1 in 4 Didn’t Notice ID Theft for at Least 2 Years. Would You?

Identity theft is fast-moving. Are you asleep at the wheel? The sooner ID theft is discovered, the easier it is to repair the damage. And yet, 1 in 4 people did not know they were victims until at least two years later, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). That’s more than enough time to destroy your financial life and start a new one on your dime. Sixteen percent of 201 people from 39 states who contacted the ITRC in …

Millennials Need Parents to Talk About Long-Term Plans

Religion, sex, politics and money rank as taboo topics for polite conversation, perhaps avoided with our adult children, too. But money should be on the table for the simple reason that our financial situation often affects our kids as we age. A reminder of that comes in an honest and heartfelt column by Yahoo financial adviser Mandi Woodruff about her parents. She writes: “These days, I find myself worrying far more about their financial futures than I do my own. …

New Campaign Highlights Holiday Joy, Stress for Caregivers

November is National Family Caregivers Month, and AARP has teamed up with the Ad Council in a campaign that includes the results of a new caregiving poll as well as a series of powerful public service ads highlighting the changing roles of family caregivers. The ads also point caregivers to help from the AARP Caregiving Resource Center, which unveils two new tools this month: an opportunity to tell your own caregiving story and a searchable nationwide directory of senior-care providers …

Why You Should Pay Down Your Mortgage

Many in the financial services industry will advise you not to pay down your mortgage. I can’t disagree more. Why? Because a mortgage is essentially the inverse of a bond: Mortgage: borrowed money where you pay someone principal and interest. Bond: money you lend where the borrower pays you principal and interest.   It’s that simple. For example, the high-quality bonds I wrote about here recently, or bank certificates of deposit (CDs), will pay you roughly 2 percent. The average mortgage rate is about 4 percent. My conclusion …

Jean Chatzky: Our Relationship With Money Is a ‘Hot Mess’

Jean Chatzky has a few choice words for how most folks describe their relationship with money: Confusing. Frightening. Chaotic. Stressful. Precarious. “For two decades now, I’ve been watching how we make our money, save it, spend it, borrow it, invest it and protect it,” Chatzky told an audience today at the AARP Ideas@50+ conference underway in San Diego. “And I can tell you that, overall, our relationship with money is a hot mess.” Chatzky, AARP’s financial ambassador, is a best-selling author and …

Tips for International Travel

Two back-to-back international trips this year — to Germany and South Africa — gave me a good reason to brush up on my world-traveler skills. Here are the main things I think about when I’m planning a trip abroad. Phoning home. How I am going to communicate? I mainly use Skype. It’s an easy, inexpensive way to make international calls. There are similar applications for phones, including Viber and WhatsApp, that allow you to text, call and send photos and …