Will your pension hurt your Social Security benefit?

Dear Liz: Could you please address the issue of Social Security for those with pensions? I understand that if you have a pension, you won’t get 100% of the standard monthly Social Security benefit. I believe that this happens even if you only have a defined contribution account. But I’ve never seen this discussed in […]

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Now available: My new book!

Do you have questions about money? Here’s a secret: we all do, and sometimes finding the right answers can be tough. My new book, “There Are No Dumb Questions About Money,” can make it easier for you to figure out your financial world. I’ve taken your toughest questions about money and answered them in a […]

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Cash-only lifestyle can complicate getting credit

Dear Liz: My brother is 63, living on Social Security only and needs to obtain a credit card. He is old school and pays cash for virtually everything, but realizes he needs a credit card for some basics (renting a car, for example). If he has only $17,000 income a year, would that be enough […]

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Zombie debt and the Supreme Court

This may be a first: I’ve been cited to the Supreme Court. Specifically, a column I wrote back in 2006 about “zombie debt” was cited in a brief filed by AARP, the Consumer Federation of America, the National Association of Consumer Advocates and other good folks for a case known as Marx v. General Revenue […]

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Co-signed loan burdens parent with student debt

Dear Liz: I co-signed some private student loans for my youngest child. She graduated two years ago with about $80,000 in student debt, including federal and private loans. Like many other recent graduates, she has had a difficult time finding a job. She worked part time at a retail store until about a month ago […]

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Why high credit scores take longer to heal

Dear Liz: I am confused about your recent article about a person who did a short sale and questioned its effect on her credit. You said that if she started with a score of 680, it would take about three years for her FICO numbers to return to normal. You then said, “If your scores […]

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Wealthy families may be missing an opportunity to save

This post won’t be relevant to the vast majority of you. But if you’re rich or have rich parents, listen up. There’s a window of opportunity right now to reduce future estate taxes by moving money out of large estates. People who don’t take action could be missing a chance to save their heirs a […]

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Bypass trust can get money to the right heirs, eventually

Dear Liz: We married late in life and each of us brought separate property to the marriage. One spouse has four children and the other none. We have a marital trust that allows for the spouse upon death to receive the entire estate. Upon the death of both spouses, how would you draft a provision […]

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Working longer means more money overall

Dear Liz: You’ve been answering several questions about when to start Social Security benefits. Most people who talk about the break-even point seem to fixate on when you’ll end up with the most money, but they’re only considering Social Security money. It’s worth pointing out that if one continues to work until full retirement those […]

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