Do you qualify for free financial planning?

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on May 17, 2022

In a recent issue of InvestmentNews, there was an advertisement placed by the Foundation for Financial Planning (FFP). The ad was a solicitation for tax-deductible gifts and for financial planner volunteers. The ad also indicated that FFP has helped over 500,000 people in crisis who needed access to free financial planning. I wanted to find out more about this service because I believe... READ MORE

Funds reimburse COVID-related funerals

By Zeke Miller
Posted on May 13, 2022

The federal government has already provided more than $2 billion to help cover funeral costs for more than 300,000 families of people who died from COVID-19, the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced in March as it launched a new campaign to raise awareness about additional aid available to eligible families. The COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program provides up to $9,000 per... READ MORE

Why you should name a ‘trusted contact’

By Liz Weston
Posted on May 04, 2022

For the past few years, financial services companies have been bugging me to name a “trusted contact.” Banks, brokerages and insurers increasingly want to have someone to call or email in case they notice suspicious activity and can’t reach the account holder. I ignored these requests. Trusted contacts are a great idea for older people experiencing cognitive decline, I thought, but ... READ MORE

Considering a pet? Be aware of the costs

By Roxanne Alexander
Posted on April 27, 2022

Animals are just plain cute and can bring so much joy to your life. But like children, they are not cheap — especially if you care for your pet properly. Whether you choose to adopt a pet from an animal shelter or buy one from a store or breeder, there are several costs to consider over the life of your pet. The first one is the acquisition cost. You can adopt a dog for around $60... READ MORE

Con artists target people who owe taxes

By Rivan V. Stinson
Posted on April 25, 2022

With tax season under way, the IRS is once again warning taxpayers to be wary of “Offer in Compromise” scams. These promotions claim that they can help taxpayers pay back taxes for just “pennies on the dollar.” But victims often end up paying the promoters thousands of dollars in fees and still end up owing money to the IRS. While the IRS’s Offer in Compromise (OIC)... READ MORE

Retirement can entail mental health risks

By Liz Weston
Posted on April 22, 2022

Pamela Hixon of Leipsic, Ohio, was eager to retire from her job running a hospice agency. Soon after she quit, however, Hixon spiraled into depression and anxiety. “She lost purpose, she lost significance, she lost a sense of meaning in her life,” said her son Tony Hixon, an Ohio-based wealth manager who wrote about the experience in a book, Retirement Stepping Stones: Find Meaning,... READ MORE

Take a free course at Harvard from home

By Cal Sefer
Posted on April 20, 2022

The first time I heard about MOOCs, I thought it must be some kind of hybrid cow. The name caught my attention, so I did what I always do when I want to know about something: I Googled it. Turns out MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course. What’s that? Massive — thousands of students. Open — anyone can participate. Online — over the internet. Course — college... READ MORE

Some bond alternatives to consider now

By Patrick Mueller
Posted on April 07, 2022

Most people think bonds are safe, but in today’s volatile climate, they are not. In the not-too-distant past, bonds were portrayed as a safer investment than stocks. Investors looked to government bonds as the bedrock of a stable retirement income. But bond yields are extremely low these days, prompting some investors to seek alternatives. This has sparked renewed interest in... READ MORE

TIPS for investing in a time of inflation

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on April 07, 2022

Many investors are looking for conservative investments that will protect them against inflation. The recent fall in the stock market has many investors on edge, so they are looking for safe investments that will provide some protection of their asset base. There are a few investments that investors expect will provide them some protection, namely Series I savings bonds [see “A good... READ MORE

This book will help you meet your goals

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on March 30, 2022

If you are contemplating retirement, or are in the early stages of retirement, I highly recommend a new book published last month: Money Magic: An Economist’s Secret to More Money, Less Risk, and a Better Life by Laurence Kotlikoff. The author, a professor of economics at Boston University, has written 20 books and hundreds of articles in major publications, and this ranks as one of ... READ MORE