Year in review 2018: Your top 10 favorite posts

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It’s the end of the year, and I’m recapping the best posts on this site for 2018, as I do every year.

In my last post, I recapped my favorite posts of the year. But today, I’m recapping the most-viewed posts by you, as told to me by the benevolent overlords at Google Analytics. (From December to December as always, to let those end-of-the-year posts have time to be counted.)

Often, these two lists have very little overlap, and that’s interesting to me. I enjoy learning what you found interesting and notable, as it helps me retool my work for the future.

Your list

10. Okay, okay, I’ll talk about the tax bill—We’re starting off political, but at least it’s timely. The U.S. passed a major tax bill last year,and while it put a little more money in some people’s pockets (and took some away from others), even the experts don’t really quite know who’s going to come out as winners when we file taxes in the coming year. Fasten your seat belts.

9. What to do with the extra tax money in your new paycheck—A nice combo here, as this post was a follow-up to the one above, where I talk about what you might want to do with the extra money in your paycheck that you may have been given as part of the tax law changes. I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t end up taking my own advice, but soon enough I’ll find out if I should have!

8. What does that 3×3 investing square mean?—When you shop around for mutual funds and similar products, they are usually accompanied by this 3×3 square describing them. It’s intended to convey a sense of what type of investment product it is, but how important is it to us?

7. How to know when it’s time to get conservative about investing for retirement—Most people get conservative (in an investing context) way too soon, and it costs them tons of money. Here I talk about at what point you want to start being more risk averse in your investing. (Note: This was technically from November last year, but I let this one in anyway.)

6. The folly of choosing a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA based on tax brackets—There are reasons to choose a Roth IRA or a Traditional IRA, but whether you’ll be in a lower or higher tax bracket in retirement is not one of them. This has another semi-political rant in here; are you folks trying to tell me something?

5. (Don’t) take this 30 second challenge about retirement (unless you want to panic)—You probably are not saving enough for retirement. It’s an interesting calculator, but really, you knew that information already, didn’t you?

4. Why I’m signing up for a personal finance course—I’ve been writing about personal finance for six years now, but there is still so much more to learn. So I put some real money down.

3. The HSA “testing period”: The Sophie’s Choice of health care costs—The rules surrounding the HSA feel needlessly complicated to me, and force you to make decisions based on an unknowable future. Okay, that sounds like most investments, but still, the “testing period” is confusing and easy to get wrong.

2. How to offload (or combine) unused gift cards—As much as I might not like giving any more business to them, this vendor does solve an issue you may have with a bunch of gift cards with small amounts on them.

1. How I tried to buy something totally anonymously online—Finally, the most viewed post of the year is long and sordid story about a supposedly simple task: buying something online without giving away any personally identifying information. Should be easy, right? A lot of you wanted to know.

As always, the future is as exciting as it is unknowable. I look forward to sharing it with you as we move into the next year. Onward!

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