• The reality of quitting work can be far different from the fantasy. Here's what you need to know Even if you love your job, there are times when you'd rather be alphabetizing the spice shelf than riding a packed train alongside hundreds of sniffling fellow commuters. And as you sway in the car next to a man who has biked four hours to the station, you might be thinking about early retirement. [...]

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    Couples on their second marriages need to plan carefully for each other and their kids A second marriage can be a balm for the heartache of losing a spouse, be it through death or divorce. Nevertheless, if there are children or other heirs involved, you should consider carefully what will happen with your money and possessions when you pass on. You can never guarantee that everyone in the [...]

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    In 2007, at age 52, I was forced to retire overnight. An MRI had revealed a tumor, the size of a large eggplant, sitting on my pelvis. In 98% of these cases, my oncologist told me, bone tumors are secondary cancer. He estimated that I had about six months to live. But after two successful operations, I took a few months to recuperate on crutches and learn how to walk again. After my [...]

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    Prepare for the monetary shock of widowhood When you lose your mate, you lose so much—your best friend, your equilibrium, your future together. And just when you’re at your lowest, it hits you: You could lose a lot of money, too. Your finances may crash in myriad ways just when you’re dealing with grief. Among them: If your spouse was still working—and the average age at which [...]

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    Thinking about retiring? The keys to contentment are at your fingertips Some might say that an ideal retirement would find you waking up in a private Mediterranean villa on a mattress made of freshly ironed $100 bills. And it's true: Money is a big part of a happy retirement for many. But most people need other things to be happy in retirement. After all, a pile of cash doesn't guarantee good [...]

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    Caregivers can play a key role in keeping criminals at bay It’s a sad fact of life: Criminals target older Americans for fraud. Many older folks have nest eggs. Cybersecurity is not their second language. They came of age during more trusting times. And they may be coping with isolation, diminished eyesight, hearing loss or other health issues. Crooks exploit these vulnerabilities, but [...]

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    Steep rises in energy, housing, food WASHINGTON — Inflation soared over the past year at its fastest pace in more than 40 years, with costs for food, gasoline, housing and other necessities squeezing American consumers and wiping out the pay raises that many people have received.​ The Labor Department said Tuesday that its consumer price index jumped 8.5 percent in March from 12 months [...]

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    Economic downturns are inevitable. Here's how to protect your retirement nest egg Sooner or later, the economy will fall into a recession, because that’s the nature of the economy: Busts follow booms. For many retirees, the biggest challenge is the investment volatility that typically accompanies a recession. For those who haven’t retired yet, the biggest worry tends to be losing their job.[...]

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    Social Security retirement benefits are primarily based on two factors: your average income over your working life and your age when you claim them. You get to decide when to start collecting benefits, within an eight-year window from age 62 to age 70. The longer you wait, the higher your monthly payment will be. That means choosing when to file for Social Security is in part a [...]

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    How to get control of what you owe For Gail and Tony Dean, the crisis came as they approached 50. Living in South Florida, they decided to move north, near Orlando, where they bought land and began to build their dream home. Then the debts piled up. The couple — she worked for Disney, he was in law enforcement — had a construction loan for their new place. The tenant whose rent was[...]

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