Senior Personal Finance Correspondent
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Oct 2, 2013

How to shop during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Every October, my book group drops its strictly literary agenda and spends a weekend shopping the outlets at the Delaware shore. We love the fall weather, but there’s another reason for the timing: October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the malls sell pink cards for $1 each that get us 20 percent discounts on purchases and raise money for breast cancer research.

So, we get to save money and feel warm and fuzzy. Yet I wonder how much good we are doing. With everything from chewing gum to flashlights to bicycles branded with bright pink coloring, I want to make sure I make good choices, especially because two people whom I loved dearly have died of breast cancer in recent years.

Oct 2, 2013

Stern Advice-How to shop during Breast Cancer Awareness Month

NEW YORK, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Every October, my book group
drops its strictly literary agenda and spends a weekend shopping
the outlets at the Delaware shore. We love the fall weather, but
there’s another reason for the timing: October is National
Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the malls sell pink cards for
$1 each that get us 20 percent discounts on purchases and raise
money for breast cancer research.

So, we get to save money and feel warm and fuzzy. Yet I
wonder how much good we are doing. With everything from chewing
gum to flashlights to bicycles branded with bright pink
coloring, I want to make sure I make good choices, especially
because two people whom I loved dearly have died of breast
cancer in recent years.

Sep 25, 2013

Braving the new world of Obamacare exchanges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Here comes the day the Obamacare enthusiasts have been waiting for and the haters have dreaded: The state health insurance exchanges mandated by the Affordable Care Act open for business on Tuesday, October 1.

Finally, Americans will start to see their health insurance options for 2014. Here’s a key number: The average cost for the average plan will be $328 a month for one person. That figure covers a wide range of policies and prices.

Sep 25, 2013

Stern Advice-Braving the new world of Obamacare exchanges

WASHINGTON, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Here comes the day the
Obamacare enthusiasts have been waiting for and the haters have
dreaded: The state health insurance exchanges mandated by the
Affordable Care Act open for business on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Finally, Americans will start to see their health insurance
options for 2014. Here’s a key number: The average cost for the
average plan will be $328 a month for one person. That figure
covers a wide range of policies and prices.

Sep 18, 2013

How to hack your 529 college savings plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans fling more than $30 million a day at 529 college savings plans, and no wonder – the plans provide some sweet tax savings, a variety of investment choices and the satisfaction that you’re doing something for the kids.

These plans, sponsored by almost every state and the District of Columbia, allow savers to accumulate money their children use for college. Contributions don’t get any federal tax breaks, though some states offer tax incentives to participants. When the money is withdrawn to pay for qualified college expenses, it is not taxed – so all the money earned within the 529 over the years is tax-free income.

Aug 28, 2013

Money milestones for every decade

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Life spans are long, and not everyone lives on a “house and kids by 30, first million by 50″ kind of schedule. Nevertheless, there are financial milestones that it helps to hit at every stage.

Here is my list, by decade. If you are late on a few, that’s no big deal. If you’re early, that’s great.

Aug 28, 2013

Stern Advice-Money milestones for every decade

WASHINGTON, Aug 28 (Reuters) – Life spans are long, and not
everyone lives on a “house and kids by 30, first million by 50″
kind of schedule. Nevertheless, there are financial milestones
that it helps to hit at every stage.

Here is my list, by decade. If you are late on a few, that’s
no big deal. If you’re early, that’s great.

Aug 7, 2013

Stern Advice: How much monthly income will that 401(k) get you?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – If you think figuring out how much money to put into your retirement savings accounts is complex, wait until it’s time to take money out.

That is emotionally challenging to people who have spent their lifetimes trying to build their nest eggs, but it is also a mathematical challenge. If you take too much out, you risk running out of money just when you might need it most to pay for care – a grim prospect. But withdrawals that are too low may not leave you enough to pay your bills or enjoy that retirement you’ve been saving for.

Jul 31, 2013

Financial advice that is popular – and wrong

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some financial advice is so oft-repeated that everyone takes it for granted: You shouldn’t bring debt into retirement. Debit cards are safer than credit cards. Older folks should invest more conservatively. As they used to say on Seinfeld, yadda yadda yadda.

The problem is, a lot of that is bad advice. At best it fit a bygone era; at worst it was never right and is dangerous.

Jul 31, 2013

Stern Advice-Financial advice that is popular – and wrong

WASHINGTON, July 31 (Reuters) – Some financial advice is so
oft-repeated that everyone takes it for granted: You shouldn’t
bring debt into retirement. Debit cards are safer than credit
cards. Older folks should invest more conservatively. As they
used to say on Seinfeld, yadda yadda yadda.

The problem is, a lot of that is bad advice. At best it fit
a bygone era; at worst it was never right and is dangerous.

    • About Linda

      "Linda Stern is an award-winning personal finance journalist who loves to write about how the big picture affects your pocketbook. A former contributing editor at Newsweek magazine and a long-time Reuters columnist, Stern covers everything from credit cards to retirement planning to investing. As a Washington-based correspondent, she sneaks in as much tax and economic policy as her editors will allow. She tweets at www.twitter.com/LindaStern. And when she expresses opinions, they are her own and not those of her employer."
      Joined Reuters:
      October 2010
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