Q&A: How a card switch affects your credit score

Dear Liz: I have one American Express card and two Visa cards, all of which I have held for many years. I received notice that my American Express card was being converted to a Visa card. I do not want a third Visa card but have no choice. For credit score purposes, will this conversion […]

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Q&A: Social Security and the tax torpedo

Dear Liz: People are typically advised to wait as long as possible (full retirement age or later) to take Social Security to maximize the benefit. If a couple has low expenses and substantial pensions, wouldn’t it make sense to take Social Security earlier, to preserve retirement funds to pass on to their heirs? Social Security […]

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Q&A: Long-term-care insurance

Dear Liz: I’d appreciate your thoughts about long-term-care insurance programs. Ours has just announced a 52% rate increase with a possible 25% increase next year. Although I realize that none of us can predict the future, are there any guidelines you can suggest for deciding whether, for example, an 80-year-old in good health needs the […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How video games can level up kids’ money skills. Also in the news: How Twitter became the unlikely hero in a rental car fiasco, what to buy (and skip) in September, and 5 steps to turn your side gig into a full-fledged business. How Video Games Can Level Up Kids’ Money Skills […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Where to turn when a natural disaster upends your finances. Also in the news: 5 ways women can combat investing disadvantages, Ask a Travel Nerd on when to book holiday travel, and why your rent is often more than a mortgage payment. Where to Turn When a Natural Disaster Upends Your Finances […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to get free money for college and help to find it. Also in the news: 4 alternatives to big banks, workplace scams to watch out for, and unexpected things you could buy with crypto. You Can Get Free Money for College — and Help Finding It The FAFSA qualifies you for […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Pandemic puts personal finance on high school agenda. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on Delta spending habits and marriage vs. mortgage, 4 new rules for entrepreneurs in 2021, and the mortgage outlook for September. Pandemic Puts Personal Finance on High School Agenda “Educators say there’s […]

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Q&A: Retiring early doesn’t mean losing affordable health insurance

Dear Liz: I am 55 and have health issues that I don’t talk about at work. I want to retire soon. I know that getting health insurance is going to be hard. I am just at a loss as to how I am going to keep working when I don’t feel well. What are my […]

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Q&A: Refinance or use IRA funds on mortgage?

Dear Liz: I owe $360,000 on my mortgage. I have sufficient funds in my IRA to pay this amount off without depleting income distribution for the next 20 years. I am currently paying $1,100 monthly on an interest-only loan, but I have to start making much larger principal payments in November 2022. Would you advise […]

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Q&A: Pensions and Social Security benefits

Dear Liz: My situation is similar to the former teacher who wrote about a pension impacting Social Security benefits. I started Social Security at 62. My wife’s government pension is from a job that didn’t pay into Social Security. I’ll receive her pension if she should die before I do. If this occurs, how will […]

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