Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailToday’s top story: Last-minute tax moves to make on December 31st. Also in the news: How to tell if your financial advisor is giving you good advice, why you should consider freezing your credit reports, and the top 6 financial resolutions for the new year.

4 Last-Minute Tax Moves You Can Make on Dec. 31
Tick tock!

How To Tell If You’re Receiving Good Advice From Your Advisor
Making sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Why you should consider freezing your credit reports
Preventing identity theft.

Top 6 financial New Year’s resolutions and how to fulfill them
Making resolutions that last.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to break up with your financial advisor. Also in the news: How to save on remodeling costs, what happens to your debt after you die, and the perfect stocking stuffer for your future investor.

Breaking up with your Financial Advisor
Protecting your best interests.

Remodeling? Refinancing With a 203(k) Loan Can Help
Better interest rates could make remodeling more affordable.

What Happens to Your Debt After You Die?
You can’t take it with you, so to speak.

A Stock Gift Card for Your Little Investor
A great STOCKing stuffer.

6 Strategies to Get Out of Debt
Finding the one that works for you.

Four ways to get a jump on tax season

bigstock-U-s-Income-Tax-Return-Form-28476797-e1390508229663Taxpayers face a cliffhanger again this year as Congress dithers about extending more than 50 expired tax breaks, including popular deductions for college tuition and fees, mortgage insurance and sales taxes.

As we wait for lawmakers to act, though, we still have time left in the year to make adjustments based on changes that have already happened. In my latest for Reuters, I share four ways to get a head start on tax season.

In my latest for Bankrate, how to find an honest financial advisor.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

imagesToday’s top story: Financial behaviors you don’t want to pass on to your kids. Also in the news: Facts that will change how you think about money, how to find a financial advisor, and how to choose between saving or paying off debt.

11 Financial Behaviors You Don’t Want Your Kids to Learn From You
Setting the right example.

6 facts that will change how you think about money
Game changers.

How to find a financial advisor
Finding the right one.

Save or Pay Off Debt? How to Make the Tough Choice
Which works best for you?

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

debt collectorsToday’s top story: How a single missed student loan payment can damage your credit. Also in the news: Finding a financial advisor who won’t rip you off, how tax liens can affect a spouse’s credit, and seven fall budget moves you need to make before the holidays begin.

Most Students Don’t Get How Bad It Is to Miss Loan Payments
A single missed payment could take a severe bite out of your credit score.

How to Hire a Financial Advisor Who Won’t Rip You Off
Due diligence is key.

Life Insurance Agents and Commissions: What You Should Know
Beware the sales pitch.

How Tax Liens Affect a Spouse’s Credit
Community property states mean trouble for both credit scores.

7 Fall Budget Moves You Need to Make Now
Get busy before the holidays.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

2Today’s top story: Knowing when it’s time to talk to a financial advisor. Also in the news: Money tips for college students, why you might need life insurance if you’re getting divorced, and five reasons why you have a bad credit score.

7 Times You Need to Talk to a Financial Advisor
Going it alone isn’t always a good idea.

Back-to-School Money Tips for College Students
How to avoid going broke in the first month.

Getting Divorced? You Might Want — or Need — Life Insurance
Covering your financial obligations.

5 Reasons You Have a Bad Credit Score
Time for credit check.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

law-technology-podcasts-300x300Today’s top story: Seven money podcasts you should be tuning in to. Also in the news: Why your parents’ financial advisor keeps asking about you, how small business owners can prepare for an interest rate hike, and a guide to debit vs credit cards.

7 Money Podcasts You Should Be Following
Making your commute more enjoyable and profitable!

Why Your Parents’ Financial Advisor Asks About You
A different kind of inheritance.

3 Ways Small-Business Owners Can Prepare for an Interest Rate Hike
The days of zero percent interest rates could be coming to an end.

A Simple Guide to Debit vs. Credit Cards
Which is best for you?

Want to Get Out of Debt? Study Finds Best Way to Do It
Where should you start?

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The benefits to joining a credit union. Also in the news:Image9 When to sign up for a financial advisor, apps that will make next year’s taxes easier, and how to build your credit from the ground up.

6 Perks You Can Get at a Credit Union
Free checking!

When To Sign Up A Financial Advisor
Knowing when it’s time.

10 Apps to Use Now to Make Taxes Easier Next Year
Help is just an app away.

6 Ways to Build Your Credit From the Ground Up
Needing credit to get credit.

6 Ways You’re Cheating on Your Budget
Removing your hand from the cookie jar.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

bigstock-U-s-Income-Tax-Return-Form-28476797-e1390508229663Today’s top story: How to finish your taxes before the deadline. Also in the news: How to file for a tax extension, when your employer can check your credit, and why you need to pay close attention to your parents’ financial advisors.

The Procrastinator’s Guide to Finishing Your Taxes
The clock is ticking.

How to File for an Extension
Buying some time.

When Can Employers Check Your Credit?
Far less often than you might think.

Hidden Dangers With Aging Parents’ Financial Advisors
Paying close attention is vital.

The Ultimate Tax Day Guide: Post Office Hours, Freebies and Expert Tax Refund Tips
Free shredding!

Q&A: Talking money before marriage

Dear Liz: My daughter is getting married in September. She recently confided that she and her fiance have never discussed their respective debts (if any), credit scores or financial goals. She is hesitant to bring this up with him but realizes it’s a discussion that needs to happen before they marry. I suggested they consider meeting with a financial counselor so they can have an honest talk about money as a practical matter rather than an emotional one. Would a fee-only financial planner be appropriate in this instance?

Answer: Absolutely. If you’d like, you could make a session with such a planner your engagement present to them.

Of course, they don’t need a professional to start talking about their financial situations. Presumably she knows him well enough by now to have some idea about how best to broach the topic. It could be as simple as “Hey, I was just paying some bills and I realized we probably should talk about our financial situations.”

A way to start the decision is to talk about dreams and goals. Would they like to raise a family? Buy a home? Start a business? Travel a lot? Retire early? All financial planning stems from knowing what your goals are, and then you can figure out how to achieve them. Your daughter shouldn’t be too worried if they aren’t on exactly the same financial page, since few couples are. What’s important at this stage is knowing what’s important to each person.

It can be trickier to talk about the present. Most people have made mistakes with money, and many have more debt and less savings than they’d like. Being a sympathetic listener and suspending judgment can go a long way toward putting a partner at ease in these discussions.

After they’ve had a few talks and feel comfortable, they probably should take a look at each other’s credit reports. Those would give them a fairly good idea of how much each person owes. That can help them understand roughly how much of the family budget will need to go toward retiring those debts and how much is available to achieve their goals.