What are your employee benefits really worth?

Benefits make up more than 30% of the typical job’s compensation, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics . But figuring out what your benefits are worth isn’t always easy. You may need to do a little digging to find how much your employer contributes toward health insurance, retirement plans and other perks. Some […]

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This week’s money news

This week’s top story: Smart Money podcast on financial fears, and if you need life insurance or not. In other news: What makes a good store credit card, and how to avoid bad ones, tackling financial insecurity, and why stocks and bonds are both falling. Smart Money Podcast: Financial Fears, and Do You Need Life Insurance? […]

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Q&A: Filling a survivor benefit gap

Dear Liz: I am a 57-year-old widow. My children are 23, 22, 20 and 17. When my youngest graduates next June, I will lose the last of our Social Security survivor benefits. Our benefits used to be over $5,000 per month but her check is currently $2,084 per month. I am barely making it monthly now […]

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Q&A: Got an old credit card that you no longer use? What to do instead of canceling it

Dear Liz: I have been keeping a credit card that I no longer use because I’m afraid that canceling it may reduce my credit score. I have had the card since 1983, and it shows on my credit report as my longest credit relationship. I have other credit cards that I use regularly. I no longer […]

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Q&A: A spouse’s debt, your credit score

Dear Liz: My spouse and I have added each other as authorized users on our credit cards. My spouse has more debt than I do. Does this impact my credit scores? Answer: Possibly. Credit scoring formulas look at how much available credit is being used on each account. If your spouse has higher balances than you but also higher […]

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Q&A: Sorting out IRA taxes

Dear Liz: My traditional IRA contains both pre-tax and after-tax contributions. (Some years I was ineligible to deduct contributions because I was participating in an employer’s retirement program.) Now I am retired and am considering making Roth conversions from the traditional account. I admit I was a little careless about keeping track of the total after-tax […]

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Q&A: Here’s a tip to take advantage of rising interest rates

Dear Liz: Now that interest rates on savings accounts have started to rise, I have a quick tip for you to share: Check the rate you’re getting on your accounts! I discovered my online bank changed its account structure a few years back, and legacy high-yield savings accountholders aren’t getting the recent increases. I was earning […]

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How to spot a great 401(k)

Any 401(k) can help you save for retirement. A great 401(k) allows you to save a whole lot more. The difference between a mediocre plan and a great one could translate into tens of thousands of dollars in future retirement money. Plus, a 401(k)’s quality can show how serious a company is about attracting and […]

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This week’s money news

This week’s top story: Smart Money podcast on buy now, pay later loans and credit reports. In other news: What to do if your homebuying plan got scrapped this year, when the car market will return to normal, and 3 steps to lower the cost of your debt. Smart Money Podcast: Money Hot Takes, and Too […]

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