Personal Finance

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Electric bills get plenty of focus once it’s warm enough for air conditioners to click on, but this summer, it’s smart to pay attention to the water bill, too. All but six states currently have areas experiencing short- or long-term drought conditions, ranging from “abnormally dry” to “exceptional drought,” according to U.S. Drought Monitor data …

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If you’re worried about outliving your retirement savings, you’re not alone. Research shows it’s a top concern for many Americans. In a recent survey, financial advisors noted that health-care costs, market fluctuations and potential lifestyle expenses caused clients the most stress about running out of money. To alleviate those fears, many financial advisors suggest annuities …

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Phil Lesh and Bob Weir will reunite with members of the Grateful Dead to perform this summer.

Depending on your taste in music, attending a summer concert might be harmonious with your budget—or strike a discordant note. The average secondary market price for a summer concert ticket is $190.60, according to data from marketplace ScoreBig.com. But expect wide swings based on your artist of choice—the average resale price to see the Grateful …

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Summer is about to kick off with the Memorial Day weekend just days away. If it snuck up on you and you’re waiting until the 11th hour to make plans, here are four ways to book a last-minute trip without having to blow your budget. Go where the deals are It’s best to be flexible …

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Back when many American workers could count on company-run pension plans, preparing for retirement was something of a no-brainer. Now that many of us are calling the shots when it comes to saving and investing for retirement, things seem a lot more complicated. Not surprisingly, many of us will make mistakes when it comes to …

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Long before their child earns a college degree, some parents of high school students are already readying their couch in anticipation of a boomerang kid. About 80 percent of parents expect to support their child financially for at least a few months after graduation, according to a new survey from Upromise by Sallie Mae, which …

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Digital banking makes life easier, but when it comes to important elements of service, customers say their banks are falling far short. Only 23 percent of customers globally believe their bank is meeting their expectations, according a newly released survey of 9,000 bank customers in nine countries by FIS, a banking and payments technology company. …

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A revocable living trust is a popular estate-planning tool that you can use to determine who will get your assets when you die. Most living trusts are “revocable” because you can change them as your circumstances or wishes change, explains Ivory Johnson, a Washington-based certified financial planner and the founder of Delancey Wealth Management. Revocable …

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Let the donor beware: A federal lawsuit alleges four cancer charities have scammed consumers out of more than $187 million. The Federal Trade Commission and attorneys general in all 50 states and the District of Columbia announced Tuesday they have filed a lawsuit against the Cancer Fund of America, Children’s Cancer Fund of America, Cancer …

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The U.S. Department of Education plans to regulate the growing use of debit cards by the nation’s colleges and universities. These campus debit cards—often with a variety of steep fees—are typically linked to a bank account where the student’s federal financial aid is automatically deposited. At some schools, they are now part of the student …

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Travelers are still willing—or in some cases, forced—to pay airline fees. But there are ways to game the system. So-called ancillary fees have become big business for airlines. In 2013 (the most recent year available), the top 20 carriers worldwide pulled in $20.4 billion on such fees, up from $2.1 billion in 2007, according to …

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If you have a retirement savings plan in place, good for you. But are you sure your money is invested the right way for today’s markets? Financial experts are questioning long-held assumptions about the best approach to investing as retirement nears. With life expectancies on the rise and fixed-income investments generating little in the way …

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Students walk through an open corridor on the Stanford University campus in Stanford, Calif.

The burden of student loan debt isn’t necessarily a financial roadblock—although for many grads, it’s still a significant hurdle. Recent grads with student loan debt are—no surprise—less likely than their loan-free peers to have a mortgage, auto loan or credit card, but they catch up fast, according to a new study from TransUnion. Within a …

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Many people dream of retiring to Europe or South America. Popular destinations like Argentina, Belize, Costa Rica, and France (especially, thanks to a weaker euro) might offer lower costs, warmer weather—good health care, too. But a vacation to one of these attractive locales isn’t the same as the reality of relocating. Retiring abroad isn’t always easier, …

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In the last few years, financial advisor Ron Carson has observed prospective clients increasingly asking whether his firm has a succession plan in place. Luckily, he does, and he is happy to describe it to them. “I tell them, ‘If you are interviewing other firms, ask them to give you the same [information] we can …