Personal Finance

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Families, it’s time for “the talk.” No, not the one about the birds and the bees. For aging parents and their adult children, talking about big financial issues like retirement goals, estate plans and health-care wishes can go a long way toward reducing misconceptions and easing family tensions. But those talks don’t happen as often …

1/3 adults has debt is collections

A new study by the Urban Institute finds more than 35% of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collections agencies. Could your credit be at risk?

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Millions of Americans are struggling to pay off their student loans and desperate to find a way to lower those monthly payments. Scammers know this, so they’ve created phony student loan “debt relief” companies that promise to help—for a price. Law enforcement has taken notice of this relatively new industry. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan …

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Ignoring your portfolio could come at a high cost if history catches you at the wrong moment. Now, as the economy hums along and the market rises, it is a good time to bulletproof your portfolio against the volatility that can strike at any time.

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As the chairman of the department of tourism, recreation and sport management at the University of Florida, Michael Sagas had a pretty good idea what to expect when his daughter started playing travel soccer. But even he was taken aback by the tally when her team started playing in regional and national tournaments. Her latest …

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To cut medical bills, consumers should take a leaf from their strategies for other big purchases: Shop around. Doing so can have a substantial payoff. A Change Healthcare analysis released this spring found that prices can vary by more than 300 percent on the same service, even within a given insurer’s network of providers. (See …

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Ah, summer. Time for that trip to Europe, or the Grand Canyon, or maybe a nearby beach. Or maybe you’ll spend your leisure time on the sidelines of a playing field, watching your child at yet another sports tournament. Youth sport travel is one of the fastest growing segments of the travel industry, outpacing leisure …

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Many young adults in their 20s and early 30s could teach their parents a thing or two about money. It turns out millennials—who range between 19 and 34 years old—are pretty smart about saving money. The Great Recession taught them a vital lesson: Save now in order to survive potentially catastrophic economic and financial challenges …

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Saving enough money for retirement is the first step toward building your nest egg, but just as important is where you invest that money. When it comes to investing your retirement dollars, consider not only your asset allocation, but also asset location. Should put your money in a taxable or nontaxable account? Should you set …

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The housing market is hot, thanks to favorable interest rates and home prices that remain relatively low around much of the country. According to the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales rose sharply in May, with lower mortgage rates and increased inventory pushing home sales upward in all four regions of the U.S. And …

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In this segment Jim Pavia, senior editor at large for CNBC Digital’s Financial Advisor Hub, provides insight as to why just about everyone—in every wealth category—can benefit from the assistance of a financial advisor. “Let’s be honest with ourselves. Even if we grade on a very generous curve, a majority of Americans would flunk when it comes …

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If you or someone you love is looking for a federal loan to get through community college, good luck. Chances are, you’ll need it. Nearly a million community college students attend schools that do not participate in the federal student loan program, leaving them with few good options for financing their education, a new study …

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Being unemployed is bewildering enough, but thinking about how to handle a leftover 401(k) plan adds an extra layer of worry. What do I do with it? Leave it alone? Roll it over? Take the money and run? Do I have to pay taxes? 401(k) plans are an important component of the savings landscape. The American …

Falling fund fees

According to the Investment Company Institute, by the end of last year nearly 38 percent of 401(k) plan assets were invested in equity mutual funds and guess what? Fees on those funds continued to drop, meaning more of your money was put to work for you.

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American teens may know the mall like the back of their hand, but their knowledge of financial topics such as saving, spending and investing is average at best. The first large-scale international study on financial literacy among 15-year-olds came out on Wednesday, and the results are grim. Among the 18 countries in the Organization for …