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Angry Widow, Screaming Kids if You Don’t Get These Inheritance Rules Right

Different rules determine who can get your money when you die. And if you don’t know the rules, you won’t be able to steer the  money to the people you think deserve it. Let’s start with your Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The money goes to whomever  is named in the IRA document as your beneficiary….

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You have a 30% Chance of Being Disabled: Get Insurance to Protect Your Income

The number is stark: 30% of Americans between the ages of 35 and 65 will be disabled at some point in their lives, unable to work for at least three months. You need protection, to support yourself and your family, if you are  unlucky enough to become disabled. Don’t depend exclusively on disability coverage from…

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Social Security is Good Life Insurance to Keep Your Spouse Out of Poverty

When you think of filing for Social Security, don’t just think about yourself and how big your check will be. Think of your spouse, and what happens when you die.  That is the lesson men should take to heart. Then it becomes a strong argument to wait as long as possible to collect benefits, to…

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Find Your Missing Pension

You changed jobs several times during a long career, perhaps a firm you worked for went out of business, and you are getting close to retirement without being sure of getting the pension payments you have earned. There are millions of dollars in unclaimed pension accounts, either with corporate pension plans or at the federal…

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Social Security Stops Paper Checks: Protect Yourself

Social Security checks are all direct deposit. No more paper checks mailed to you unless you are 90 years old or more. Stopping check mailings will save the taxpayers $120 million a year as Social Security distributes more than $500 billion a year to 50 million people. But millions of Americans don’t  have a bank…

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Banks Must Guard Two Months of Social Security in Garnishment Cases

Social Security benefits  are supposed to be protected  from being seized in a bankruptcy settlement, or when a court orders  an asset   garnished. Before the new rule, when debt collectors pursuing an unpaid debt secured a court-ordered garnishment, the bank often would simply freeze the money in the debtor’s account, whether or not it included…

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Inherit an IRA: Don’t Make This Big Money Mistake

Save your kids thousands in taxes when they inherit your Individual Retirement Account (IRA). When people die, the heirs typically close out the bank accounts, the stock and bond accounts, and move them into their own accounts. This SHOULD NOT BE DONE with Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), the IRAs you opened years ago, or the…

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5 Ways You Can Tap an IRA Without Penalty Even if You are Under 59 1/2

There are some special times when you can take money out of your individual retirement account (IRA), and not pay the 10% tax penalty if you are under 59 1/2 years old. You will still pay taxes at your regular federal rate, but no penalty.- Here are the ways in which you can withdraw funds…

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Medical Tax Breaks You Never Heard of: Ramps, Assisted Living Rents,Elevators

We spend more as we age to take care of ourselves, disbursing money for everything from doctor visits to exercise classes, to vitamins, to assisted living apartment fees. Some of these items are tax deductible, and the proper tally when you fill out your taxes can save you considerable sums of money. The first rule…

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Bad Marriage? Stay for 10 Years to Get an Ex-Spouse Social Security Check

Social Security provides benefits for ex-spouses, a guarantee of retirement income after a marriage breaks up. This can be a vital source of income, often overlooked by many people who married young, divorced, and haven’t given a thought in years to the ex-husband or the ex-wife. The babyboom generation, those Americans born in the years…

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