More New Retirement Account Proposals

Americans are way short in their retirement savings, and President Obama’s MyRA plan, which he unveiled last week, isn’t the only new proposal that aims to help with that problem. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., also offered a savings plan. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, has one of his own, which follows a report he released last summer. Of these three proposals, Harkin’s is the most ambitious. His Universal, Secure and Adaptable (USA) Retirement Funds would create a …

Is Your State a … Weakling?

Politico Magazine has tallied the numbers, and the Oscar for best state goes to … New Hampshire. Actually, the magazine’s ranking is pegged to a different winter event: the president’s annual State of the Union address. Here’s what Politico‘s Margaret Slattery has to say: Tuesday, President Obama, if precedent holds, will declare that the state of America’s union is “strong.” Is it? One way to judge is by the state of the states of the union: How strong are they, and, …

Need Help From the IRS? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Have tax questions or problems? You probably shouldn’t expect much in the way of help from the IRS these days, according to the latest report from the Taxpayer Advocate Service, an independent organization within the agency. Some of the major findings: The IRS no longer helps elderly, disabled and low-income taxpayers prepare their annual returns. Ten years ago it prepared 476,000 such returns. Only 61 percent of calls to the IRS from taxpayers wanting to speak to someone were answered, …

End the Year With These Fabulous Freebies

Some fabulous freebies to end the year with and ring in 2014: Free Video From Santa: Hurry! Time is running out to send the kids a personalized video from Santa via this website. If’ you’ve already sent out your Christmas cards, remember it for next year. Free 2014 Calendar: Click on the link for these free, downloadable calendars. You can customize them to meet your needs and track your schedule. Free Financial Planning Tools: Several websites like Mint, Bankrate and AARP offer free calculators …

Early Tax Filers Will Have to Wait for Refunds

Early 2013 tax filers expecting a refund will have to wait a bit next year. The IRS says it’s starting the 2014 tax season 10 days later than usual, on Jan. 31, as a consequence of the federal government shutdown in October. The 16-day closure curtailed most government operations and delayed the IRS from updating its processing systems for the new tax season. “The late January opening gives us enough time to get things right with our programming, testing and systems …

They Found $1 Million in Their Trash

Joseph and Joanne Zagami of North Attleborough, Mass., have won $1 million on a lottery ticket that they fished out of their trash after mistakenly throwing it away, the Associated Press reports. After buying the $5 scratch-off ticket from a supermarket vending machine, the state lottery commission says, the Zagamis dropped it into one of their grocery bags and then forgot about it. >> Get travel discounts with your AARP Member Advantages. following day, when the Zagamis realized that neither of …