Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Crushing student loan debt prompts parents to consider postponing their retirement. Also in the news: Who should and shouldn’t consider using a personal loan to pay off holiday debt, the number one insurance claim filed by homeowners in the winter, and will employees be able to travel more this year?

Crushing student loan debt prompts parents to postpone their retirement
A federal program allows parents to borrow the full amount of a college education for their child, which could take decades to pay off.

Who should — and should not — consider using a personal loan to pay off holiday debt
How best to get a personal loan if it makes sense for you.

The number one insurance claims filed by homeowners in winter
If a winter weather disaster strikes would you know what to do?

Will you be able to travel more this year?
Working remotely from abroad is still a roll of the dice—should you do it, or just unplug?

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: More than half of travelers have the same New Year’s resolution. Also in the news: Saving on a new car from the factory, how to travel to Super Bowl LVI on a budget, and how to help your parents navigate health care in retirement.

More Than Half of Travelers Have the Same New Year’s Resolution
Remote work options will enable many people to travel in ways they couldn’t in the past.

Order a New Car From the Factory and Save
Waiting a few weeks or months gets you the vehicle you want, and perhaps a better price.

How to Travel to Super Bowl LVI on a Budget
If you splurged on tickets to the big game, here’s how to save on your flights and hotel.

How to Help Your Parents Navigate Health Care in Retirement
Try these tips to be the best advocate for your parents when and if they need your help.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to help your parents navigate health care in retirement. Also in the news: What to buy (and skip) in January, borrow a 2022 money goal from a finance nerd, and would you relocate for $10K?

How to Help Your Parents Navigate Health Care in Retirement
Try these tips to be the best advocate for your parents when and if they need your help.

What to Buy (and Skip) in January 2022
New tips for the new year.

Need a 2022 Money Goal? Borrow One From a Finance Nerd
Set yourself up for success by setting reasonable goals, breaking them down into smaller steps and being persistent.

Would You Relocate for $10K? Should You?
Before you pack your bags, read the fine print, talk to your employer and assess your own deal-breakers.

Why a 401(k)-to-IRA rollover could be a mistake

If you leave a job or retire, you’re often encouraged to roll over your 401(k) or other workplace retirement account into an individual retirement account. That might not be the right move.

In my latest for the Associated Press, why having more investment choices isn’t necessarily better.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: A year-end checklist to make the most of retirement age. Also in the news: How the government’s next step to fight inflation could impact savers, myths about iBuyers, and why you shouldn’t spend a dollar to save a nickel on gas.

A Year-End Checklist to Make the Most of Retirement Savings
Age brings unique opportunities and obligations, including some important year-end tasks that can help you make the most of your money.

Inflation Keeps Surging: Government’s Next Step Could Impact Savers
Fed officials project as many as three 0.25 percentage point interest rate hikes in 2022.

The Property Line: Don’t Be Misled by These Myths About iBuyers
They aren’t responsible for runaway house prices and can lessen some seller pain points. So why all the hate for iBuyers?

Don’t Spend a Dollar to Save a Nickel on Gas
It’s about the worst time possible to buy any car unless you absolutely have to.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The surprising change in airfares since last year. Also in the news: Smart Money Podcast on holiday shopping report and retirement plan options for self-employed people, and Fitbit Black Friday 2021 deals.

The Surprising Change in Airfares Since Last Year
Airfares dropped 4.6% in terms of unadjusted percent change between October 2020 and 2021.

Smart Money Podcast: Holiday Shopping Trends and Self-Employed Retirement Options
A discussion about NerdWallet’s holiday shopping report and money question on retirement plan options for self-employed people.

Fitbit Black Friday 2021 Deals: Are They Worth It?
Kohl’s will throw in Kohl’s Cash with Fitbit purchases.

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story:  3 Signs you’re ready to retire. Also in the news: 2022 Tax bracket, and buying budget tech.

Reluctant to Retire? 3 Signs You’re Ready
Some people do have a choice about when they retire, and yet they can’t quite bring themselves to quit working.

Your Tax Bracket Just Changed for 2022
Federal tax brackets will have the highest inflation-adjusted increase in years.

Stop Buying Cheap Tech
“It was such a great deal,” they said, tossing their new tech into the trash.

Reluctant to retire? 3 signs you’re ready

Many people don’t have much choice about when they retire. Illness, job loss or caretaking responsibilities push them out of the labor force, ready or not.

But some people have the opposite problem: They do have a choice, and yet they can’t quite bring themselves to quit working.

In my latest for the Associated Press, check three signs you may be ready to retire.

Q&A: Retiring early doesn’t mean losing affordable health insurance

Dear Liz: I am 55 and have health issues that I don’t talk about at work. I want to retire soon. I know that getting health insurance is going to be hard. I am just at a loss as to how I am going to keep working when I don’t feel well. What are my options?

Answer: In the past, getting health insurance could be difficult or prohibitively expensive if you had even relatively minor health conditions. That changed with the Affordable Care Act, which requires insurers to extend coverage without jacking up the premiums for preexisting conditions. In addition, most people qualify for tax subsidies that reduce the premiums, and those subsidies were expanded this spring when President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law. You can start your search for coverage at HealthCare.gov.

Before you quit, however, consider whether your employer could make accommodations that would allow you to continue working. Many people at 55 don’t have enough saved for a comfortable retirement that could last decades. Shifting to part-time work, if your employer allows it, could help you continue to save or at least reduce the amount you need to withdraw from your savings.

Q&A: Refinancing in your golden years

Dear Liz: I just wanted to comment on a recent question about refinancing a mortgage in retirement. The writer wrote: “… at 67 and 72 years old, it’s unlikely that both of us will survive for another 15 years to pay off this loan.” This seems an old way of thinking about age. The obituaries in my paper are full of people who have lived into their 90s and even past 100 years old!

Answer: Good point. People often misjudge life expectancies, which over time have lengthened considerably. At 67, a typical female could expect to live nearly 19 more years, according to Social Security’s life expectancy tables, while a male at 72 has a 13-year life expectancy. People with higher incomes, good health and good habits (nonsmokers, for example) could add many years to those estimates.