Debt poses a growing threat to the financial security of many Americans — and not just college graduates with exorbitant student loans. Recent studies by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College (CRR) and the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reveal an alarming trend: The percentage of older Americans with debt is at its highest level in almost 30 years, and the amount and types of debt are on the rise. Continue reading “Don’t Let Debt Derail Your Retirement”
Women today have never been in a better position to achieve financial security for themselves and their families. What financial course will you chart?
We all know men and women are different in some fundamental ways. But is this true when it comes to financial planning? In a word, yes.
Everyone wants financial security. But women often face unique obstacles that can affect their ability to achieve it. Let’s look at some of these potential headwinds. Continue reading “How Women Are Different from Men, Financially Speaking”
What is debt and how is it classified for divorce purposes?
Like property, debt is classified as marital or separate. In general, both spouses are responsible for any debts incurred during the marriage. It doesn’t matter which party actually spent the money. When the property is divided at the time of divorce, it’s often the case that the person who gets the asset also gets the responsibility for paying any indebtedness secured by that asset. Even if your spouse agrees to take over the debt, joint obligors on a loan will remain jointly responsible. That is, the creditors can seek payment from either of you. Continue reading “Divorce and Debt”
A prenuptial agreement (also known as a premarital agreement, antemarital agreement, or prenup) is a binding contract executed by prospective spouses to define the rights, duties, and obligations of the parties during marriage and in the event of legal separation, annulment, divorce, or death. Continue reading “Love & Marriage – Prenuptial Agreements”
An old rule of thumb said that you could afford to buy a house that cost between one and a half and two and a half times your annual salary. In reality, there’s a lot more to take into consideration. You’ll want to know not only how much of a mortgage you qualify for, but also how much you can afford to spend on a home. In order to know how much you can truly afford, you need to take an honest look at your lifestyle and your standard of living, as well as your income and what you choose to spend it on. Continue reading “How Much House Can You Afford?”
It’s hard to imagine functioning in today’s society without access to credit. However, you need to be careful not to fall victim to some of the pitfalls associated with it.
Revolving credit can make it hard for you to pay off debt
Credit cards allow you to spend money you don’t currently have, and to repay what you’ve spent over time instead of all at once. Continue reading “Credit Traps for the Unwary”
If you have a lot of debt, you’re not alone. Today, more and more Americans are burdened with credit card and loan payments. So whether you are trying to improve your money management, having difficulty making ends meet, want to lower your monthly loan payments, or just can’t seem to keep up with all of your credit card bills, you may be looking for a way to make debt repayment easier. Debt consolidation may be the answer. Continue reading “Debt Consolidation”
Generally, if your name does not appear on the account, either as a joint owner with rights of survivorship, trustee (if the account is held in trust), or a beneficiary, you probably can’t access the account unless authorized to do so by the probate court having jurisdiction over your spouse’s estate. Each state has its own laws dealing with this situation, and the applicable rules may differ from one state to the next. Even if you are named as agent in your spouse’s power of attorney with the right to access his or her accounts, that authorization ends upon the death of the person executing the power of attorney, namely your spouse.
Continue reading “My spouse just died. Do I have access to his or her accounts?”
There’s no doubt about it — going through a divorce can be an emotionally trying time. Ironing out a divorce settlement, attending various court hearings, and dealing with competing attorneys can all weigh heavily on the parties involved.
In addition to the emotional impact a divorce can have, it’s important to be aware of how your financial position will be impacted. Now, more than ever, you need to make sure that your finances are on the right track. You will then be able to put the past behind you and set in place the building blocks that can be the foundation for your new financial future. Continue reading “Adjusting to Life Financially after a Divorce”
In a perfect world, both halves of a couple share the same investment goals and agree on the best way to try to reach them. It doesn’t always work that way, though; disagreements about money are often a source of friction between couples. You may be risk averse, while your spouse may be comfortable investing more aggressively–or vice versa. How can you bridge that gap? Continue reading “Investing as a Couple: Getting to Yes”