Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 4 tax triggers new investors need to know about. Also in the news: A new episode of the SmartMoney podcast on identity theft and financial stability, how to compare Medicare Advantage plans, and how to save your finances by avoiding these common mistakes.

4 Tax Triggers New Investors Need to Know About
Advice from the tax pros.

Smart Money Podcast: Financial Stability and Identity Theft
Creating financial stability in an unstable world.

Medicare Advantage Plans: How to Compare
Medicare Advantage Plans are an alternative to Original Medicare, offered by private insurers. Here’s how to shop.

Save Your Finances by Avoiding These Common Mistakes
Some errors are more costly than others.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: New Medicare Advantage benefits may be hard to find and to qualify for. Also in the news: 4 questions to ask before refinancing your mortgage, why college aid requests have decreased, and what to do if you haven’t filed your taxes in years.

New Medicare Advantage Benefits May Be Hard to Find — and Qualify For
In 2019, expanded benefits for Medicare Advantage were enabled, but so far few providers offer them.

The Property Line: 4 Questions to Ask Before Refinancing
Would you benefit from refinancing? Answer these four questions to decide.

Why Are Fewer Students Seeking College Aid? They’re Not Going
Undergrad enrollment is down 4%.

What to Do If You Haven’t Filed Your Taxes in Years
You can’t dodge the IRS forever.

Are Medicare Advantage plans worth the risk?

About 1 in 3 people 65 and older in the U.S. enroll in Medicare Advantage, the private insurance alternative to traditional Medicare. It’s not hard to see why: Medicare Advantage plans often cover stuff that Medicare doesn’t, and most people don’t pay extra for it.

But Medicare Advantage can be more expensive if you get sick because copays and other costs can be higher, says Katy Votava, president of Goodcare.com, a health care consultant for financial advisors and consumers.

Unhappy customers who want to switch back to traditional Medicare may find they no longer qualify for the supplemental policies to help pay their medical bills, or that they would face prohibitively high premiums.

“These are complicated products,” says Votava, author of “Making the Most of Medicare.” “They’re like nothing else, no other insurance that people encounter anywhere until they get to Medicare.”

In my latest for the Associated Press, making sense of the Medicare alphabet soup.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

bills-smallToday’s top story: Why you should validate a debt before paying a collector. Also in the news: How to choose a Medicare Advantage plan, how and when to report tips for tax purposes, and how people survived their financial nightmares.

Validate Debt Before Paying a Collector, Avoid Costly Errors
Make sure the debt is legitimate.

How to Choose a Medicare Advantage Plan
Open enrollment continues through December 7th.

How and When to Report Tips for Tax Purposes
Deciphering the rules on tips.

Scary Money Moments: How 5 People Survived Their Financial Nightmares
Just in time for Halloween!