I have been on a joke kick lately, but before I get to some of my favorite “financial one liners,” I don’t know about you, but I cannot escape reading and hearing about two admittedly important financial issues — the importance of planning and saving early for retirement, and how excessive student loan debt is affecting many young people.

Don’t get me wrong, I talk and write about these issues myself all of the time, and I am glad that they are in the news and discussed in commercials, but I worry that people are not paying enough attention. I wonder if people are listening, but not “hearing”, and definitely not taking action. It is like several of the teachers that I regularly speak for, who have recently said to their students, “I have been listening to the Judge all of these years, then I decided I would actually listen and do something different.”

When it comes to saving for a retirement with dignity, we know that there are still too many Americans who could, but are not, saving enough. As those Prudential commercials correctly say, the earlier you start the better, and what if we all just saved 1 percent more. All it takes is a realization that it is important, a resulting commitment, some budgeting discipline, and perhaps the help of a professional. I know that is easy to say, but that it is not always an easy path to follow, given all of life’s pushes and pulls today — some actual and some self-inflicted.

One constant question is how much will I need for retirement? Another internet tool to get started is Ballpark E$timate. It describes itself this way: “The Ballpark E$timate is an easy-to-use, interactive tool that helps you quickly identify approximately how much you need to save to fund a comfortable retirement. The Ballpark E$timate takes complicated issues like projected Social Security benefits and earnings assumptions on savings, and turns them into language and mathematics that are easy to understand.”

As for student loan debt, it seems that every day we hear about how it is limiting one or more of the options of many young people, because they have taken on too much student loan debt.

In a March, 2016 article in credit.com, Bob Sullivan put together this summary of some of the consequences.

Delay buying a home (49.8 percent vs. 38.1 percent of those without excessive debt);  delay getting married (27.1 percent vs. 20.9 percent); delay having children (36.4 percent vs. 27.9 percent); take a job instead of enrolling in further postsecondary education (43.3 percent vs. 33.0 percent); take a job outside of field (50.8 percent vs. 36.4 percent); work more than desired (47.8 percent vs. 36.4 percent); and work more than one job (33.0 percent vs. 23.4 percent).

This takes us to the often asked question of how much is too much debt? As I have so often written, my advice is to first research the salary for the first five years of the career that you are working toward with your degree. Then work toward a goal of having your monthly student loan payment, when you graduate, being no more than 10 to 15 percent of your monthly salary. Others say don’t borrow more than your anticipated annual salary. They probably end up in about the same place. Of course, if you are really frugal, disciplined, have strong budgeting abilities, and are not so caught up in our “hyper consumer society,” you may be able to increase those percentages.

Also, when it comes to “too much debt.” Bill Sullivan laid out these interesting statistics by major. “Students majoring in theology (64.7%), law and legal studies (43.1%), communications (36.2%), agriculture (34.1%), education (33.9%), humanities (33.5%) and design (33.1%) are more likely to graduate with excessive debt. On the other side, engineering (16.3%) and computer science (23.8%) students are on the right side of the debt line.”

This is why focusing on things like career path with young people early is critical.

OK, it’s time for a few of those “one liners,” from goodfinancialcents.com, with more to come in the future.

This one goes against everything that I stand for, but it is funny, and, today, it, unfortunately, would probably poll well:  “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” — Oscar Wilde.

“I don’t like money, actually, but it quiets my nerves.” — Joe Louis.

“Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you the kind of misery you prefer.” — Unknown.

John Ninfo is a retired bankruptcy judge and the founder of the National CARE Financial Literacy Program. Find his previous columns at http://www.mpnnow.com/search?text=Ninfo or at http://www.monroecopost.com/search?text=Ninfo