Money and Work

As a senior editor for AARP Media, Carole Fleck covers personal finance, the economy, older worker, retirement planning and other news affecting people 50-plus.

Cost of Retiree Dental Plans May Give You a Toothache

Boomers retiring without dental benefits, and Medicare recipients who don’t have a Medicare Advantage plan, may be surprised and dismayed by the latest study on the cost of dental coverage. Consumers paid an average $382 annual premium for a stand-alone dental plan through a government exchange this year, and that didn’t include deductibles and copays, according to the analysis of dental plans on the federal exchange by the website HealthPocket, which compares health plans. Deductibles averaged about $500 a year …

Rx for Happy Retirement: Staying Healthy

Staying healthy and how to pay for it are the top concerns for boomers and retirees, a study has found. An overwhelming majority of retirees (81 percent) said that good health is the single most important factor for a happy retirement; financial security, by comparison, ranked a distant second (58 percent), the study found. >>  7 Things to Do in Your Bedroom That Can Save Your Life Boomers said that not being able to pay for health care expenses in retirement was their biggest fear, regardless of their …

Want to Buy Happiness? Indulge in an Experience

Want to buy happiness? Then spend your money on an experience, like concert tickets or a trip to the U.S. Open, instead of buying new clothes or a big-screen TV. New research from Cornell University finds that using your money to do something makes you happier than purchasing material goods. In fact, just thinking about making vacation plans or going to the symphony raises your level of happiness more than anticipating a purchase like furniture or a computer. What if …

Data Breach Hits Major Banks

JPMorgan Chase and at least four other major U.S. financial institutions are reporting hack attacks by cyber criminals who lifted customers’ personal information, according to published accounts. The attacks, which apparently took place in August, stole customer data that could be used to drain checking and savings accounts, Bloomberg News said, citing sources briefed by law enforcement. News accounts didn’t name the other banks targeted in the cyber theft or disclose how many customers may be at risk. Banks must …

Add Adjusting Your 401(k) to End-of-Summer Plans

Now that we’re past the midyear of 2014, it’s a great time to review your retirement savings plan to make sure you’re on track. If you’re not contributing enough or haven’t rebalanced your portfolio since George W. Bush was in office, you have the remainder of the year to make some adjustments. You probably already know that you can sock away as much as $23,000, which includes $5,500 in catch-up contributions for people 50-plus, in your 401(k) plan. However, if you’re using …

It’s August, So It Must Be Make-a-Will Month

So August is National Make-a-Will Month. Who knew? Getting a will isn’t the most pleasant of tasks, and consequently, too few people do it. A recent survey of more than 2,000 people by the online legal service Rocket Lawyer found that 64 percent don’t have wills. The biggest reason cited by folks: They just never got around to it. Some said they didn’t want to think about death. You might believe that only wealthier families need a will. You’d be …