Retire with MONEY

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by Martha C. White When your credit is poor, it can be tempting to look for a quick fix. And if you pop on over to Google, you’ll find no shortage of services promising to goose your credit report, boost your score, and make you look like a better borrowing candidate (for a fee, of course). Experts beg to differ.
by Mallika Mitra JaVon Colbert hides his money from himself — in his car, in his room, in all his bags. Storing those dollars helps the 18-year-old feel safe from the financial struggles he experienced earlier in life. When Colbert was young, his mother went into debt after buying an apartment to rent out for some extra cash on top of her main job as a factory worker at Toyota. After a few years, though, the rentals at the apartment in Cincinnati, Ohio, dried up.
by Paul Reynolds It's corporate open enrollment season, time to look at your health and other insurance coverage. Life insurance benefits are often provided free to the employee, which makes them practically a no-lose perk — and one you may not even have to register to get. If there’s any downside to this coverage, experts say, it’s that they may make workers complacent about their long-term insurance needs, and so risk being underinsured. Here’s a plan to fight complacency.
by Aly J. Yale No homes for sale in your desired area? Then just pick out a property and call up the owner. You could also check obituaries, dive into local property records or head to social media for potential homes to buy. At least that’s what many real estate pros are doing. “Creativity is key in this type of market,” says Adrienne Allen, head of real estate at homebuying platform Homie.
by Martha C. White If you’re gearing up to borrow money for a car, home, or another big purchase, you already know how important it is to have a good credit score. What’s less clear, usually, is how to boost that score if you need money ASAP, and your current one leaves you with a less-than-ideal interest rate. It’s a tricky feat, to be sure. But it can be done. Your credit score has five components, and while all five are important, only one can be changed quickly.
by Julia Glum Amid the explosion of COVID-19 phishing emails, fake coronavirus “treatments” and pandemic unemployment scams, it’s easy to forget about the basic steps you should be taking to protect your identity online. Major data breaches are still happening.
by Mallika Mitra In 2020, the holiday season brings an extra year-end deadline to keep in mind: Dec. 31 is the last day to make penalty-free withdrawals from your 401(k) under the CARES Act. With the passage of the CARES Act in March, Americans affected by the pandemic were allowed to withdraw up to $100,000 from their retirement accounts without the 10% early-withdrawal penalty people under the age of 59½ usually face.
by Alina Dizik Maintaining a good credit score can feel like a game at times. The algorithms credit reporting agencies like Equifax use for assessing creditworthiness are confidential — making the consequences of missing a bill or taking on more debt hard to predict. Still, experts say, certain missed payments can do serious damage to your credit score, especially if you’ve got a healthy one.
by Aly J. Yale Saving enough for a down payment has long been a hurdle for hopeful homebuyers. Even at the low end — just 3% of a home’s sale price — buyers are looking at nearly $10,000 on a median-priced house. To put down 20% — and avoid the costs of private mortgage insurance — buyers would need $65,000.
by Kaitlin Mulhere The chances for major student loan relief likely shrank last week, even as the country elected a president who has promised to address the pervasive problem of debt. President-elect Joe Biden ran on a campaign loaded with education platforms, including ideas to reduce the burden of student loans on many of the country’s 45 million borrowers.
Now that the presidential race has been called for Joe Biden, Americans have more certainty about the next occupant of the White House. But what that means for pocketbook issues — like the stock market, health care and taxes — remains unclear. That's because control of Congress is still very much up in the air. Democrats went into the election hoping to hold the House of Representatives and wrest control of the Senate from Republicans.
by Ian Salisbury The stock market soared Monday after investors learned some good news about a potential COVID-19 vaccine. But some stocks are faring better than others. Traders, still digesting the results of the recent U.S. election, woke up to more big news Monday morning: Drug makers Pfizer and BioNTech said the COVID-19 vaccine they recently tested in more than 40,000 subjects had proved 90% effective.
by Chris Taylor If you had to name a handful of major events that reshaped the financial world over the past few decades, one of them would have to be the rise of index, or passive, investing. As opposed to active stock picking — or selecting individual companies you think are poised for growth — stock market index funds simply track the entire groups of securities. So if you buy shares in an S&P 500 index fund, for instance, you will own a tiny slice of all 500 companies on that list.
by Mallika Mitra Health care costs continue to rise, people are living longer and corporate pensions are an endangered species. What does this all mean for your money? For one thing, it’s more important than ever to save for retirement. That doesn't mean just by squirreling away money here and there, hoping that it will be enough by the time you’re ready to leave your job. To keep up with inflation, that money also needs to grow over time.
by Julia Glum After a rough spring and a touch-and-go summer, the U.S. economy is finally starting to improve. Even though the country is still in a pandemic-induced recession, experts are starting to predict what recovery might look like. They’re always throwing around letters to describe the trajectory: U-shaped, L-shaped, K-shaped. To the average listener, it probably sounds like alphabet soup.
by Elizabeth O'Brien Open enrollment began on Sunday for the 11.4 million Americans who have individual health insurance through or their state marketplace, and for new consumers who want to enroll in Obamacare for the first time. A cloud of uncertainty hangs over open enrollment this year. On Nov. 10, the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. A ruling is expected by June, 2021.
by Julia Glum Though the 2020 election results will undoubtedly change several aspects of Americans’ lives over the next four years, the pandemic has people asking one urgent money question: Will President Donald Trump or Joe Biden get us closer to a second stimulus check? More than six months have passed since the government first began issuing $1,200 economic impact payments to keep consumers financially afloat during the coronavirus outbreak.
by Kenadi Silcox When you ask Americans about the most important issues facing our country during an election cycle, you will almost certainly hear about “the economy.” In fact, a recent report from Pew Research found that about three-quarters of all registered voters said the economy was a “very important” issue for them.
by Mallika Mitra Many things are riding on the outcome of the Nov. 3 election. But your investment portfolio probably isn’t one of them. With issues from health care to tax policy up in the air — and uncertainty around when we’ll even know who the next president is, it’s understandable to be uneasy about what this all means for your money. Investors might be feeling particularly jittery after last Wednesday’s stock market route, when the Dow lost 3.
by Aly J. Yale Jeff and Jessica Falkowski’s homebuying journey should be a cautionary tale. The couple, along with their one-year-old son Jack, have been shopping for a home in Westchester, N.Y. since February. Though they’ve made offers on four homes, they’re yet to actually buy one. In two deals, they were outbid. The other two? They backed out after home inspectors found serious defects on the properties.
by Kristen Kuhcar More than $120 billion in federal aid is given out each year to help families pay for college. Your only shot at a piece of that pie is by filling out the FAFSA — the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Each October, the application opens up, and anxiety from college-bound students and their parents ensues. After all, the form has a reputation for being long, confusing and, frankly, disappointing.
by Mallika Mitra Broken as it is, unemployment insurance (UI) remains a vital lifeline for the jobless. But it takes a lot of work, ironically, to navigate the process. That’s especially true these days, when federal emergency benefits are running alongside traditional ones, broadening the scope of help, but sometimes complicating the process of getting it. Standard UI is a joint program between the federal government and states.
by Elizabeth O'Brien Protecting pre-existing conditions has become a popular campaign promise. President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, both say they support that goal, yet there’s a big gap between the two presidential candidates on the issue. And the outcome of the Nov. 3 election isn’t the only factor that could determine whether millions of Americans will be able to buy health insurance in the future, even if they have medical issues.
by Cheryl Winokur Munk The rich may have a lot of money. But that doesn’t necessarily make them great investors. At least not according to a recent working paper distributed by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The paper reports the results of two surveys with a total sample of 2,484 U.S. individuals with at least $1 million to invest — and some with much more.
by Mallika Mitra Millions of Americans have been laid off. People are struggling to make rent, pay bills and even buy food. But average credit scores are… up? The average FICO credit score hit a record high of 711 in July — up from 706 a year earlier — according to the score’s creator, Fair Isaac Corporation, The Wall Street Journal first reported.
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Podcast Details

Created by
Podcast Status
Nov 21st, 2018
Latest Episode
Nov 30th, 2020
Release Period
Avg. Episode Length
6 minutes

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