When Social Security Turns You Into a Zombie

If the Social Security Administration thinks you’re dead, you might wish you were. People who accidentally wind up on the agency’s Death Master File have seen their bank accounts frozen, credit cards closed, health insurance cut off and benefit payments canceled or even pulled back from checking accounts. One California man told me his 97-year-old […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Frightening types of 401(k) fees. Also in the news: It’s time for open enrollment, how to avoid bringing zombie debt back from the grave, and the staggering amount of money behind all things pumpkin. 3 Frightening Types of 401(k) Fees The dark side of retirement funds. Nov. 1 Means It’s Time for […]

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Q&A: ‘Stay at home’ credit card isn’t foolproof

Dear Liz: Regarding updating automatic payments when a credit card is replaced, I have found that using a separate credit card that never leaves home for automatic payments is a good idea. It’s very unlikely that this “stay at home” card would get hacked like a card I use in stores or ATMs. Does this […]

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Q&A: Financial help for seniors

Dear Liz: In your response to the person whose friend was erroneously declared deceased by the Social Security Administration, you suggest that the older person consider finding help in managing her finances. Please recommend checking the American Assn. of Daily Money Managers for such help. I have a certification from this professional organization and we […]

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Q&A: Fixing your credit scores after a bankruptcy

Dear Liz: How do you repair credit scores after filing for bankruptcy? My husband and I are in this situation and are looking to reestablish credit and increase our credit scores. Also, how long do closed accounts appear on the credit report? Answer: Filing for bankruptcy may have actually helped your scores. Researchers at the […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Careers that can help you conquer your student debt faster. Also in the news: What a good credit card company will offer people with bad credit, how to pay for bankruptcy when you’re broke, and five apps that automate your money. Some Careers Can Help You Conquer Student Debt Faster Kissing your […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why you shouldn’t be spooked by student loans. Also in the news: A judge approves a $14.7 billion dollar settlement in the VW Diesel scandal, the new low down on low down payment mortgage programs, and how personal finance chatbots could help you control your spending. Why You Shouldn’t Be Spooked by […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: A 3-step plan for new grads with student debt. Also in the news: Answers to money questions from college students, student loan mythbusting, and how to cut the costs of raising a baby. A 3-Step Plan for New Grads With Student Debt Congratulations! Now, pay up. Money Talk: How to Go From […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why you should validate a debt before paying a collector. Also in the news: How to choose a Medicare Advantage plan, how and when to report tips for tax purposes, and how people survived their financial nightmares. Validate Debt Before Paying a Collector, Avoid Costly Errors Make sure the debt is legitimate. […]

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A president can’t fix your finances

Presidential candidates always promise economic improvements that are beyond their power to deliver. Any measures that actually could create more jobs, raise wages or lower tax burdens require the cooperation of Congress or business cycles or both. Even if a president could lead us to the promised land of rising incomes and wealth, we wouldn’t […]

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