Things you need to know about insurance

By Sarah Schlichter
Posted on May 25, 2021

Insurance is notoriously complicated, and few people have the time or desire to pore over their policies. But some basic knowledge can go a long way. And that’s where an insurance agent can help, by clearing up some of the most common misconceptions they encounter. Here are five things agents say are helpful for customers to know: Insurance doesn’t cover everything When it comes to ... READ MORE

How to protect your portfolio from yourself

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on May 24, 2021

Seeking Alpha (, a well-respected publisher of finance-related content, recently published an enlightening article titled “4 Simple Rules To Protect Your Portfolio From Yourself.” It’s a long article, full of sound advice based on historical analysis and advice from many stock market experts, such as Ray Dalio, Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger, among others. I ... READ MORE

Why worry about loss of ‘basis step-u­­p’?

By Liz Weston
Posted on May 21, 2021

Death and taxes may be the only certainties in life, but death taxes are only a remote possibility for most people. The vast majority of Americans won’t ever have or give away enough to owe estate or gift taxes. But far more people could be affected if a tax break that benefits heirs is eliminated. While campaigning for president, Joe Biden proposed doing away with something called the ... READ MORE

Answers to readers’ financial questions

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on May 19, 2021

Q: I have a long-term care health policy with Genworth. I understand that these policies may be taken over by a Chinese company. Should I continue to pay the premiums, or should I cancel this policy and obtain a new policy from another company? A: You should not cancel your policy. If you do try to obtain a new long-term care policy, you may not be approved if your health condition has... READ MORE

Afraid to retire, even though you can?

By Kara Duckworth
Posted on May 13, 2021

I am seeing an interesting pattern in discussions with my clients about retirement — and it’s certainly not one I was expecting. Instead of worrying about whether they’ll have enough saved to enjoy retirement, they’re worrying about whether they’ll enjoy retirement at all. Discussions about retirement start almost as soon as people get their first jobs. Whether it’s saving as ... READ MORE

Get and check free weekly credit reports

By Lisa Gerstner
Posted on May 06, 2021

The three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — will continue to offer a free credit report to consumers each week at until April 20, 2022. The extension follows the bureaus’ move in spring 2020 to provide free weekly reports as the coronavirus pandemic struck the U.S., causing financial hardship for Americans who lost their job or... READ MORE

IRS ignores those filing paper tax returns

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on May 04, 2021

I have been filing my federal tax returns on paper for more than 50 years. It was never any trouble at all. After all, I had been an enrolled agent for several years. But that all changed after I filed my 2019 return. I filed it in April 2020. The IRS still has not processed it. When I go to the IRS website and use the “Where’s my refund?” option, the IRS doesn’t even indicate ... READ MORE

Will you run out of money in retirement?

By Andrew Kobylski and Caroline Whittaker Huggins
Posted on April 30, 2021

You just left a meeting with your financial adviser, and your nest egg is looking bulletproof, with a projected worth of over $1 million at age 95. But wait a second: Are you sure about that? If your financial projections look too good to be true, they might well be, for a variety of reasons. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, the stock market crumbled, and many people saw their... READ MORE

Reap cash rewards by referring friends

By Lisa Gerstner
Posted on April 29, 2021

Do you like your credit card or bank account enough to recommend it to a friend or family member? If so, you may be able to scoop up extra cash, rewards points or frequent-flier miles by making a referral — and your friend may get a bonus, too. Several major card issuers provide referral bonuses to eligible cardholders. Chase, for example, offers $100 cash back for each friend who... READ MORE

Is your credit report wrong? What to do

By Bev O’Shea
Posted on April 22, 2021

Consumers filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in record numbers in 2020, according to a report released last month by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group. Credit reporting issues were cited in 282,000, or 63%, of the complaints. The majority noted “incorrect information” on credit reports or “information... READ MORE