All my exes and Social Security taxes: a quiz

The questions I get about Social Security have made it clear how incredibly complicated this benefits system can be. So here’s a little story to illustrate one important facet of Social Security: spousal benefits. Jack was a charming guy—maybe too charming. He enjoyed the ladies and the ladies enjoyed him, at least until they discovered […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Negotiating medical bills, why a financial power of attorney is a must, and the pros and cons of “pocket listings”. Is It Ever Too Late to Negotiate a Medical Bill? How soon do you need to question that eight dollar aspirin? Why You Need a Financial Power of Attorney Preparing for the unexpected is a […]

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Three ways to retire poor

I hear from a lot of people who think they’re doing the right things with their money—little realizing that they’re impoverishing their future selves. Three behaviors you’re most likely to regret later: Putting off saving for retirement. Some people spend every dime they make, while others delay saving while they pursue other goals that seem […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

How to avoid mistakes with your credit cards, plan a cheap summer vacation and get personal finance advice in the palm of your hand. Best Personal Finance Apps of 2013 How your smartphone can make your wallet smarter. Nine Stupid Things You’re Probably Doing With Your Credit Card Innocent mistakes can lead to serious problems. […]

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Is a Roth worth losing a tax deduction?

Dear Liz: Everyone talks about Roth IRAs and how beneficial they are. But I am self-employed, my husband contributes 16% toward his 401(k), our house is paid off, and we no longer have dependents to deduct on our 1040 tax return. My contribution to my traditional IRA is the only tax deduction we have left. […]

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Is moving in with Mom unfair?

Dear Liz: I just read your reply to the woman who was struggling to make ends meet with her part-time job. She was wondering whether she should sell her house and move in with her mother. I couldn’t get to my computer fast enough to ask you how on Earth you can recommend with a […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Why you’re never really alone while shopping at the mall, what debt you should focus on first after graduating, and how to protect your finances from natural disasters (sharknado!). Is Your Mall Spying on You? Your cellphone could be providing retailers with a wealth of information. How to Keep Telemarketers at Bay Putting a stop […]

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In case you missed it: credit score myths, zero waste and baby dilemmas

Too many people believe too many lies about credit scores, and it’s costing them money. Read the real scoop in my MSN Money column “Credit score myths that need to die.” Our family may never achieve “zero waste,” but we’ve started some easy ways to reduce the amount of garbage we generate. More in “Are […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

How to save big bucks when traveling, preparing for back to school shopping, and what mistakes to avoid when managing your 401(k). 5 Coolest Travel Share Websites Why pay for an overpriced hotel room when you can have the literal run of the house? 9 Money Management Tips for Newly Employed Millennials Finally making real […]

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Are you ready for a “zero waste” lifestyle?

Most of what we buy or consume requires trade-offs. When it comes to some of the most important features–convenience, thrift and environmental friendliness—we often settle for one or two out of three. A book and a few Web sites devoted to the “zero waste” movement have convinced me to try a little harder on the […]

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