12 Money Rules to Live By

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One-size-fits-all financial advice isn’t supposed to work. We’re all as unique as snowflakes, so the financial rules that guide us should be molded to our individual situations. Except it turns out that rules of thumb can be really helpful. A study of West Point cadets, for example, found teaching rules of thumb was at least […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Americans are confused over credit card fees and rewards. Also in the news: Using refinancing to pay for home renovations, taking one day a month to be your personal finance day, and how to protect your credit score. Americans Confused Over Credit Card Fees, Rewards Cardholders are paying extra, losing out on […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why getting pre-approved for a mortgage is important if you live in these cities. Also in the news: How couples can master the financial balancing act, overcoming income shocks, and how 529 plans can now be used for college supplies. Get Preapproved for a Mortgage — Especially if You Live in These […]

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Q&A: Defaults on a co-signed student loan

Dear readers: A recent column about private student loans prompted financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz to reach out with some additional advice for people who co-signed student loans for someone who has stopped paying. Although private student loans don’t have the same rehabilitation options as federal student loans, Kantrowitz encourages anyone in this situation to […]

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Q&A: Divorced survivor benefits

Dear Liz: After death, do ex-spousal Social Security benefits continue? Answer: Any checks you’re getting from Social Security are supposed to stop when you die. But you’re probably asking what happens after the death of your ex-spouse. The good news is that you would be eligible for divorced survivor benefits. Instead of receiving a check […]

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Q&A: Retirement calculators are a wake-up call for undersavers

Dear Liz: Are retirement calculators a hoax? It seems that the published estimates for the amount of savings required are insanely high. If most U.S. citizens haven’t saved much and have a decent standard of living in retirement, where is the misperception? Let’s say an individual is resolved to choose hospice over intensive care — […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Companies that help you repay or avoid student loans. Also in the news: Solutions to your retirement fund shortfall, debunking Social Security myths, and why Walmart is suing Visa. 6 Companies That Help You Repay or Avoid Student Loans Alternative options. 10 Solutions to Your Retirement Fund Shortfall There’s still time to […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 expenses that will change when you retire. Also in the news: Questions for credit counselors, how to budget for a wedding that isn’t your own, and could we be on the verge of another housing crisis? 5 Expenses That Will Change in Retirement Could you see more cash in your wallet? […]

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Americans Are Pissed — This Chart Might Explain Why

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People are angry. Voters demanding change have helped make Donald Trump the presumptive Republican nominee for president and fueled Bernie Sanders’ ferocious challenge to Democrat Hillary Clinton. But what are they angry about? Ask and you’ll hear about Washington gridlock, Wall Street greed, trade, stagnant pay, immigration. In my latest for NerdWallet, the one huge […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

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Today’s top story: Debunking emergency fund myths. Also in the news: How filing separately could give some couples a lower tax bill, the financial benefits of living with less, and how much down payment you should have to buy a home. Debunking 5 Emergency Fund Myths Separating fact from financial fiction. Filing Separately Could Give […]

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