Seniors angry over no Social Security raise

By: Stephen Ohlemacher

Another year without an increase in Social Security retirement and disability benefits is creating a political backlash that has President Barack Obama and Democrats pushing to give a $250 bonus to each of the program’s 58 million recipients.The Social Security Administration said inflation has been too low since the last increase in 2009 to warrant a raise for 2011. The Oct. 15... READ MORE

The best ways to invest in bonds today

By: Steven T. Goldberg

Long-term, high-quality bonds have had an incredible run.Over the past 10 years, while stocks were going nowhere, the Vanguard Long-Term Treasury Bond fund returned an annualized 8 percent. Over the past three years, the fund returned an annualized 11 percent.This year, through mid-October, the fund returned almost 20 percent. In fact, Treasuries have been on a tear since 1981 when yields... READ MORE

Free long-distance calls via the Internet

By: Kathy Kristof

The first time my daughter went overseas with her college classmates, I called our cell phone company to inquire about international connection plans. For just $6 a month, they told me, I could get “discounted” calls to wherever my daughter traveled.Some $200 in “discounted” calling charges later— which added up to less than two hours of phone time — I... READ MORE

It pays to shop around, even for funerals

By: David Pitt

Funeral arrangements are among the steepest expenses we’ll face, but many important decisions are made emotionally rather than with a close eye on costs.“It doesn’t matter how much you spend, it doesn’t make a person any less dead. It doesn’t mean you love them any more or less and it isn’t going to bring them back,” said Josh Slocum, executive... READ MORE

Strings attached to high-interest accounts

By: Candice Choi

With interest rates so stingy, making your money grow requires a little extra work.That’s why checking accounts that promise competitive interest rates are get ting so much attention lately. The rates dangled by some banks for these accounts are more than triple the current 0.67 per cent average rate on a one-year certificate of deposit, according to Bankrate.com.Yet high-interest... READ MORE

Time to buy: blue chip stocks are on sale

By: Beacon

The U.S. economy is a mess, and Europe and Japan aren’t doing any better. At first blush, shunning stocks altogether seems the wise course — even after September’s rally.But a funny thing has happened in the stock market.High-quality, large companies — blue chips — are trading at steep discounts to smaller, debt-laden stocks. Ditto for mutual funds that invest... READ MORE