IRS Boosts Limits for 401(k) Contributions

If you’ve been wanting to sock away more money in your workplace retirement savings plan, next year’s your chance. This morning the Internal Revenue Service announced that next year’s contribution limits will go up by $500, to $18,000 for 401(k)s, 403 (b) plans at nonprofits and most 457 plans offered by state and local governments, as well as the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan. >> Boost Your 401(k) Retirement Savings Workers ages 50 and older are entitled to make extra contributions …

That Store Receipt Could Be Bad for Your Health

The next time the cashier asks, “Would you like your receipt?” the healthiest response might be, “No thanks!” That’s because a small but troubling new study finds that touching a cash register receipt can increase your body’s absorption of a controversial chemical used in the receipt’s coating. The chemical is bisphenol A, or BPA, which has been at the center of debate for decades over its use in plastic water bottles, baby bottles and the linings of cans of food. …

Illinois House Candidates Lock Horns on Medicare, Social Security

The candidates in a battleground congressional district in Illinois disagreed about the impact for Social Security and Medicare of a Republican-passed plan crafted by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) during an Oct. 21 radio debate sponsored by AARP. Democratic challenger Ann Callis said that Ryan’s budget blueprint would open the door to privatizing Social Security and move Medicare to a “defined contribution” system. She has criticized her opponent, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), for supporting a plan that she says …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. Two armored fish had the first sex 385 million years ago. (Learn more at Discovery) 2. Zombie-proof cabins come with a 10-year guarantee. (Learn more at C|Net) 3. Even people from Pittsburgh agree their accent may be the “worst” in the nation. (Learn more at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) 4. Soda might age you as much as smoking. (Learn more at Time) How Far Could You Travel with $10,000? Enter our Winter Escapes Sweepstakes now! See official …

Social Security Benefits to Rise 1.7% Next Year

Social Security benefits will rise by 1.7 percent starting in January, the Social Security Administration announced Wednesday. That’s a tad higher than this year’s 1.5 percent increase. It’s also the fourth straight year that the cost-of-living adjustment was below 2 percent for nearly 59 million retirees, disabled workers and their families. The adjustment amounts to about $22 a month for those who receive the average monthly benefit of $1,302. >> See AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins’ statement on the COLA “The …

Why More Americans Are Voting Early

President Barack Obama voted in his former Chicago neighborhood on October 20 — more than two weeks before Election Day. “I’m so glad I can early-vote,” he said as he cast his ballot. “It’s so exciting. I love voting.” More than 2.6 million American already have joined him, according to official data. Election Day, in fact, has become Election Month. Political campaigns remain in full swing across the nation. Candidates continue to debate each other and run costly advertising campaigns. …