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.

Money Market Funds Just Got Safer … Or Did They?

After years of debate, the Securities and Exchange Commission this week finally adopted new rules designed to shore up the stability of the $2.6 trillion money market  industry. The question now is, will it help? While the changes largely affect institutional investors, one provision also applies to small investors by temporarily restricting their access to their money if a fund has liquidity problems. For decades money market funds were seen as reliably boring, investing in government securities or high-grade corporate debt. Though the funds’ …

Are Medical Credit Cards Unhealthy for Your Finances?

You need some expensive medical care yet don’t have the insurance or money to pay for it. Should you use a medical credit card that’s pitched at some doctors’ offices? A new report by the nonprofit Consumer Action warns that some of these cards can be unhealthy for your finances. They usually offer a zero percent introductory rate, though after that period, card terms can vary greatly. The problem is that these terms often are difficult to uncover. So patients …

Is Your 401(k) a Winner? Check This Ranking

ConocoPhillips Co. has the best 401(k) plan for workers, while Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Whole Foods Market Inc. offer some of the worst, according to a Bloomberg News survey of the 250 largest public companies in the country. In fact, ConocoPhillips’ plan is so generous – contributing 9 percent of workers’ pay if workers kick in 1 percent – that after 35 years an employee can end up a multimillionaire, Bloomberg said. According to the Houston-based oil and gas producer’s own …

Oldest Americans Weathered the Recession Better Than Others

Many Americans are still reeling from the last recession, although the oldest among us weathered the economic decline better than other age groups. That’s according to a recent report by the Census Bureau that looked at how Americans ages 65 and up fared during and after the 2007-2009 recession. These older consumers were somewhat buffered by more conservative investment strategies as well as high homeownership and a resistance to squeezing all equity out of their property by refinancing. It wasn’t …

Creditors Can Snatch Your (Inherited) IRA, Supreme Court Rules

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling has just made estate planning a lot more cumbersome for some high-net-worth parents who want to leave tax-free money in a Roth IRA to a child. Retirement accounts are protected from creditors in bankruptcy cases so people don’t wind up destitute in old age. However, the court unanimously ruled on Thursday that this is not the case for those who inherit IRAs. The court decision involves a case of a woman who inherited about $450,000 in an IRA from her mother …

Patients Have a Right to Know What Health Care Really Costs

Information is power, and in the hands of consumers it will transform the quality and price of health care. That’s the prediction that health care experts made today at a panel discussion sponsored by AARP and the Business Roundtable in Washington. Consumers have a long way to go before they get easy-to-understand information about the costs of doctors and hospitals and the quality of care they provide. So far, information has been hard to come by, and interested parties have resisted …