We’re back! After a hiatus, the Plan Well, Retire Well blog is back with renewed energy! We will introduce our Illinois Extension bloggers in the next few weeks. We hope you’ll enjoy our blog posts and find timely, research-based financial information that will help you in your daily life.
A little history about the blog.
The Plan Well, Retire Well blog began in 2008; since then, we’ve had eight regular bloggers as well as several guest bloggers over the years.
2008 was a tough economic year! The top blog posts’ titles illustrate how bloggers write about current events:
- Bank Failures, FDIC Insurance, and What the Media ISN'T Telling You
- Too Many People Losing Their Jobs!
- To Roth or Not: Deciding between Traditional and Roth Contributions to 403(b) and 401(k) Plans
As the economy improved, our bloggers addressed other financial challenges, as well as timely events in their lives. Our most popular blog posts from January 2012 through December 2014 included:
- Solutions for Investment Procrastination
- Absorbing Life's Punches: The Importance of Saving for an Emergency Fund
- Cool Your Home and Save Money Too
- The Best Financial Tool for Young Adults
In 2015 the blog was recognized by the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences with the Communications Internet Education Technology Award.
In the last few years, the most popular blog posts have been:
- Should I ask for donations instead of birthday gifts?
- Winterize your home: winter weather checklist
- After a year of quarantine, how can you save money and travel safely?
Over the years, bloggers’ posts have represented the economics times as well as the financial stage of each blogger. Plan Well, Retire Well bloggers aim to be realistic, timely, research-based, and unbiased.
Who am I?
I’m the lucky blogger who has been blogging since 2008. My financial stage in life has changed in the last 15 years. Fifteen years ago, I was thinking about college expenses and anticipating three children in college at the same time! Over the 15 years my husband and I have completed major house renovations, traveled, and grown our investments. These projects required new financial information and decisions. Now I am moving slowly into retirement and encouraging my husband to imagine retirement life too.
My biggest take-away from these years is that you can never stop learning about finances. Just when you think you understand how you want to manage your finances, something new (challenge, technology, or opportunity) comes along that requires more informed decisions.
As 2023 progresses, I plan to share information that has helped me with financial decisions. I hope it will help you too.
Kathy Sweedler provides personal finance online education with Illinois Extension. Kathy’s emphasis is to encourage people to be confident in their financial decisions, and to help them explore new ways of thinking about and managing money. When Kathy is not engaged in Extension work, she is often traveling and piecing together family genealogy. Genealogy is a puzzle, not that different from managing money!
Sign up for Illinois Extension’s Personal Finance E-Newsletter sent quarterly to receive updates about blog posts and events.