Senior Editor, Money Team

Eileen Ambrose is a senior editor and writer for the Money Team. She previously was a personal finance columnist with the Baltimore Sun.

Social Security Expands Office Hours

Beginning March 16, Social Security field offices across the country will be open an extra hour on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This change is thanks in part to the agency’s new budget, which gave it the resources for the longer office hours. Previously, hours were reduced because of congressional budget cuts, along with a reduction in staff amid a growing workload, the agency says. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter Social Security offices …

Obama Proposes Middle-Class Tax Breaks

In his penultimate State of the Union address, President Barack Obama on Tuesday night announced wide-ranging proposals he said would improve the economic prospects of the middle class, including helping families pay for college and child care, while giving more workers access to retirement plans. To help pay for these expanded benefits, the president also wants to increase the taxes paid on inherited assets of higher-income households. Many agree that it’s a long shot the president will get his wish list — …

Illinois Is First State With New Savings Plan for Workers

Illinois will become the first state with a broad-based effort to automatically enroll private-sector employees without retirement plans into a new savings program. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation on Sunday that creates the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program. Employers with at least 25 workers and no retirement plan will be required to offer employees the option of enrolling in Secure Choice, which allows employees to invest in a Roth IRA through payroll deduction. Employees can decline. “This turnkey program will make it …

New 529 Plan Created for People With Disabilities

Tax-friendly 529 savings plans no longer will be just for college. Legislation recently signed by President Barack Obama will allow states to set up similar savings programs to benefit those with disabilities without jeopardizing their federal benefits, such as Medicaid. Money invested in an Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account — sometimes also called a 529A account — can be withdrawn tax-free to pay for qualified expenses, including education, housing, transportation, health care, employment training and legal fees. Enter …

Congress Extends a Few Tax Breaks for You

So Congress wasn’t totally Scrooge-like this holiday season, as members tossed a few tax breaks to the rest of us. They passed legislation to extend a number of tax breaks that expired at the end of last year. If they hadn’t, you wouldn’t be able to take various deductions and credits when filing your 2014 tax return. >> Discussion: How do you make the most of your money? Among the key tax breaks for individuals: IRA charitable deduction. Those 70½ and older …