Helaine Olen


Opinion columnist focusing on politics, economics and American life

Education: Smith College, BA in English

Helaine Olen is a contributor to Post Opinions and the author of "Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry" and co-author of "The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated." Her work has appeared in Slate, the Nation, the New York Times, the Atlantic and many other publications. She serves on the advisory board of the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and lives in New York City with her husband, sons and poodle daughter.
Latest from Helaine Olen

ABC offers a masterclass in how not to handle workplace romance

Distracting, maybe. But T.J. Holmes and Amy Robach did something extremely normal by falling in love at work.

December 7, 2022

Medicare Advantage? More like Medicare Disadvantage.

Private plans for seniors were supposed to save money while providing better care. That's not how it turned out.

November 30, 2022

What readers told us about how the pandemic changed their work lives

How was your life affected by the pandemic's rupture of American assumptions about work? Readers respond.

November 22, 2022

Los Angeles is a hot mess. Can Karen Bass fix it?

Homelessness, corruption, ethnic in-fighting: LA's first woman mayor has her work cut out for her.

November 17, 2022

How the pandemic ended America’s bad romance with work

It took a massive, deadly pandemic for Americans to step back from our all-in attitude toward work and remember: We don't have to live this way.

November 14, 2022

Let’s put the myth of the billionaire genius to rest

Sam Bankman-Fried? Elon Musk? The Powerball winner? Having a billion dollars doesn't mean you're uniquely smart.

November 11, 2022

Falling sales suggest plant-based meat may be all hat, no cattle

People want to do right by the environment and their health — but not at significant cost to their taste buds or wallet.

November 7, 2022

Why this 1992 personal finance book still has a cult following

A book about choosing sustainable living over work is more relevant than ever, but its co-author says a key part of her message has been lost in translation.

October 4, 2022

Why good personal-finance gurus might give less than great advice

The problem reflects both a society that confuses money-management strategies with morality, and the financial incentives of advice-giving.

September 8, 2022

California finally lets the teens sleep in

Teens naturally want to sleep in, and other states should embrace the benefits of scheduling high school accordingly.

August 17, 2022