Q&A: Understanding Social Security survivor benefits

Dear Liz: I need a clarification because I’m getting conflicting answers from Social Security. I know if you start Social Security benefits early, you get them at a reduced rate. When your spouse dies, is your survivor benefit reduced as well? My friend’s mother never worked, but started collecting spousal benefits at 62. Does she […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Mistakes that can demolish your credit score. Also in the news: Does giving your kid an allowance make them better with money, how to maintain financial security during retirement, and how much you’ll save with a CD Ladder vs a single CD. 7 Mistakes That Can Demolish Your Credit Score How to […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Knowing when it’s time to talk to a financial advisor. Also in the news: Money tips for college students, why you might need life insurance if you’re getting divorced, and five reasons why you have a bad credit score. 7 Times You Need to Talk to a Financial Advisor Going it alone […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Getting the most from Medicare. Also in the news: Tips for smart student loan borrowing, the mistake single Americans are making with their retirement, and how to get the most from your credit card rewards. Medicare‚Äôs Maze – How to Maximize Benefits Navigating your way through. Five Tips For Smart Student Loan […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How getting a mortgage just became easier. Also in the news: Downsizing to save your retirement, handling major financial disruptions, and how to avoid or minimize bank fees. 4 Ways Getting a Mortgage Just Got Easier The process has become slightly less stressful. Can Downsizing Save Your Retirement? Smaller living can protect […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to find free help for your credit problems. Also in the news: The “Ostrich Effect,” the financial benefits of short-term thinking, and how to Voice Mail Hell. 6 Places to Get Free Help With Your Credit Problem You don’t have to go it alone. Beware the “Ostrich Effect” When It Comes […]

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Q&A: Tuition gifts and tax breaks

Dear Liz: You recently answered questions about tax breaks for college education expenses. We are contributing $20,000 to our grandson’s college education yearly. He is not our dependent. We are senior citizens with a gross income of about $110,000. Is there any deduction for this expenditure that we might qualify for? Answer: Your grandson is […]

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Q&A: Divorce and Social Security spousal benefits

Dear Liz: My ex-wife and I were married for 12 years. She is 55. I am 64 and collecting Social Security. At what age can she apply for spousal benefits? Answer: If she doesn’t remarry, she can apply for spousal benefits as early as age 62. If she applies early, though, she would lose the […]

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Q&A: The value of associate degrees

Dear Liz: Please continue to encourage people to look into two-year technical degrees. I got my associate’s degree in mechanical engineering and in my first job earned more than my father. Later I worked for a company that made touch-screen point-of-sale terminals. Time and time again, I trained waiters who had bachelor’s or master’s degrees […]

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Should you bail on stocks?

It’s a trick question, of course. If you’re asking it, then it’s time to review your long-term investment strategy (or to come up with one, if you haven’t done so). The bottom line is that trying to time the market is a loser’s game. Those who say they can do it are blowing hot air […]

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