Personal Finance

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If you have socked away money in a 401(k) and your 60th birthday is behind you, chances are you are thinking about when to retire. Chances are, too, that you are planning to retire sooner rather than later. The average retirement age seems to have stabilized at 62 for women and 64 for men, according …

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Families saving for college continue to invest in 529 plans. Total assets in these tax-advantaged investment plans grew by 9.1 percent to $247.9 billion in 2014, according to a report by the College Savings Plans Network. More people opening up accounts as well as investment gains contributed to the growth in 529 assets last year. …

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How much did you pay for that college degree? Or are you still paying for it? More than 70 percent of students leave college with school debt, and the average loan balance is growing. The class of 2014 graduated with the most debt in history—an estimated $33,000 per student—and this year’s graduating class is on …

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If you think IRS tax liens are required to stay on your credit report for seven years, even if you’ve paid your tax debt in full, then it’s time we let the genie out of the bottle. A tax lien—the government’s claim against all or some of your assets based on your failure to pay …

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President Barack Obama called for new regulations this week to ensure that brokers who work with retirement accounts put investors’ interests first. He wants to hold brokers to a higher standard. But how do you know if your financial advisor is putting your interests above his or her own bottom line? You won’t know unless …

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After attorney Joryn Jenkins’ parents divorced when she was seven, she never saw her father again. Experiencing firsthand how divorce can destroy a family forever, Jenkins never wanted other families to go through that. Yet after 35 years of trial work, the attorney was convinced that the grueling divorce court process results in a long …

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Job seekers wait to be interviewed during a job fair at California's Great America theme park in Santa Clara, Calif., Feb. 6, 2015.

It’s bad enough to tap your 401(k) when you are unemployed. But should you have to pay a 10 percent early distribution penalty too? Not if a little-known provision buried deep within President Barack Obama’s proposed 2016 budget becomes law. The provision would allow those who’ve received unemployment compensation for more than 26 weeks to …

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President Barack Obama

Amidst political fanfare on Monday, President Obama formally announced his support of the Department of Labor’s attempt to hold more financial advisors to a fiduciary standard of care by broadening the definition of “investment advice” to include more service providers. The effort has been stalled for the past five years as the brokerage industry has …

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If the Sony hack wasn’t telling enough, there’s more evidence that “confidential” is a laughable concept at the office. A new CareerBuilder.com survey of more than 500 office support staff—including custodians, mailroom attendants, security guards, receptionists, administrative assistants and maintenance workers—found that 53 percent had overheard conversations about confidential topics such as planned layoffs, worker …

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Your retirement savings are intended (obviously) for retirement, but what if you need them now? The IRS offers some provisions for withdrawing savings from an IRA or 401(k) before retirement age without incurring a penalty—and President Barack Obama recently added another hardship option in his budget proposal. But that doesn’t mean it’s a wise move. …

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Your mother was right: Your grades are your ticket to the good life. When you’re an adult, three little numbers largely determine your access to credit and your ability to own a home, a car or start a business—and how much you’ll pay for those things. Your credit score—the one number on a scale between …

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There’s no getting around it. Raising children who are good with money is critical to their success as adults. And there’s no denying it: Many parents stink at this. A litany of young adult money mistakes attest to that. So how do we change that equation? Ron Lieber, author of the new best-selling book “The …

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U.S. Supreme Court

Does your 401(k) plan really offer the best investment choices for you? And is your employer reviewing those choices often enough? Those questions are at the heart of a dispute that has made its way to the Supreme Court, which is hearing the arguments Tuesday. If the justices rule in favor of the plaintiffs, the …

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Millennials are more likely to rent than to own their homes. But nearly six in 10 don’t have renter’s insurance, according to a new survey. The Insurancequotes.com survey, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, found 60 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds are renters—compared with just 36 percent of all Americans. But the majority of them …

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For a document just two pages long, the Form 1040 has plenty of pitfalls for taxpayers, errors that could needlessly boost your bill, require an amended return or even trigger an audit. Americans spend a lot of time just filling out their tax forms each spring. Form 1040 filers toil over the two-page document for …