Personal Finance and Business

Under 26? Should you stay on your parent’s health insurance?

September 15, 2014

In their quest to land a job, any job, many young adults will sacrifice what used to be called “fringe benefits” to gain a foot in the door. But many entry-level jobs either offer no healthcare benefits, or the employee’s cost share is prohibitive for someone barely making minimum wage. Add to the equation that most twenty-somethings are in good health and rarely visit the doctor and it’s… [Read More]

Social Security to resume mailed benefit statements

September 8, 2014

Call it a paperless experiment that didn’t quite pan out. In 2011, a budget-strapped Social Security Administration (SSA) stopped mailing annual benefit statements to workers over 25 in order to save $70 million on annual printing and mailing costs. In return, the agency launched the “my Social Security” online tool that allows 24/7 access to… [Read More]

Here’s credit 101 for your college freshman

September 8, 2014

To parents with a freshman entering college this fall: You’re probably expecting to shell out major bucks for tuition, room and board and a million other necessities over the next few years. But before you send your kid off, make sure you share one gift likely to steer him or her along the road to… [Read More]

Read contracts carefully before signing

August 14, 2014

If you always stop to read the fine print before signing anything, congratulations – your parents trained you well. If you don’t, beware: Your signature could commit you to a long-term gym membership you don’t really want, an apartment you can’t afford or worst of all, paying off someone else’s loan you cosigned. Broadly defined,… [Read More]

Divorcing? Protect your finances, personal data

August 13, 2014

No doubt you’ve seen many warnings against sharing personal or financial information with strangers, but what about your spouse – or ex-spouse? A recent study by McAfee uncovered some unsettling results: Although 96 percent of adults surveyed trust their significant other with passwords, intimate photos and other personal content, only 32 percent have asked their… [Read More]

Don’t let back-to-school tasks sneak up on you

August 13, 2014

Parents, if this is your first time at the back-to-school rodeo, let me share a few lessons my wife and I have learned the hard way. Chances are you’ll be spending the next few weeks filling out piles of pre-enrollment paperwork, lining up carpools and, of course, taking the dreaded shopping excursions for clothes and… [Read More]

Spend your tax refund wisely

April 17, 2014

Last year the IRS doled out over 110 million income tax refunds averaging $2,803. Another way to look at it is that collectively, Americans overpaid their taxes by nearly $310 billion in 2012. Part of that is understandable: If you don’t have enough tax withheld throughout the year through payroll deductions or quarterly estimated tax… [Read More]

New study finds typical U.S. households of color have no retirement savings

January 22, 2014

U.S. retirement crisis most severe for Black, Latino households A new report calculates the severity of the U.S. retirement security racial divide. The analysis finds that every racial group faces significant risks, but people of color face particularly severe challenges in preparing for retirement. Americans of color are significantly less likely than whites to have… [Read More]

Don’t let cyber Grinches ruin your holidays

January 17, 2014

I’m usually in too much of a Thanksgiving food coma to hit the sales on Black Friday, but millions of other Americans somehow find the energy. Last year, 89 million people took advantage of Black Friday sales (57 million of them online), while an estimated 247 million shopped throughout the four-day weekend, as stores increasingly… [Read More]

Watch out for potholes in your car insurance

January 17, 2014

Would you be surprised to learn that if your laptop gets stolen during a car break-in, your automobile insurance probably won’t reimburse you for the loss? Don’t be. Many people have only a vague idea of things like: what their car insurance does and doesn’t cover; how they might accidentally void their coverage; or that… [Read More]