Q&A: Bad boyfriend plagues grandparents’ finances

Dear Liz: We have raised our granddaughter since birth. She is the apple of our eyes. Then she fell in love. The boyfriend had no job, no car. My husband co-signed a loan for this boy! He didn’t even know the boy’s last name. I was devastated, as we are on Social Security so our […]

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Q&A: Social Security divorced spousal benefits

Dear Liz: A friend was told by Social Security that she could not collect spousal benefits on her ex-husband’s work record because she did not have his Social Security number. How can I help her find it? Answer: Your friend may have run into a new Social Security employee, or at least one who is […]

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Q&A: Income tax vs. capital gains tax

Dear Liz: I was wondering about the disabled vet who wanted to sell his home, which had increased in value by about $1 million. You mentioned that “[S]ingle people with incomes over $415,050 in 2016 are subject to the 39.6% marginal tax rate. Most people pay capital gains tax at a 15% rate, but those […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How life insurance can affect your estate taxes. Also in the news: Money tips for new workers, 401(k) tips for when you quit your job, and important money lessons for kids under 5. How Life Insurance Can Affect Estate Taxes Life insurance comes into play if you have a sizeable estate. 4 […]

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Why We No Longer Fear the IRS

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Our tax laws are complex and often difficult to understand. Tax professionals warn us of the perils of audits. Penalties for getting our taxes wrong can be stiff — up to and including jail for those who deliberately evade the taxman. So why don’t we fear the IRS? Clearly, we have some fears about April […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to start investing. Also in the news: Inexpensive online money management classes, social media scams to watch out for, and why your busted March Madness bracket isn’t all bad news. New to Investing? 4 Steps to Get You Started Putting your money to work. Your Guide to Inexpensive Online Money Management […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to save money while repaying Parent PLUS loans. Also in the news: Why your dog needs liability insurance, where you’re paying more in fees than you should be, and how to itemize common tax deductions. Got Parent PLUS Loans? Save Money With These Alternative Payment Plans Repayment plans that could save […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to apply for a credit card after bankruptcy. Also in the news: Avoiding stress while paying down debt, the biggest tax “break” you shouldn’t forget, and how to slash your cable bill. Applying for a Credit Card After Bankruptcy Starting over. Avoid Over-Stressing Your Budget When Paying Down Debt Be patient […]

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Q&A: How to deal with debt collectors

Dear Liz: After struggling financially for seven years, I’m getting a good lawsuit settlement. After taxes, I’ll be set. I want to pay my bills but to the actual company — for example, the credit card company, not some bill-collecting clowns that threatened me with “the sheriff will come over and arrest you” or “your […]

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