Q&A: When to start Social Security benefits

Dear Liz: I am 63 and my husband is almost 64. He lost his job last year. We have been living on his $1,500 monthly pension plus what I could make from small contracts and drawing down our emergency fund. The fund and the contracts are now gone. We would like to get jobs, but […]

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Q&A: Medical debt liability and separation

Dear Liz: You recently answered a question about whether one spouse can be held responsible for the other’s credit card debt. My husband and I are separated and he recently was diagnosed with cancer. He is unemployed with no health insurance and high hospital bills and back child support payments. In the event of his […]

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Q&A: Survivor benefits for domestic partners

Dear Liz: Your answer to the reader asking about Social Security survivor benefits for same-sex couples was incomplete. If the person was a registered domestic partner in a state that did not allow them to marry, they still qualify for spousal death benefits. Please tell those affected so they know they should apply ASAP. Answer: […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to decide which debts you should pay off first. Also in the news: Financial topics you should never discuss at work, a key tax move you need to check before the end of the year, and how to offer financial advice to your adult kids. Which Debts Should You Pay Off […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Time to start getting your finances ready for 2015. Also in the news: How to give yourself a holiday bonus, protecting yourself and your credit from “Santa Scams”, and an end-of-the-year financial checklist. 15 tips on turning your finances around in 2015 Start getting ready. Give Yourself (not Uncle Sam) a Christmas […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Seven financial moves to make before New Year’s Eve. Also in the news: When you should use your credit card instead of your debit card, what to do when you’re 40 and have nothing saved for retirement, and busting four common myths about taxes. 7 Financial Moves to Make Before New Year’s […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

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Today’s top story: Why debt doesn’t have to ruin your holiday season. Also in the news: How time can heal your credit wounds, where you’ll have to pay sales tax on Cyber Monday, and how to protect yourself from charity fraud during the holidays. Don’t let debt ruin your holiday season Manage and reduce your […]

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Q&A: Credit card fraud and automatic payments

Dear Liz: We’ve had three cases of credit card fraud. Each time, the credit card company issued new cards with new numbers and canceled the old ones (along with the fraudulent charges). We had nine monthly auto-payment authorizations set up, and we seethed at the fact that the card company would not offer to authorize […]

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Q&A: VA health coverage and the Affordable Care Act

Dear Liz: My brother is a Vietnam veteran. Every month since his separation from the Navy in 1969, he has had a monthly premium deducted from his pay and sent to the Veterans Administration for his medical insurance coverage. Last month he received a notice from his employer stating that if he doesn’t sign up […]

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Q&A: Pensions and the windfall elimination provision

Dear Liz: As a faculty member who was only recently allowed to participate in our state’s public employees’ retirement system, I will have a very small pension. I’m told that Social Security will then reduce my benefit by up to 50% as a result of the so-called windfall elimination provision. Can you tell me how […]

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