Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Image9Today’s top story: Insider tips for finding affordable long-term care insurance. Also in the news: The most affordable time of year to buy a house, states that help consumers save money on insurance, and an app that compares the prices of every ride sharing option.

5 Insider Tips for Finding Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance
Buy sooner rather than later.

The Most Affordable Time of Year to Buy a Home
Holding out until winter.

5 States That Help Consumers Get Answers, Save Money on Insurance
Do you live in one of them?

RideGuru Compares the Cost of Every Ride Sharing Option
Don’t get taken for a ride.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

imagesToday’s top story: How to tame your student loans. Also in the news: Why you shouldn’t skimp on insurance, critical personal finance tips for your first years after college, and three bills to pay off before you retire.

How to Tame Your Student Loans (Told in Under 350 Words)
Wrangling your student debt.

Don’t Skimp on Your Insurance
Pay now or pay more later.

4 Critical Personal Finance Tips for Your First Years After College
It’s a whole new world.

3 bills to pay off before you retire
Smoother sailing.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

155403-425x282-Mortgage-LateToday’s top story: Bouncing back after foreclosure. Also in the news: How to piece together the perfect bank, handling the financial consequences of millennials living at home, and a parents guide to insurance for college students.

How to Bounce Back After Foreclosure
Getting through a trying time.

How to Piece Together the Perfect Bank
Ticking all the boxes.

How to Handle the Financial Consequences of Millennials Living at Home
Don’t sacrifice your retirement.

A parents guide to insurance for college students
Evaluating your insurance needs as your child goes to college.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

download (1)Today’s top story: Benefits for Millennials. Also in the news: The downsides of prepaid debit cards, a parents’ guide to insurance for college students, and how your house can save your retirement.

Benefits 101 for Millennials: What You Need to Know
New job, new perks.

Prepaid Debit Cards Are Popular but Still Have Downsides
Keep an eye on fees.

The Parents Guide to Insurance for College Students
Keeping them protected when they leave home.

How Your House Can Save Your Retirement
Using your house as a retirement fund.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

150309_BlogToday’s top story: Why Americans should care about Brexit. Also in the news: Other insurance benefits you can count on, why millions of Americans prefer their credit card statements on paper, and simple budgeting strategies that can bring real results.

3 Reasons Why Americans Should Care About ‘Brexit’
It’s not just Europe’s problem.

The Other ‘Insurance’ Benefits You Can Count On
Insurance outside the box.

Millions of Americans prefer their credit card statements on paper
Old habits die hard.

Five Simple Budgeting Strategies That Can Bring Real Results
Simple savings can bring in big bucks.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

mortgage2Today’s top story: Why debt-to-income ratio matter when buying a house. Also in the news: Crucial insurance changed to make after divorce, how to manage your finances when you’re separated, and a bill in congress that would remove credit report strikes after four years.

Debt-to-Income Ratio Matters When You’re Buying a House
How to improve your DTI.

5 Crucial Insurance Changes After Divorce
Things to address immediately.

Managing Your Finances When You’re Separated
You may be apart, but your money is still together.

This Bill in Congress Would Remove Credit Report Strikes After Four Years
Significant changes could be ahead.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

1594411528_1512b1aad5_zToday’s top story: Insurance changes to make when you retire. Also in the news: Deciding between whole life and term life insurance, protecting your credit card points, and the pros and cons of balance transfer credit cards.

5 Insurance Changes to Make When You Retire
It’s a whole new ballgame.

Should I Get Whole Life Insurance or Term Life? Financial Experts Weigh In
Deciding what works best for you.

Crooks Want Your Credit Card Points — Here’s What to Do
Protecting your points.

The Pros and (Mostly) Cons of Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Money saver or money pit?

6 Things Detroit’s Bankruptcy Can Teach You About Money
Tips from an unexpexted source.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

mortgage2Today’s top story: What to do when your employer is acquired. Also in the news: Tips for selling your home this summer, surprising things about cellphone insurance, and how to avoid retirement calculator mistakes.

5 Steps to Take When Your Employer Is Acquired
Tips for uneasy times.

Simple Tips to Sell Your Home for the Right Price This Summer
Summer could be the perfect time to sell.

4 surprising things about cellphone insurance
Reading the fine print.

Using These Retirement Calculators The Wrong Way Could Cost You Thousands
Complicated calculations.

Q&A: How much liability insurance do you need?

Dear Liz: In a previous answer to a question about liability insurance, you indicated that people should normally have enough insurance to cover their assets. Which assets should be included, as it is my understanding that some assets are exempt from creditors, such as 401(k)s and IRAs? Also, how are future earnings or future annuity payments for retirees taken into account when trying to determine how much liability insurance to carry? Should one essentially cover the present value of their future income for 10 years? Twenty years? Life?

Answer: As indicated in the previous column, there’s as much art as science in determining appropriate liability coverage. Liability insurance pays the tab when you face a lawsuit or similar claims. Some people sleep better at night with high policy limits, while others would rather deploy their money elsewhere.

Liability insurance is relatively inexpensive, so getting a lot of coverage typically won’t break the bank. But you also need to make sure you’re adequately covered for disability and long-term care, which you’re more likely to need than your liability insurance.

You’re correct that workplace retirement plans such as 401(k)s are protected from creditor claims. So are IRAs, up to $1 million. Each state has different rules about other property, but typically a certain amount of home equity is protected as well. In Texas and Florida, this so-called homestead exemption is virtually unlimited. In other states, the amount protected is relatively small. (In California, it can be as small as $25,575, according to legal self-help site Nolo.) Similarly, states are all over the map in how they treat annuities.

Social Security income, by contrast, is safe from creditors except Uncle Sam. The federal government can take a portion of your Social Security check if you’ve defaulted on federal student loans, for example.

Financial advisors typically focus on net worth, rather than incomes, when recommending appropriate levels of liability coverage. If you’re a high earner with few assets, though, you might want to take your future income stream into account. Exactly how much can be a discussion between you and your advisor or insurance agent.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

file_161555_0_tax refundToday’s top story: Using your tax refund to secure your future. Also in the news: Frequent overdrafters lose hundreds in fees, what to do before age 40 to retire comfortably, and how viewing your budget as a circle instead of a list can provide more flexibility.

5 Ways to Use Your Tax Refund to Secure Your Future
Protecting what you have, while still having a little fun.

Heaviest Overdrafters Pay a Week’s Wages in Fees, Study Finds
Creating a vicious circle.

10 Things to Do Before Age 40 to Retire Comfortably
Tick tock.

View Your Budget as a Circle Instead of a List to Be More Flexible
Giving yourself a little breathing room.