Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

how_to_build_an_emergency_fundToday’s top story: How two extra years in college could cost you close to $300,000. Also in the news: How a financial advisor can help with life insurance, tips for paying off student loans if you didn’t finish college, and why 66 million Americans don’t have an emergency fund.

2 Extra Years in College Could Cost You Nearly $300,000
An incentive to graduate on time.

How a Financial Advisor Can Guide Clients’ Life Insurance Decisions
Seeing the bigger picture.

Tips for Paying Off Your Student Loans if You Didn’t Finish College
Strategic repayment could save you money.

66 Million Americans Have No Emergency Savings
A recipe for disaster.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

bankruptcy_formToday’s top story: How to find a bankruptcy attorney. Also in the news: What consumers need to know about annuities, signs you need a new financial advisor, and what millennials should know about life insurance.

How to Find a Bankruptcy Attorney
Making the right selection.

What Consumers Need to Know About Annuities
Combining life insurance with investment.

7 Signs You Need a New Financial Advisor
When it’s time to go in another direction.

The First 4 Things Millennials Should Know About Life Insurance
Thinking long term.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Financial-PlanningToday’s top story: How life insurance companies learn all of your secrets. Also in the news: How to avoid overwhelming student loan debt, questions parents should answer before paying for a wedding, and financial tips to ease the transition from military to civilian life.

How Life Insurance Companies Learn Your Best-Kept Secrets
It’s all in the data.

8 College Planning Tips to Avoid Overwhelming Student Loan Debt
Starting off on the right foot.

Paying for a Wedding: 5 Questions Parents Should Answer Now
Forget about any fancy purchases for a while.

8 Financial Tips To Ease The Transition From Military To Civilian Life
Coping with big changes.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Image9Today’s top story: The best way to invest $5,000. Also in the news: How a credit card helps with building credit, the life-and-death financial decision you don’t want to think about, and apps to help lazy people save money.

The Best Ways to Invest $5,000
Putting your money to work.

Building Credit? How a Credit Card ‘Gets You There Faster’
One way to build credit.

The Life-and-Death Financial Decision You Don’t Want to Think About
Life insurance is essential.

These Apps Are the Perfect Money Saving Tool For Lazy People
No more excuses.

Q&A: The pros and cons of converting life insurance to an annuity

Dear Liz: I have a life insurance policy that is worth $16,000 if I cash out. Our agent says if we convert this to an annuity, we would eliminate our monthly fee of $25. The policy is worth $35,000 if I should die with it still in effect. We purchased this only for the purpose to have me buried. Is converting this to an annuity a better option?

Answer: Possibly, but you’ll want to shop around to find the best one rather than just accepting whatever rate your current insurer offers. You can compare offers at www.immediateannuities.com.

Converting to an annuity through what’s known as a 1035 exchange means you’re giving up the death benefit offered by your current policy for a stream of payments that typically last the rest of your life. You don’t pay taxes on this conversion, but taxes will be due on a portion of each withdrawal to reflect your gains.

If you cash out, you’ll get money faster — in a lump sum — but will owe taxes on any gains above what you’ve paid in premiums.

The face value of your policy is far beyond the median cost of a funeral and burial, which the National Funeral Directors Assn. said was $7,181. Before you dispose of the policy, though, you should make sure your survivors will have other resources to pay that cost and that they won’t otherwise need the money.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

imagesToday’s top story: How life insurance can affect your estate taxes. Also in the news: Money tips for new workers, 401(k) tips for when you quit your job, and important money lessons for kids under 5.

How Life Insurance Can Affect Estate Taxes
Life insurance comes into play if you have a sizeable estate.

4 Money Tips for New Workers
Using your paycheck strategically.

Roll over or not? Smart 401(k) moves when you quit your job
Don’t lose out on your contributions.

3 Important Money Lessons Kids Under 5 Should Know
It’s never too early to start.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

61Io5+dfZZL._SL1500_Today’s top story: How to tackle private student loans. Also in the news: Re-evaluating your life insurance needs, a potentially embarrassing new way to pay with a credit card, and ten retirement saving strategies you should know about.

3 Ways to Tackle Private Student Loans
A whole different set of rules.

Re-Evaluating Your Life Insurance Needs
Determining how much insurance you need at different stages of your life.

MasterCard Wants You To Pay For Stuff With Selfies
What could possibly go wrong?

10 Retirement Saving Strategies You Should Know About
How to grow your savings faster.

In debt and need cash? Payday loans are not your only option. RSVP for the NerdWallet & NAACP webinar on March 1 at 5pm to learn about alternatives.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

iStock_000015900242LargeToday’s top story: The most embarrassing money topics. Also in the news: How to make a life insurance claim, seven signs you have bad credit, and the insurance questions you should ask when buying a car.

Top 10 Most Embarrassing Money Topics
What makes you cringe?

How to Make a Life Insurance Claim
Be proactive.

7 Signs You Have Bad Credit
Looking for red flags.

The Insurance Questions to Ask When You Buy a Car
Questions to consider.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

hidden-fees1Today’s top story: The scary things hiding in your credit card statement. Also in the news: Life insurance terms everyone should know, strategies for avoiding ATM fees, and what everyone agrees on about money.

4 Scary Things That May Be Hiding in Your Credit Card Statements
Reading the fine print.

11 Essential Life Insurance Terms Everyone Should Know
Learning the basics.

3 Strategies to Avoid Soaring ATM Fees
Don’t pay more for your money.

The Only Things Everyone Agrees On About Money
There are a few.

Don’t Let These 10 Hidden Fees Catch You by Surprise
Be prepared.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

smartphones_financeToday’s top story: How to get the best deal on a new cellphone. Also in the news: What happens to your debts after you die, when a loan beats a credit card, and how to decide if you need life insurance.

Buying a cellphone? Here’s how to get the best deal.
Read the fine print.

This Is What Happens to Your Debts After You Die
What debts will your estate be responsible for?

5 Times a Loan Beats a Credit Card
Credit cards may be easier, but they’re not always smarter.

Do You Need Life Insurance? How Much Is Enough?
Important calculations.