Q&A: Paying a deceased person’s debts

Dear Liz: When I read the letter from the woman about her mother’s debts, it brought back my situation with my brother and mom. My brother was trustee to my mother’s living will and told her she had no money. At 90, she became worried and wanted to cut back on the care she needed. […]

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Q&A: Follow up on the Windfall Elimination Provision

Dear Liz: You recently addressed the issue of the Windfall Elimination Provision, which reduces Social Security benefits for people who paid into Social Security but who also get a pension from an employer that does not pay into the system. My wife taught for nearly 40 years. Neither she nor her employer contributed to Social […]

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Q&A: The tax implications of downsizing

Dear Liz: My mother just turned 75 and wants to downsize from her four-bedroom house. My father passed away six years ago. She owns her home outright, and at the time of my father’s death the value of the house was estimated at $1.2 million. Right now she has enough income from retirement accounts and […]

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Q&A: Social Security survival and spousal benefits

Dear Liz: If my spouse takes spousal benefits from Social Security before his full retirement age, does that ultimately affect the survivor benefits he could receive? Answer: As covered in previous columns, applying for spousal benefits before his full retirement age of 66 or 67 will lock him into a diminished check and preclude him […]

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Q&A: Using a separate credit card for online purchases and automatic payments

Dear Liz: I saw your recent column from the couple upset about the inconvenience of having to reset the automatic payments when their credit card was reissued due to fraud. We had the same problem (our credit card has been reissued six times now!) and got some great advice I’d like to share. We got […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The big security threats headed our way in the new year. Also in the news: How to beef up your savings, what millennials should discuss before marriage, and tips on managing your credit cards in the new year. The Big Scams & Security Threats to Watch Out for in 2015 If you […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to give yourself a gift without breaking your holiday budget. Also in the news: What you need to ask before buying a winter home, the big tax changes ahead for 2015, and how to avoid going into debt with your first credit card. How to Treat Yourself Without Breaking Your Christmas […]

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Q&A: Talking money before marriage

Dear Liz: My daughter is getting married in September. She recently confided that she and her fiance have never discussed their respective debts (if any), credit scores or financial goals. She is hesitant to bring this up with him but realizes it’s a discussion that needs to happen before they marry. I suggested they consider […]

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Q&A: Windfall Elimination Provision followup

Dear Liz: In a recent column, I believe you got one aspect of Social Security’s Windfall Elimination Provision wrong. If you’re affected by WEP, in no case can you get more than 90% of your Social Security benefit. It is a sliding scale. With 20 years of earnings under Social Security, you get 40%. It […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

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Today’s top story: A stress-free guide to holiday tipping. Also in the news: How to ease the financial strain of caregiving, financial resolutions to keep in 2015, and credit card strategies for travelers. A Last-Minute Guide to Holiday Tipping One less thing to stress over. 5 Ways to Ease the Financial Strain of Caregiving Hiring […]

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