Q&A: Getting through to Social Security

Dear Liz: I read your article about checking your Social Security earnings record and benefits. I tried to set up an account with the Social Security Administration to track my retirement benefits (I turn 65 in December). Apparently the Social Security Administration will only text a required security code to a cellphone. I do have a cellphone but […]

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Q&A: Free credit score? Be careful

Dear Liz: As a financial planner, I am surprised you pointed someone in the direction of paying for a credit score. Your score can be accessed at several credit sites for free. Why would you want your readers to pay for something they could get free?  Answer: As a financial planner, you should understand that “free” is […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Amazon launches a car comparison site. Also in the news: HARP loans get extended through September of 2017, 4 finance apps every college student needs, and what to do if you can’t afford your kids’ school supplies. Amazon Launches Car Comparison Site The online giant gets in the car game. HARP Loan […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

dog holding a purse with money in its mouth. isolated on white b

Today’s top story: How to save without using your savings account. Also in the news: Why you should have a separate bank account for your side jobs, the bad side to inactive credit, and how much it really costs to own a dog. 4 Ways to Save Without Your Savings Account Under the mattress doesn’t […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Finding your college savings “magic number.” Also in the news: What to do when your bank isn’t measuring up, what to buy (and skip) over Labor Day weekend, and how teachers are bringing financial literacy into classrooms. Finding Your ‘Magic Number’ for College Savings Coming up with a reasonable estimate. Bank Not […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Life insurance questions you’re too embarrassed to ask. Also in the news: what to do with an IRA when you leave a job, when a debt collector calls to collect money you don’t owe, and the profitable business of lending to subprime borrowers. 5 Life Insurance Questions You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask […]

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Monday’s need-to- know money news

Today’s top story: What happens to your mortgage when you die? Also in the news: 3 things more important than a bank’s savings rate, 5 times when you shouldn’t use a credit card, and how to curb your impulse spending. What Happens to Your Mortgage When You Die? Who will continue the payments? 3 Things […]

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Secrets of next-door millionaires

The way most Americans build wealth is no secret: Save, invest, repeat. How average people keep their wealth, though, gets a lot less attention. It boils down to how they handle risk. It’s hard to accumulate wealth without taking some risks, but there are perils that “next-door millionaires” seem to avoid. Next-door millionaires weren’t born […]

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Q&A: Getting a new mortgage after a foreclosure

Dear Liz: Is it true that we can’t refinance our home until seven years after a foreclosure? We lost a rental property six years ago. Our credit scores now are in the 740 range, and we are anxious to take advantage of lower rates since our mortgage rate is 5.75%. Other than the foreclosure, our […]

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Q&A: Could new job affect credit rating?

Dear Liz: I have been employed at a small business, a sole proprietorship, for 34 years. My boss is going to just shut down the business, with no plan for succession. I have a job offer from a rival firm, so I don’t plan on being out of work for very long. How will this […]

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