New Tool to Help Victims Recover From Identity Theft

Identity theft has become so prevalent that some regulators say it’s not a matter of if you’ll become a victim, but when. Last year alone, the Federal Trade Commission received 490,000 complaints of identity theft from consumers, a 47 percent increase over the year before. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. An estimated 17.6 million consumers’ identities were stolen in 2014, according to the Department of Justice. Ways to save, expert investment advice, scam alerts and more! — AARP …

Obama Floats New Options for Retirement Savings

Small businesses would be able to band together to create a joint 401(k) retirement plan, and some part-time workers could participate in their employer’s plan, under proposals to be included in President Obama’s final budget to Congress. An outline of these and other proposals to expand access to retirement accounts to more than 30 million people was released Jan. 26. More details, along with cost figures, will be available when the president submits his budget next month. Enter Fearless at …

The 25 Worst Passwords: Is Yours on the List?

If you recently changed your password to “starwars” in honor of the blockbuster movie, congratulations. Your new password is among the world’s worst — or rather, one of the most hackable. That’s according to SplashData, a password management company, which studies millions of breaches to come up with an annual list of the most common and easily exploitable passwords. No. 1 on the list for two years in a row is “123456.” Again in second place: “password.” Other perennials on …

Tax Breaks Brought Back From the Dead

Federal lawmakers will simplify tax planning for many by making certain tax breaks permanent — including one for charitably inclined older investors. Many tax breaks expire after a year or so, requiring an act of Congress to briefly extend them again. That has made tax strategizing difficult, because people don’t know if Congress will let an expired deduction or credit lapse for good or revive it at the last minute. As part of the omnibus spending bill that the U.S. …

Why You Shouldn’t Substitute Stocks for Bonds

A friend sent me the following article from the USA Today insert of his local paper. The article proclaimed “The 60/40 stock-and-bond portfolio mix is dead in 2016” and went on to explain that with bond interest rates near historical lows, one should reach for higher returns by taking more risk with stocks. The article quoted one adviser who suggested investors in their 60s invest 70 to 80 percent of their portfolio in stocks. I couldn’t disagree more, and here …

Uncle Sam Bolsters Support of State-Sponsored Retirement Plans

The U.S. Department of Labor is paving the way for states to sponsor retirement plans for millions of private-sector workers who don’t have such programs on the job. About 68 million U.S. workers don’t have access to a 401(k) or similar workplace account, according to the Labor Department, even though studies show that employees are more likely to save for retirement if their employer offers a savings plan. More than half of the 50 states are either developing retirement savings …