Online Executive Producer

Tara Finnegan Coates is part of AARP Media's Content Creation Team. She blogs regularly on a variety of financial topics.

Job Loss and Your Taxes

The following is a guest post by Alan Kalman. Job loss can affect your tax situation in many ways. Here are some things to keep in mind as you are preparing to file your taxes. Your employer may provide you with severance pay or accrued vacation pay or accrued sick pay. These payments are all taxable compensation. A large severance check could easily bump you into a larger tax bracket. If you qualify for and receive unemployment compensation benefits, these …

Family and Money Matters: Your Debt Challenge

The saying goes: “A fool and his money are soon parted.” But even folks who pride themselves on being financially savvy sometimes have trouble saying ‘No’ to lending money to family and friends – even when they can’t afford to do so. See also: Tell us about your family loan gone bad. Money can ruin all kinds of relationships – from friends, to family members to marriages. When lending money goes bad, someone winds up paying the debt. And unfortunately, …

Wrong Gift Card? You Can Exchange It

A recent survey by the National Retail Federation found that six out of 10 people want to receive gift cards under the tree this Christmas. Count me among those folks who enjoy the flexibility of giving and receiving gift cards. A gift card allows people to pick out what they like and they can redeem it at their convenience. Who wants to be stuck with something you’re never going to use or something that doesn’t fit? See also: Can I …

9 Year-End Tax Moves to Consider

The following is a guest post by Alan Kalman. December is an ideal time to review your finances and make sure you are taking advantage of tax benefits and other possible credits or deductions. See also: Sandy Victims Get Tax Relief Consider these things when pulling 2012 paperwork together. Did you move or change jobs this year? Double-check that your your employer (or former employer), banking institutions, investment companies and retirement plan administrators have your current address so you’ll receive your W-2s …

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Needs Volunteers

The following is a guest post by Jim Young. Want a rewarding volunteer experience in 2013? If you’re good with numbers, people or computers – or better yet, all three – AARP Foundation has opportunities right up your alley. During the 2012 tax season, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide’s 35,000 volunteers served 2.6 million taxpayers across the country. Most of the volunteers prepare federal tax returns. These folks come from every imaginable background. Some have accounting and financial experience, but that’s not …

Single, Female and Want to Retire? This Book’s for You

Single, female and hoping to retire soon? AARP’s new book “The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement” goes beyond the money issues retirement poses to women. See also: AARP’s Retirement Calculator Retirement expert Jan Cullinane offers a comprehensive look at all the factors women need to consider before they retire. AARP: How did you get the idea for this book? JC: I give retirement talks to a wide variety of audiences, and after almost every talk, women would come up to …