Give Today’s Retirees a ‘D’ – for Debt

What’s quickly eating up a growing share of retirees’ money these days? Not health care, as you might expect, according to a new report by the National Center for Policy Analysis. Over the past 20 years, a greater percentage of older Americans’ dollars has gone to servicing debt, particularly mortgage and home equity loans, the “free market” think tank says. It used government data to compare the spending habits of today’s retirees with those of their predecessors, finding, for instance, that 20 …

Hackers Go Upscale, Infiltrate Neiman Marcus Accounts

Hackers have gone from low-end to high-end retail, as luxury merchant Neiman Marcus became the latest to announce that it’s a victim of a data breach. This comes on the heels of a disclosure last month by Minneapolis-based discounter Target, which reported hackers gained access to payment card data on about 40 million credit and debit accounts between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.  On Friday, Target updated its breach investigation, saying the names, mailing addresses, email addresses and phone numbers …

FTC Tackles Deceptive Ads by Car Dealers

If you don’t believe the ultra-low price or attractive finance terms in an advertisement for a new car, your instincts may be right. Some dealers run deceptive ads to lure consumers into their showrooms and then never deliver on their promises, according to a federal regulator. In a nationwide sweep targeting 10 auto dealers, nine of them agreed to settle charges filed by the Federal Trade Commission. The agency’s order prohibits the dealers from misrepresenting the terms of a sale, …

Black Friday Trends and Tips

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, seems to be starting earlier every year. First we saw stores opening to hordes of shoppers at 4 a.m. Friday, then at 3 a.m., a few years back. Now some big-box retailers aren’t even waiting that long. They’re opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day this year, hoping families will eat and run to the nearest mall. >> Sign up for the AARP Money newsletter So what …

Rent to Own? It Could Cost You Big Time

As the holiday shopping season gets under way, you may be tempted to buy that fancy flat-screen TV, a laptop with the latest technologies or a stylish sofa to replace the one your cat uses as a scratching post. (I’m talking to you, Indy). To pay for that big-ticket item, you may be tempted by rent-to-own deals in department stores that now offer them, like Kmart and Sears, according to a Bloomberg report. , rent-to-own deals usually take advantage of …

Holiday Shopping: Will You Spend Less?

This could very well be the year when the Grinch steals Christmas, at least in terms of the gift-giving intentions of some adults. According to a new poll from the personal finance website GoBankingRates.com, 40 percent of some 1,500 survey respondents say they won’t be buying any holiday gifts this year. Blame the economy and the shaky finances of many Americans. The holidays only add to their stress and here’s why: 63 percent of those polled admit they haven’t set …