Bitcoin and blockchain. Why all the hype?

By: Bradford M. Pine

I can’t tell you the number of phone calls I’ve fielded about bitcoin in recent months. The shocking rise of cryptocurrencies last year triggered a wave of media attention on this new form of money as an investment. Even my kids have asked me about it, and are investing themselves. For early adopters of cryptocurrency, 2017 was a good year. Bitcoin started that year at about $1,000... READ MORE

How to negotiate a car if you hate haggling

By: Philip Reed

A short stint as a car salesman taught me that dealers are pros who negotiate all day for a living — and they always have the home field advantage. Later, while buying dozens of test vehicles for an automotive website, I was on the other side of negotiations, and experienced the tricks dealers use to pressure buyers. I’ve found that simple, non-confrontational negotiating tactics... READ MORE

Will doing your own estate plan cost heirs?

By: Liz Weston

Estate planning mistakes can be expensive to fix — that is, when they can be fixed at all. That’s the thought that haunts New York attorney Mari Galvin, whether she’s creating an estate plan for a client or confronting the aftermath when people didn’t properly plan. “People think, ‘Oh, I have a simple life,’ but you have to understand (that if) you make a mistake and you ... READ MORE

No pension? How to make your money last

By: Anya Kamenetz

Delay retirement until age 70. Invest in stocks, not bonds. And draw down your retirement account savings in line with IRS rules on required minimum distributions (RMDs), which start at 3.6 percent a year at age 70 1/2. That’s the safest recipe for retirement planning, according to a new analysis (“How to Pensionize any IRA or 401(k)”) from the Stanford Center on Longevity at... READ MORE

How to spot scams in the mail and online

By: Sean McDonnell

There is no shortage of ways for crooks to try to separate you from your money. All it takes is letting your guard down for one moment, or overlooking the warning signs of fraud, for scammers to steal your personal information. In 2016, thieves stole more than $16 billion from 15.4 million consumers, according to a report by Javelin Strategy & Research. Older adults are frequently... READ MORE

How to avoid huge, surprise medical bills

By: Tom Murphy

The winter’s nasty flu season may smack patients with a financial side effect: surprise medical bills. People who wind up in the emergency room or need an ambulance can be blindsided by hefty, unexpected charges. This often happens after patients visit a doctor or hospital outside their insurance network. Insurance deductibles that reset every January and must be paid before... READ MORE