Life insurance and retirement planning

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on July 26, 2022

There are many reasons why families entering retirement should re-evaluate their life insurance needs. First and foremost, retirees are generally living longer, especially women, so it is important that retirement plans consider the fact that one or both spouses may live into their 90s. Inflation has not been a major retirement-planning factor for some time — until recently. This... READ MORE

Indeed, you can haggle for almost anything

By Katherine Reynolds Lewis
Posted on July 21, 2022

Haggling over prices isn’t just for people buying cars or houses. Think bigger. You can negotiate for just about any product or service: cable and cellphone bills, credit card interest rates, even your rent. You just need to borrow these tried-and-true methods of savvy negotiators. Talk less, listen more. Ask open-ended questions rather than ones that might yield an abrupt yes or no... READ MORE

Your old cellphone may not work in 2022

By Jim Miller
Posted on July 11, 2022

Dear Savvy Senior, My 80-year-old father has an old flip phone he carries around with him for emergency purposes, but I’ve heard that these devices will soon be phased out. Is this true? If so, how can we know if his phone will be affected, and where can I find him a simple new one that he can operate? —Searching Daughter Dear Searching, Yes, it’s true! If your dad’s... READ MORE

How to protect your portfolio this year

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on July 06, 2022

I have received many questions about investment strategies for the rest of 2022. It’s no secret that the values of many equities, as well as bonds, have fallen significantly since the beginning of the year. Investors want to know if they should be selling some of their equity and bond holdings — or should they be investing more because there is a high probability that equity prices... READ MORE

Free answers to your pension questions

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on June 30, 2022

I have written often about retirement benefits in general, and about pension plans and retirement plans in particular. A very helpful resource to me in writing these columns has been the Pension Rights Center, a national consumer organization that works to protect the retirement income security of workers, retirees and their families. The Pension Rights Center also provides services,... READ MORE

Down market suggests Roth conversion

By Andrew Rosen
Posted on June 24, 2022

While a down market may not be a fun time for investors, there are some bright spots and opportunities to be had. Stock market drops like we’ve seen recently might make a Roth IRA conversion more appealing as a strategy for investors. Should you consider converting a traditional IRA to a Roth during a down market? There are a few things to consider. What is a Roth conversion? When... READ MORE

To fight inflation, reduce food expenses

By Kimberly Palmer
Posted on June 21, 2022

Like many shoppers, I’ve noticed my grocery bill getting bigger each week: Last month, food prices were almost 8% higher than they were a year ago, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. (I had also been turning to shortcuts like prepackaged snacks and meal kits, which further added to our total bill.) To counteract these pressures, I applied all ... READ MORE

Apps address end-of-life planning issues

By Liz Weston
Posted on June 17, 2022

Before the pandemic, entrepreneurs Liz Eddy and Alyssa Ruderman had trouble getting venture capitalists to invest in their end-of-life planning app, called Lantern. Potential business partners were skeptical as well. “We would hear, ‘Oh, this is really a niche issue,’ which I think is pretty hilarious,” Eddy said. “Death is quite literally the only thing on the planet that... READ MORE

Guaranteeing income in uncertain times

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on June 14, 2022

I have discussed single-premium immediate annuities, or SPIAs, in previous columns. They have features that are very important because of the uncertainty in the stock and bond markets, and because some politicians would like to reduce future Social Security benefits. When stock markets were bullish for several years, some investors expected equity prices to always go up. Because of the... READ MORE

How are gas prices set?

By Jim Patterson
Posted on June 03, 2022

As gasoline prices keep climbing, many frustrated drivers might be asking, “Who controls gas prices?” The short answer is: No one person, company or government can really be said to set gas prices. But it is possible to break down some of the major factors that go into determining the cost of a gallon of gas. Let’s take a look. Crude oil The Department of Energy has a handy... READ MORE