Depending on where they lived, consumers had to shell out anywhere from $3 to $10 per freeze and then another fee to lift the freeze. “Paying a fee for freezes added insult to injury because the person doing it probably had been victimized,” said John Heath, directing attorney at Lexington Law in Salt Lake City.
You shouldn’t use your house to help pay your monthly bills, but nearly 1 in 6 American homeowners thinks that’s just fine. Those were the findings from a recent survey by Bankrate.com. Earlier this month, the personal finance website took an online poll of 719 homeowners, asking them about using their home equity — the
The new tax code makes a big change to the individual retirement account landscape, according to financial advisor Winnie Sun. People are no longer allowed to go back and recharacterize their individual retirement accounts — if, for example, they realize they paid more taxes than they needed to, she said. “This is critical, because if
Decades ago the problem for individual investors was getting enough information without buying costly subscription services. Thanks to the internet, investors now have access to free, real-time data at the click of a button. The challenge lies in selecting the right information for assessing a specific stock and evaluating it correctly. The process of selecting
It’s no wonder the reverse mortgage is one of the most misunderstood mortgage products around. That was fine when reverse mortgages were an exotic loan product that few people purchased. However, more than 1 million have been sold since the government program that insures them started in 1990. So, what is a reverse mortgage? A
Be sure to take into account the kinds of tax advantages you may get from investing. If you have a company retirement plan or an individual retirement account, you will get a tax break either when the money goes in or out, depending on what kind of account you own, Benz said. Traditional 401(k) plans
Interest rates have been marching steadily upward for months, and the Fed has indicated plans to raise interest rates twice more before year’s end in an effort to temper inflation amid a growing economy and sustained job growth. “There’s been a sea change in the markets,” said Matt Diczok, fixed-income strategist for Merrill Lynch and
You’re 66 years old and married; your spouse is 65. You have no children. You were the higher earner, and making a little more than $175,000 before retirement. Your spouse was making $20,000 before retirement. You assume you’ll both live until 100. To maximize your spousal benefits, the higher earner should claim it at 67.
The idea is not widely used by retirees. But it has caught the attention of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, which published a research paper on the strategy last year. That is because many individuals face low levels of income in retirement. The typical working household ages 55 to 64 with access
Central to Americans’ confidence in our government is their confidence in our tax-collection system. Unfortunately, the Internal Revenue Service has not always earned that trust, undermining this system of voluntary compliance and taxpayer engagement. Fortunately, this has been a bipartisan issue in the past, and we believe a bipartisan proposal exists to once again solve
“Anything that is international equities excludes the U.S.; therefore, it is much easier for those managers to outperform,” said Frank Talbot, Citywire’s head of investment research. “There’s a lot of good managers in international equities, where the outperformance is above 50 percent, meaning that more than half of the fund managers add value in those
Not everyone will wind up needing care in an assisted-living facility in old age, but everybody should plan for it, just in case. “When people hear the term ‘long-term care,’ they immediately think, Oh, my gosh, long-term care insurance. That’s for old people,” said certified financial planner Marguerita Cheng, CEO of Blue Ocean Global Wealth.
Determining the mix of investment types is one of your most important tasks as an investor. Every investment has different strengths that allow it to play a specific role in your overall strategy. For instance, some investments may provide regular income while others may serve as a temporary place to hold for cash. Some even
Start with the Securities and Exchange Commission and/or the state the fund is registered in, and check for all disclosures and any negative press that has occurred. Research the tenure of the portfolio manager(s), and research not only their SEC and/or state information but also any personal information that is unusual about the manager(s). Subscribe
The company you work for may let you purchase company stock at a discounted price. The formal name for this is an “employee stock purchase plan,” or ESPP. And if used correctly, these stock purchases can boost your bottom line, according to Sophia Bera, founder of Gen Y Planning. Here’s how it works. Your company
Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to spend money these days. Retailers offer us endless ways to automate our purchasing. They show us products we’ve looked at, and they offer one-click purchasing and send emails reminding us that we’ve left something behind in a cart. Fortunately, we can turn the tables. We can use that
2. What should I do with distributions? Generally, distributed money is subject to income taxes and a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty if you’re under 59½ years old (except in certain circumstances). If you want the money before you reach 59½, you’ll pay 20 percent to 40 percent in taxes and penalties. Federal rules require
All states have a framework that dictates how your cash and belongings ought to be distributed when you die. These are known as intestacy laws. Generally, under these laws your estate will pass to your closest living relative: your spouse, your kids, your parents and your siblings. These laws also state how assets are divided
You usually have the choice of receiving payments for the rest of your life (a single-life annuity) or selecting from a variety of survivor options (joint and survivor annuity) that allow for your beneficiary to continue receiving payments after your death. If you choose payments for your life only, your monthly income will be higher.
Meanwhile, an appeals court’s recent decision to vacate the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule leaves many investors at risk of losing chunks of their savings to hidden fees and conflicts of interest from unscrupulous brokers — the very same people who Americans trust to help them achieve their retirement goals. Investors, however, can take ownership
If you’ve managed to pull together a strategy for your personal finances, odds are it’s not the right one for you. That’s because many financial plans fail to consider the unique characteristics of an investor’s life, including his or her biases and the fluidity of investing goals, said Joe Duran, founder and CEO of United
Jack Guez | AFP | Getty Images Bitcoin is a borderless digital currency that eliminates the need for a bank. Therefore, understanding this concept hinges on conceiving financial transactions without banks. Perhaps less surprising is that predictions of bitcoin’s demise fail to account for technological factors. Bitcoin is, after all, technology, but you don’t have
Bezos found his enlightenment from the decision to leave Wall Street at the age of 30. “The wake-up call,” Bezos has been quoted as saying, “was finding this startling statistic that web usage in the spring of 1994 was growing at 2,300 percent a year.” “You know, things just don’t grow that fast,” he has
If you’re looking for a sector that’s poised to grow, think technology. Certified financial planner Ted Jenkin, CEO of oXYGen Financial, predicts there will be strong growth in this area in the next five to 10 years. And there are three areas within this sector that could see the biggest boost. 1. Artificial intelligence. The
People in this age group likely will have decades before needing to withdraw money from an investment portfolio, such as a 401(k) plan. Because this money won’t be needed for such a long time, I typically recommend at least 80 percent of an investment portfolio in stocks. By way of example, a 30-year-old who invests
Like many market analysts, Rusnak is troubled by the flattening yield curve. Markets could be in panic mode by late next year if the flattening yield curve turns into a full-on inversion, but it won’t turn into a massive sell-off, Erin Browne, head of asset allocation at UBS Asset Management, told CNBC. She believes the
For some, working in retirement, particularly work that centers around a person’s passion, can be fulfilling in a variety of ways. To that point, the “out to pasture” stereotype linked to retirement, particularly in the United States is now stale and untrue. As wealth managers for 22 years, we have watched many clients engage in
If you’re working with a financial advisor, you want to make sure you have “the talk.” And that conversation should be around exactly how you are paying them. “A great question to ask your financial advisor is, How are you compensated for us working together?” said certified financial planner Sophia Bera, founder of Gen Y
So how do you stop those money arguments at home? The dreaded spender/saver couple. It is important to try to understand your spouse’s “money personality,” as we all have a unique way we think about money — often shaped by how we were raised as a child. The most critical item for a couple where
A tariff is defined as a schedule of duties imposed by a government on imported or, in some countries, exported goods. In a world that is so interconnected, the impact of such duties is far-reaching. Most, if not all, industries worldwide affected by tariffs will be forced to rapidly increase automation. The impact goes both