It’s happened to all of us. We receive a text or email from a financial institution that we do business with asking us to click on a link. It all appears so realistic -- a logo you recognize, a request to take immediate action. And that’s how easily you can be scammed in what’s known..
Every year. seniors on Medicare are faced with the task of examining their Medicare coverage and making important decisions. Those who think that Medicare is a one-time enrollment, which then covers everything, are truly mistaken. In fact, Medicare decisions are complex, frequent, and far reaching. For starters, you need to know that Medicare is divided..
Few people want to be average. It may be a distinctly American character trait that we want to be outstanding, special, “above average.” Garrison Keillor made a fortune on this hypothesis, writing about the fictional Lake Wobegon, “where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.”..
Parents of high school and college students once again face the difficult task of filling out the FAFSA – the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The process starts on October 1st, and since the “early bird” gets first crack at some scholarship aid and state-specific financial assistance, there’s every incentive to get going right..
Mark Twain said it best over 150 years ago: “No man’s money is safe while Congress is in session!” Or something like that, reportedly. So, it’s not news that the legislature makes changes that impact ordinary people in unexpected ways. What’s relatively new is the acrimony that seems to prevent Congress from coming to compromises...
While everyone has been watching the stock market bounce around all-time highs, there’s another bull market that has also been in uncharted territory. And while stocks impact all those who have retirement accounts, it could easily be argued that the bull market in housing directly affects even more people, and in more tangible ways. If..
There was a time when the new calendar started after Labor Day — at least mentally. It meant the end of summer and the start of the school year. September meant the start, or re-start, of everything. It’s no wonder many people feel so unsettled these days. The social distancing during the pandemic has pushed..
Every month, the unemployment statistics are watched closely by the financial markets, the news media and the Federal Reserve. It’s the Fed’s mandate to keep inflation low and labor participation high. And recent statements from the Fed show they think the economy is moving in the right direction, absent potential setbacks from COVID-19 variants. The..
Our national debt is the sum of all the money we have borrowed over our country’s history. It is currently nearing $29 trillion. Sadly, we have grown accustomed to such huge numbers. Now they’re called “MEGO” numbers. That stands for “my eyes glaze over!” To put numbers into perspective, the national debt reached a record..
Parents of college students starting the fall semester have come to the moment of truth — the moment when it’s time to start paying out all that money they’ve been saving and borrowing. There are some rules involved in how you spend scholarship and grant money, as well as money you've saved in tax-advantaged accounts...
When it comes to figuring out the economy, let me borrow the famous line from Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times....” If you follow the economic headlines, trying to make money decisions that impact your life, it’s understandable that you might be confused. Economists are confused, too!..
The pandemic scrambled the personal finances of many people. But that’s not the only reason Americans are tangled in a web of financial insecurity. Tim Ranzetta, co-founder with Jessica Endlich, of Next Gen Personal Finance, is so convinced that the lack of education about money is a major cause of social disparity that he personally..
A sneaky market decline set the stage for a volatile week. But those looking behind the headline new highs posted in recent weeks aren’t surprised. I write this as the market has opened down 700+ points, and media are calling for an opinion, or perhaps reassurance! By the time you read this the market may..
Once upon a time – our parents’ time --Social Security was automatic: You reached age 65 and started collecting your monthly check. Today, dealing with Social Security involves making important decisions that will impact your income for the rest of your life. When to Take Social Security Benefits The most important choice you will make..
Are you one of the millions of Americans who have invested some of their 401(k) plan money in target date funds? If so, perhaps you should take a closer look at what is inside the fund. That’s the conclusion of Ron Surz, a pension consultant and long-time critic of these funds, because of the risks..
The IRS has been the busiest agency of government for the past 18 months. To say the agency is multi-tasking is an understatement. They’ve just about finished sending out refunds on 2019 tax refunds on returns filed last July. They sent out $600 stimulus payments in January, and $1400 stimulus payments are still going out..
Have you heard of Bitcoin? Probably, you’ve at least seen new headlines about the soaring price of this cryptocurrency. Don’t feel left out because you aren’t already on the crypto bandwagon. More than half of Americans who own cryptocurrencies have purchased them in the past year, according to a survey by The Motley Fool. And..
The extended period of mortgage forbearance is scheduled to end on June 30th. If you've been helped by this program, you should be preparing for what comes next. And you need to be proactive to make a plan with your servicing company -- and to avoid a financial crisis. A new mortgage finance rip-off is..
The issue of student loans is bubbling away on the back burners of Congress. Forbearance authorized by the Cares Act is scheduled to end on September 30th, at which point borrowers will have to start making regular payments again. Since the start of forbearance, nearly 42% of borrowers have not made any monthly payments. Many..
More money is on the way to millions of American families with children. Here is the basic information you should know about it. The Child Tax credit is not new this year. It was introduced in 1998 to give families with children a payment of $400 for each child. Over the years that number grew,..