Suggestions for types of investment and retirement accounts, and how much you should put away?
Anything that gives you a tax break basicly. This becomes "free money" in a sense. I think the big three would be 401, IRA, and a HSA account (if offered). To start with, always take the match the company provides. Once you figure out your day to day expenses (some reasonable play is fine, just don't count on fancy cars and steak diners every night), start to put some away for rainy day funds (balance interest rates with term lengths and flexibility). Once you meet your comfort level there then max out the 401, IRA, HSA, etc contribution. Retirement accounts can grow for you some via interest and market swings, but they grow faster when you contribute to them.
Don't forget to keep adding to your rainy day fund though, that new car may have a higher payment or replacement cost and quickly move a 12 month buffer to a 8 month buffer. However, if you start finding a 16 month buffer then you may have a nice new shinny in the near future and make you happy
That doesn't help when the typical work day is 11 hours long (1hr commute + 8 working + 1 lunch + 1hr home). It should really be a holiday since there is voting every year.
The polling locations have to make sense as well. My location is 2 miles from where I live in the opposite direction of my work, and the only way it is accessible is via auto. There is no sidewalks or shoulders to walk on to the place. It is also on a 5 lane state route, with a steep climb so biking it is a problem as well. There isn't even a bike rack to lock up at. I notice this because I'm a bike commuter as well.
In order for it to work for me, I have to be there the moment they open. Last time my wife was able to stay home with the kids and I traded her. She has a new job now that requires her leaving at 5:30. There is no daycare open that early (and mine is on the way to work).
But they don't get mainstream exposure, or on ballots in all states. During the last round of debates, Gary Johnson (L) wasn't invited, and Jill Stine (G) was arrested for showing up. Gary did do a live stream during it. There was a real debate that had these 2 with 3 others put on by another group (and moderated by Larry King) and they invited Obama and Romney but neither accepted.
As for the ballots, I believe that we should have a standardized ballot system in this country that has sections for federal, state, and local runners. In the federal section anybody that filed the form with $department would be listed in it across the country. The states control their portion of it , as well with local. Counting is still done at the local level.
"Oh, you mean the speedometers that have both measurements on them already? All US cars do. Why the ignorance?"
We wish that was true. Even cars made today have the MPH on them with maybe hash marks for KPH. My wife's 2009 Malibu doesn't even label the KPH scale at all.