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Some Medicare plans drop prices: time to shop is now

October 5, 2011

A nurse holds up a vial of H1N1 flu vaccine prior to an inoculation at the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania October 28, 2009. If you’re a senior on Medicare – or if you help out aging parents with their money matters  – it’s time to get ready to shop. The annual enrollment period for Medicare prescription drug and Advantage managed care plans is about to begin, and it’s one of the best opportunities of the year for seniors to save money.

Workers regret their health benefit choices: survey

September 12, 2011

Within a few weeks, employees across the U.S. will start to see their healthcare benefit packages for 2012: They’ll find higher premium costs, more coverage restrictions and myriad choices on items like deductibles, flexible spending account contributions, vision and dental coverage and more. If this year is like others, almost half of those employees will make decisions they later regret.

Eldercare: How to hire your kids to take care of you

June 15, 2011

Long before the phrase “sandwich generation” took hold, seniors in declining health turned to children or other relatives for essential tasks such as cleaning, grocery shopping, doing laundry or driving to doctors’ appointments. Now, a growing number of families put a price on such devotion though caregiver contracts.

Medical tourism wins fans

June 15, 2011

Paul Hambleton didn’t know what to do. He was uninsured, hurting, and facing a $30,000 bill to fix his torn-up knee.

Family finances for a fairytale romance

May 9, 2011

When the honeymoon’s over, the hard work begins. Talking about money isn’t romantic, but it’s a great ongoing topic that may ensure a long marriage.

How to survive the “zombie economy”

May 3, 2011

An actor dressed as a zombie walks on a street in downtown Belgrade October 26, 2010, as part of a promotional campaign for an upcoming U.S. TV series called "The Walking Dead". REUTERS/Marko DjuricaWhat does the threat of a zombie attack and a financial meltdown have in common? For starters, you have to act fast, remain calm and fight back. That’s the premise of the off-beat new book, “Zombie Economics: How To Slay Your Bills, Decapitate Debt, and Fight the Apocalypse of Financial Doom,” a tongue-in-cheek guide to financial survival for the type of people who like a good chuckle when they’re slogging through a crisis.

Budget wars: The middle class loses big time

April 8, 2011

President Barack Obama talks about the budget in the White House press briefing room in Washington, April 5, 2011.   REUTERS/Larry Downing Now that federal government shutdown has been averted, it’s a good time to examine what’s at stake for most of America in the crucial next round of budget talks.

4 ways to add inflation protection to your retirement plan

March 23, 2011

 man speaks on his mobile phone in the Canary Wharf financial district in London February 16, 2011.  REUTERS/Luke MacGregorThe consumer inflation rate hit an 18-month high in February, driven mainly by higher food and energy prices. But few economists think the longer-range inflation rate is heating up — there’s still too much slack in the labor and housing markets.

We’ve come a long way, baby — but we have far to go

March 8, 2011

U.S. film director Quentin Tarantino and German actress Diane Kruger pose for photographers as they arrive at the British premiere of "Inglourious Basterds" at Leicester Square in London July 23, 2009.    REUTERS/Luke MacGregor   Lara Pingue is a Personal Finance producer for The opinions expressed here are her own.

Watch your tax deductions: Outliers get audited

February 7, 2011

The Internal Revenue Service has some tried and true techniques for finding tax cheats.  Sometimes the agency auditors look at the lifestyles of taxpayers. If you’ve got an upscale Beverly Hills zip code and a really low income, you might be hiding money. Or, you might be between films — not every suspicious return is masking fraud.