Personal Finance Articles

  1. Financial Changes When You Marry

    Before you tie the knot, here are some steps to take so the legal underpinnings of your marriage will be as solid as your love.
  2. Is Annuitization Your Best Strategy?

    Annuitization has traditionally offered annuity owners a stream of income they cannot outlive, but there are some disadvantages to this form of payout. Consider alternatives, such as income-benefit riders, before making your decision.
  3. Tax Breaks for Volunteering

    In addition to helping society, volunteering can yield tax deductions – sometimes. Here's how to tell what will pass muster and what won't.
  4. Learn About These 6 Dumb Money Pitfalls For Married Couples

    From tax implications to knowing your partner's credit score, watch out for these six money pitfalls.
  5. Value Offers a Cushion: Why Last Year’s Winners Are Now Losers and Vice Versa

    A trend in markets this year has been the poor performance of last year’s stock market winners, and the resilience of some of last year’s losers.
  6. These Sectors Benefit From Rising Interest Rates

    You've adjusted your debt portfolio to prepare for rising interest rates; now what about your equity holdings? Here are some sectors and companies to keep an eye on.
  7. 10 Reasons Why ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ Will Change the Way You Think About Investing In Women

    If there was any doubt about the contributions an educated woman can make to society, consider these facts.
  8. Why These Three Retirement Rules of Thumb Are Bad Ideas

    We’re all looking for simple rules of thumb to help our retirement planning. But three popular ones - 3% savings, 4% drawdown, 120% minus your age – may be dangerous to your retirement health.
  9. Home Improvements That Really Pay Off

    Before you invest the cash from your home equity loan in a sunroom or a high-end master suite, take heed: The renovations that pay off most aren't the glamorous ones.
  10. Seniors: Before You Co-sign That Student Loan

    If that loan isn't paid back, you could be on the line for the whole amount, plus penalties. Ask the 115,000 retirees whose Social Security checks have already been garnished.
  11. Ignore This Demographic At Your Own Peril

    Hispanics have unique financial planning needs and attitudes, and financial advisers would be well-served by studying this fast-growing demographic's differences.
  12. How AT&T Came To Serve A Third Of Americans

    AT&T mobile phones are used by roughly a third of Americans. How it managed to accomplish that starts with a state-sponsored monopoly, a well-publicized breakup and astute maneuvers through a technological revolution.
  13. Seven Considerations When You Negotiate Severance

    Someday the ax will fall. It happens in almost every career. Here's how to survive and move on.
  14. Learn How To Invest Defensively From This Hedge Fund Pro

    With the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 hovering near all-time highs and plenty of investors shifting to a defensive stance, there are plenty of opportunities to bet against the stock market. But where to start?
  15. 5 Funds to Fight Inflation

    Judging by the price action and performance of conventional inflation hedges over the last 12 months, it appears the investing public's worries over inflation are nearly non-existent.
  16. Why Caregiving Costs Women

    Fueled by extended life expectancies, lost wages from reduced work and rising healthcare costs, women are now the hardest hit when it comes to caregiving for an elderly parent.
  17. 10 Ways To Never Pay Top Dollar At Movie Theaters

    How did we ever survive without $15 movie tickets, outrageous markups at concession stands and headache-inducing 3D screenings? Movie tickets, especially in big cities, are at an all time high.
  18. Why You Don’t Need Mortgage Protection Life Insurance

    Mortgage protection life insurance sounds great in concept - a guarantee that your mortgage will be paid off if you die unexpectedly. But take a hard look at what you get before choosing it.
  19. Garage Sale vs. Donation

    Which offers you the bigger payoff?
  20. How Google's Self-Driving Car Will Change Everything

    Self-driving vehicles are coming fast, and they’re going to radically change what it’s like to get from point A to point B, not to mention the town or city you live in.
  21. What's the Best Time to Get Long-Term Care Insurance?

    Consider applying for long-term care insurance much sooner than you'll need it. If you wait too long, premiums will likely be much higher or you may be denied altogether.
  22. Four Reasons to Check Your Credit Card Accounts Online

    Credit cards do offer some protection against fraud, but it pays to be vigilant. And there are other benefits to your bottom line
  23. 6 Critical Moves That Will Save You Time and Money Before Hunting for a Mortgage

    There are many important aspects to consider and research before the process of selecting a home even begins.
  24. Mortgage Amortization Strategies

    Should you get a 30-year mortgage? A 15-year one? Ways to decide which mortgage is the best fit.
  25. Insurance for Millennials

    Four insurance must-haves – and one maybe – for Generation Y
  26. When a 401(k) Hardship Withdrawal Makes Sense

    If you've exhausted all other avenues, there are ways to withdraw funds before age 59½ – sometimes without the 10% penalty that's usually due.
  27. Do U.S. High Corporate Tax Rates Hurt Americans?

    The United States has the highest corporate tax rate of the 34 developed, free-market nations that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
  28. How To Manage Your Finances Through A Divorce

    Dividing assets and liabilities in a divorce can be a sad, complicated task. But with some planning, patience and the help of a financial adviser, splitting couples can avoid some obvious and not-so-obvious pitfalls while they tend to their changing financial needs.
  29. Five Things to Know About Quitclaim Deeds

    If that property you're about to buy has a quitclaim deed, check very carefully before you hand over your cash.
  30. Five Distinct Features of Medicare Advantage

    Should seniors opt for the flexibility of Medicare or the often broader coverage or lower cost of Medicare Advantage programs through a private insurer? Consider the following.
  31. Are Your Expensive Vices covered?

    If your wine, cigars or weed are stolen or destroyed, will your homeowners insurance come to the rescue?
  32. Simple Steps for Rebuilding Your Credit

    Trying to repair your credit? Your first instincts may not be correct. Review your best options for raising a bad credit score and start repairing your financial history today.
  33. Retirement Plans From Around The World

    How does the rest of the world stack up against the U.S. when it comes to planning and saving for retirement?
  34. Do You Have This Crucial Financial Letter?

    If you don't have a letter of intent in your desk, write one now. Here's why.
  35. Time to Accept Credit Card Offers Again?

    How much you could get and whether to respond
  36. When Is The Best Time To Book A Cheap Flight?

    Here are 10 tips to help you score the best airfare the next time you fly.
  37. Why Apple On The Prowl Is A Good Sign

    While Apple's pending deal to buy Beats Electronics might be upsetting its acolytes, the move is far from an act of desperation. In fact, it's what smart, mature companies do to stay ahead of the curve.
  38. Debt Forgiveness: How to Get Out of Paying Your Student Loans

    Though many individuals eagerly await the possibility of student loan forgiveness, strict stipulations and changing laws may leave some debt-burdened grads with huge un-paid tabs and reduced – or no - help in sight.
  39. How Good a Deal is an Indexed Annuity?

    Indexed annuities are marketed as a compromise between fixed and variable-rate products. But watch the fine print!
  40. Crass (But Effective) Ways to Build a College Fund

    Learn from non-profit fundraisers: Encourage friends and family to give your kid college cash, not toys – and say thank you, thank you, thank you
  41. 4 Free Parking Apps That Save You Time and Money

    Free parking apps that are working to save you gas, time and money.
  42. 11 Ways to Save on Hotel Costs

    One of the biggest expenses when traveling is lodging. According to the latest data from the Hotel Price Index from Hotels.com, U.S. travelers spent about an average of $174 per night on hotels when traveling internationally in 2013. When traveling at home, Americans spent about $131.
  43. Bulk Up Your Retirement

    If your business has receiveables, here's a smart way to leverage them to build up your retirement fund – fast
  44. What If Donald Sterling Ran Your Company?

    A chief executive officer can seem to have it all: power, influence and gravitas. But all of that hard-earned respectability — along with a company’s share price — can erode in the wake of a scandal.
  45. Common Retirement Advice That DINKs Can Ignore

    The retirement rules are different when a couple has no kids. Spending more, retiring sooner – all kinds of options open up
  46. 5 Little Money White Lies That Can Leave You in the Red

    The lies you tell yourself can cost you plenty. Beware.
  47. Use Paying Rent to Boost Your Credit Score

    Now, rent payments can work for you – not just against you – to affect your credit rating
  48. To Love, Honor and Collect: You, Your Spouse and Social Security

    You may have earned your Social Security benefits on your own, but if you’re married, your collection strategy should be a joint decision.
  49. 5 Articles to Refresh Your Financial Literacy

    Being smart about things financial can make the difference between a shaky future and a comfortable one
  50. How To Protect Yourself From Rising Interest Rates

    Today's historically low interest rates have just one way to go. How should you prepare for their inevitable rise?
  51. How Gen Y Can Avoid Working Forever

    Despite tough odds, Gen Y has time to build a strong future with more control over their lives than earlier generations.
  52. Peri-Retirement: The New Life Transition

    Use your 30s and 40s to imagine new life options – and try them on for size
  53. 7 Things You’re Overpaying for on Vacation

    If you’re looking for summer costs that can be reduced, here are seven to start with.
  54. What $1 Million Buys You in America's Best Retirement Destinations

    Shopping for your dream retirement home in Bellingham, Brevard, Charleston and Tucson
  55. 6 Credit Card Rules for New College Grads

    Used well, your credit card can build a credit history that gets you jobs, apartments and a lower car-loan rate
  56. Who Are America’s 10 Highest-Paid CEOs?

    Some of the top companies in America are worth billions of dollars, so how much do their CEOs earn annually?
  57. 5 Ways to Know You Are Spending Too Much Money

    Five signs it’s time to put on the brakes, stop spending too much money, and start saving.
  58. Top 15 Colleges Where Graduates Earn The Most Money With Their Degree

    New data revealed from PayScale shows how much graduates are earning from over 1,000 schools around the country.
  59. Credit vs. Debit Cards: Which is Better?

    Be strategic about the card you choose
  60. Housing Market to Heal (But Remain Cautious of Homebuilders)

    Despite last week’s troubling drop in new home sales, the housing market should continue to recover. However, a sanguine view on housing doesn’t necessarily translate into a positive view on homebuilders.
  61. Millennials: Let’s Grab A Beer, Burger and a Movie In 2064

    Asking a 25-year old to save money for his 75-year old future self is like asking him to give money to a stranger. But if you put the future in more relatable terms saving may start to make sense.
  62. The Home Appraisal: Your Key to a Successful Refinance

    When you refinance your mortgage, everything hinges on the appraisal. Here's what appraisers look at, how to make your home look as valuable as possible and ways to fight back if the valuation comes in too low.
  63. Summer Blockbusters: Tips on Cutting Your Movie Bill

    There are practical ways you can save money on movie tickets and cut back on how much you spend on movies in general.
  64. Outside-the-Box Financial Strategies to Pay for College

    Four unexpected ways to build your kids' college fund
  65. Are People Really Receiving Their Salary Through Bitcoin?

    Did you know people are having their salaries paid with Bitcoin?
  66. Japan’s 20-Year Deflationary Spiral Is About To End

    With this month’s hike in the consumption tax from 5% to 8%, investors are fearful that history may repeat itself.
  67. Survey: Americans Still Feel Vulnerable About Healthcare Insurance Under Obamacare

    The Afforable Care Act, aka Obamacare, continues to remain a hot-button political issue as America heads into its mid-term elections.
  68. Top Pension Systems in the World

    The U.S. and Canada aren't even close to tops in retiree pensions. Canada ranks 6 of 20 countries; the U.S.,11th.
  69. Top 2014 Muni Bond ETFs

    April 15 came and went, but the memory of how much of your pay the IRS helped itself to should remain clear. As should the realization that you probably should have done more to limit your tax burden.
  70. When Is Grad School Worth It?

    How to figure whether the payback you get from going to grad school – earnings, lifestyle, career opportunities – is worth the cost.
  71. Thoughts from the Frontline: The Cost of Code Red

    Thoughts from the Frontline: The Cost of Code Red
  72. The 401(k) Gender Gap

    Women aren't investing in 401(k) plans at the same rate as men - which will cost them big time at retirement. To reap the most, start investing young.
  73. What to Do if You Don't Have a College Fund for Your Child

    Learn how your credit, equity in your home, credit card habits, and other resources can all impact your child's ability to pay for school.
  74. Don't Retire Early - Change Careers Instead

    Many people who long for early retirement simply may have never known what it's like to enjoy going to work every day. A better goal for some: Shoot for a mid-life career change instead.
  75. 10 Sobering Findings About America’s Financial Literacy

    April is Financial Literacy Month, a time to highlight the importance of financial literacy and encourage Americans to learn and establish healthy financial habits.
  76. State Employment Trends: Does a Low Tax/Right-to-Work/Low Minimum Wage Regime Correlate to Growth?

    Employment in Governor Walker’s Wisconsin, as in Governor Brownback’s Kansas, has lagged behind that of the United States (and behind that of Governor Dayton’s Minnesota and Governor Brown’s California).
  77. What Makes LinkedIn Different From Facebook and Twitter

    Even with its network of 250 million members, Mountain View, Calif.-based LinkedIn Corp. is often overlooked when it comes to social-media companies.
  78. Understanding FHA Home Loans

    Don't be overwhelmed when filling out these forms. Find out what you need to do here.
  79. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Boon Or Boom?

    These two companies are crucial to the mortgage market, but are they ticking timebombs?
  80. The 401(k) Choice: Who's Right for a Roth

    Roughly half of U.S. employers offer a Roth 401(k). Anyone whose tax bracket is likely to increase later in life, especially younger workers, will get tax savings by choosing a Roth over a traditional 401(k).
  81. Save Money: 5 Expenses You Don’t Need

    Everyone likes having extra cash, and saving money every month doesn’t have to mean making big sacrifices in time, effort, or enjoyment. Here are a few ways to save money on five common household expenses.
  82. Outside the Box: Hoisington Investment Mgmt Review and Outlook, Q1 2014

    Outside the Box: Hoisington Investment Management Quarterly Review and Outlook, First Quarter 2014
  83. Five Retirement Warning Signs for Millennials

    If Gen Y'ers don't want to keep working forever, here's what they need to do now.
  84. Why Stick With Energy Stocks? (Hint: Geopolitical Risk)

    By most fundamental measures, oil prices should be declining. Russ explains why they’re on the rise instead, how this has helped energy stocks in 2014 and why investors should still consider an overweight to the global energy sector.
  85. Dental Insurance: Is It Worth the Cost?

    A trip to the dentist can take a big bite out of your wallet, which is why it’s important for some people to purchase dental insurance. But what if you’re a single person without a need for major dental work?
  86. Why College Graduates Are Settling for Minimum Wage Jobs

    Going to college means you’re going to land a high-paying job and make lot of money, right? That is not the case in today’s world. A fair amount of college graduates are settling for minimum wage or low paying jobs.
  87. Are We Setting Ourselves Up For Another Financial Crisis?

    “More money has been lost because of four words than at the point of a gun. Those words are, ‘This time is different.’”
  88. What $175,000 Will Buy in the Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater Real Estate Market

    Prices for Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. area homes are up 13.3% from the same month last year, but the median price of $169,000 is still well below the national average - and there's much more inventory than in most regions, according to the National Housing Trend Report for February 2014.
  89. 10 Ways to Screw up Your Retirement

    There are many common traps that retirees or soon-to-be-retirees fall into. We’ve laid out the top 10 here to help you avoid these pitfalls. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself falling into some of these traps – many have.
  90. No Legwork Wednesday – J.C. Penney And The 'No Sale' Debacle

    When it comes to retailing, a company’s success depends as much on properly positioning its products as it does on the actual products being offered.
  91. Tax Dodging Companies Cost You More Than $1,200 Each Year

    Every year that multinational corporations and wealthy individuals lower their U.S. tax bills by stashing profits in off-shore tax havens, you pay more to cover their tab. The same is true for small businesses. How much more? U.S.PIRG, the U.S Public Interest Research Group, just released this report that says tax haven abuse cost states and the federal government $184 billion last year.
  92. 10 Money Scams Aimed At Senior Citizens

    The older people get, the more vulnerable they become to fraud. Here are 10 scams to watch out for -- with FBI tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.
  93. Guide: How to Save on Expensive Funeral Costs

    According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the median cost of a funeral in 2012 was $7,045.
  94. If You Live In One Of These 11 States You May Be Flunking Finance

    Financial literacy is the ability to use knowledge and skills to make effective and informed money management decisions. Some states do a much better job of teaching it to kids than the rest.
  95. I Didn’t File Taxes, Now What?

    April 15 has come and gone, but if you didn’t file your tax bill, all is not lost, even if you think you will owe taxes. Take a deep breath and learn what you can do next to avoid serious consequences if you didn’t file your taxes by the April 15 deadline. Get help if possible First, no advice here is a good substitute for talking to a qualified tax professional about your situation.
  96. 3 Dumb Ways to Borrow Money

    Money — everyone needs it, but not everyone has it. Many people who find themselves in a financial bind aren’t left with many options, and sometimes applying for a loan isn’t realistic. The most accessible methods of getting quick cash come with a high cost, but those who need money badly won’t mind.
  97. Tying the (Financial) Knot: 5 Must-Ask Questions for Couples

    In her latest personal finance post, Jessie Szymanski takes a closer look at a major cause of conflict in American marriages. Here are five things you must discuss with your significant other before taking the plunge.
  98. The Price Of Produce Is Sky Rocketing – Here's How To Save

    According to the Wall Street Journal, the price of produce is rising fast. Lettuce is projected to jump more than 30% in the coming months, avocados will rise 28%, and broccoli—22%.
  99. Your Bad Financial Habits Can Hurt Your Kids

    Modeling sensible planning and budgeting practices in front of your kids helps set them up for a lifetime of financial good health
  100. How Warren Buffett made Berkshire Hathaway a World-beater

    It would almost be easier to list the industry sectors in which Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) doesn’t turn gargantuan profits.
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