Q&A: Why surviving spouses aren’t always entitled to Social Security benefits

Dear Liz: I am confused. I thought all wives were entitled to Social Security if the husband’s earnings qualified. My husband is deceased and he received a larger Social Security benefit than I because he worked longer in a qualified system. We were married almost 49 years. Most of my earnings are from a job […]

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Q&A: Effects of closing credit card accounts

Dear Liz: I would like to know how to close credit card accounts and not get a bad credit rating for doing so. We are trying to improve our credit after filing for bankruptcy seven years ago. Answer: If you’re trying to improve your credit, then avoid closing credit accounts. Doing so can’t help your […]

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Q&A: Stepmom alters terms of dad’s will

Dear Liz: My father recently passed away and his will named my stepmom’s daughter as executor along with my brother. My stepmother just informed my brother that she removed him from that role, telling him it’s easier to just leave her daughter as the executor as she lives much closer. Is this legal to remove […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news


Today’s top story: What to do with the extra money from the rise in median income. Also in the news: Post office banking could be the next big thing, household debt is creeping back up to recession levels, and the pros and cons of posting your consumer complaint on social media. Median Income Is Up: […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to tame your student loans. Also in the news: Why you shouldn’t skimp on insurance, critical personal finance tips for your first years after college, and three bills to pay off before you retire. How to Tame Your Student Loans (Told in Under 350 Words) Wrangling your student debt. Don’t Skimp […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news


Today’s top story: How to handle “expired” debt. Also in the news: Ways to avoid a disclosure catastrophe after closing on your new home, why your small business should have its own credit score, and why you should skip the extended warranty and save the money instead. How to Handle Time-Barred Debt Beware of “zobmie […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news


Today’s top story: The high cost of being unbanked. Also in the news: What you need to ask when choosing a mortgage broker, how getting a car loan can affect your credit, and how your Facebook account can ruin your finances. The Cost of Being Unbanked: Hundreds of Dollars a Year, Always One Step Behind […]

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Money Lessons That Actually Stick

Efforts to make us smarter about money don’t seem to be working. A Harvard Business School study found personal finance classes taught in high school had no effect on “financial outcomes,” such as how much people saved or how likely they were to miss payments on debt. A report for Management Science found that even […]

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Q&A: How to avoid hiring a Madoff-like financial advisor

Dear Liz: What is the best way to pick a financial advisor to make sure they don’t make off with all your retirement money? I don’t want Bernie Madoff handling my retirement savings. Answer: Even if you turn over day-to-day investment decisions to an advisor, you should make sure your money is invested at an independent […]

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