Despite concerns, bull market continues

By: Stan Choe

Wall Street is forecasting another year of gains for stocks in 2018, even as worries rise that the end may be nearing for one of the market’s greatest runs in history. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index has nearly quadrupled since the dark days of early 2009, and this bull run of eight-plus years is well into old-age status. Only the rally of 1990 to 2000 lasted longer. But... READ MORE

Refusing to pay hurts you more than them

By: Liz Weston

Oh, the injustice of it all. Who among us hasn’t felt abused as a consumer? We get billed for stuff we didn’t receive, or that doesn’t work, or that didn’t live up to its hype. Companies charge us unexpected fees and insist the costs were revealed in the fine print. Health insurers take customer disservice to a whole new, awful level, inexplicably refusing to pay for services... READ MORE

Reporting a tax-free transfer from your IRA to charity

By: Kimberly Lankford

Question: I have to take a $20,000 required minimum distribution from my Vanguard IRA this year. I’d like to give $5,000 tax-free to a charity and withdraw the remaining $15,000 for myself. A Vanguard rep said it would send me a check for $15,000 payable to me as well as a $5,000 check made payable to the charity that I could forward. The rep said that at the end of the year it would... READ MORE

How retirement savers can reduce RMDs

By: Brian Vnak

Required minimum distributions (RMDs) are the congressionally-mandated, annual taxable withdrawals from retirement accounts required of savers after they reach the age of 70½. The rules surrounding how and when to take RMDs are complicated and arcane, and taking them creates a ripple effect throughout your financial plan that could set you up for some unpleasant surprises. Those who... READ MORE

An alternative to Medicaid spend-down

By: Eleanor Laise

Picture this: Your spouse has made a permanent move to a nursing home. You don’t have long-term care insurance, Medicare won’t cover the cost, and you have too much money to qualify for Medicaid — but not nearly enough to afford the nursing-home bills. The monthly tab — easily $8,000 or more for a semi-private room — is rapidly depleting your nest egg. Now what? This is where a ... READ MORE

Banks inch up depositor interest rates

By: Ken Sweet

Slowly, but surely, being a saver is paying off again. For years after the recession, banks paid next to nothing on deposits — much to the detriment of savers everywhere. Now, banks have increased lending and need more deposits, so they’re willing to pay higher interest rates. The big publicly traded banks are paying roughly 0.40 percent on their deposits right now, which is up... READ MORE