Fellow Americans: What’s the state of your finances?

After watching President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech and his “four big questions that we as a country need to answer,” it seemed a good time to ask another, more personal question: What is the state of your personal finances in 2016?

I’ll tell you what some recent surveys and stats seem to answer. And I’ll recommend an excellent new online tool plus a fine, new (small!) book on personal finances that can help you see how you’re doing and take steps to do even better this year.

Don’t look for much help from Washington. Unlike his previous State of the Union speeches, Obama’s 2016 version was short on new proposals and even skimpier on specifics. That stands to reason. As he said: “Because it’s an election season, expectations for what we’ll achieve this year are low.”

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