Skip to content

Why prices are still high.

Today is Thursday. This is Apex Money. I’m J.D. Roth. And you are one of our loyal readers. Welcome! Let’s look at what sorts of money stories I’ve collected for you today…

How to use A.I. to do practical stuff. [One Useful Thing] — “We live in an era of practical AI, but many people haven’t yet experienced it, or, if they have, they might have wondered what the big deal is. Thus, this guide. It is a modified version of one I put out for my students earlier in the year, but a lot has changed. It is an overview of ways to get AI to do practical things.”

The journey of a humble tire reveals why prices are still so high. [ProPublica] — “The lowly tire shop, it turns out, may be one of the best places to examine the post-pandemic recovery and its uncertain future. Tires have been buffeted by nearly every force driving inflation since the pandemic began — from border shutdowns that prevented migrant workers overseas from reaching rubber plantations to the war in Ukraine’s toll on an obscure but essential ingredient in tires called carbon black. Americans depend on tires to get to work, to get groceries — essentially to live, in much of the country. But unlike food and gas, tires aren’t something people typically budget for.” [Long but interesting.]

Make sure you know what you’re retiring to. [Tawcan] — “Regardless of whether you are close to your retirement or not, it is vital to know yourself and understand what you want to do when you’re retired. Spend some time thinking about your plans in retirement, it will be better than not having any plans and just winging it.”

I’ll be honest. I’ve been a huge proponent of “purpose” for a long time now. In fact, it’s been the core of my message as I write about money. Right now, though, I’m in a place where I feel like I don’t have a purpose. Or that my purpose is changing. That it might actually be fine to live without a purpose.

I’m still chewing this over, and I don’t know where I’ll eventually land. For now, I’ll continue to encourage folks to find a purpose because I know having one was helpful for me, and I know that it’s helpful for others. But the older I get, the more comfortable I am in saying that it’s okay to not have some central goal that guides your life.

How’s that for deep?!

Okay, that’s all for today. I’ll be back with more tomorrow…