Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Cutting through credit score confusion after the Experian fine. Also in the news: Eat out without biting into your budget, the female faces of student loan debt, and why it’s harder than ever to apply for financial aid.

Cutting Through Credit Score Confusion After Experian Fine
Making sense of it.

Eat Out Without Biting Into Your Budget
It’s all about strategy.

Female Faces of Student Loan Debt
A Women’s History Month feature.

It’s Harder Than Ever to Apply for Student Aid
Finding ways to make the process easier.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Consumers have a powerful tool in credit card chargebacks. Also in the news: Credit card trends for 2017, how to stay on budget and still have a social life, and deducting your student loan interest.

Consumers Have Powerful Tool in Credit Card Chargebacks
When to dispute a charge.

4 Credit Card Trends for 2017 and What They Mean for You
Going back to basics.

Ask Brianna: How Can I Stay on Budget and Still Hang Out?
You don’t have to give up your social life.

PSA: Don’t Forget to Deduct Your Student Loan Interest
Deducting every penny possible.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 7 ways to lower your cable bill. Also in the news: The rate of mortgage approvals in each state, 5 steps for tracking your monthly expenses, and a beginner’s guide to filling out a W-4.

7 Ways to Lower Your Cable Bill
Cutting the cord.

The Rate of Mortgage Approvals in Each State
Where does your state rank?

5 Steps for Tracking Your Monthly Expenses
Keeping a detailed record.

A Beginner’s Guide to Filling out Your W-4
Taking it one step at a time.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Creating a budget isn’t as scary as it sounds. Also in the news: How filing separately could give some couples a lower tax bill, the history of the credit card, and how to protect your family business during a divorce.

Creating a Budget Isn’t as Scary as It Sounds
Taking the first step.

Filing Separately Could Give Some Couples a Lower Tax Bill
When it makes sense to file separately.

The History of the Credit Card
The origins of our favorite plastic.

How to protect your family business during a divorce
Protecting a legacy.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Checking your credit doesn’t hurt your scores. Also in the news: Personal finance tips from NerdWallet moms, why you should prepare now for the death of a spouse, and the benefits of easing into a new savings budget.

Checking Your Credit Doesn’t Hurt Your Scores
Not checking your scores could hurt much more.

NerdWallet Moms Share Their Personal Finance Tips
Sharing lessons learned.

Why You Should Prepare Now for the Death of a Spouse
Making things easier down the road.

Boost Your Savings By 1% At a Time to Slowly Adjust to a New Budget
Easing into a new budget spares you from a shock to the system.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Image9Today’s top story: Credit mistakes you’ll regret immediately. Also in the news: Apps to organize your financial life, how to curb impulse buying, and changes you need to make if you’re laid off.

5 Credit Mistakes You’ll Regret Immediately
Avoid making these at all costs.

5 Apps to Organize Your Financial Life
Organization right at your fingertips.

Save the Same Amount You Splurge to Curb Impulse Buying
Getting your spending under control.

Laid off? 9 changes to make today
Making the transition easier.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Steps you should take when you’re 20 years away from retirement. Also in the news: Collecting on a business debt, how to improve your budget, and how to give your investment portfolio a stress test.

8 Steps to Take When You’re 20 Years From Retirement
Time is critical.

Can a Debt Collector Come After Me for a Business Debt?
Assessing your personal risk.

Improve Your Budget By Focusing On How Much Satisfaction Your Money Buys
How much fulfillment will your purchase bring you?

Give Your Investment Portfolio a Stress Test
Hypothetical scenarios can display your portfolio’s strengths and weaknesses.

The end to file-and-suspend: Sorry about that

shutterstock_101159917In June, I wrote a column predicting that Congress eventually would do away with “file and suspend” and other Social Security claiming strategies that the Obama Administration had labeled as “aggressive.” I thought it would take years for lawmakers to act. But the end was closer than many of us thought.

The budget deal quickly moving through Congress would eliminate new file-and-suspend applications 180 days after the bill is signed into law, according to the Fiscal Times. That change could shave as much as $50,000 off the lifetime benefits of couples who were planning to use the strategy to maximize their benefits, according to Laurence Kotlikoff, co-author of the book “Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Our Your Social Security.”

If you don’t know, file-and-suspend was created in 2000 as a way to encourage people to keep working. Before that time, primary earners had to apply for their own retirement benefits before their spouses could apply for spousal benefits. With file-and-suspend, primary earners could put off actually receiving their Social Security, allowing their checks to grow, while still allowing their partners to get spousal benefits.

Spousal benefits were created with low- or non-earning spouses in mind, but financial advisors soon discovered file-and-suspend was also a good way to maximize benefits for two high-earning spouses. One could collect “free money” in the form of a spousal benefit before switching to his or her own benefit when it maxed out at age 70.

The growing popularity of the strategy pretty much doomed it. Five years ago, the Center for Retirement Research has estimated that file-and-suspend could cost as much as $9.5 billion each year. The more advisors learned about it, and the more people like me wrote about it, the more strain we were putting on an already troubled system.

 

Friday’s need-to-know money news

seniorslaptopToday’s top story: How to simplify your financial life. Also in the news: Credit card fees you shouldn’t have to pay, the hidden costs of starting your own business, and the amazing credit card features you’ve always wanted.

8 Easy Ways to Simplify Your Financial Life
Sifting through the clutter.

6 outrageous credit card fees you shouldn’t have to pay
Banks will always find a way to get more of your money.

The Hidden Costs of Starting Your Own Business
You’ll need to spend money to make money.

5 Credit Card Features You Wish You Had — That Actually Exist
Choose your own rewards? Sure!

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

downloadToday’s top story: How to cut the cord to your TV and save money. Also in the news: Apps to teach kids about personal finance, how to handle your credit card debt while you’re unemployed, and what happens to your debt if you get divorced.

How to watch TV for next to nothing
Cutting the cord can save you big bucks.

7 Apps to Teach Your Kids Personal Finance Skills
Trick them into learning!

How to Handle Credit Card Debt While You’re Unemployed
You cannot ignore it.

What Happens to My Debt If I Get a Divorce?
What does and doesn’t stay with you.

Calculate the Opportunity Cost of Your Spending Habit Over Time
Just how much is that daily muffin costing you?