How your parents’ debt could outlive them

By Liz Weston
Posted on March 24, 2022

Many people believe one of two common myths when a parent dies in debt, said Chicago estate planning attorney Michael Whitty. The first myth is that an adult child will become liable for their parents’ debt. The second myth is that they can’t. Adult children typically don’t have to pay their parents’ bills, but there are exceptions. And even when a child doesn’t have to pay... READ MORE

How to write an obituary for a loved one

By Jim Miller
Posted on March 17, 2022

Dear Savvy Senior, Can you provide any tips on how to write an obituary? My dad, who has terminal cancer, has asked me to write his obituary, which will be published in the funeral program and run in our local newspaper. —Not a Writer Dear Not, I’m very sorry to hear about your dad’s prognosis. Writing your dad’s obituary now would be a nice way for you to honor him and sum ... READ MORE

Life insurance with long-term care rider

By Chris Harlow
Posted on March 15, 2022

Did you purchase a life insurance policy years ago to protect your loved ones? Just over half of adult Americans have a life insurance policy, and more say they’re interested in purchasing one. However, needs can change later in life when the kids are grown up and a retirement nest egg seems big enough to absorb financial shocks. Those nearing and in retirement may see less reason... READ MORE

Some can file their income taxes for free

By Sandra Block
Posted on March 03, 2022

Tax software can alert you to money-saving tax deductions and credits, help you avoid costly errors, and file your tax returns electronically, which will reduce the wait for your refund. But depending on the complexity of your return, tax software can cost you $100 or more. Before you shell out any money, though, find out whether you can file your federal tax return — and in some... READ MORE

Ways to benefit from rising interest rates

By Rivan V. Stinson
Posted on March 01, 2022

The economy is strong, unemployment is low and inflation is worrisome, hitting a 40-year high of 7.5% in January. So, the Federal Reserve has moved up plans to wind down its bond-buying stimulus program and start lifting short-term rates. Kiplinger forecasts four hikes in 2022, with the first one in March. Rate hikes are a blessing and a curse for consumers. You’ll pay higher interest... READ MORE

Guidebook for divorced women, widows

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on February 24, 2022

For decades, I have taught personal finance courses at several colleges, including for almost 20 years at the New School for Social Research in New York. Most of the students were women; many were single, and many were divorced or widowed. I learned as much from them as they learned from me. I gained a better understanding of why women, especially single women, continue to have many... READ MORE

Money mistakes could signal dementia

By Liz Weston
Posted on February 22, 2022

Some of the early signs of dementia are financial: forgetting to pay bills, for example, or having trouble calculating a tip. People who develop dementia also are more likely to miss credit card payments and have subprime credit scores years before they’re diagnosed, according to a study published last year in medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers linked health records... READ MORE

Things a will can’t or shouldn’t try to do

By Liz Weston
Posted on February 10, 2022

A will allows you to distribute your worldly goods, select a guardian for minor children and name an executor to carry out your wishes. But you should be aware of what a will can’t or shouldn’t do. This is particularly true if you’re drafting your own document without an attorney’s help, since you could unknowingly make a mistake that upends your whole estate plan. What a will... READ MORE

A good time for inflation-protected bonds

By Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on February 09, 2022

If you had a significant proportion of your portfolio in diversified index funds or exchange-traded funds in 2021, you should have had a good return on your investments. It is also likely that the return on the bond portion of your portfolio was not very good because of the low interest rates on most bond investments. So, if you are considering rebalancing, which I recommend at least... READ MORE

Should you use a credit or debit card?

By Emma Patch
Posted on February 04, 2022

In the debate over credit cards versus debit cards, proponents of both sides have good reasons for embracing one method and rejecting the other. The case for credit The greatest advantage a credit card offers is security. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA), if someone uses your card number fraudulently to go on a spending spree, federal law limits your liability to $50. And many... READ MORE