Personal Finance

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More Americans are struggling to make their car payments on time. The numbers, while still low, are definitely on the rise. According to the latest State of the Automotive Finance Market report from Experian Automotive: 60-day loan delinquencies in the second quarter of 2014 increased by 7 percent (from 0.58 to 0.62 percent) from the …

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Survey says: You’re probably worried about how to pay for health care during your retirement. More people list having good health as their top priority for a happy retirement, over being financially secure and having loved ones around you, according to a survey of 3,300 people over the age of 25 by Merrill Lynch and Age …

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You know you’ve been thinking about it, especially with the S&P 500 cruising past 2,000 and the bull market now six years running: Is it time to sell some stocks and get out ahead of a “market top”? Here’s the problem: Most information about investing that I’ve read during my career is more instructional about investing in …

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When you need cash—not the 50 bucks you get from an ATM to tide you over for the day but, rather, $5,000 or $10,000 to handle an emergency—what asset or resource will you tap into to get it? Historically, the answer to that question was a home-equity loan. This was the normal course of action, …

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Reading the fine print on credit card offers could save you substantial cash—and not just by avoiding fees. There are a lot of valuable perks listed in card terms that go unnoticed. “There’s a ton that consumers are missing out on,” said Odysseas Papadimitriou, chief executive of comparison site CardHub.com. Several cards offer good reason to …

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Dorms are filling up, classes are starting, and Frisbees are flying above quads at colleges and universities across the country. But these familiar seasonal patterns don’t reflect how a growing number of students are starting the year. More and more older Americans are heading back to school, often part time or in the evenings, and …

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Sorry, folks, but there is no magic number when it comes to retirement savings goals. Conventional wisdom has been that saving for a $1 million nest egg, or retirement income of 80 percent your current salary, is a good safety net. But advisors say such broad generalizations often miss the mark given consumers’ disparate incomes, …

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There is a clear generational divide between millennials and other age groups when it comes to payment for small purchases. A recent study by CreditCards.com revealed that 51 percent of consumers ages 18 to 29 choose plastic over cash for purchases under $5. This is in stark contrast to the 82 percent of consumers 65-plus who …

Back-to-school investor checklist

Tim Maurer has smart “back-to-school” moves for investors of all ages.

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Customers shop for back to school supplies at a Target store in Colma, Calif., Aug. 9, 2014.

Got your back-to-school shopping finished? If so, chances are your wallet feels a little lighter than it did this time last year. Back-to-school spending is on track to rise 3 percent overall in 2014, according to the National Retail Federation. Families with kids in elementary, middle and high school are likely to spend 5 percent …

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A pension, for those lucky enough to have one, offers a guaranteed check every month for the rest of your life upon retirement. But a number of companies are now offering an alternative—a pension advance, typically made in one lump sum payment. Their pitch, aimed at military and government retirees with generous pension benefits and …

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A new report shows a growing number of car and truck owners are struggling to make their monthly auto loan payments. Experian, which analyses millions of auto loans, says the percentage of those loans that were delinquent or ended up in default with the vehicle being repossessed surged in the second quarter of this year. …

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If you thought buying textbooks, desk lamps and extra long sheets would be your child’s biggest headache on the way to college, think again. Debit card fees are coming to bite college students. Debit card issuers are charging hefty overdraft fees, according to a recentreport by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The median charge is $34, …

Raising a kid will cost you $245K

A new government report says that raising a child costs an average of about $245,000 and that’s not including college.

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The shopping spree may start months, weeks or maybe the day before the school year begins. Buying a dozen pencils and a few Trapper Keepers won’t cut it for today’s students. The back-to-school buying binge may include trendy new clothes, shoes, sneakers, in addition to hefty expenses for extracurricular activities. For older kids, a new …