The Iron Gate

Last week, I got stuck behind an iron gate in a car for an hour. I was driving a Toyota Rav 4 rental car in Los Angeles. My brother-in-law Joe sat in the front passenger seat and my sisters Lucille and MaryAnn were in the back. We’d just driven from the airport. We’d come from New York to surprise my son, Michael, for his 30th birthday.

The Air BnB owners had given clear instructions about where to park the car (get lockbox key, go to apartment, get remote garage opener and drive to lower level). Only I hadn’t read the instructions through and when a car pulled out behind the first level gate, I scooted in before the gate closed, thinking I was a slick New Yorker, taking advantage of an opportunity to expedIMG_0130ite my end, which was to park quickly and make it to the surprise party on time.

So, I retrieved the garage opener from the apartment fully confident it would open the gate and we’d zoom to the lower level, go back upstairs, shower, change, and make the party on time. Only the garage opener didn’t work. No matter which part of the iron gate I pointed to, that gate was secure and not going anywhere. We soon realized you needed a first level remote opener to come and go through the gate. We had the lower level opener.

What now? Well, first we all laughed. A lot. Then every time a resident came I’d flag him or her down, begging for help! One person gave me the phone number of the management. Then I texted the Air B n B owners. Then we sat and waited. An hour. We waited an hour for a driver, in a Chevy truck, who had remote access to the gate to pull in. At this point, Joe was behind the wheel and pulled out so quickly that the driver looked at us incredulously. He had no idea we had waited an hour for an opportunity to escape and we weren’t squandering it!

What does this all have to do with anything? Well, what do you do when you’re powerless? When your best thinking doesn’t amount to anything? When you want to cry or scream but it does no good. Sometimes you just have to wait. Quietly. At some point, something will change. Sometimes you just have to wait.

My memoir, Bankruptcy: A Love Story, launches June 6th. It took five years to write; one year to rewrite; and three years to publish. I’ve waited a long time.


  • Saturday Night with Esme Murphy
    August 5th, 2017
    Super host Esme Murphy on WCCO News Radio 830 (Minneapolis) and I enjoy bold conversation about marriage, money, and what happens when the finances fall apart. How does a family get back on its feet?  Tips and talk!
  • Bob Brooks Prudent Money Podcast
    August 1, 2017
    How to Reclaim Your Life after a Financial Fallout. Prudent Money says: Bob interviews Janet Lombardi on her comeback story in her book Bankruptcy: A Love Story. Bob calls this a must read book. It is very relatable to today’s marriage problems when it comes to money.



  • The Donna Seebo Show
    June 12th, 2017
    Deep conversation with long-time host Donna Seebo  about money, love, and choices. Worth a listen! Scroll down to Episode #850 (Janet Lombardi, July 12th) and click on the right side. (There’s a box, though it may be covered up.) It will open in your iTunes. If you click on the episode on the left it will give you an error message.
  • Bloomberg Radio Bloomberg
    June 29th, 2017
    Gloria Gaynor’s song “I Will Survive” was the lead-in to an awesome  interview about Bankruptcy: A Love Story and overcoming financial disaster, one similar to the country’s 2008 financial fall from grace. Thanks, Carol Massur and Oliver Renick, awesome hosts, for an engaging conversation.
    June 7th, 2017
    Fab interview with producer Ash Brown discussing my personal story, financial struggles, and the bounce back. Listen to the interview.
  • CNN Money
    June 2nd, 2017
    Awesome interview with CNN reporter Anna Bahney for CNN Money on “How to Put Your Financial and Emotional Life Together After a Money Catastrophe.”
  • Catskill Review of Books
    June 1st, 2017
    Host Ian Williams, of the Catskill Review of Books calls Bankruptcy: A Love Story a tale of modern times, sex drugs, bankruptcy, 9-11 and 2008. Listen to the interview.
  • Life & Health Advisor
    May 31st, 2017
    A cautionary tale from the dark side of marriage highlights the need for financial-wedding-vows and the wisdom of expressed family-finances.



  • Fox News Radio
    May 27th, 2017
    Excited to share that Fox News Radio will be airing Avoiding Financial Disasters: Tips for Women, based on my interview with Carole Zimmer, awesome podcaster and journalist.
    Two one-minute features will air throughout the weekend and on Memorial Day on Sirius XM Channel 115. Additionally, they will air on Fox News Radio Affiliates on Memorial Day.



    May 22nd, 2017
    What baby boomer women need to know about their finances. Misconceptions women may have and steps you can take to get a clear picture.


    May 5th, 2017
    Six steps to make amends for financial misdeeds.


  • Your Money Q&A
    April 27th, 2017
    Answering one question at a time on the way to financial freedom.


  • Book Marketing Buzz Blog Feature
    April 12th, 2017
    A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions.



  • Magnify Money Interview 
    January 16th, 2017
    Read about me and and three other courageous women who got out of substantial debt.


  • Money Matters – Radio Interview
    December 1st, 2016
    Listen to great tips on personal finance management and rebounding from a financial mess! Chris Hensley hosts Houston-based radio show.



Thanks Susan Shapiro and New School students for hosting me and Naomi Rosenblatt, publisher, Heliotrope Books, at author/editor presentation on April 3! Awesome class! Thank you for your support for my memoir Bankruptcy: A Love Story.














What’s Bankruptcy Got to Do with Love? Find Out June 6th!

I’m excited to announce that Bankruptcy: A Love Story, my memoir, will launch June 6th!

JPGlombardi front low-res RGB (for PROOF only)

Kindle pre-order is now available on Amazon.

You can also pre-order a print book through my website.

Writing a book, and publishing it, is quite a road – from the afternoons being glued to my laptop so I could finish a chapter – (while all my friends were at the beach, hey!) – to finishing it, yes, typing the words The End – to editing it -yes, cutting manuscript from 600 pages to 400 pages (thanks Elaine Silver!) to pitching publishers and agents and having the good fortune to be picked up by the awesome boutique publisher Heliotrope Books, to learning how to work with a publicist – I’ve a great one, Mallory Campoli at Smith Publicity, Inc., to planning 2 (yes, 2!) book parties, to which all of you are invited – hold Saturday June 10th open for LI book party in Garden City, NY! I’ll let you know when I have a date for the NYC party.

Phew! It’s a lot.

Here’s how the press release begins:

“Like every marriage, Janet Lombardi and her husband had some issues. From drug addiction to infidelities and lies, their relationship was far from perfect—but they still loved each other and had two children. After 25 years, it all came to a screeching halt. Janet was blindsided…”

You’ll just have to read the book.

Please be my ambassadors and spread the word. I can’t do it without you! If you know any groups, book clubs, or venues that would welcome the book or me personally, please let me know.

Thanks and I appreciate your support!

Stay tuned!

With love,


Got a Money Goal? Try a Financial Support Group

January 16, 2017 Interview


Know someone who wants to get out of debt? Accountability groups are a great support. They can help you stick to a plan and offer lots of ways to get there. Read about me and and three other women puppetleaningondollarwho got out of substantial debt on the Magnify Money site! It was a pleasure to be interviewed and share my story.

Read my whole story–of finding myself in a tough financial situation and emerging with compassion and love — in Bankruptcy: A Love Story, coming spring 2017.

Exciting Money Matters Radio Interview!

Last week, I had the pleasure of being the featured guest on “Money Matters” a Houston-based radio program through KPFT. We discussed lots of great stuff about getting yourself out of a financial mess and into financial success. I also had the chance to let listeners know about my book Bankruptcy: A Love Story coming out in May 2017 by Heliotrope Books.

Super-nice host Christopher Henley is President of the Houston Midtown Chapter of the Society for Financial Awareness and heads Financial Advisor, President of Houston First Financial Group.

Take a listen and feel free to leave your comments.


Thanksgiving. A Time for Giving Thanks, Right?

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Codependent No More, Melody Beattie

cloverMust there always be gratitude?

I say yes, especially at Thanksgiving, an American holiday. In fact, I have a ceramic plaque in my kitchen that says “There is always, always, always something to be grateful for.” I bought it at a Chicago street fair during a time I needed the reminder to count my blessings. Those were some dark days as I was on the verge of going under financially and enduring the shame of my husband’s impending prison stay. It affected me that so I wrote Bankruptcy: A Love Story!

These days, we could certainly argue that with such a contentious post-Presidential election and deep, deep divide–that we have little to be grateful for.

But no. There’s plenty– a country where we own the power of the vote, where we are free to express what we feel, where we can assemble peacefully. I’m aware that some people won’t agree or have ever felt the rights I just named, but everyone needs to name his or her own gratitude.

An acquaintance told me recently she was writing a “100 things to be grateful for every day.” Wow! Can you really find 100 things a day? She said yes, starting with the hot cup of coffee she enjoys every morning.

Gratitude is in the attitude. That’s not placating or trite. It’s true. If I find myself grousing a little too much, even to myself, I know it’s time for a gratitude list. It’s amazing how my perspective shifts.

What are you grateful for?



Is There a Retirement Crisis for Women?

Sallie Krawcheck, one of the most senior women on Wall Street and now owner and chair of Ellevate, a global professional women’s network, thinks so.                      sisters sharing

In her rather brilliant article, “How the Gender Wage Gap Makes the Retirement Savings Crisis Worse,” Krawcheck talks about the gender wage and “gender investing” gaps as being at the heart of the crisis. Bottom line: women not having enough money to live comfortably towards the end of their lives. Ever worry about this? I have and bet you do too.

I encourage you to read the whole article but here’s my takeaway:

It’s not about financial and investment education for women, marketing, or leaving investment decisions up to men, says Krawcheck. It requires what she terms a “research-driven rethink” about women and investment. In other words, real evidence showing us what women need and the changes required. Let’s back away from the assumptions and lobby for change based on what’s real.

We’re not getting any younger, right? Like most money matters, let’s open our eyes even if we’re afraid and learn. The gap in retirement savings affects all of us as a society and the sooner we address it the sooner we can sleep nights.

Do you worry about living comfortably in retirement, my friends?




Bankruptcy: A Love Story & Me on the Radio!

Book_00What a day! Tippy Felzen Stein, the lovely host of Tippy Talk, “Books I Love,” on Blog Talk Radio, interviewed me today. Tippy, an author herself and lover of all things book, and I spoke about the events in my memoir-in-progress, Bankruptcy: A Love Story, as well as the process of writing. It’s a personal look and fascinating preview of the story. Thank you, Tippy, for the wonderful opportunity. I’d recommend you all to follow Tippy on Blog Radio!

Listen here: Bankruptcy: A Love Story with Janet Lombardi.


What’s Your Money Personality?

Are you a Saver, Spender, Hybrid? Check out this fun quiz to find out!

Knowing your type is a great idea because:

  • file0001508919007Awareness and good money management go hand-in-hand.  Clarity around your dollars translates into less frivolous spending.
  • You can gain insight into your love relationship. A saver and a spender don’t have to clash. In fact, saver/spender combos can be a perfect pair—finance-wise!
  • You can adjust your behavior if you don’t like your profile. Save 10%, straight out of your paycheck, if you know money burns a hole in your pocket.
  • You can learn that your way isn’t the only way.  Financial types have a lot to learn from each other.

What kind of money-type are you? I’d love to know.


Are We Responsible for Family Members?

jlhuffpostscreen2 02_20_15.pngYesterday, I had the great pleasure of appearing on a Huffington Post live web session dealing with the topic of family members who’ve “made mistakes.” A producer contacted me after reading my essay on Introduced by the current story of Allison Williams dealing with dad Brian Williams’ suspension from NBC News after admitting he fabricated a story in 2003, the session featured four panelists, including me, who’ve confronted family members’ destructive behavior and the effects on us.  It was surprising how many positive things the panel had to say.

View the segment here:

jlhuffpost 2I enjoyed it so much! It gave me an opportunity to talk about my experience of living with a husband who committed a white-collar crime, the emotional upheaval, my acceptance of him and the circumstances, and the eventual crawl from the wreckage to a renewed life.  It also gave me a chance to mention my book, Bankruptcy: A Love Story, of which I’m finishing the rewrite. I can’t wait to launch it!

I appreciated the panel conversation, also, because so often no one wants to discuss these topics but, as us panelists showed, exploration of these deep emotional experiences can be truly enriching.

Hey, you never know what will feed your wisdom and serenity.  I’m ever grateful.

I’d love to hear about your challenging moments.  Leave a comment.