Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to protect your money from criminals. Also in the news: How to fight about money and stay madly in love, how to have “the talk” about finances with your parents, and deciding to reroute some of your retirement savings to pay for a house.

Banking Has Changed, but Criminals Haven’t — Here’s How to Protect Your Money
Staying on guard.

How to Fight About Money and Stay Madly in Love
Don’t let money get in the way.

Have ‘The Talk’ About Finances With Your Parents Already
Having the tough conversations.

Should You Reroute Some of Your Retirement Savings to Pay for a House?
One of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: TSA-Approved ways to cut the airport screening line. Also in the news: How to talk retirement with your spouse, the most and least affordable areas in the country, and things to consider before co-signing a student loan.

TSA-Approved Ways to Cut the Airport Screening Line
Is TSA pre-check worth the price?

How to Talk Retirement With Your Spouse
One of the most important conversations you’ll ever have.

Home Affordability Watch, Q1: California Buyers, Keep Dreamin’
The most and least affordable areas in the country.

Piggybacking on good credit: Things to consider before co-signing a student loan
A few things to think about.

Q&A: One spouse’s debts might haunt the other after death

Dear Liz: I have a terminal illness and have less than a year to live. My wife and I are in our 80s and don’t own anything: no cars, no homes. My wife has an IRA worth $140,000 that pays us $2,000 a month, and she has a small pension of $1,400 a month. We receive $3,900 from Social Security, for a total monthly income of $7,200.

We have $72,000 in credit card debt that is strangling us. I told my wife that after I’m gone she should simply ignore that debt and advise creditors that I have passed away. Or should we attempt to file bankruptcy now?

Answer: Your return address shows you live in California, which is a community property state. Debts incurred during marriage are generally considered joint debts, so expecting creditors to go away after your death is not realistic.

Your wife’s retirement also could be at risk because California has limited creditor protection for IRAs. Federal law protects IRAs worth up to $1,283,025 in bankruptcy court, but outside bankruptcy, creditor protection depends on state law. In California, only amounts “necessary for support” are protected.

You really need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your options. You can get referrals from the National Assn. of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys at www.nacba.org.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: One couple’s journey from debt to $1.5 million in savings. Also in the news: What to buy and skip in July, Whole Foods joins Amazon’s Prime Day, and how the lawsuits against student loan service Navient could affect you.

One Couple’s Journey From Debt to $1.5 Million in Savings
Communication is key.

What to Buy (and Skip) in July
Making the most of midsummer sales.

Prime Day Alert: 10% Back at Whole Foods with Amazon Prime Visa
Whole Foods joins the Prime Day excitement.

How the lawsuits against student loan servicer Navient could affect you
Four states are currently suing the student loan giant.

Q&A: Wife should get her name on deed

Dear Liz: My daughter, who is a stay-at-home mother of two, recently bought a home with her husband. They have been married seven years. I recently discovered that her name isn’t on the deed to the home. I don’t know why, but it doesn’t sound good to me. What are her potential issues?

Answer: The issues depend on where she lives. Community property states include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

If your daughter lives in one of those, assets acquired during marriage, including a home, are generally considered community property owned equally by both spouses. Her husband, ideally, should place her on title via a deed to reflect true ownership or place it in a trust to provide for his wife. However, if her husband should die without bequeathing her the property, the home could go to probate proceeding, and the wife would have to provide proof that it was community property to receive all of it, says estate planning attorney Jennifer Sawday of Long Beach.

In other states, different rules apply. Typically assets held in one person’s name are that person’s property. If the husband has a will, he could leave the house to your daughter — or not. Should he die without a will, she could wind up sharing ownership of the house with others, such as children from a previous marriage.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How not to run out of money in retirement. Also in the news: How bountiful is tax-loss harvesting, what the (almost) end of credit card signatures means for you, and how your spouse’s student loans affect you.

How Not to Run Out of Money in Retirement
Making it through the long haul.

How Bountiful Is Tax-Loss Harvesting?
A gimmick or an advantage?

What the (Almost) End of Credit Card Signatures Means for You
Less time at the register.

How Your Spouse’s Student Loans Affect You
Everything from taxes to mortgages.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to help your partner’s credit without harming your own. Also in the news: Why Millennials can count on Social Security after all, 3 smart ways to supercharge your travel rewards, and the worst financial mistake a grandparent can make.

Help Your Partner’s Credit — Without Harming Your Own
Start by talking about it.

Millennials Can Count on Social Security After All
Good news!

3 Smart Ways to Supercharge Your Travel Rewards
Spend strategically.

This is the worst financial mistake a grandparent can make
No matter how well-intentioned.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to turn a tax refund into a fatter paycheck. Also in the news: 3 money lessons we can learn from ‘Roseanne,’ what to do when your tax pro botches your return, and how to set money goals with your spouse.

How to Turn a Tax Refund Into a Fatter Paycheck
Make sure you’re not giving too much upfront to Uncle Sam.

3 Money Lessons We Can Learn From ‘Roseanne’
You don’t have to keep up with the Joneses’

Did a Tax Pro Botch Your Return? Here’s What to Do
Double and triple check.

How to set money goals with your spouse.
Framing the conversation.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What the Fed rate hike means for your CDs. Also in the news: Steps to take if you don’t trust your spouse at tax time, 3 women you should know in investing, and 6 personal finance rules to live by in your 40s.

What the Fed Rate Hike Means for Your CDs
Look for higher rates.

5 Steps to Take If You Don’t Trust Your Spouse at Tax Time
Watch what you sign.

3 Women You Should Know in Investing
Leaders in investing.

6 Personal Finance Rules to Live By in Your 40s
Time to bulk up your retirement savings.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to guard your cash from debit card fraud. Also in the news: How good credit can open doors when renting your first apartment, how to prepare for the inevitable stock market crash, and when to write up a financial agreement with your partner.

Debit Card Fraud Still Rising; Here’s How to Guard Your Cash

When Renting Your First Place, Good Credit Can Open Doors
Don’t let your score determine your options.

Will the Stock Market Crash? Yes. Here’s What to Do Now
Taking preventative action.

When and How to Write Up a Financial Agreement With Your Partner
Taking a big step.