A week's worth

The 16th straight hike in federal interest rates helped to reverse the upward slant in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The index had risen for five straight weeks and was within 81 points of its record high. But it fell by 1.7 percent for the week.

Which is the bigger worry: saving enough money to retire on or making what you've saved last for the rest of your life? Fifty percent of respondents between 50 and 70 told an Americans for Secure Retirement survey they're concerned about stretching their nest egg to maintain the standard of living they want. Thirty-eight percent said they fret about stashing away the cash in the first place.

It's the city where "if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere." But is New York a "smart" place to live? Nope, according to the June issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. The Big Apple didn't make its top 50 ranking of cities in terms of economic vitality, housing costs, or other dynamics. Nor did Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, or Seattle. No. 1: Nashville, Tenn.

Pending approval by the Postal Rate Commission, we'll be able to buy "forever" stamps before long that will be good for letter mail no matter how often rates increase. (And they could, next year - to 42 cents for first class.) The thinking: no more need to add a two- or three-cent stamp to, say, a card or bill payment. "Forever" stamps would sell for 42 cents and would still be honored even if first-class postage rose to 45 cents later.

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