How to qualify for elder care tax breaks

By: Kimberly Lankford

Q: My mother, who’s in the early stages of dementia, has moved in with me. She will attend an adult day care program while I’m at work. Can I deduct any of the expense of her care?A: You may be able to claim a dependent-care tax credit or set aside pretax dollars in a flexible spending account to pay for her care, as long as the expenses are necessary so that you (and your... READ MORE

Utilities funds deliver in declining market

By: Mark Jewell

But will they continue to grow in 2012?There’s plenty to like about utilities companies. Investors looking for stability will find their stock returns aren’t as choppy as the broader market, and they’re a source of reliable dividend income.Those traits are an outgrowth of the typically stable demand for electricity and natural gas. Homeowners and businesses keep the lights ... READ MORE

Scams target used car shoppers online

By: Eileen AJ Connolly

It’s another case of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”The FBI is warning online auto shoppers to watch out for deals that offer cars at very low prices, then direct unwitting buyers to phony websites designed to separate victims from their money. The agency says more than $44.5 million was stolen through such scams from 2008 to 2010.The agency said there... READ MORE

Cut cable connection to watch TV for less

By: Lisa Gerstner

Thanks to new offerings via the Internet, viewers are increasingly catching their favorite shows free or for a fraction of what their cable company charges. And going online to view TV shows doesn’t mean you’re stuck watching programs on your computer or tablet screen. The Apple TV box ($99), for example, streams iTunes, Netflix, YouTube and some sports programming to your TV. Or you ... READ MORE

Income for life with longevity insurance

By: Dave Carpenter

Odds are growing that you’ll live past 85. But will your money last that long? And what if you make it to 95 or 100?With life spans lengthening, those nearing retirement may want to consider financial protection to guard against the possibility of outliving their money.It’s now increasingly available in the form of longevity insurance, which usually involves giving a sum of... READ MORE

A good time to invest in discount stores

By: Mark Jewell

The economic news is gloomy, and the stock market is a roller coaster.So where are mutual fund managers finding real values, aside from bargain-hunting among stocks with depressed prices?Top fund manager Chuck Akre sees lasting value in the stocks of three discount retailers, each with a gain of more than 20 percent this year. They’re among the top holdings in the Akre Focus Fund.The... READ MORE