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Carole Fleck


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

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Carole Fleck'sPosts

Early Tax Filers Will Have to Wait for Refunds

Posted on 12/20/2013 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsEarly 2013 tax filers expecting a refund will have to wait a bit next year. The IRS says it’s starting the 2014 tax season 10 days later than usual, on Jan. 31, as a consequence of the federal government shutdown in October. The 16-day closure curtailed most government operations and delayed the IRS from updating its processing systems for the new tax season. “The late January opening gives us enough time to get things right with our programming, testing and systems …

Medical Credit Card Issuer Ordered to Make Refunds

Posted on 12/12/2013 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsA dentist tells an older patient during an exam that she needs expensive treatment. She can’t pay the fee outright, so the dentist immediately arranges financing through a medical credit card plan. A month later, the patient opens her first bill and discovers that the card is not interest-free, as she’d thought. In fact, it carried an annual interest rate as high as 27 percent if she didn’t pay it off within a certain period. Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer …

Minority Report: The Gap in Retirement Savings

Posted on 12/10/2013 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsAfter a lifetime of working, millions of Americans, and minority workers in particular, face the prospect of a difficult retirement because they have no access to a 401(k) savings plan. Worse yet, among workers ages 25 to 64, a majority of black and Latino workers (62 percent and 69 percent, respectively) and more than one-third of whites (37 percent) have no retirement savings, according to a study by the nonprofit National Institute on Retirement Security. The report was based on …

New York Cracks Down on Sites With Payday Loan Ties

Posted on 12/5/2013 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsIda Bibbs, a 71-year-old grandmother from New York City, wasn’t looking for a loan online, but who could resist a solicitation promising quick and easy money? No banks. No credit checks. The result, as it turned out, was a suffocating debt trap. Bibbs says she took out one high-interest, short-term loan after another from payday lenders online. First she borrowed $400, then $300 and finally $500, all in the last year.  She used the money to pay her rent — she’d …

Free Advice for Job Seekers

Posted on 11/26/2013 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | WorkA big job placement firm is offering job seekers, and workers who want to transition into another position, free call-in advice in December. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter John Challenger, CEO at Challenger, Gray & Christmas, says job counselors will offer strategies to help people become more effective in their search. It’s happening on Dec. 26 and 27, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time (phone number 312-422-5010). More information about the annual call-in is available at …

Is Marriage More Loving, or Boring, in Retirement?

Posted on 11/20/2013 by | Money and Work | Comments

Bulletin Today | WorkIs marriage more boring or more fulfilling in retirement? (Hint: It’s better than you think.) Do spouses in blended families have different financial priorities for their own children than for their stepchildren? These were some of the questions that 5,415 people were asked in a study called “Family & Retirement: The Elephant in the Room.” Folks weighed in about their hopes and fears when they retire, whether they’d sacrifice their own financial security to help their adult children now, and …