What You Can Expect When the Fed Raises Rates

Federal Reserve policymakers will meet next week to decide whether to raise a key interest rate. If they do, it’ll be the first time since June 2006. To put that in perspective, the New York Times notes that back then, Facebook was still mostly for college students and its competitor, MySpace (remember MySpace?), had 10 times as many users. If policymakers nudge this rate up, it could have a ripple effect on the pocketbooks of consumers. Many experts predict, though, …

Reframing the Social Security Decision

When should you begin taking Social Security benefits? That was a question asked of AARP.org visitors and registered website users . Less than 19 percent selected age 70, though that’s exactly what I tell the vast majority of my clients to do. Most object to my recommendation until I frame the decision in a different way, which is that they can spend money now and still let it grow. Take this recent case, for example. Kate is 66 and is …

Regrets? Older Workers Have a Few

Which would you rather have: a job that offers a 401(k) or one that doesn’t have a retirement plan but comes with a higher salary? If you’re like most pre-retirees ages 55 to 65, you’re more than five times as likely to choose the 401(k). That’s one of the findings of the third annual survey by American Century Investments, a Missouri-based money manager that polled more than 2,000 workers ages 25 to 65 about saving, retirement and regrets. When the …

5 Steps to Cure Binge-and-Purge Shopping Disorder

I once had a dirty little secret. No, it wasn’t an online flirtation, a crush on actor Mark Rylance (that’s common knowledge) or a tendency for midnight fridge raids. It was a brief problem with BPSD, aka Binge-and-Purge Shopping Disorder, and it’s why online retailers such as Amazon, Target, Sephora and Beauty.com are such a success. Women 50 and older are the biggest buyers of online beauty and fashion. Buy, try, return, repeat is a familiar but addictive habit. The revolving door …

Worried About Back-to-School Expenses? Search for the Best Dollar Deals

In just a few weeks, many students will find themselves back at school with newly purchased clothes and supplies. The back-to-school season can be an expensive time for parents and grandparents, but it doesn’t have to be — if you plan carefully. Here are a few money tips to get you started. Stick to Your Budget As with any event, have a budget. So, what’s your budget for sending the kids — or even yourself — back to class? Back-to-school …

How Much Have You Saved for Retirement?

How much have you saved for retirement? Five hundred dollars? Five thousand? Fifty thousand? If you have even $5 saved, you’re one step ahead of nearly half of working-age households — who have ZERO saved for retirement. This startling fact is just one of the reasons AARP is fighting for Work and Save, a commonsense solution to help individuals save toward a secure retirement  through an easy payroll deduction at work — an option not available to many employees. Work …