The Long Goodbye: Your Kid’s Cellphone Bill

Cheering their new grads at college commencements this month, parents will likely give another hurrah: No more tuition! But there’s another cost that might well linger on for parents of high school and college grads: the cellphone bill. A Wall Street Journal survey last year found that about 40 percent of parents of 18- to 35-year-old children still pay for their cellphone service, and 29 percent continue to do so even after their kids have moved out and pay their …

How to Survive a Workplace Culture Clash With Millennials

A friend who supervises interns recently complained about a young man she gave an assignment to one morning. When she passed his desk a few hours later, he was surfing the Web. His explanation: assignment complete so he was taking a break. Argh! A culture clash is erupting as millennials stampede into the workplace, arriving saddled with a negative reputation. But if boomers want to coexist with twentysomethings, then they – the older generation – need an attitude adjustment, says …

Tightening the Family Ties

Sometimes I feel like an in-house publicist for my three adult children: a text to the middle son asking him to give his sister a call; an email to the oldest telling him about his brother’s time on a half-marathon; a phone call to the youngest suggesting she check in with her brothers. Why persist in trying to tighten the sibling bonds? Because adult children are often at different stages – and locations – in their lives so it takes …

Social Security Halts Tax-Refund Grab to Recover Old Debts

Update: The Social Security Administration says it will immediately stop collecting old debts by grabbing taxpayers’ refunds. In a statement, Carolyn W. Colvin, the acting commissioner of the agency, says: “I have directed an immediate halt to further referrals under the Treasury Offset Program to recover debts owed to the agency that are 10 years old and older pending a thorough review of our responsibility and discretion under the current law to refer debt to the Treasury Department. “If any Social Security …

Why Your Children Should Help Pay for College

Spring means college admissions, and we still recall the agonizing wait for the mail carrier. A thin envelope brought bad news, a thick envelope acceptance. Today, though, the “envelope” arrives via email – and that’s not all that’s changed. These days, the sticker price for private colleges starts at about $40,000 a year, going much higher for a prestigious institution; in-state schools run about half that. Nearly as soon as the anxiety on the admissions front dissipates, it’s replaced by …

Is Marriage More Loving, or Boring, in Retirement?

Is marriage more boring or more fulfilling in retirement? (Hint: It’s better than you think.) Do spouses in blended families have different financial priorities for their own children than for their stepchildren? These were some of the questions that 5,415 people were asked in a study called “Family & Retirement: The Elephant in the Room.” Folks weighed in about their hopes and fears when they retire, whether they’d sacrifice their own financial security to help their adult children now, and …