Q&A: Understanding Social Security benefits

Dear Liz: I am 62. My friend (also 62) is considering when to take Social Security. She understands, from reading a finance book, that Social Security payments change only at 62, 66 and 70. She thinks if you don’t start at 62 when your benefit is, for example, $1,000, that it will stay $1,000 until […]

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Q&A: Capital gains taxes explained

Dear Liz: Do I understand correctly that I must live in a house for two years before selling it to avoid paying capital gains tax, regardless of how much I may profit from the sale? Answer: You do not. You must live in a home for two of the previous five years to exempt up […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Spending, saving, or investing your graduation gift. Also in the news: How to find your net worth, how to avoid auto repossession, and avoiding a huge salary negotiation mistake. Should You Spend, Save or Invest Your Graduation Gift? Using it wisely. How to Find Your Net Worth Determining your number. Late Car […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Budgeting for newlyweds. Also in the news: What you need to know about May’s Fed meeting, should a partner’s debt keep you from marrying, and a retirement literacy quiz you need to pass. Budgeting for Newlyweds: Figuring Out Family Finance Now comes the fun part. May 2017 Fed Meeting: 7 Questions (and […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Four times when you might need a financial planner. Also in the news: Understanding the Glass-Steagall Act, how to manage money in your 20s, and how the Affordable Care Act drove down personal bankruptcy. 4 Times When You Might Need a Financial Planner Times when you shouldn’t go it alone. The Glass-Steagall […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The costs associated with “free” college programs. Also in the news: 4 easy ways to become a banking guru, 3 medical debt mistakes to avoid, and 9 internships that pay better than “real” jobs. ‘Free’ College Programs Will Still Cost You Not all expenses are covered. 4 Easy Ways to Become a […]

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Go nuclear on your debt – move away

Ken Ilgunas paid off $32,000 in student loans two and a half years after graduation — starting with a $9-an-hour job. With zero job offers in his chosen field of journalism, he instead moved from Wheatfield, New York, to Coldfoot, Alaska, a truck stop and tourist camp north of the Arctic Circle, so he could […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: NerdWallet’s best credit card tips for May 2017. Also in the news: VA loan funding fees, the best banks for multiple savings accounts, and 401(k) myths you can’t afford to believe. NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for May 2017 Which cards you should be considering. VA Loan Funding Fee: What You’ll Pay […]

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Q&A: The confusing balancing act between government pensions and Social Security benefits

Dear Liz: I am a public school teacher and plan to retire with 25 years of service. I had previously worked and paid into Social Security for about 20 years. My spouse has paid into Social Security for over 30 years. Will I be penalized because I have not paid Social Security taxes while I’ve […]

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Q&A: You don’t need to carry debt in order to have good credit

Dear Liz: You should tell people that they can help their credit score more by not paying their credit card bills in full each month. By not paying in full, but paying the minimum or more each month, it shows the card issuer that you can handle credit wisely and encourages them to raise the […]

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