This week’s money news

This week’s top story: Smart Money podcast on recession anxiety, and retirement savings vs. mortgage payoff. In other news:  5 tax tips for older adults, paying taxes for a bank bonus or interest, and how a tax extension can delay your business loan application.

Smart Money Podcast: Recession Anxiety, and Retirement Savings vs. Mortgage Payoff
This week’s episode starts with a discussion about recession-proofing your finances.

5 Tax Tips for Older Adults
From Medicare premiums to state tax breaks, here are some items to keep in mind during tax season.

Earned a Bank Bonus or Interest? Don’t Forget to Pay Taxes
If you’ve received an account bonus or you’ve earned interest on a bank account, Uncle Sam would like his cut.

How a Tax Extension Can Delay Your Business Loan Application
A tax extension can delay or disqualify your business loan application because lenders need your most recent business and personal financial information when underwriting a loan.

How to protect parents from financial scams

When a scam artist called Cameron Huddleston’s mom to tell her to wire money in order to claim a prize, Huddleston had to intercept the calls. Her mom, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, was convinced she had to wire the money as soon as possible.

“That was a wake-up call for me. If you have any cognitive decline, you don’t see those red flags anymore,” says Huddleston, who lives in Kentucky and is the director of education at Carefull, a service built to protect aging adults’ daily finances. She also wrote the book “Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk,” on how to have important conversations about money with your parents.

Scam artists often target older adults, partly because they have amassed greater wealth. In Kimberly Palmer’s latest for the Associated Press, learn how to protect parents from financial scams.

Will you face a tax bomb in retirement?

Good savers, beware. The money you’re stuffing into your 401(k) and other retirement accounts has to be withdrawn someday. If you’re not strategic about how you save, you could face unnecessarily high tax bills and inflated Medicare premiums in retirement — plus, you could be saddling your heirs with higher taxes.

The earlier you start defusing this potential tax bomb, the better. But even people in their 60s or early 70s may have opportunities to lessen the potential damage — as long as they act swiftly.

In my latest for the Associated Press, learn how to lessen the potential tax bomb in retirement.

This week’s money news

 This week’s top story: Smart Money podcast on spring-cleaning, and paying off different types of debt. In other news: What could happen if Congress doesn’t make changes to Social Security by 2035, mortgage could be harder to get in a credit-tightening era, and 4 tips for a meaningful and successful retirement.

Smart Money Podcast: Spring-Cleaning, and Paying Off Different Types of Debt
This week’s episode starts with tips for financial spring-cleaning.

Will Social Security Run Out?
If Congress doesn’t make changes to Social Security by 2035, benefits may be reduced. Here’s what could happen next.

Mortgages Could Be Harder to Get in a Credit-Tightening Era
Mortgage rates are likely to rise in April because of persistent inflation and stricter lending.

4 Tips for a Meaningful and Successful Retirement
From planning your days to preparing for your health, financial planners and other experts weigh in on how to make the most of your retirement.

How to use a tax refund to fight inflation

If inflation has eaten away at your budget the way waves erode a beach, then your tax refund might just provide a much-needed protective barrier.

As of March, prices are up 6% over the past 12 months, according to the most recent consumer price index. At the same time, just over half of filers (55%) are expecting tax refunds for the 2022 tax year, with an average expected refund of $2,205, according to the 2023 Nerdwallet Tax Report. Financial experts say consumers can use that windfall — which is really just a delayed paycheck that you already earned — to help offset the strain of those higher prices.

“Tax refunds are going to arrive at just the right time for many consumers this spring,” says Drew Wessell, a certified financial planner at Fiduciary Financial Advisors in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In Kimberly Palmer’s latest for the Associated Press, learn how to use a tax refund to fight inflation.

This week’s money news

This week’s top story: Smart Money podcast on banking stability, and traditional vs. online banks. In other news: how bank failures show us what not to do with our own finances, how doing the bare minimum with debt is costing you, and if being a landlord worth or not.

Smart Money Podcast: Is Banking Stable, and Traditional vs. Online Banks
This week’s episode starts with a recap of the banking crisis that started with Silicon Valley Bank.

Bank Failures Show Us What Not to Do With Our Own Finances
Money News & Moves: Remembering important money-managing lessons that some bank execs apparently forgot.

How Doing the Bare Minimum With Debt Is Costing You
Making set monthly payments is a start, but paying a bit more or seeking a lower interest rate will save you a lot.

Is Being a Landlord Worth It?
Renting out a property can be tempting, but it could be more trouble than it’s worth if you don’t have a safety net.

Should you rent in retirement?

Some people rent in retirement because they don’t have much choice; they can’t afford to own homes. But financial planners say renting can make more sense than owning in some circumstances, even for retirees who can afford the costs of homeownership.

Renting offers flexibility as well as freedom from all the chores and expenses of maintaining a home. Renting also may provide built-in communities for socializing, as well as accessible housing features such as one-floor living, which can help people age in place. People who are “house rich and cash poor” can sell their homes and use the equity to fund a more comfortable lifestyle.

In my latest for the Associated Press, learn how rent in retirement can be a smarter decision.

This week’s money news

This week’s top story: Smart Money podcast on CDs and managing a life-changing windfall. In other news: How to minimize the impact to your business from a bank failure, how Silicon Valley Bank failed, and the hurdles on the road to Medicare coverage of cannabis.

Smart Money Podcast: Are CDs Worth It, and Managing a Life-Changing Windfall
This week’s episode starts with a discussion about certificates of deposit, or CDs.

Spooked by Bank Failures? Minimize the Impact to Your Business
Keep an emergency fund at a separate business bank to help insulate your company from a bank failure.

How Silicon Valley Bank Failed (and Why That Probably Won’t Happen to Your Bank)
Silicon Valley Bank failed after a series of events that aren’t likely to happen at your bank.

When Will Medicare Cover Medical Marijuana?
From regulatory to more practical issues, here are the hurdles on the road to Medicare coverage of cannabis.

How to fight the ‘pink tax’ amid inflation

Trae Bodge, a shopping expert who lives in the New York City area, sees higher prices for products and services marketed to women everywhere: Socks, razors, shampoo and apparel are a few of the product types aimed at women that tend to cost more.

“I don’t know why brands think this is acceptable,” Bodge says. “It’s another punch to the gut as we’re trying to manage our budgets right now,” she adds, referring to rising prices across consumer goods categories due to inflation.

The phenomenon known as the “pink tax,” when products and services aimed at women cost more than their counterparts aimed at men, is well-documented across many goods and services. A 2021 paper co-authored by Stephanie Gonzalez Guittar, assistant professor in the sociology department at Rollins College in Florida, found that women pay more for deodorants and lotions, and that personal care products are increasingly differentiated by gender. For example, lotion for women cost an average of $2.97 per ounce compared to $1.86 for men.

While Equal Pay Day on March 14 focuses on the pay gap between men and women, it can also be a reminder to consider why being a woman so often comes with a higher price tag — and what to do about it. In Kimberly Palmer’s latest for the Associated Press, learn how to avoid paying the pink tax.

This week’s money news

This week’s top story: Smart Money podcast on how COVID-19 changed our finances — and our advice. In other news: Ride out fed rate hikes at a credit union, tax tips for crowdfunding, and credit or debit card for kids.

Smart Money Podcast: How COVID-19 Changed Our Finances — and Our Advice
This week’s episode features a roundtable discussion of Nerds reflecting on the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ride Out Fed Rate Hikes at a Credit Union
Credit unions return profits to their members through low fees, better rates on loans and higher rates on savings.

Are GoFundMe Donations Taxable? Tax Tips for Crowdfunding
If you set up a GoFundMe or another crowdfunded campaign in 2022, the money you earned could be considered a nontaxable gift — if you were mindful of the rules.

Credit or Debit Card For Kids: Which Is Best?
Choosing to give a child a credit or debit card depends on age, maturity and the goals for the child.