Q&A: Gift? Or Not a Gift?

Dear Liz: We are planning to build an addition to our home so that my mom can move in with us and will take out a loan to pay for it. Let's say that we put down $50,000 and take out a loan for the remaining cost of $150,000. After the addition is built, my mom will sell her house and with the proceeds she will give us $200,000 to pay for the cost of the addition. Is this considered a gift? Or is it considered payment for a place to live (i.e. she gets something in return), and therefore it is not a gift?

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Tips for Spotting Fake News

Fake news. There's been a lot of discussion about it recently. While bogus stories and advertising cloaked as stories have been around for a long time, the Internet and now social media have helped to spread them quickly to more people. Being skeptical about the news or any information is a good idea no matter the source.

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101 Ad-Proof Tips!

We're living in a world of advertisements, or ads, for short. Ads are everywhere around us, they're embedded in everything, and a lot of these ads don't even look like ads!

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Technology Has Changed the Way We Work

Many people credit technological advances to job displacement. However, it also has led to innovation and increased access which has created jobs for individuals on the shared economy.

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Q&A: Should We Set Up a Will or a Living Trust?

Dear Liz: I am 48 and my wife is 45. Should we set up a will or a living trust? Which is better?

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Don't Fall for Tax Time Scams

Scams occur all year round but some types of scams peak during tax season. The IRS publishes a list of the worst of the tax scams each year called the "Dirty Dozen." Many of these scams make the list year after year. This report highlights the several of the scams.

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Q&A: Missing 401(k)

Dear Liz: I worked for a company during the late 1990s. When I left, I had a 401(k) worth approximately $10,000. I recently found an old 401(k) statement and called the plan administrator. I was told my company's accounts had been transferred to another plan administrator in 2008. I called the new administrator and was told they also could not find my 401(k) using my Social Security number. How do I proceed? What are my options?

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Searching for a Facebook Customer Service Number? Don't.

Have you ever searched for a customer service number online? NPR's All Tech Considered while working on a story decided to search for Facebook Customer Service. Prominently displayed at the top of the Google search results was a phone number. That number will get you a person but not from Facebook.

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It's Tax Time Again. These Tips Can Help.

Tax season. For many people those words mean it's time to complete an unpopular task. So whether you like to get this chore done as soon as possible or wait until the last minute, here are some tips, reminders, and other information to help you prepare your taxes.

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Q&A: Financial Advisor

Dear Liz: I have met with a financial advisor, but he wants every investment to go through him. Although he is an advisor, he works for a company and wants me to buy their products. I'm a little resistant about this. What's your advice?

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7 Simple Steps to the Best Checking Account

Life is a lot easier if you have a checking account. You can store your money, you get a debit card that is linked to your checking account, to be able to go online and make purchases, and you can even pay someone with a check if you don't have cash on you.

But here's the problem: Hundreds of financial institutions want you to open your first checking account with them. Some will try to rip you off, while others will do their best to help you.

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Turning 65 This Year? It’s Time to Sign Up for Medicare

Are you turning 65 this year? Is a parent or grandparent? One important task to take care of in the months around that 65th birthday is enrolling in Medicare. You (or your relative) need to enroll during this initial enrollment period (IEP) if your plans fit either of these situations:

  • You’ll be turning 65 this year, and you plan to apply to start receiving Social Security at that time.
  • You’ll be turning 65 this year, but you plan to keep working and not apply for Social Security until you can receive full benefits at age 66 or at a later age up to 70.

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Q&A: Review Each Other's Credit Reports Before Marriage

Dear Liz: I'm 58 and got married for the first time almost two years ago. I discovered my wife has several incredibly large outstanding student loans, including a parent Plus loan for her son's education that she thought was in deferment and that has nearly doubled to well over $100,000. In addition, my wife has her own student loans, which total over $40,000 and have rates from 3% to nearly 7%. Needless to say, I was shocked and dismayed to discover this debt and wish she had shared it with me earlier.

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Q&A: Irrevocable Gift Trust

Dear Liz: My parents, ages 75 and 76, have established an irrevocable gift trust for my five siblings and me. Wonderful! With the single trust, they have maxed out their lifetime gifting exemption. What else can they do with their other investments to minimize the inevitable estate taxes that will come with their deaths? They have lived a frugal life of caution and reserve, but before their nest egg can be distributed to their heirs, the government will extract millions of dollars.

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    • Financial Well-being


      Want to improve your credit score? Want to cut your tax bills?  Like to tear up hundred dollar bills? (You're probably doing that). How about this:  want to wake up retired and without money?  Your Financial Well-being rules your life.  We put you in charge of the rules.

       

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    • Privacy Rights

      Every worry about identity theft?  Worry about young people and the dangers of the web? Mind if I read your private emails?  Or browse through your medical records? This section takes you into the scary world of privacy, fraud and identity theft.  FoolProof gives you the information you need when it comes to identity theft and privacy issues.   

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