Mixed news on retirement trust funds

By By Stephen Ohlemacher and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar
Posted on August 05, 2014

Medicare’s finances are looking brighter, the government said in late July. The program’s giant hospital trust fund won’t be exhausted until 2030 — four years later than last year’s estimate.Meanwhile, Social Security’s massive retirement program will remain solvent until 2034, officials say, although disability benefits are in more immediate danger.The... READ MORE

Some disability benefits are fast-tracked

By Judi Hasson
Posted on August 01, 2014

It used to be that some people with serious disabilities would die before the Social Security Administration finally got around to reviewing their applications for disability benefits. Today, applicants with one of 225 of the severest medical conditions can win approval within 15 days.The government’s “compassionate allowances” program provides fast-track review of... READ MORE

Leaving a valuable collection to your heirs

By Vickie Elmer
Posted on July 31, 2014

Do you collect vintage radios, 19th-century dolls or perhaps African sculptures? It may take some expert help to work out how to pass these on to your heirs. Parents’ collectibles can hold emotional meaning for adult children, and some collections carry financial value as well.Before you choose a beneficiary for your collection, sit down with your family and find out who, if anyone,... READ MORE

Catching up with Palm Springs Follies alums

By Jorie Parr
Posted on July 16, 2014

Lisette Haigler is still the Fabulous Palm Springs Follies uberfan. She almost sets a record for attending the gala production — close to 40 times.Rather an honorary Follies person, she counts many of the super-fit senior performers as dear friends. She and her husband, Boyd Haigler, often entertained the entire cast at their Palm Springs home. So it was inevitable they hosted the... READ MORE

Investors looking abroad for dividends

By Stan Choe
Posted on July 11, 2014

In the search for dividends, it can pay for investors to head abroad. Markets outside the United States have long been fertile ground for dividend hunters because their stronger cultures of paying dividends have resulted in higher yields. U.S. companies have boosted their own dividends, and paid a record amount last year. But many mutual-fund managers say the most attractive dividend... READ MORE

Do you cheat on your spouse (financially)?

By Anne Kates Smith
Posted on July 06, 2014

According to a recent survey, one-third of adults who combine finances with a partner or spouse have committed financial infidelity. Of those who said they had cheated, three in 10 hid cash, a purchase, a statement or bill, or even a bank account from their significant other. And 13 percent engaged in more-significant deceptions, such as lying about how much they earn or what they... READ MORE

How to get a sweeter deal on a used car

By Jessica Anderson
Posted on July 03, 2014

Used-car deals are getting better. Desirable trade-ins and vehicles at the end of their lease are streaming onto the used market, and that means more choices at lower prices.New-car leasing and finance deals create competition with used cars, too, and that also helps drive down used-car prices, according to Laurence Dixon, senior manager of market intelligence at www.NADAguides.com.Look to... READ MORE

Alternative accounts for retirement savings

By Sandra Block
Posted on June 18, 2014

Say you’re saving the maximum in your retirement accounts. For most employees, that means you can stash up to $17,500 in 2014 in your 401(k), 403(b), federal Thrift Savings Plan or 457 plan.You can also contribute up to $5,500 to a traditional or Roth IRA. And if you’re 50 or older, you can make “catch up” contributions of up to $5,500 to an employer retirement plan... READ MORE

Israeli stocks show nice growth potential

By Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus
Posted on June 13, 2014

With more start-up businesses per capita than anywhere in the world, Israel is brimming with tantalizing investment prospects. Moreover, many Israeli stocks trade in the U.S, making it simple for Americans to buy in.Granted, the risks are substantial. Not only do the country’s businesses grapple with a hostile geopolitical environment, but many are youthful enterprises that have yet... READ MORE

Frontier markets feature attractive stocks

By Stan Choe
Posted on June 11, 2014

Finding stocks that zig when others zag is a key goal for investors, and mutual fund managers say they’re finding candidates in places that may be unfamiliar. They’re delving deeper into less-developed economies, buying stock in Nigerian breweries, banks in Kazakhstan and cement companies in Colombia. Trading in such markets is more difficult, and the threat of big losses is higher.... READ MORE