The best used cars, from Edmunds.com

If you’re in the market to replace a vehicle, check out Edmunds.com’s list of 2012 Used Car Best Bets, which include: Compact Sedan: 2005-2010 Hyundai Elantra Midsize Sedan: 2005-2010 Nissan Altima Large Sedan: 2006-2010 Hyundai Azera Coupe: 2005-2010 BMW 3 Series Convertible: 2005-2010 Mazda Miata Wagon: 2005-2010 Pontiac Vibe Compact SUV/Crossover: 2005-2010 Honda CR-V Midsize […]

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Don’t put college savings into custodial accounts

Dear Liz: I opened Uniform Transfers to Minors Act savings accounts for my two boys (now 7 and 10) when they were newborns. I chose not to go with the 529 college savings accounts because I didn’t like the restriction that the money had to be used for education. It has always been my intention […]

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“Authorized user” info may not be enough

Dear Liz: You recently answered a question about a young man who was turned down for a car loan because he graduated from college debt free and had no credit history. This is the same scenario my daughter encountered this past year. Despite having a solid job for three years at a good salary, plenty […]

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How to get free summer travel

My daughter hasn’t seen her cousins in the Northwest for awhile, so I just finished booking us a late-summer trip to see them. The net cost so far? Less than $30. Here’s how I did it: Amtrak roomette. We both love train travel, and the points I earn using my Starwood American Express card transfer […]

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How young ‘uns can build credit scores

Dear Liz: Our son was recently turned down for a car loan even though my wife and I were willing to co-sign and we have excellent credit scores. The reason for the denial was “no credit history.” Because we had paid some college expenses and he had basketball athletic scholarships, our son graduated from college […]

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How spousal benefits work

Dear Liz: My wife has never worked outside the home and therefore has no Social Security credits. My understanding is that as a nonworking spouse, she is entitled to 50% of my benefit, assuming she is 66 years old and I have started receiving benefits. Is that correct? Answer: You’ve got the right general idea. […]

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How to make headway on student loans

Dear Liz:I owe $75,000 in student loans. It took me seven years to graduate from college due to a car accident that happened during my second year. I am now 30 and doing all I can, working 12 to 14 hours a day, but I’m not making any headway. Most if not all of my […]

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Daily money managers can help pay the bills

Dear Liz: I read with interest your answers about older people who need a trusted gatekeeper to keep others from taking financial advantage. I want to let you know there’s great help out there for seniors: the American Assn. of Daily Money Managers. We daily money managers provide assistance to people who have difficulty managing […]

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Helping an indigent parent navigate “the system”

Dear Liz: Our mother just turned 64, and our father is divorcing her. She hasn’t worked in years because of significant physical and mental health issues. My sister and I have been trying to figure out how she’s going to survive on $750 a month, which is the equivalent of half his Social Security. She […]

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Don’t count on plastic to cover big expenses

Dear Liz: I’m 27 and have no consumer debt, a decent salary and a boatload of student loans. I use my credit cards for most of my expenses to earn rewards points and generally pay off my cards each month. I also take advantage of the 0% introductory rate offered by many credit card companies. […]

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