Are Medical Credit Cards Unhealthy for Your Finances?

You need some expensive medical care yet don’t have the insurance or money to pay for it. Should you use a medical credit card that’s pitched at some doctors’ offices? A new report by the nonprofit Consumer Action warns that some of these cards can be unhealthy for your finances. They usually offer a zero percent introductory rate, though after that period, card terms can vary greatly. The problem is that these terms often are difficult to uncover. So patients …

Who’s Tapping Their 401(k) to Pay Off Debt?

Too many workers are using their 401(k) savings plan as a piggy bank, tapping it way before retirement for reasons such as to pay off debt, remodel their home or take a vacation they couldn’t otherwise afford. New research from the financial services company TIAA-CREF finds that one-third of 1,000 Americans surveyed in May have taken out a loan from their retirement savings plan. And 44 percent say they now regret it. The survey looked at what situations caused workers to tap those …

Retiring Early? Pony Up $51,000 Extra for Health Care, Fidelity Says

Are you and your spouse thinking about retiring early? Doing so can cost you, as a couple, an extra $17,000 a year in medical costs, according to a Fidelity Investments analysis. The Boston-based investment company compared the projected average health care costs of couples retiring this year at age 65 with those of couples retiring as early as age 62 and as late as 67. It assumed they would have Medicare coverage at 65, although the analysis doesn’t include costs for nursing home and …

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 …

Do You Worry About Money? Join the Club

Whether you’re nearing the end of your working life or still several decades away, Americans all share the same financial fear: Will I have enough money to retire? More than two in three Americans ages 30 to 64 say their top financial worry is whether they’ll be able to save enough to live reasonably well in retirement, according to a Gallup poll released this week. Not being able to pay for medical costs was the top money fear for people …

Tools to Shore Up Retirement Savings

The road to retirement may seem uncomfortably short, particularly if you’re in your 50s and haven’t saved much. The latest Federal Reserve data shows that households with people ages 55 to 64 have accumulated a median $120,000 in retirement savings. That amounts to about $400 to $500 a month in income, according to a CNBC report, on top of the average monthly Social Security benefit of $1,294. If you’re 10 to 15 years out from your projected retirement date, it’s …