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11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

Posted on 07/30/2014 by |News, Culture, Sights and Sounds | Comments

11 ThingsNews, discoveries and … fun 1. Insects are a food source for one of every three people worldwide. (Learn more at Yahoo) 2. The debts and unpaid bills of more than a third of Americans have been reported to collection agencies. (Learn more at Urban Institute) 3. Handshakes share 20 times more germs than fist bumps. (Learn more at AARP) >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter  4. A new smartphone app simulates a retro camera by making you …

Money-Market Funds Just Got Safer..Or Did they?

Posted on 07/25/2014 by |Senior Editor, Money Team | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsAfter years of debate, the Securities and Exchange Commission this week finally adopted new rules designed to shore up the stability of the $2.6 trillion money market  industry. The question now is, will it help? While the changes largely affect institutional investors, one provision also applies to small investors by temporarily restricting their access to their money if a fund has liquidity problems. For decades money market funds were seen as reliably boring, investing in government securities or high-grade corporate debt. Though the funds’ …

Interest Rates Are Low Until You Do the Math

Posted on 05/1/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & SavingsI often hear that interest rates are awful and that it’s the worst time ever for retirees needing to live on fixed income. Yet when you look at after-tax, inflation-adjusted returns, a different picture emerges. Many people smile when I tell them that back in 1980 they could have earned 12 percent on a 10-year U.S. Treasury or certificate of deposit (CD). Depositing $10,000 would have returned $1,200 a year. But if a third went to taxes, that gain would …

Those Free Dinner Seminars May Give You Heartburn

Posted on 04/21/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & SavingsEver get those invitations for a free financial seminar at a restaurant? “Nothing will be sold — we only want to educate you on your financial future,” is the typical pitch. Most specify that “financial professionals may not attend.” However, I recently received one that didn’t exclude me, and decided to see what I might learn about my financial future. Here’s my experience and what you need to know. First, this wasn’t just some seminar at a local restaurant; this …

Planning for a Strong Financial Future

Posted on 04/15/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & SavingsBy Lee Baker, CFP One of my favorite things as a child was reading comic books. To be honest, if I had more free time, I would probably read them now. Like me, most of you probably remember the Charles Atlas ads in comic books and other magazines. You know the story: A bully kicks sand in a skinny kid’s face. Deciding to do something about it, the skinny kid sends for a free book from Charles Atlas that promises …

Are You Being Suckered by High-Speed Computers?

Posted on 04/2/2014 by |AARP Blog Author | Comments

Money & SavingsIn his new book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt (W.W. Norton & Company, 2014), Michael Lewis, author of  Moneyball and The Big Short, says stock market trading may be rigged by so-called high frequency traders using supercomputers. During an interview about his book Sunday on CBS’s 60 Minutes, Lewis discussed the impact of high frequency trading in what’s known in the brokerage world as front-running. To explain what this is, let’s say you wanted to buy 100 shares of …