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The Savings Game

  • The problem with savings apps

    The problem with savings apps

    It's no exaggeration to say that America is in a savings crisis. Forty-one percent of American households would have trouble coming up with $2,000 for an unexpected expense. That's according to recent research from the Pew Charitable Trusts. It also shows that one in three American families reports...

  • ATM fees on the rise -- again

    ATM fees on the rise -- again

    ATM fees hit a record high in 2016. For the 12th consecutive year. A recent study found ATMs on average are now charging $2.90 each time someone who is not a customer withdraws money. Your own bank also likely will charge you a fee for using an out-of-network ATM. That average fee rose 1.8 percent...

  • Protect yourself against identity theft

    Protect yourself against identity theft

    Do you have an identity problem? Bankrate, the financial website, reports that 41 million U.S. adults have been the victims of identity theft and 49 million others know someone who has been targeted by a person pretending to be him or her. Discovering your credit card has been used without your...

  • Credit cards that can pay off for you

    Credit cards that can pay off for you

    Periodically, I identify credit cards with excellent rewards. Fortunately, there is a great deal of competition in the credit card market. As long as you pay your balance in full either at the end of each month, or at the end of special offers, you can receive substantial rewards. Here are a few...

  • Pitfalls for those seeking to restructure student debt

    Pitfalls for those seeking to restructure student debt

    People who hold student loans have more options than ever before to manage their payments without getting in over their heads financially. Today, anybody with a federally subsidized direct loan, which includes all federal student loans made since 2010, has the right to cap his or her monthly payments...

  • 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. ...

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