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The Savings Game

  • Work longer to see full benefits

    Work longer to see full benefits

    Men and women have a longer life expectancy than in previous generations, and many readers worry that their nest egg will not be sufficient to last the rest of their lives. It is not unusual to see people facing 25 or more years in retirement. That's a long time to be without steady income from...

  • Will canceling a credit card ding my credit score?

    Will canceling a credit card ding my credit score?

    In a recent column about simplifying your financial life, I recommended consolidating accounts and getting rid of ones that you don't use, especially when they have high fees. A couple of readers wrote to me with credit score questions:  "If you cancel a credit card doesn't it affect your credit...

  • How a reverse mortgage can benefit retirement

    How a reverse mortgage can benefit retirement

    Many books and articles have been written about reverse mortgages. Very few, however, are written from the perspective of overall retirement-income planning. Wade Pfau, PhD, CFA, a leading expert in retirement planning, has written a comprehensive book, "Reverse Mortgages: How to use Reverse Mortgages...

  • It's time to enroll in insurance at work; here's some help

    It's time to enroll in insurance at work; here's some help

    Fall is open enrollment season for many people who get health insurance through their jobs. For those who are using Obamacare, enrollment for 2017 starts Nov. 1. Aflac found in 2015 that people make two big mistakes when it's time to pick an insurance plan. First, they spend too little time doing...

  • The most common retirement planning mistakes, and how to avoid them

    The most common retirement planning mistakes, and how to avoid them

    The American Lawyer recently reported that attorneys at large firms make the same kind of retirement planning mistakes the rest of us do, according to the financial advisers who cater to them. That goes to show that even though the best practices of personal finance are well known and in many cases...

  • Better saving can be a matter of better habits

    Better saving can be a matter of better habits

    Good news! Americans’ financial security is at an all-time high. That’s according to a recent survey by financial website Bankrate, which found that one in five people have increased their retirement savings over the previous year, a new record. Contrary to the stereotypes, younger workers, including...

  • Millennials seem to be backing away from credit cards

    Millennials seem to be backing away from credit cards

    Young people are swearing off the plastic. Data from the Federal Reserve show that the percentage of Americans under 35 who hold credit card debt has fallen to its lowest level since 1989, when the Fed began collecting data in a standardized way, according to an analysis by The New York Times. ...

  • Best no-fee credit cards out there

    Best no-fee credit cards out there

    If you pay your monthly balances in full each month, there are many attractive credit cards available without annual fees. I use several of these, and I receive at least a 1 percent reward for every purchase. In addition to the rewards that many of these cards offer, users of these cards have the...

  • How to deal with court debt cases

    How to deal with court debt cases

    I have been a county mediator in Florida for about 15 years, and most of my cases are credit card cases. A significant percentage of these cases involve debt collectors. Mediators are not allowed to advise people being sued, so in many cases I can only watch as collections representatives intimidate...

  • Quick financial health check can get you on solid footing

    Quick financial health check can get you on solid footing

    According to a national poll released by Bankrate in June, only 28 percent of Americans have the recommended six months' worth of emergency savings in the bank. Meanwhile, the very same percentage of respondents has no savings at all. We'd all be better off with a little something in the bank,...

  • How to make sense of investment risk

    How to make sense of investment risk

    Understanding different types of investment risk is key to financial success. Most investors take risk as a given, but it's important to distinguish between various forms of business and market risk. Many retirees put all their assets in low-yielding investments they believe are "safe" -- which...

  • Protect yourself against scams

    Protect yourself against scams

    The Consumer Federation of America and the North America Consumer Protection Investigators issued a report this month detailing the leading complaints consumers registered with 33 agencies in 21 states. Prominent among them are fraud scams. Susan Grant, director of consumer protection and privacy...

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