Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Black Friday snafus and the insurance that fixes them. Also in the news: Holiday credit card promotions, how to skip long lines at the airport without spending a dime, and five things you shouldn’t buy on Black Friday.

Black Friday Snafus and the Insurance That Fixes Them
Protect yourself.

Are Holiday Credit Card Promotions Right for You?
Reading the fine print.

Skip Long Lines at the Airport — Without Spending a Dime
What you need to know.

5 things you shouldn’t buy on Black Friday
Hold out for real bargains.

When good money advice is bad for you

Discussing economic class is tricky in America, but the working and middle classes face vastly different financial challenges than upper-income families, and the gaps are growing wider. Good money advice for high earners could be lousy for low earners, and vice versa. For example, certified financial planners recommend saving a three-month emergency fund before tackling […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What doesn’t affect your credit score. Also in the news: A crash course for first-time Black Friday shoppers, how far your money will stretch on Black Friday, and how to pick a college that won’t break the bank. What Doesn’t Affect Your Credit Score Focusing on the important factors. A Crash Course […]

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Q&A: How to figure out the right time for retirement

Dear Liz: I hear so much talk about waiting to collect Social Security. What are good reasons to start collecting Social Security at age 62? I recently retired from the military with a monthly retirement of $4,400. I plan to work a civilian job until I’m 62 (eight more years). I’m in fairly good health […]

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Q&A: When considering retirement, money isn’t the only factor

Dear Liz: You answer many questions about whether people are ready to retire. But there’s one other thing to consider besides money, and this is more important. Folks need to seriously ask themselves whether they can handle being retired. I know I can’t stand it. I have more than enough assets, plus a pension, plus […]

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Q&A: Government financial help after disaster may come as a loan

Dear Liz: With all the recent hurricanes and other natural disasters, people are being helped by the Federal Emergency Management Agency with money for rentals or home replacements. What repayment does the government expect? Are there taxes owed by the recipients of that money? Answer: FEMA grants aren’t taxable, but they’re typically not enough to […]

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Q&A: More reasons why adding an adult child to a deed is a bad idea

Dear Liz: I’m an estate planning attorney and I agree with your warning to the couple who wanted to add their daughter to their house deed to avoid probate. The daughter’s share of the home would lose the step-up in tax basis she would get if she inherited instead, plus there are several other issues. […]

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Q&A: Here’s a way to fight Social Security fraud

Dear Liz: To make us less likely to become victims of fraudulent activity, years ago I froze our credit bureau files. I assume the Social Security Administration could be hacked as well. Can those files be frozen? Answer: No, but you can create an online account to track and monitor your Social Security records — […]

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Q&A: Don’t jump into early retirement without considering these things

Dear Liz: I am almost 59½. Can I retire at 60½? I have $570,000 in a 401(k) and $180,000 in an IRA. I owe $253,000 on a condo that would sell for $600,000. I plan to buy a home next year for $400,000 and pay off the mortgage with the proceeds of the condo. Then […]

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Equifax hack: Freezing your credit isn’t enough

The Equifax hack exposed the names, addresses, birthdates and Social Security numbers of up to 145.5 million Americans. Drivers license information for 10.9 million people was also exposed, according to a Wall Street Journal report. This is the sensitive, private information that’s used to establish your identity, which is why freezing your credit reports — […]

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