Starting over in your 50s, and other curveballs

Man Seeking EmploymentLosing a job late in life can be devastating, and rebuilding can be tough. Here’s how writer Teresa Mears puts it:

Americans in their 50s and 60s, who expected to be at the peak of their careers before retirement, are finding themselves playing catch-up. While they may never get back the lives they had before, there are steps they can take to improve their retirement prospects.

Jean Chatzky and I offer advice about those steps in “10 ways to get your retirement plan back on track.”

Job losses can have another side effect, besides derailing your retirement: they also can derail your credit scores. I talked to Kelley Holland for CNBC about why that matters and what you can do about it in “What your poor credit rating is costing you.”

I also discusses debt for a series of interviews with Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner, including “Debt is Not Just a Four-Letter Word,” “What Every Buyer ‘Auto” Know about Car Loans” and “You Don’t Want to Overdose on Student Loan Debt.”

Speaking of student loan debt, there are ways to erase some of your federal education loans—but too many people don’t know what they are. Read more in “5 ways do-gooders can erase student loan debt.”

My other recent education columns for Reuters including “Debunking the myth of college rejection rates,”  “3 ways to fix financial aid form flaws” and “That break from college? Stopping out leads to dropping out.”

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Credit card backgroundToday’s top story: Four credit card strategies to get you through the holidays. Also in the news: Bank of America teams up with Khan Academy, how to recover from a setback in retirement planning, and how to make saving money a little less painful.

4 Holiday Credit Card Strategies
Don’t go into holiday shopping without a battle plan.

Tips for Recovering from a Financial Setback in Retirement
Don’t let a momentary setback derail your long term goals.

Khan Academy Teams Up with Bank of America
The duo will offer personal finance lessons.

5 Big Budgeting Mistakes Most People Make
Tracking your actual expenses is absolutely crucial.

5 Ways to Make Saving Money a Little Easier
Simple tips to take the sting out of saving money.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Are cash-back rewards worth the expense, cheap ideas to close out your summer vacation, and why health care expenses are crucial when planning your card detailed 1

Government to Switch Student Loan Servicers: What You Need to Know
Why you should start paying closer attention to your loan statements.

Are Cash-Back Rewards Good Deals for Consumers?
Do consumers end up spending more than they normally would in pursuit of cash-back rewards?

12 Tips For Professionals Who Want To Go Back To School
How to prepare financially for a return to the classroom.

Nine Cheap End-of-Summer Ideas
Inexpensive ways to close out the summer.

Do You Have a Retirement Care Plan?
Why health care needs to have equal billing in your plans for retirement.