Financial News from

  • Is the myRA the answer to your future retirement? - 22 hours ago
    Is the myRA the answer to your future retirement?

    You'd like to put that money toward retirement? It's for folks who face hurdles in starting retirement saving. The myRA's chief advantages are that there are no fees charged for the account, and earnings can be withdrawn tax-free after age 59 1/2, says Rob Drury, executive director of the Association of Christian Financial Advisors.

  • Where will mortgage rates head next week? - 22 hours ago

    Will rates go up, down or remain unchanged? Intro Up 41% Down 9% Unchanged 50% Panel Prediction Up Down Unchanged 41% 9% 50% This week (Oct. 8-14), 41% of the panelists believe mortgage rates will rise ...

  • Mortgages fall to lowest level since May - 22 hours ago

    Mortgage rates fell this week following the release of a disappointing jobs report. U.S. employers added 142,000 jobs in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the other hand, yields on government bonds have been gradually increasing after falling last week, as investors decided to take on more risk in the stock market, MarketWatch reports.

  • Should you get a mortgage from a credit union? - 22 hours ago

    Commercial banks aren't the only financial institutions that originate mortgages. Credit unions are another option. "I think more and more Americans are becoming aware of the credit union difference," says Curt Long, director of research and chief economist for the National Association of Federal Credit Unions in Arlington, Virginia.

  • National mortgage rates for Oct. 8, 2015 - 22 hours ago

    Interest Rate Roundup Find the best mortgage rates in your area. Mortgages 30-year fixed: 3.95% Average points: 0.19 Mortgage rates mostly fell this week, according to Bankrate's latest survey of interest ...

  • Should kids pay mom's debt after death? - 22 hours ago

    Dear Debt Adviser, A couple of months ago, my friend's mother died. Her brother is handling the estate and has been wondering about their mother's $2,100 outstanding credit card debt. The mother had no ...

  • CD rates for Oct. 8, 2015 - 22 hours ago

    Interest Rate Roundup Compare CD rates nationally and in your area. CDs 1-year CD yields: 0.28% 5-year CD yields: 0.86% It was a sleepy week for certificates of deposit. CD rates were unchanged in this ...

  • Loan Estimate: Is this an adjustable-rate mortgage? - 22 hours ago

    When a loan offer is for an adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, the Loan Estimate bestows ample documentation. If the loan is an ARM, the word "yes" will appear next to the interest rate, to indicate that the interest rate can increase after closing. This box describes how often the interest rate will be adjusted, how high the interest rate can go and in which year of the loan it can reach that maximum interest rate.

  • Are you normal? See how other households spend their money - 22 hours ago

    "It helps to give a client a reality check and a comparison for what is average," says Dan Serra, a CFP professional with Chevy Chase Trust in Bethesda, Maryland. Serra uses the Consumer Expenditure Survey, an annual report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that breaks down various expenses in detail and offers averages by income, region and family size, among other factors. Housing (including mortgage or rent, utilities, property taxes, maintenance and insurance) tends to be a family's biggest expense.

  • Will Medicare ever add long-term care insurance? - Wed, Oct 7, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    Should Medicare include long-term care insurance coverage? "A majority of Americans perceive that Medicare covers long-term care needs," says Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance, a national trade group. Long-term care is covered not by Medicare but by Medicaid, the federal/state low-income safety net.

  • 10 sweet, often-overlooked tax breaks - Wed, Oct 7, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    You put off filing your Form 1040 until the Oct. 15 extended deadline. Now make sure that you didn't waste this extra filing time by overlooking some common tax breaks. Here are 10 tax breaks -- some for itemizers only, others that any filer can claim -- that often get overlooked but could save you some tax dollars.

  • On mortgage with deadbeat daughter-in-law - Wed, Oct 7, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    Dear Dr. Don, This is a tale of mistakes. I made the mistake of co-signing a mortgage with my daughter-in-law. She has been 30 days late or more on these payments 18 times in the past 3 years. It caused ...

  • Senior finds new love but could lose ex's Social Security - Wed, Oct 7, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    It's true that the Social Security Administration considers both of your earnings in determining your benefits, but I hope you don't mean that you're getting 2 checks. The Social Security Administration doesn't eliminate survivors benefits for widows who remarry after age 60, but it does care about whether a divorced spouse remarries after age 60.

  • 4 secrets to being a frugal foodie - Wed, Oct 7, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    "If you buy too many grocery items and you don't meal plan, you're going to end up wasting food," says consumer expert Andrea Woroch. As an avid cook, Amy Desrosiers is always looking for affordable alternatives to some of the high-end ingredients in her favorite recipes. "I have substituted salami for prosciutto in appetizers," says Desrosiers, who posts saving tips and recipes on her blogs, Savvy Saving Couple and Sizzling Eats.

  • Is a health savings account an IRA in disguise? - Wed, Oct 7, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    For healthy people with a neat row of financial ducks and plenty of cash, health savings accounts, or HSAs, could be a retirement gift from the tax gods. It's no secret that the body begins to break down in old age, leading to an abundance of medical expenses. What if you could fund a retirement account specifically earmarked for health care costs?

  • When buying dog food, does pricier mean better? - Tue, Oct 6, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    With my first dog, the best brindle boxer who ever lived, I bought the most expensive food I could afford -- usually Purina One. When you're on a budget that's stretched buying food for a family of 5, that giant bag of cheap food lurking on the bottom shelf looks tempting. Vader, our black and white mutt with a heart of gold, seems healthy and happy, but I sometimes worry that by buying cheaper food, I'm endangering his health -- and racking up significant vet bills down the road -- just to save a few bucks.

  • Confused employee asks: 'Why did I get a 1099?' - Tue, Oct 6, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    When I received my wage statement in February or March, I found that the owner had filed a Form 1099 for the wages paid instead of a Form W-2. The Oct. 15 deadline for filing your Form 1040 tax return is fast approaching, and the IRS is ready to help you with filing your return and determining your employer situation.

  • How accurate is the mortgage Loan Estimate? - Tue, Oct 6, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    Mortgage The Loan Estimate is required to be fairly accurate. Some fees have to be right on the money. With some other fees, lenders have some leeway to charge more than estimated. Here's a summary: Look ...

  • Ex won't refinance to take my name off house - Tue, Oct 6, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    My ex filed for bankruptcy and she has not refinanced the properties as ordered in the property settlement agreement. The property settlement agreement, aka the marital settlement agreement, is designed to divvy up assets and liabilities. As part of that agreement, your wife said that she would refinance the property and remove your name from the title and the mortgage loan.

  • How to find the best bank - Tue, Oct 6, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    There are about 6,000 banks in the U.S. -- and more than 6,000 credit unions -- and each one offers its own array of account choices. There's no single factor that a consumer can use to decide whether to bank with a specific institution, says Joe Kelly, Certified Financial Planner professional, financial adviser at Valic Financial Advisors and an ambassador for the CFP Board. Ease of use is an important factor as well, says Dylan Ross, CFP professional, director of communications and financial planning at the Garrett Planning Network in Burlington, New Jersey.

  • 52-week savings challenge - Tue, Oct 6, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    Can you try a new way to save every week for a year? Each week, we will try a new way of saving money and chronicle the journey. Follow our 52-week savings challenge here: Click on a date to see which ...

  • Loan Estimate: Can this mortgage trip me up? - Tue, Oct 6, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    Mortgage Does the mortgage have any traps that could snare you? The Loan Estimate is designed to alert you to risky loan features. Is the loan an ARM? Most adjustable-rate mortgages are fine. Having an ...

  • 2015 Bankrate Checking Account Survey - Mon, Oct 5, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    Checking Checking Account Fees Bankrate surveyed banks in 25 large U.S. cities to find the average fees associated with checking accounts in its annual Checking Account Survey, which was conducted in July ...

  • Think twice before downsizing to a mobile home in retirement - Mon, Oct 5, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    As retirement approaches, the prospect of downsizing into a new, affordable, energy-efficient manufactured home in a friendly, village-like mobile home park certainly has its appeal. Is mobile home living worth the risk? The reason: Less than 2% of mobile home parks are owned by the residents, according to Resident Owned Communities USA, or ROC USA.

  • 4 hurdles to clear before sharing a bank account - Mon, Oct 5, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    A joint checking account can seem like the answer to a lot of problems. "Whatever you put into a joint account, the other side can take out," Kessler says. "You know the saying, 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions,'" Kessler says.

  • Beware the pitfalls of joint bank accounts - Mon, Oct 5, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    Checking Checking Account A joint bank account can be a convenient way to handle day-to-day transactions or take care of loved ones. But opening a joint account, whether with family members or business ...

  • 3 smart ways to save for your child - Mon, Oct 5, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT
    3 smart ways to save for your child

    Opening a savings account in a child's name may seem like a great way to give Junior a head start on a lifetime of thrift. In fact, choosing the wrong savings vehicle for your children's future college cash needs could cost them thousands in avoidable taxes and missed financial aid. Meanwhile, students' income and savings have a bigger, more negative, impact on the availability of financial aid than parental assets and income.

  • Expensive surprise with reverse mortgage - Mon, Oct 5, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    When I applied for a reverse mortgage a while back, my home was appraised at $252,000. Within 6 months, the loan ballooned to $162,000, with interest totaling about $2,557 along with a mortgage insurance premium for $6,129. Specifically, see how the current loan balance was created.

  • Loan Estimate: How to compare mortgage offers - Mon, Oct 5, 2015 9:00 PM AEDT

    The total mortgage-related payments you will make in the first 5 years -- closing costs plus the total principal, interest and mortgage insurance you will pay in the first 60 months. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau intended for borrowers to focus on those numbers. The annual percentage rate, or APR, is a calculation that results from adding closing costs to the total interest paid over the life of the loan.

  • Should you leave a car with the engine running? - Fri, Oct 2, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    In a 1st-ever analysis done earlier this year, the National Insurance Crime Bureau looked specifically at car thefts from 2012-2014 when the keys were in the vehicle. It found that the number of overall car thefts was low compared with overall thefts, but that this type of theft is rising. Sure, those numbers seem low, but to put it into perspective, if all of the 2014 car thefts with the keys inside did not occur, the stolen car rate would drop to a rate that hasn't been seen for nearly 40 years -- since 1966.

  • What happens at a mortgage closing - Fri, Oct 2, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Mortgage Basics Step 1: Begin the dip Dip the card into the reader, with the front of the card up and the chip part going in first. Step 2: Leave your card in the reader Remember when you could just swipe ...

  • How to haggle on your mortgage closing costs - Fri, Oct 2, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    The Loan Estimate, introduced in October 2015, is intended to ease that process for borrowers like you, who want to make the mortgage transaction more affordable. The Loan Estimate is given to you within 3 business days of turning in a mortgage application. It outlines the various terms attached to the loan, including your interest rate, estimated monthly payments and the cash you need to close.

  • 2015 list of failed credit unions - Fri, Oct 2, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    This list shows the U.S. credit unions that have either failed or have been placed into conservatorship from 2012 to 2015. Most of the credit unions are acquired, and, if insured, the National Credit Union ...

  • Loan Estimate: How much cash to close? - Fri, Oct 2, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    Mortgage How big a check will you have to write at the closing table? Or, in the lingo of the mortgage industry, what's the "cash to close?" The Loan Estimate lists the cash to close amount in ...

  • How much will I pay for mortgage closing costs? - Fri, Oct 2, 2015 8:00 PM AEST

    The total closing costs are summarized in the "Costs at Closing" section at the bottom of Page 1. Detailed, itemized closing costs take up most of Page 2 in the "Loan Costs" and "Other Costs" sections. The "Loan Costs" section lists the fees associated with getting the mortgage.