Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Suddenly retired? What to do next. Also in the news: 9 low-cost ways to make virtual learning easier for kids, the safety of air travel right now, and how to get a stimulus check if you’re a low-income earner.

9 Low-Cost Ways to Make Virtual Learning Easier for Kids
A few relatively inexpensive items, such as blue-light glasses and kid-size headphones, can help your child focus during remote learning.

Suddenly Retired? Here’s What to Do Next
If you retire earlier than planned, you may need to cut expenses, find health insurance and talk to an advisor.

How Safe Is Air Travel Right Now?
Some preliminary data suggest COVID-19 is rarely spread in an airplane cabin.

You Can Still Get a Stimulus Check If You’re a Low-Income Earner
The deadline has been extended.

Playing the market is a bad idea, especially now

The current day trading boom will end as these frenzies always do: in tears. While we wait for the inevitable crash, let’s review not only why day traders are doomed but also why most people shouldn’t trade, or even invest in, individual stocks.

Day trading basically means rapidly buying and selling investments, hoping to profit from small price fluctuations. Brokerages have reported a surge in trading and new accounts this year, starting with March’s stock market crash when investors rushed in looking for bargains. As pandemic lockdowns kept people from their jobs and classrooms, trading continued to soar, especially among young adults. In my latest for the Associated Press, why playing the market, especially now, is a bad idea.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Surprising things renters insurance covers — and leaves out. Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney podcast tackles sudden retirement and finding lost money, using a crisis to help build helpful money habits, and why Powerball and Mega Millions aren’t reaching giant jackpots anymore.

Surprising Things Renters Insurance Covers — And Leaves Out
You may think buying renters insurance means you’re covered for just about any disaster, but that’s not the case.

Smart Money Podcast: Sudden Retirement and Finding Lost Money
What to do when you’re forced to retire sooner than you expected.

You Can Use a Crisis to Build Helpful Money Habits
Making the best of a bad situation.

Here’s why Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots aren’t reaching giant amounts anymore
It’s not just the pandemic.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 3 strategies on how to invest in CDs. Also in the news: Using a crisis to build helpful money habits, ten theme parks celebrating Halloween, and how to sell your car safely.

How to Invest in CDs: 3 Strategies
CD ladders and CD barbells aim for higher rates over time; CD bullets focus on a future purchase.

You Can Use a Crisis to Build Helpful Money Habits
Hone your budget skills.

Is Halloween Canceled This Year? Not at These 10 Theme Parks
Disney World and other theme parks are still having spooky celebrations with some COVID-19 safety modifications.

How to Sell Your Car Safely
Protect yourself from scammers.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: New Medicare Advantage benefits may be hard to find and to qualify for. Also in the news: 4 questions to ask before refinancing your mortgage, why college aid requests have decreased, and what to do if you haven’t filed your taxes in years.

New Medicare Advantage Benefits May Be Hard to Find — and Qualify For
In 2019, expanded benefits for Medicare Advantage were enabled, but so far few providers offer them.

The Property Line: 4 Questions to Ask Before Refinancing
Would you benefit from refinancing? Answer these four questions to decide.

Why Are Fewer Students Seeking College Aid? They’re Not Going
Undergrad enrollment is down 4%.

What to Do If You Haven’t Filed Your Taxes in Years
You can’t dodge the IRS forever.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to handle college loan debt as an unemployed recent grad. Also in the news: Why you should sell your leased car instead of returning it, remote work visa opportunities, and why you should never pay an upfront fee for student loan debt relief.

How to Handle College Loan Debt as an Unemployed Recent Grad
Unemployed recent grads with student debt can apply for income-driven repayment or unemployment deferment.

Don’t Return Your Leased Car — Sell It
Rising used car values offer a chance to get out of a lease you can’t afford or even sell and pocket some cash.

Remote Work Visa Opportunities (and How to Get There on Points)
Looking to work remotely from somewhere new? These countries have developed special visas just for remote workers.

You Should Never Pay an Upfront Fee for Student Loan Debt Relief
Scams are rampant.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to create financial stability in shaky times. Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on picking the best investing platform and reducing taxes, the Points Nerd on how travel could change after the pandemic, and good money habits that can hurt your credit.

How to Create Financial Stability in Shaky Times
It’s not just about cash flow.

Smart Money Podcast: Reducing Taxes, and Picking the Best Investing Platform
Finding the best platform to suit your needs.

Ask a Points Nerd: How Could Travel Change After the Pandemic?
Here are some predictions for travel trends that could become permanent post-pandemic.

Good Money Habits That Can Hurt Your Credit
Sometimes having a balance is a good thing.

Suddenly retired? Here’s what to do next

The pandemic seems to be driving a surge of early retirements as businesses close or downsize and older people weigh the health risks of continuing to work.

The share of unemployed people not looking for work who called themselves “retired” increased to 60% in April from 53% in January, according to a study by three economists. The study was done in the early days of the pandemic, well before tens of thousands of businesses nationwide closed permanently and others began offering early retirement packages to trim their workforces.

In my latest for the Associated Press, how to avoid making hasty decisions that could cause you to run out of money.

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to choose a Medicare prescription drug plan in 5 steps. Also in the news: Should you go back to school like many grads are, it’s time to audit your autopay subscriptions, and 1 in 5 Americans could be out of money by Election Day.

How to Choose a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan in 5 Steps
It’s important to remember that the drugs covered and the costs you pay under Plan D can change year to year.

More Grads Are Going Back to School: Should You?
Consider the options, price and return on investment before returning to graduate school.

It’s Time to Audit Your Autopay Subscriptions
Stop paying for services you don’t use.

1 in 5 Americans could be out of money by Election Day
More than 20% of Americans have less than three weeks of financial runaway