Helping family led to unpayable debts

Dear Liz: I have $40,000 in credit card debt due to home healthcare I had to provide for my mom, who lived with me for six years before she passed away in 2011. I filed a Veterans Affairs claim on her behalf but just got a VA check for $344 with no explanation about whether […]

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Who owes taxes after death?

Dear Liz: My brother passed away, and for one of his bank accounts, he had named me as his beneficiary. Do I have to pay taxes on the $100,000 I received? Is it subject to a gift tax? Answer: Estate taxes are paid by estates, not by inheritors, said estate attorney Burton A. Mitchell of […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

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The best college savings plan, why credit card companies want to take back your reward points, and the money lessons hidden in your favorite TV shows. What’s best for college saving: ESA or 529? Choosing the right college savings plan. Five Ways Your Can Lose Your Credit Card Rewards Credit card companies would love nothing […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

How your addiction to pop culture could put your identity at risk, saving on holiday travel, and when is the right time to kick your kid off of your health insurance? How Your Katy Perry Obsession Could Get You Hacked Hackers love the pop culture obsessed. Our Financial Future: How Banking and Money Will Change […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

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How Boomers should prepare for Obamacare, the right time to purchase life insurance, and how to keep scammers away from your grandparents’ life savings. Six Things Boomers Need to Know About Obamacare Enrollment begins on October 1st. Knowing When You Need Life Insurance It’s likely sooner than you think. Your Kids And Money: Teaching The […]

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Are retirements really longer these days?

One of the “givens” I often see in discussions about retirement is the idea that previous generations didn’t have much of one. Great-grandpa got to the end of his working life, got his gold watch and keeled over. Short or non-existent retirements certainly were the rule before the 20th century. People usually worked until they […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Dealing with debt collectors, surviving natural disasters, and getting the best deals on car insurance. How to Figure Out Who Your Debt Collector Is Know who’s behind the incessant phone calls. If Your Finances Feel ‘Complex,’ It’s Probably a Bad Sign If sorting through your finances requires a Ph.D, chances are you’re in deep trouble. […]

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64 and broke: what now?

Dear Liz: I’m 64 and lost my last full-time job a year ago. I have since exhausted my unemployment benefits and been on and off food stamps. (I’m waiting to get back on them right now because my temporary-to-permanent job didn’t become permanent after all.) Fortunately I almost never need to go to a doctor, […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

How to avoid wrecking your credit, using your credit card to support your pet causes, and the most underrated jobs in America. 5 Habits That Can Wreck Your Credit Complacency is a credit killer. 5 Tips to Help 50-Somethings Make Ends Meet These tips can also help ease the transition into retirement. How to Pick […]

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Credit denial: a corporate trick or cause for alarm?

Dear Liz: A few years ago when buying my son his college laptop computer, I applied for the store card at a big, well-known electronics store (at the encouragement of the sales associate). I was denied. I have never been denied a credit card before. I have eight cards that are always paid off monthly, […]

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