every Thursday I answer your money questions live. So join me online at noon ET .
If you’re trying to get out of debt, perhaps I can help. If you’re fighting with your spouse about money, maybe I can offer some suggestions to get you on the same financial page. Or come and share your thoughts about a recent personal finance story or column you read.
I love answering your questions, but I often don’t have enough time to respond to all of them during my online chat.
So, staring on Monday, April 22, I’ll have a new online feature, Michelle’s Mailbag. I’ll be answering the questions I couldn’t get to during the live chat and pulling in questions you send to me thorough e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), Twitter (@SingletaryM) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/MichelleSingletary.com).
To check out the mailbag questions starting Monday click here.
Stupid Works at Work
How’s this for a revelation that may change your mind about co-workers you think are idiots.
Researchers have concluded in an article in the Journal of Management Studies that stupidity can increase efficiency, reports CNNMoney.
“When too many clever individuals in an organization raised their hands to suggest alternative courses of action, or to ask disquieting questions about decisions and structures,” work slowed, CNNMoney’s Megan Hustad writes. But, “people content in an atmosphere of functional stupidity came to consensus more easily, and with that consensus came greater roll-up-our-sleeves enthusiasm for concentrating on the job.”
In some cases being smart can get you stuck in a position. For example, a good assistant might not be promoted because her boss can’t function without her, Hustad writes.
Hustad’s take on the research is fascinating. It gives new meaning to “stupid is as stupid does.”
Color of Money Question of the Week
Has there been a time when playing stupid got you ahead on the job? Send your comments to email@example.com. Put “Stupid Works at Work” in the subject line. Please include your name, city and state.
Social Security Payments Chained Down
Lots of people are concerned that many Americans will be financially harmed if a federal budget is passed with President Obama’s recommendation to change how cost-of-living increases government benefits including Social Security.
As part of this debate, there is a lot of discussion about the index used to determine the cost-of-living adjustments.
There is CPI-W, or the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, which is what is now used to calculate benefit increases. The president, however, wants to switch to Chained CPI , which is shorthand for Chained Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.
“What’s important in the context of the debate over Obama’s budget is that chained CPI would mean Social Security benefits would increase at a slower rate than they do using the current index,” writes The Washington Post’s Sean Sullivan.
The debate about which index to use is one you need to understand because it will affect you. So read Sullivan’s blog, which nicely explains the issue. But if it’s still too technical for you, AARP’s Kim Keister breaks it down even further and even provides estimates of how much less money over time people could collect if the new index is used.