Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What really happens when you try to win money to pay down student loans. Also in the news: How to sidestep the potential pitfalls of travel credit cards, new Barclays feature gives you more spending control, and how to pay the exact amount of taxes you owe in advance.

What Really Happens When You Try to Win Money to Pay Down Student Loans
Behind the scenes.

How to Sidestep the Potential Pitfalls of Travel Credit Cards
Free travel can be costly.

New Barclays Feature Takes Card Locking One Step Further
More ways to control your spending.

How to Pay the Exact Amount of Taxes You Owe in Advance
Using the IRS Withholding Calculator.




Thursday’s need-to-know money news


Today’s top story: How being late on your taxes could ground your vacation plans. Also in the news: 5 ways to maximize ‘shoulder season’ travel, what it’s like to win money to pay down student loans, and why you shouldn’t use your debit card on anything you can’t afford to lose.

Late on Your Taxes? Your Vacation Plans May Get Grounded
Your passport could be in jeopardy.

5 Ways to Maximize ‘Shoulder Season’ Travel
Off-peak travel offers bargains.

What it’s really like to win money to pay down student loans
Pressing your luck.

Don’t Pay Debit on Anything You Can’t Afford to Lose
Learning from WOW Airlines.




Your 401(k) just got more valuable

If your tax refund this year was disappointing, you may be able to do something about it: Contribute more to a retirement fund.

Tax-deductible contributions to 401(k)s, IRAs and other retirement accounts are among the few remaining ways to reduce taxable income if you don’t itemize deductions. And few of us do these days: Only about 1 in 10 taxpayers is expected to itemize now that Congress has nearly doubled the standard deduction, tax experts say. That’s down from about 1 in 3 before the law changed.

As a result, many of the traditional tips and tricks for reducing tax bills either no longer work or are of limited help.  In my latest for the Associated Press, how to use your 401(k) to reduce your taxable income.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news


Today’s top story: Why you should love robo-advisors. Also in the news: 7 ways to trim your tax bill in retirement, how Roth IRA taxes work, and how to save money for the future when it’s uncertain.

Why You Should Love Robo-Advisors
Keeping costs low and advice honest.

Taxes in Retirement: 7 Ways to Trim Your Bill
Ideas that can reduce financial stress in retirement.

How Roth IRA Taxes Work
A good investment at tax time.

How to save for the future when it’s uncertain
Preparing for a variety of outcomes.





Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 3 things that will change when you’re a homeowner. Also in the news: 3 times you can pay taxes with plastic and come out ahead, eight ways you can save money right now, and what happens if you default on a loan.

3 Things That Change When You’re a Homeowner
All you’ll think about is money.

3 Times You Can Pay Taxes With Plastic and Come Out Ahead
Build up your rewards.

Eight Ways You Can Save Money Right Now
Automate your savings.

What Happens if You Default on a Loan?
Don’t take it lightly.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 3 reasons to choose a college based on price. Also in the news: 3 times you can pay taxes with plastic and come out ahead, 7 tax changes investors should watch for when they file, and why you should check your hospital bill against your explanation of benefits.

3 Reasons to Choose a College Based on Price
Avoiding high debt.

3 Times You Can Pay Taxes With Plastic and Come Out Ahead
Building card perks.

7 Tax Changes Investors Should Watch For As They File
Investors face several new changes.

Check Your Hospital Bill Against Your Explanation of Benefits
Billing mistakes are rampant.

Q&A: Heirs need a pro to sort our tax issues

Dear Liz: I know that when a person dies, their beneficiaries typically will inherit a home or other real estate at the current market value with no taxes owed on the appreciation that happened during the person’s lifetime. Does that hold true for stocks as well?

Answer: Usually, yes, but there are some exceptions.

If the stock is held inside a retirement account such as a 401(k) or IRA, and that retirement account is bequeathed to heirs, withdrawals will be subject to income tax. The same is true for investments held within variable annuities.

Inheritors also may owe capital gains taxes on a stock’s appreciation if the stock is held in certain trusts, such as a generation-skipping trust.

And even when no taxes are owed on the gain that happened during someone’s lifetime, there may be taxes due on the gain that happens after someone inherits the stock or other property, said Los Angeles estate planning attorney Burton Mitchell.

If you’re expecting an inheritance, you’d be smart to consult a tax pro so you understand the tax bill that may be attached.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What homeowners must remember at tax time this year. Also in the news: A GOP proposal to take student loan payments straight from your paycheck, why you might not have to pay that medical bill, and the biggest financial mistake women make.

Here’s What Homeowners Must Remember at Tax Time This Year
Learning the new tax rules.

A GOP proposal could snatch your student loan payment right from your paycheck
This could get ugly.

You Might Not Have to Pay That Medical Bill
Get ready to spend some time on the phone.

The biggest financial mistake women make? Not investing enough.
Deepening the wage gap.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The biggest financial mistake women make. Also in the news: How to find the dirt on your tax preparer, nine states where you can file your taxes after April 15th, and experts reveal who is likely to get a lower refund this tax season.

The Biggest Financial Mistake Women Make
Navigating the wage gap.

How to Find the Dirt on Your Tax Preparer
Be careful who you trust.

You Can File Taxes After April 15 in These Nine States
Is yours one of them?

Here’s who is more likely to get a lower refund this tax season, according to experts
Don’t be caught by surprise.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 6 things your side gig will probably do to your taxes. Also in the news: How banking apps can motivate you to save, contributing to your IRA by April 15th could lower your 2018 tax bill, and social media is making Valentine’s Day super expensive for millennials.

6 Things That Side Gig Will Probably Do to Your Taxes

How Banking Apps Can Motivate You to Save

Contributing to Your IRA by April 15 Could Lower Your 2018 Tax Bill

Social media is making Valentine’s Day super expensive for millennials