Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: TransferWise launches traveler and immigrant-friendly debit card. Also in the news: How to get free baby stuff, dodging dealership dread with online used car sellers, and how to protect your money in a divorce.

TransferWise Launches Traveler- and Immigrant-Friendly Debit Card
No foreign transaction fees.

How to Get Free Baby Stuff: Diapers, Clothes and More
Free stuff for the newbie.

Dodge Dealership Dread With Online Used Car Sellers
Buy a car right from your phone.

How to Protect Your Money in a Divorce
All about the prenup.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to share a deed without an ‘I Do.’ Also in the news: 15 financial tasks for those preparing for a baby, 5 myths about debt consolidation, and why you should always check your automatic bill payments.

How to Share a Deed Without an ‘I Do’
Protecting your individual investments.

Preparing for a baby? Make sure you tackle these 15 financial tasks
Things are about to change.

5 myths about debt consolidation
Separating fact from fiction.

Always Check Your Automatic Bill Payments
You could be missing increases.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 travel rewards myths that could cost you. Also in the news: 5 things to know about the Hilton Honors AmEx business card, what to know about SIMPLE IRAs, and how to manage household finances after your spouse dies.

5 Travel Rewards Myths That Could Cost You
How to make the most of your rewards.

5 Things to Know About the Hilton Honors AmEx Business Card
Solid benefits.

What Is a SIMPLE IRA and How Do I Open One?
The small company version of a 401(k).

How to Manage Household Finances After Your Spouse Dies
Navigating new financial waters.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Why you may overspend on the holidays and how to stop. Also in the news: One woman’s way out of debt, why a late credit card payment may cost more in 2019, and how to get on the same page with your partner about money.

Why You May Overspend on the Holidays and How to Stop
Curbing your holiday spending.

How I Ditched Debt: Thrifty Living and Side Gigs
One woman’s story.

A Late Credit Card Payment May Cost You More in 2019
Late fees are on the rise.

How to Get on the Same Page With Your Partner About Money
Financial compatibility is essential.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: One couple’s real estate journey to a home in Philadelphia. Also in the news: What rising DTI limits mean for your next mortgage, why the cashless trend doesn’t have all shoppers sold, and bad money habits you could be guilty of.

How I bought a home in Philadelphia
One couple’s real estate journey.

What Rising DTI Limits Mean for Your Next Mortgage
Know your debt-to-income ratio.

Why the Cashless Trend Doesn’t Have All Shoppers Sold
For some, cash is still king.

Are You Guilty of These Bad Money Habits?
Sound familiar?

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How women who retire with their husbands ofter lose out. Also in the news: Why the cashless trend doesn’t have all shoppers sold, what rising DTI limits mean for your next mortgage, and how to protect your frequent flyer miles from hackers.

How Women Who Retire With Their Husbands Often Lose Out
Losing years of income.

Why the Cashless Trend Doesn’t Have All Shoppers Sold
Cash still matters.

What Rising DTI Limits Mean for Your Next Mortgage
Your debt-to-income ratio is key to mortgage approval.

Protect Your Frequent Flyer Miles from Hackers
Miles have become a hot commodity.

How women who retire with their husbands often lose out

Women who retire when their husbands do may be giving up more wealth than they realize.

Married women overall are still in their peak earning years in their 50s and early 60s, while married men’s earnings are on the decline, says economist Nicole Maestas, an associate professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and the author of a recent study about couples’ income and retirement patterns.

As a result, married women typically sacrifice more Social Security wealth than married men when they retire early, says Maestas, who analyzed the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Survey of more than 20,000 people 50 and older.

In my latest for the Associated Press, why women should consider staying employed longer than their husbands.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Want to become a millionaire? These choices can get you there. Also in the news: Use points and miles on ordinary expenses, being partners in finances and life, and how to shore up your savings against inflation.

Want to Become a Millionaire? These Choices Can Get You There
The road to a million.

Go Ahead, Use Points and Miles on Ordinary Expenses
Leave some wiggle room in your budget.

Be Partners in Finances As Well As in Life
Understanding the big picture together.

Inflation Erodes Your Savings. Here’s How to Shore Them Up
Don’t be caught short.

Q&A: When the path to the altar is littered with old debts

Dear Liz: My fiancee has incurred a lot of medical debt during the course of our relationship. She works 13- to 14-hour days at two jobs so she can start saving for the wedding and our shared goals, which include buying her a car, sending me to grad school without incurring more student debt, creating a real emergency fund for us, and moving out of my apartment into a new one.

She thinks her credit is horrible (though she has never checked it) and she knows with the medical bills, it is getting worse. She doesn’t think she can move in because she can’t buy a car.

What should I do? Should I help her with her debt so we can actually plan for the wedding scheduled next July? Or should I let her deal with it herself?

My biggest concern in all of this is that I have significantly better finances. I worked hard in college and have a full-time job that pays a living wage. I’ve been in my own apartment for two years.

Sometimes I feel resentful of the fact that she cannot contribute to our household like I can, and I worry that I will have to shoulder our shared goals. I am particularly worried I will have to pay for the wedding, which I am finding more and more ridiculously expensive every day (we’re only spending $5,600), while not being able to save for grad school.

I really am not sure how to give up my frustration and face reality, and our reality is that medical debt is holding up our plans.

Answer: It’s understandable that you’re frustrated. But please don’t take it out on your fiancee, who sounds like a hard-working person who had the bad luck of getting sick.

Working 13-hour days isn’t sustainable, particularly for someone with health issues. She may already have more medical debt than she can reasonably repay, and continuing to struggle with these bills may make achieving other goals impossible.

Encourage her to make an appointment with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Bankruptcy may not be the right choice for her, but the attorney should be able to assess her situation and discuss her options.

Her debt may be manageable with some help from you. In that case, you two need to discuss how to handle this and your finances in general.

Don’t listen to people — or your own preconceptions — telling you there’s only one way couples should handle money. Some married couples keep their finances entirely separate. Some combine everything — all assets and income are joint, and so are all debts. Most take a middle path, combining some accounts and obligations while keeping others separate.

Finances can also evolve. You may be able to contribute more now, but your fiancee may become the primary breadwinner when you start graduate school. When that happens, would you expect her to help you pay the student loan debt you acquired before marriage, or will that be your obligation?

What’s most important is that you figure out how to work as a team, without resentment and unspoken expectations. It may help to schedule a visit with a fee-only financial planner to discuss your shared goals and how you’ll fund them. You can get referrals to fee-only advisors who charge by the hour at the Garrett Planning Network, www.garrettplanningnetwork.com, and to those who charge monthly fees at the XY Planning Network, www.xyplanningnetwork.com.