Personal Finance

What we really need to be better off financially

The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, explains that financial education is just part of the equation when it comes to attaining true financial well-being. Americans also need to change their financial habits and behaviors.  More

Home prices grow at slower pace

The Case-Shiller index of home prices in major U.S. cities shows a continued slowdown, raising concerns about the housing market for 2015.  More

Boomerang home buyers are coming back

Millions of Americans who lost their homes in the recession may become eligible to buy a new home beginning this year, according to a report.  More

ID thieves stealing tax refunds still a big problem, IRS says

Identity thieves are stealing people's Social Security numbers and other key pieces of personal information in order to file a fraudulent tax return and claim a refund, the IRS warned Monday.  More

Living your dream retirement? Tell us about it

Are you living your dream retirement? If so, we want to hear how you were able to get there -- whether it was by saving every penny, investing wisely or pursuing your passions.  More

Is your target-date fund ripping you off?

Target-date funds have become a wildly popular option among those seeking a hands-off approach to retirement investing. But not all of these funds are created equally.  More

IRS warns of phishing tax scams, fake emails

Tax season is prime time for cons. Tax scammers are sending out so-called "phishing emails" that appear to be from the IRS and claim that the recipient either owes money or is due a refund.  More

Europe is on sale for American travelers

Many parts of Europe are on sale now that the euro is at an 11-year low against the U.S. dollar.  More

Fake IRS phone calls tops list of tax scams

Scammers impersonating IRS agents are targeting the elderly and new immigrants threatening them with arrest, deportation or the loss of their driver's license. And the IRS says this scam is on the rise, topping its list of "Dirty Dozen" tax scams this year.  More

Homeless Millionaire Poker Player

Poker pro Faraz Jaka has accolades to his name and millions in earnings. He's also homeless, and chooses to couch surf around the world, living out of two small carry-on bags.  Play

Many spouses are cheating - financially

You're not alone. One in five Americans has kept their spouse in the dark about a $500 purchase, and men are the most likely offenders.  More

Why airfares are sky-high when jet fuel is dirt cheap

Jet fuel is costing airlines about half of what they were paying a year ago, but passengers not seeing any break on fares.  More

Obama wants to cut 27 questions from the much-hated FAFSA

President Obama wants to make the FAFSA easier by cutting 27 tough questions from the application form.  More

I've made millions playing poker, own almost nothing - and I've never been happier

Once he made some money, this poker player tried settling down. But he found he was happier on the road.  More

Bill & Melinda Gates' next target: banking

The billionaire power couple believe banking -- specifically the mobile variety -- can help lift millions out of poverty.  More

Obama proposes scaling back benefits of 529 college savings plans

The President has proposed removing a key tax-saving feature.  More

Can I afford to retire early?

Leaving the workforce early sounds like a dream. But running out of money too soon in retirement can be a real nightmare. Before assuming your nest egg is going to last for decades, take these factors into account.  More

Wal-Mart customers can pick up their tax refunds in cash

Wal-Mart partnering with 25,000 tax preparers to allow taxpayers to get their refunds in cash at stores rather than in checks or direct deposit.  More

Swiss tourism staring into the abyss

Switzerland's tourism industry is getting blasted this winter as the jump in the value of the Swiss franc raises prices for visitors.  More

How Obama would close the 'trust fund loophole'

President Obama wants to make sure the "wealthiest Americans pay their fair share on inherited assets," according to a White House fact sheet. His proposal: Change a rule that protects capital gains from taxes when an investment is bequeathed to family.  More

Six ways to get free money for college

President Obama's plan to make community college free is only a proposal. If the dream doesn't come true, here are other ways to get money for college.  More

Obama's myRA retirement accounts are now a reality

Don't have a 401(k) or pension at your job? The federal government is now offering myRA, a government-sponsored savings account intended to help millions of Americans start saving for retirement.  More

States where taxes hit the poor hardest

In Washington state, the poor pay a far larger share of their income toward state and local taxes than the top 1%, making it the most regressive tax state in the nation, according to an analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.  More

How the 1% fly to Davos

The World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, attracts so many rich individuals that the area struggles to handle all the private jet traffic.  More

IRS will do fewer tax audits this year

Five years of budget cuts have reduced IRS enforcement staff and that's meant the agency has not been able to collect billions of dollars owed through tax audits, said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  More

'Devastating erosion' of taxpayer services at IRS

Congressional budget cuts have resulted in an "unacceptably low level" of taxpayer service, according to the latest report from National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson.  More

Sane investing in a scary market

Rather than guessing whether to hold or sell when stocks go for a wild ride, you're better off developing a diversified portfolio you can live with through all sorts of market conditions. Here's how.  More

Banks to offer FICO credit scores for free

Bank of America and Chase credit card holders will be able to see their FICO scores for free starting later this year.  More

Nearly 8 out of 10 U.S. taxpayers get refunds

Whether out of fear of owing money to the IRS or through tax breaks, nearly eight out of 10 taxpayers receive a federal tax refund. The average amount they get: $2,800.  More

IRS warns of tax refund delays

Due to budget cuts, the IRS expects some tax refunds to be delayed by an extra week, if not longer. Staff reductions are also expected to result in fewer audits, the agency's head wrote in a memo Tuesday.  More

In Texas, payday lenders are getting borrowers arrested

Arresting people -- or threatening to do so -- over unpaid debts has been illegal in Texas for years now. Yet, that hasn't stopped payday lenders from seeking criminal charges against more than 1,500 borrowers, a recent report found.  More

Does free community college work?

President Obama's ambitious play to make community college free nationwide stems from a program that Knoxville has been heading up since 2008.  More

I'm outta here! 35% of workers say they'll quit if they don't get a raise

Half of workers say they expect a 3% to 5% raise. And roughly the same said they think they can land a new job of equal value within six months, according to Glassdoor.com.  More

10 fantastic food festivals for 2015

From the Terlingua International Chili Cook-Off to the Oregon Truffle Festival, these celebrations of local food aren't just great excuses to eat, they are also great vacation destinations.  More

FHA to lower cost of mortgage insurance

The Federal Housing Administration is dramatically cutting the premiums it charges for mortgage insurance. As a result the typical first-time home buyer should save about $900 a year.  More

Everybody is moving to Oregon

Oregon was the number one destination for people moving out of state for the second year in a row.  More

Am I on track to retire right?

Not sure whether you're saving enough for retirement? Here's how to find out if you're on the right path or need to start stashing away more.  More

Should we stop tracking the divorce rate?

The Census Bureau has placed seven questions from the American Community Survey under review, five of which ask about an individual's marital situation, but some experts say that would be a mistake.  More

Background checks: What employers can find out about you

Prospective employers will want to check far more than just your references before hiring you. But they won't do a background check on you until they're sure you're a top candidate for the job.  More

'Miserable' tax season could be worst in years

Budget cuts coupled with a heavier and more complex workload are likely to hamstring the agency's efforts to provide a seamless tax filing experience for many taxpayers.  More

10 things you'll pay more for in 2015

Burgers, electricity and your Taylor Swift fix are just a few of the things you can expect to pay more for in 2015.  More

5 biggest threats to the housing market

Sure, plenty of housing experts and economists are expecting the housing market recovery to gain steam in the new year. But a number of factors could still derail the whole thing.  More

The only funds you need in your portfolio now

The number of funds you own isn't nearly as important as the types of securities your funds own. Here are three smart and simple retirement portfolios for 2015 (and beyond).  More

Millions of homeowners could refinance and save big

As many as 7.4 million mortgage borrowers could qualify for more affordable mortgages, but most don't even apply.  More

New Year's is the best day to apply for financial aid

Filing for financial aid now is your best bet for getting money for college.  More

95-year-old billionaire and 39-year-old Go Pro founder among top givers of 2014

Tech billionaires have been among the top donors to charitable causes in recent years. But in 2014, the biggest bequests came from two men who made their billions the old fashioned way.  More

4 New Year's resolutions for investors

Promises to hit the gym and eat healthier in 2015 are great. But don't forget to pay just as much attention to your money.  More

Southern grocery chain offering same-sex health benefits

The Florida based grocery store chain will offer health benefits to legally married same-sex couples no matter what state they live in.  More

Wealthy Russians aren't buying U.S. homes anymore

With the price of oil tanking and the value of the ruble hitting an all-time low against the U.S. dollar, high-end real estate brokers in Manhattan, Miami and other major cities have been losing some of their best customers: deep-pocketed Russians.  More

24 hours with a caviar girl

There's only one caviar girl in the world, and it's Mackenzie Jones, a 21-year-old aspiring singer, actor and dancer in New York City. Her personal mission: to "demystify the delicacy" of caviar.  More

Why is United Airlines suing a 22-year-old?

A computer whiz starts a website to get people cheap plane tickets by exposing a weakness in airline pricing and gets sued.  More

Housing 2015: The return of first-time home buyers

With rents expected to continue to rise faster than incomes, many Millennials may finally start looking to buy homes next year. What they will find are much more favorable conditions. Here's what to expect in 2015's housing market.  More

Readers rally to pay off family's $200,000 debt

After losing their daughter to liver failure and getting hit with $200,000 in student loans, the Mason family is finally getting financial relief.  More

Ex-NFL star: 'I had to start over and pick up the pieces'

T.J. Duckett didn't know what to do when his NFL career ended in 2009. After some soul searching, he launched his own nonprofit.  More

The best way to invest for retirement income

You need to be able to pull enough out to cover your living expenses, but also need to keep your portfolio growing. Here are three steps for getting the balance right.  More

Sell your holiday gift cards for cash

If you're looking to sell your holiday gift cards for cold hard cash... there's an app for that.  More

6 products to keep the skies friendly

Plane travel can be stressful, especially during the holidays. These things can help keep the peace among travelers.  More

Get your portfolio ready for 2015 and beyond

Rattled by the rocky markets? Ignore the turmoil and prognostications and focus instead on creating a long-term investing strategy that will see you through 2015 and beyond. Here's how.  More

Rising trend: Donating stock to charity

Warren Buffett isn't the only one gifting shares of stock to charities. It has major tax advantages for all involved.  More

Union retirees: Don't cut my pension

Retired union workers could see their pensions cut under a controversial new law, but many say they're not sure how they'll make ends meet if big cuts go through.  More

2014: Helluva good year for stocks

The bull market has been going for 2,115 days. If you put you're money in stocks, it's been a very happy year.  More

Not American? You still might have to file U.S. taxes

Foreigners married to Americans could still be on the hook to file U.S. taxes.  More

IRS to auction remainder of Darryl Strawberry's Mets salary

The Internal Revenue Service is putting outfielder Darryl Strawberry's retirement annuity on the auction block next month.  More

Shocking gender pay gap in London's banks

A new survey reveals women in U.K. banking earn about 15% less than men, and expect bonuses about half the size.  More

You're saving $550 on gas. Save or spend it?

Sure you could spend more this holiday, but your better bet is to put the money you save in your 401(k).  More

Top 1%: What they made, what they paid

The income of the top 1% jumped significantly in 2012, far outpacing inflation. Not only did this group make a larger share of the country's income, their share of total taxes also jumped from 35% to 38%.  More

Last-minute Christmas shopping guide

Still haven't ordered those stocking stuffers? You still have time, but not much. Here's the deadline to buy from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and others.  More

Payday lenders throw millions at powerful politicians to get their way

Payday lenders are spending millions of dollars in Washington in an attempt to get powerful politicians on their side as a government crackdown on the industry heats up.  More

Mortgage rates hit a new low for the year

Amid falling gas prices and investor nervousness, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate loan fell to 3.8%, a rate not seen since May 2013.  More

Alternative lenders are hot -- especially among millennials

With two recent IPOs and a digitally-inclined audience of entrepreneurs, non-traditional financing could finally get its big break.  More

The 2014 tax breaks you'll be able to take

Congress waited until the last minute to decide what to do with a slew of expired tax breaks. They extended most of them, and a handful will affect individuals directly.  More

Re-gifting is fine... if you follow these rules

Etiquette experts say re-gifting is generally considered acceptable, as long as you follow these rules.  More

Toyota has best value: Consumer Reports

Three Toyota vehicles are the best in their automotive classes, according to new ratings from Consumer Reports.  More

Saving America's malls from the brink of death

The economy and online retail have changed the way we shop. But that doesn't mean the mall is going the way of the dinosaur.  More

The best thing to do now for your portfolio

Stocks have fallen over 3% in December and the outlook for 2015 is cloudy. It's a good time to rebalance.  More

Get your portfolio ready for 2015 and beyond

Rattled by the rocky markets? Ignore the turmoil and prognostications and focus instead on creating a long-term investing strategy that will see you through 2015 and beyond. Here's how.  More

Novelty gifts for people with money to burn

For those who've got the cash, these holiday gifts can really make a statement.  More
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