Q&A: Figuring the tax toll for an inherited house

Dear Liz: I inherited my home when my husband died. If I sell this house now at a current market value of around $900,000, what will be the basis of the capital gains tax? I think at the time of my husband’s death, the house’s market value was $400,000. Answer: Based on your phrasing, we’ll […]

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Q&A: Self insurance brings risk

Dear Liz: A letter writer in your column says that “self insurance,” or going without health insurance, “certainly reinforces healthy lifestyle choices.” My husband made all of those “right” choices for more than 60 years, which was absolutely no protection against being diagnosed with brain cancer. Your penny-pinching correspondent might currently be running marathons or […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why traditional credit scores still matter. Also in the news: Staying ahead of travel scams, banks still playing with financial fire, and the benefits to maxing out your retirement contributions early in the year. Newfangled Data Aside, Credit Scores Still Matter Those 3 numbers still reign supreme. Stay a Step Ahead of […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 3 credit score myths you should stop believing. Also in the news: Vinyl siding costs and how to keep them down, 6 big ways credit can affect your life, and 1 in 3 parents will help their kids pay off student loans. 3 Credit Score Myths You Should Stop Believing It’s all […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 steps to change homeowners insurance paid through escrow. Also in the news: Getting by on the average retirement income, TSA-Approved ways to cut the airport screening lines, and how to tell if your company’s 401(k) plan is any good. 5 Steps to Change Homeowners Insurance Paid Through Escrow Seamless transition. Could […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Bartenders spill secrets for keeping your tab in check. Also in the news: How a remodeling project changes your property tax bill, tips for back-to-school shopping, and how to use your bank’s automatic transfer tools to make budgeting easy. Bartenders Spill Secrets for Keeping Your Tab in Check Avoiding a financial hangover. […]

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Why traditional credit scores still matter

Researchers and startups say all kinds of weird data can predict your creditworthiness. What kind of smartphone you have, who your friends are and how you answer survey questions may foretell how likely you are to pay back a loan. Don’t expect this alternative data to displace the three-digit number most lenders use, however. Credit […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to protect your money from criminals. Also in the news: How to fight about money and stay madly in love, how to have “the talk” about finances with your parents, and deciding to reroute some of your retirement savings to pay for a house. Banking Has Changed, but Criminals Haven’t — […]

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Q&A: Mother-daughter drama and the financial ties that bind

Dear Liz: My mother is turning 92 this month. Due to a dispute, my mother amended her will last year and stated that my inheritance had to be used for a certain purpose. My brother sent me the amendment and told me he will enforce my mother’s wishes. He also told me that I had […]

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Q&A: The effects of working after taking Social Security

Dear Liz: I didn’t pay much into Social Security and started drawing it at age 62. As a result my check wasn’t very much. If I start working now, will it increase my monthly benefit over the years? Answer: Yes, but the effect depends on a lot of factors. Social Security determines your benefit using […]

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