Q&A: Mortgage payoff pros and cons

Dear Liz: Should we use a $350,000 inherited non-spousal Roth IRA to pay off our mortgage? We have $285,000 left on our mortgage and would like to retire within 10 years. This is our dream home, and we don’t think we can otherwise pay it off before retiring. We have $1.1 million in other retirement […]

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Q&A: Here’s a primer on all those estate planning documents

Dear Liz: Our dad’s kidneys are failing. Our mother passed away awhile ago, so it’s just me and my sister. He has a will, and my sister is on his bank account, but how do we handle the house transfer? Do we need a living will? We don’t want it to go into probate. We […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Would student loan refinancing pay off for you? Also in the news: How store credit cards can leave you unprotected, the newest workplace perk that looks a lot like a payday loan, and the best (and worst) tippers in America. Would Student Loan Refinancing Pay Off for You? The type of loan […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The 6 big retirement mistakes and one way to avoid them. Also in the news: Decode your credit card’s fine print like a pro, use caution when shopping with buy now/pay later, and avoid ATM fees by getting cash back at the store. The 6 Big Retirement Mistakes — and One Way […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to buy a house without help from your family. Also in the news: What Walmart’s upgraded cards have in store for shoppers, the cheapest ways to fly to Disney World using points and miles, and how to boost your savings post-Fed interest rates cuts. How to Buy a House Without Help […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How college students can make the most of their summer earnings. Also in the news: 7 tips for becoming an ethical shopper, how store credit cards can leave you unprotected, and when it’s ok to leave a bad tip. College Students, Make the Most of Your Summer Earnings Taking care of Present […]

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The 6 biggest retirement mistakes, and 1 defense

One of the biggest retirement mistakes you can make is not realizing what you don’t know. I regularly hear from people in or near retirement who misunderstand how Social Security works, dramatically underestimate life expectancies or fail to plan for big expenses, such as long-term care or taxes. These aren’t folks looking for advice. They’ve […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Car buyers could save thousands with just an hour of research. Also in the news: Home affordability is boxing out Americans who dream of relocating, the 15 best and worst US cities for young families, and why you should plan now to deal with holiday credit card debt. Car Buyers Could Save […]

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Q&A: Avoid this hidden risk to your retirement

Dear Liz: I have very low net worth and just inherited $500,000 from a cousin’s annuity. My net worth includes a $400,000 house with a $290,000 mortgage at 3.75%, IRA accounts of $65,000 and savings of $90,000. I also have a pension from which I receive $50,000 annually and from which our health insurance is […]

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Q&A: Avoiding Medicare sign-up penalties

Dear Liz: Someone recently asked you if signing up for Medicare is mandatory. Your answer implied no, one does not have to sign up at 65. However, it is my understanding that if a person does not enroll when first eligible, they will be hit with large penalties on their Medicare premiums if they sign […]

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