Tapping retirement accounts penalty-free

By: Elliot Raphaelson
Posted on: August 21, 2014

Workers are retiring earlier these days, whether by choice or not, and many find they need to withdraw funds from retirement accounts prior to age 59½. That’s the age when account holders can take distributions from 401(k) plans and traditional and Roth IRAs without a 10 percent penalty.Tax law makes early withdrawals difficult without penalty, but if you need to tap the... READ MORE

An ounce of prevention boosts travel safety

By: Ellen Gilbert
Posted on: August 13, 2014

Lucinda Alvarez stood last year in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, packed into the ever-present crowd and totally absorbed by Rembrandt’s “Flora.”  She was absorbed until someone bumped against her — just enough to raise her suspicions. Alarmed, the La Quinta resident stepped aside and checked her purse. No wonder it seemed lighter. Missing were... READ MORE

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