Q&A: Social Security spousal benefits

Dear Liz: I started my Social Security benefits at 66 and am now 70. I was married for 23 years and have not remarried. When I ask about spousal benefits, I am told that my own monthly benefit is too high to get benefits based on my ex’s work record. My monthly benefit is only […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

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Today’s top story: How to declare your financial independence. Also in the news: What you need to know before becoming a landlord, how the financial crisis in Greece could effect your portfolio, and a little known Texas law that could save you from medical debt. 3 Ways to Declare Your Financial Independence This July 4th […]

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3 retirement strategies whose days may be numbered

Social Security used to offer a “do over” to people who erred by starting benefits too early. Instead of being locked into substandard payments for life, those who had the cash could pay back all the benefits they had received and start over with a new, permanently higher payment. Advisors to the wealthy discovered their […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to save for retirement while getting out of debt. Also in the news: money lessons to teach your kids this summer, money myth busting, and how to protect your Facebook information from identity thieves. How to Save for Retirement While Getting Out of Debt It’s not impossible. 9 Money Lessons To […]

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My FICO score is 846. And 796. And 878. And…

One of the most persistent credit scoring myths is that you have one. You don’t have one, you have many, and they change all the time. The dominant model is the FICO, but even that comes in many flavors. You can get a taste for how many at MyFICO. When I bought my scores there […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The most common used car buying scams. Also in the news: Saving an extra $1,000 by Labor Day, how to keep “funemployment” from draining your savings, and the qualities you should look for in a financial adviser. 5 of the Most Common Used Car Buying Scams Don’t get taken for a ride! […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The money mistakes you make in your 40’s. Also in the news: What financial documents you should keep, what every college grad needs to know about money, and the important things you need to know about Social Security. Money mistakes you make in your 40s A crucial time for your financial future. […]

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Q&A: Debt collection

Dear Liz: I am trying to help my daughter deal with enormous student loans. She is a doctor and very busy and simply cannot deal with the stress of almost $350,000 of education debt. I want to help her refinance, but to get the best rate I would like to help her improve her credit […]

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Q&A: IRS direct pay

Dear Liz: Regarding the reader whose tax payment never made it to the IRS: I agree that electronic payments are the best and safest, but you might want to emphasize that the payments should be done directly through the IRS website. I made the mistake of scheduling a couple of payments through my online banking, […]

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Q&A: Electronic Federal Tax Payment System

Dear Liz: I’m often required to make estimated quarterly payments and was always concerned I would miss one of them. A few years ago, I came across the Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS) that is offered by the U.S. Treasury. The beauty of the system is that once it is set up, there is […]

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