We’re all vulnerable to financial scams

By Kimberly Palmer
Posted on September 22, 2023

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to protecting yourself from financial scams is thinking you’re too smart to be duped by one. “We can all fall for a scam, given the right set of circumstances,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center, a nonprofit organization that provides advice and assistance related to identity theft.... READ MORE

Don’t let credit scores retire when you do

By Liz Weston
Posted on September 21, 2023

Getting rid of debt before retirement is often a good idea. Getting rid of your credit scores? Not so much. People who stop using credit also stop generating enough data to produce credit scores, the three-digit numbers used to gauge creditworthiness. Not having scores can make it harder and more expensive to get loans. Even if you’re sure you’ll never borrow again, lacking credit ... READ MORE

Traditional IRAs are an IOU to the IRS

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on September 14, 2023

“IRAs are now an awful, terrible asset to use for wealth transfer and estate planning.” That was the message that IRA expert Ed Slott (IRAhelp.com) recently delivered at the Retirement Income Summit sponsored by InvestmentNews. He was referring to traditional IRAs. It’s true mostly because all withdrawals from traditional IRAs are subject to ordinary income tax. [Ed. You don’t ... READ MORE

Steps to take if hit with a big medical bill

By Tom Murphy
Posted on September 08, 2023

An enormous medical bill can trigger a wave of panic, but that startling invoice that arrived in the mail may not be what you wind up paying. Errors or slow insurance payments may have inflated the total. Even if it’s accurate, financial aid or other assistance can help. Sometimes a simple phone call clears up a problem. Other times, reinforcements are necessary. Debt experts say ... READ MORE

What’s concierge medicine? Is it worth it?

By Kate Ashford
Posted on August 31, 2023

My primary care doctor recently left her practice and invited me to join her at her new gig — a concierge medicine group. There, for a membership fee, I’d have better and more personal access to her services, including same-day appointments and long conversations. Concierge medicine — a model in which patients pay a membership fee for a more direct relationship with a primary care... READ MORE

Mailed checks are fueling fraud schemes

By Ken Sweet
Posted on August 29, 2023

Check fraud is back in a big way, fueled by a rise in organized crime that is forcing small businesses and individuals to take additional safety measures or to avoid sending checks through the mail altogether. Banks issued roughly 680,000 reports of check fraud to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, also known as FinCEN, last year. That’s up from 350,000 reports in... READ MORE

What meal kits offer and what they cost

By Patricia Mertz Esswein
Posted on August 18, 2023

No more figuring out what to do with a giant bunch of parsley or a tub of sour cream before it spoils. A meal kit — a box of chef-created recipes and premeasured ingredients delivered to your home — will help reduce food waste and spice up your cooking with a dollop of convenience on the side. We looked at three of the largest meal kit companies — HelloFresh, Sunbasket and Blue... READ MORE

Ask these questions of financial advisers

By Kate Ashford
Posted on August 16, 2023

Using a financial adviser for your investment needs is 100% on brand, but what about the other parts of your retirement life? For example, a third of people ages 64 and up have a financial adviser, but only 2% of them asked their adviser to help with their Medicare choices, according to a July 2022 report from healthcare consulting firm Sage Growth Partners. But Medicare and other... READ MORE

Lessons learned from a job search at 77

By Taya Jackson
Posted on August 08, 2023

I’m female, 77 years old and, so far, retired. For the past couple of years, my finances have been going backward, thanks to some expensive decisions, i.e., concierge medical services, along with the rising prices everyone is facing. Maybe it was the residual effect of the pandemic, but it was clear something had to change. I nagged myself daily that I needed more order in my life. I... READ MORE

To fix Social Security yet protect benefits

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on August 04, 2023

In the May 15 issue of Barron’s, Burton Malkiel, an expert in investments, wrote an article that should be mandatory reading for all members of Congress. Many readers of my column who are dependent on Social Security are concerned — and rightly so — that some Social Security benefits may be reduced in the future. There is no question that the trust funds for Social Security have ... READ MORE