Waiting to take Social Security has hidden benefits

Dear Liz: When I was 62, I started Social Security and I’m currently saving half of my monthly benefit after taxes (about $750). My decision to take my benefits early was influenced by a financial columnist who suggested that if I started at 62 and invested half or more of it until I reached full […]

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High, safe returns don’t exist

Dear Liz: I’m getting about $500,000 from the sale of my business this year and next year will be getting an additional $1 million. What’s the best way to invest the money so I can make $150,000 to $200,000 a year? I am 55 years old and will have no other income than what I […]

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Paper statements may not be necessary

Dear Liz: I’m wondering how long we really need to keep bank statements, since banks now offer paperless options. My son doesn’t even open the statements anymore; he just views his account information online. Answer: There’s nothing magical about paper bank statements. If your son doesn’t open them, he probably shouldn’t even get them. He […]

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Get 50% off some great money books!

FT Press is offering half off (and free shipping!) on a selection of finance and investing titles through May 16. In addition to two of mine, “Deal with Your Debt” and “Your Credit Score,” the titles include Gail MarksJarvis’ excellent “Saving for Retirement” and Lynn O’Shaughnessy’s “The College Solution,” a must-read for any parent who […]

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Experian to offer FICOs to consumers again

Experian stopped offering FICO scores to consumers a few years ago, even though it continued to sell the scores to lenders. This refusal made it tough for consumers to know what rates they should expect from mortgage lenders, which typically take the middle of your three FICO scores (one from each bureau). You could still […]

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How credit scores are like cats

When people complain that credit scoring formulas aren’t fair or consumer friendly, I think of my Great Auntie M. Great Auntie M. was a lovely older woman, and she was besotted with her cat. Great Auntie M. once told me that if she died first, she wanted the cat euthanized since he “couldn’t possibly live” […]

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Get your questions answered–live!

Please join me Thursday at 2 p.m. Eastern/11 a.m. Pacific for a live Twitter event to answer your questions about debt and money–plus a chance to win free or discounted books. I’ll be joined by some of my favorite bloggers:  J.D. Roth of Get Rich Slowly, Donna Freedman of Surviving and Thriving, Mary Hunt of Debt Proof Living, […]

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Is your dog blacklisted by insurers?

My column today, “10 dog breeds that rile insurers up,” discusses how your pet’s breed could cause some companies to deny coverage or charge you more. The breeds include various types of terriers commonly called “pit bulls,” as well as Dobermans, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Huskies, Cane Corso and Mastiffs. These so-called “breed lists” aren’t used […]

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Forgotten credit card trashes scores

Dear Liz: My husband and I are in the process of refinancing our mortgage. I just received my credit report in the mail, and my score was 724. The report indicated that a delinquency resulted in my less-than-stellar score. When I went to the credit bureau site to see where the problem was, I saw […]

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Are sons plotting–or genuine?

Dear Liz: I read your response with interest regarding the two sons in their 60s who were pressuring their parents into taking a reverse mortgage, according to a neighbor who wrote to you about the situation. You may be correct that the sons are trying to get an early inheritance, but you may also be […]

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