Sharing my curiosity about my readers

September 2, 2018

Dear Readers:

I learned something about you.

Most of you (75.7 percent) read this column on a regular basis, and some of you (8 percent) have been reading it since the column launched in 1998. These are some of the results of the survey that I asked you to participate in a few weeks ago (www.juliejason.com/survey). More than 150 of you responded.

Some of you are much younger than I imagined (4 percent ages 18 to 24), but most (86.4 percent) are 55 and older. You represent all educational backgrounds and all walks of life, including self-described “blue-collar workers,” as well as teachers, engineers, physicians and executives. As to gender representation, the split is an even fifty-fifty.

When it comes to investment experience, you have a “moderate amount” (41 percent).

What motivates you to read the column?

* “My motivation is to continue to learn in order to make good or better financial decisions for myself and my family.”

* “Education on finance topics that I don’t find elsewhere.”

* “I would like to retire well (early even!) and want to be sure I’m doing what I need to now for retirement in 7-10 years.”

* “I appreciate the clarity of the columns.”

* “I read your column weekly ... mainly to keep up with new thoughts and ideas on retirement living. It also gives me up-to-date info on rules and regulations. I’m 81 and always looking for new ways to make my money last for my lifetime.”

* “We enjoy your columns because they offer practical common-sense advice. You write with knowledge, authority and humility. Your recommendations have served us well as we have transitioned through various financial life stages; you have been a trusted partner in our financial education and planning.”

And this is very interesting to me personally: The majority of you (51 percent) make the effort to share columns that pique your interest.

Whom do you share it with? Primarily your spouse or partner, your siblings, adult children and friends. You even share with your financial advisers “to explore the topic in more depth.”

Why do you share?

1) “To encourage [my adult daughter] to save for the long term.”

2) “To make sure that my children can make good financial decisions.”

3) “To explain RMD rules.”

4) “To get [my spouse’s] opinion.”

5) “To [show my husband] something that we should discuss.”

Speaking of sharing, let me share a few (very welcome) compliments:

“I consider this column a valuable community service; great information not easily found elsewhere; details are easily understood and applied; non-sensationalized warnings about pitfalls and risks; interesting and well-written presentation. I never miss it. Keep going! Thank you!”

And this one: “We have been reading your column for years. In 1996, we heard you speak and purchased your book ‘You and Your 401(k).’ We followed it, and we were able to retire in our early 60s. We then attended a later talk after retirement and purchased your book ‘Managing Retirement Wealth,’ which we follow currently. We have used these two books to make many of our financial decisions regarding capital appreciation, wealth management and asset preservation. Your columns are easy to understand, and your examples are easy to follow.”

Thank you for taking the time to communicate with me. Please keep the emails coming.

By the way, for those of you who told me you want to read previously published columns, Amazon.com has an audio sample of “Retire Securely” (my book of columns), and you can listen to the introduction for free (click https://tinyurl.com/yb9yqu7n, then scroll down below the book cover).

Julie Jason, JD, LLM, a personal money manager (Jackson, Grant of Stamford, Conn.) and author, welcomes your questions/comments (readers@juliejason.com). Her awards include the 2018 Clarion Award, symbolizing excellence in clear, concise communications. Her latest book, a curated collection of Julie’s columns, is “Retire Securely: Insights on Money Management From an Award-Winning Financial Columnist.” To hear Julie speak, visit www.juliejason.com/events.

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