Q&A: Social Security benefits for children

Dear Liz: My older brothers-in-law signed up for Social Security benefits at 62 and then suspended their benefits so that their children, who were under 18, could receive 50% of their checks. Is this process still available at age 62 for those with children who are below the age of 18? Answer: In order for […]

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Q&A: Advice for an investing newcomer

Dear Liz: I am not versed at all in money matters. I have no clue where to invest or even if I should invest. I have $5,000 squirreled away that I am totally comfortable investing for 12 months because I feel I would have no need for it before then. Can you make a suggestion […]

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6 money resolutions you can actually keep

Let’s face the grim truth: Those 10 pounds you want to lose will likely be among your New Year’s resolutions next year, too. If you really want a sense of accomplishment, take care of money tasks that don’t require ongoing discipline and that you typically don’t have to repeat every year. In my latest for […]

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Holiday debt hangover? Here’s how to fix it

Despite what you often read, credit card debt isn’t typical. One quarter of U.S. households don’t use credit cards at all, and another 35 percent or so regularly pay their balances in full, according to Federal Reserve statistics. Among households that carry credit card balances, the median debt–where half owe more and half owe less–is somewhere […]

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Q&A: The argument for having different caretakers for healthcare and financial decisions

Dear Liz: My mother is 74 and her health is starting to deteriorate. She had a last will made up about 15 years ago when my stepdad left her. I found out that she named me executor and gave me power of attorney for healthcare decisions. After the last year, when she became very contentious […]

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Q&A: Your gift won’t get you a medical deduction

Dear Liz: A couple I’ve known for years recently adopted 2-year-old twins. Both will need considerable medical care, as they were born to a drug-addicted mother. In sending out announcements, my friends suggested sending funds for the twins’ medical needs, rather than toys. I took note and sent a check earmarked for their healthcare. My […]

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Q&A: How to help a hoarder parent

Dear Liz: Can you address parents who never throw anything away? It can be a burden to their children when parents leave behind massive amounts of collected, hoarded items, broken cars, old furniture, memorabilia, clothing unworn for decades, etc. This can be troublesome in terms of time off from work to clear an estate and […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Credit card late fees are expected to rise in 2017. Also in the news: 10 New Year’s resolutions for your wallet, will Millennials be ready for retirement, and 3 signs you should switch banks. Look for Credit Card Late Fees to Rise in 2017 More incentive to pay on time. Sean Talks […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 9 facts about FHA loans. Also in the news: What we learned about the stock market in 2016, 3 student loan resolutions to make in the new year, and why many seniors are having their Social Security cut by student loans. 9 Facts About FHA Loans What you need to know. 5 […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 4 steps to managing your parents’ bank accounts. Also in the news: How banks boost overdrafts by counting big debits first, how to determine whether to pay down debt or save for retirement, and mistakes to avoid when choosing a financial advisor. 4 Steps to Managing Your Parents’ Bank Accounts Taking the […]

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