Holiday tipping: what you really need to know

Holiday tips

Writing about holiday tipping for MSN was always a bit fraught, mostly because a fair number of people every year seemed to think I invented the practice–and resented me deeply for it. Here’s the scoop, per the Emily Post Institute: Holiday tipping exists. It’s a thing, in every region of the country. Who you tip […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Financial tips that should be ignored. Also in the news: Lessons from Millennials, questions to ask about your health-care costs during retirement, and learning the basics of the 401(k). 5 Financial Tips That Can Lead You Astray Tips that belong on the Do Not Follow list. 20 Lessons We Can Learn From […]

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New giveaway: “Confessions of a Credit Junkie”

Confessions of a Credit Junkie High Res Original

Congratulations to Kim from Davis, California, who won the copy of Mary Hunt’s “The Smart Woman’s Guide to Planning for Retirement” that I was giving away last week. This week’s giveaway is Beverly Herzog’s “Confessions of a Credit Junkie.” Beverly made big mistakes with her credit, but was able to dig her way out. In […]

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Credit myths that need to die

YCS4 cover

The more you understand about how credit works, the more frustrated you get with how much misinformation is floating around out there. At least, that’s true for me and the three experts who joined me last week on a Google hangout to talk about “Credit myths that need to die.” John Ulzheimer, who’s worked at […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

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Today’s top story: How to stop the barrage of credit card offers. Also in the news: How to lower your property tax bills, keeping your financial resolutions, and why playing a lottery that you’ll never, ever win could be a good thing. How to Stop Getting Credit Card Offers in the Mail Opting out of […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news


Today’s top story: Changes are coming to the 2014 mortgage market. Also in the news: The privacy of your credit score, financial predictions for 2014, and how to avoid charitable giving tax mishaps. What You Need to Know About the 2014 Mortgage Market Seven possible changes to next year’s mortgage market. How Private Is Your […]

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Elderly parent wants to help unemployed sons

Dear Liz: Both of our sons, ages 63 and 59, are currently unemployed. We are 93 and self-supporting with Social Security and my retirement benefits. We live in our own home and are able to handle all our expenses, even though my wife requires a companion for 12 hours each day. I believe we should […]

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Lack of savings makes becoming a landlord risky

Dear Liz: My husband and I, both 44, own and live in one side of a duplex. The owners of the other side are moving next year and have offered to sell it to us. We don’t have enough in savings to cover a 20% down payment for a traditional mortgage, but our neighbors offered […]

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How to start Roth IRAs for your kids

Dear Liz: I would like to start a Roth account for each of my kids. (They’re in their 30s.) Is it better to start an account in my name with them as beneficiaries or to start the accounts in their names? Answer: Roth IRAs can be a wonderful way to save, but they’re not custodial […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 things home-buyers forget to ask their lenders. Also in the news: Retirement mistakes 30-somethings need to avoid, renting versus buying a home, and how to escape from a job that you hate. 5 Things Homebuyers Forget to Ask Their Lenders Five questions that are absolutely essential to ask. 4 Retirement Mistakes […]

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