Shopping With Credit-Card Readers Attached to Smartphones

If my friend Beth’s recent holiday buying is any indication, shoppers are in for a more-connected experience. Last week, my 82-year-old buddy wanted to buy a platter at her church bazaar. She was met with a “newfangled credit-card” gadget. “The salesgirl told me to slide my credit card through a little square thing attached to her phone,” Beth told me.  “She said it was safe, I did it, I hope it was ok.” That small device called Square is a …

Older Patients Steered Into High-Interest Credit Plans

Consider this: An older patient visits the dentist. The treatment she needs is expensive and not covered by Medicare. So the dentist offers her financing, on the spot, through a credit card plan. She accepts and gets the work done right away. When she gets the first month’s bill, she’s stunned to learn that the financing plan carries an interest rate of 30 percent. That scenario, you might be surprised to learn, appears to be a growing trend in doctor’s …

The Constantly Moving Target of Debt Freedom

In my line of work as a professional cheapskate, a week rarely passes when I don’t receive a money-related press release or see a news item that leaves me shaking my head about people’s attitudes and behavior when it comes to money.  Adlai E. Stevenson said it 50+ years ago, but it’s apparently all the more true today.  Stevenson said:  “There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it seems to happen to …

Don’t Get Snookered by Sneaky Fees

If you’re using credit and debit cards to pay for purchases – and let’s face it, who isn’t these days? – you’re probably paying hundreds of dollars in fees you didn’t even know about. These sneaky charges typically show up in your statement for things like a membership or subscription that automatically renewed without your authorization, or when a free two-week trial morphs into an ongoing membership that charges you each month (again without your permission), or when extra fees …

Dad’s Legacy of Debt Inspired a Movement

This is a guest post by Jeff Rose. Fathers tend to leave lasting memories behind for their children. Fond summer memories for some might involve playing catch or ‘HORSE’ basketball, going fishing, or grilling hot dogs that tasted just right. For me, my father’s legacy was debt. Growing up, my father gave me everything: love, support and understanding. I cherished every moment with him and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world. When I got older that I started to realize that my dad …

AARPMoney Twitter Chat Wrap: Lynnette Khalfani-Cox

This is a guest post by Tara Finnegan Coates, editor for money and work content on AARP.org. Thanks to everyone who had a chance to participate in our twitter chat Tuesday with AARP money expert Lynnette Khalfani-Cox  (@themoneycoach).  Lynnette is currently hosting  the AARP Pay Down Your Debt Challenge through Jan. 29 on AARP.org. In case you missed it, here’s some of the highlights from the chat. Americans racked up $20B on credit cards in November. Total debt (housing included) …