Don’t let Social Security steer you wrong

Few retirement decisions are as critical, or as easy to get wrong, as when and how to take your Social Security benefits. The rules can be so convoluted that many people rely on what they’re told by Social Security employees, but that could prove to be an expensive mistake. In my latest for the Associated […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 options for your money before student loan payments resume. Also in the news: Why the freelancing boom may change how you buy life insurance, 4 signs we’re in a housing market primed for regret, and how to invest in real estate with your IRA. 5 Options for Your Money Before Student […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Charged an overdraft fee? Ask for a refund. Also in the news: A new episode of the Smart Money podcast on DIY investing, beating your summer revenge shopping debt, and what every homeowner should know about trampolines. Charged an Overdraft Fee? Ask for a Refund It never hurts to ask. Smart Money […]

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Q&A: Credit reports vs. credit scores

Dear Liz: I recently downloaded both my wife’s and my own credit reports. I noticed that, for a number of reasons, her report has much less information than mine. The probability is that I will die before her, so my question is whether you can suggest any ways to be sure she has a good […]

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Q&A: Financial aid and 529 plans

Dear Liz: As a grandparent who has established 529 accounts for each of my grandchildren, I was particularly interested in your advice to the writer who asked you how to use money that’s left in the 529 account to pay off a loan debt. Although it seems that “the horse had already left the barn,” […]

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Q&A: Medicare is complicated. Here’s how it works

Dear Liz: My husband and I are in our 50s and have widowed moms in their 80s. We always understood that when you begin taking Medicare, you are required to choose a plan such as SCAN or Blue Shield and to follow that plan’s benefits and limits. However, my friend who works in a hospital […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to negotiate your way to a richer life. Also in the news: 4 signs we’re in a housing market primed for regret, Medicare and CPAP supplies, and could your health or life insurance rates increase if you’re not vaccinated? How to Negotiate Your Way to a Richer Life Learning best practices […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Need a passport for a trip? Give yourself a big time cushion. Also in the news: How to avoid getting sick on a plane, what to buy (and skip) in September, and how to minimize credit damage from medical bills. Need a Passport for a Trip? Give Yourself a Big Time Cushion […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 4 ways to manage retirement health care costs. Also in the news: 6 ways to budget using your bank account, how to save money with Amazon and Walmart prescription discounts, and how much money you need to live on your own, in each state. 4 Ways to Manage Retirement Health Care Costs […]

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How to negotiate your way to a richer life

Negotiating is an important personal finance skill that can help you earn more and pay less. Whether you’re discussing a job offer, dickering at a car dealership or just trying to work out a budget with your significant other, the ability to bargain effectively can have a huge impact. You don’t have to be a […]

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