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Feb 16,2009
Dear Mary: With two nephews serving our country in the Philippines and Iraq, we need ideas of what to send in their packages. We are sure you can help us with this project, just as you continue to help us with so many other projects. Do you have any ideas? -- Arline P. and family, e-mail Dear Arline and family: Beanie Babies! No kidding. Your care packages are a really good excuse to get rid ... [full story]
1320 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
Frank Gagliardi is a gambler. Does it for hours at a stretch. For days. Played right through the 9/11 attacks. A former girlfriend says he was so busy at the slots it took him two or three days to notice she had left him.   IT'S A GAMBLE - Gamblers must pay taxes on winnings minus losses. That led to a battle between one man and the IRS about whether he had properly accounted for his ... [full story]
3792 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
Dear Mr. Berko: We're retired and don't have enough income to meet our living expenses, especially real estate taxes, home insurance costs, food, medical and upkeep, which seems to be increasing every year. Please tell me about a reverse annuity mortgage. Like, what do they cost? Do we have to pay off our current low mortgage? Are they very expensive? What happens to the equity when we pass on? Can we lose our home?And who ... [full story]
2317 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
Dear Mr. Berko: I want to invest about $14,000 in some high-yielding common stocks and some high-yielding preferred stocks that have been beaten down by the market and I want at least a 13 percent dividend. I'm willing to take a big gamble with this money, which is an unexpected tax refund because we grossly overestimated our income for 2007 on our quarterly payments. We will be investing this money in our "speculative retirement" account. ... [full story]
2644 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
Dear Mr. Berko: I was looking at the stock pages recently and found Regal Entertainment Group selling at $20.60 and paying a nice $1.20 dividend, which is nearly 6 percent. I just renewed a $7,000 certificate of deposit and got 3.75 percent from my bank. I have a $3,500 CD coming due next month and thought I'd buy 150 shares of Regal because the yield is 6 percent and because during hard economic times more ... [full story]
2492 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
It takes a lot for children to become successful adults. Some expertise they get from others, like the academic and intellectual skills they learn in school. Many lessons come from parents: good values, for example, and an awareness of dangerous substances and behaviors. But according to a recent survey, commissioned by Charles Schwab & Co. in connection with April's National Financial Literacy Month, too many parents are dropping the ball when it comes to teaching ... [full story]
2499 times read - No comment posted

Apr 04,2008
With all the media attention given to the tax rebate checks scheduled to go out in May, it's easy to gloss over some of the other tax credits that are designed to provide extra income to working people through tax refunds. But with April 15 clearly in sight, now's the time to focus on ways that you - and the people close to you - can keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your pockets. ... [full story]
2301 times read - No comment posted

Feb 29,2008
Dear Mr. Berko: Can you please explain the difference between the Rule of 80 and the Rule of 72? Is one of them better than the other in figuring out how much money I would have at retirement? Numbers are very confusing to me and I would be very happy if you could explain how the rules work and tell me in simple language. My broker is out of the office to have a special ... [full story]
6511 times read - No comment posted

Feb 29,2008
Dear Mr. Berko: Is there any way you can explain the mortgage default mess so I can understand it? Please tell me why it's so much trouble. S.T. Louisville, Ky. Dear S.T.: Mae West once said that: "too much of a good thing is wonderful" but in this instance, it's lethal. So read on. Wall Street's priapic money machine is run by an overstressed culture of cocaine cowboys with MBAs who believe they can turn ... [full story]
3120 times read - No comment posted

Feb 29,2008
Dear Mr. Berko: Please tell me about Markel Insurance that sells for $449 a share. I'd like to buy 30 shares as a long-term investment. My broker/brother says it's like a mini-Berkshire Hathaway in the style of Warren Buffet. But I need your recommendation and thoughts in helping me decide to invest $15,000 here. N.R. Bend, Ore. Dear N.R.: Markel Corp. (MKL-$449) is home ported in Glen Allen, Va., sandwiched between the dreamy, poetic American ... [full story]
2298 times read - No comment posted

Feb 29,2008
Recently, a friend came to me for advice on how to tell her 25-year-old daughter about the importance of saving money. The daughter had just gotten her first career-focused job, but felt she wasn't making enough money to save, especially for retirement. My friend knows how important saving is - and saves as much as she can herself - however, she didn't have enough information to have a substantive discussion with her daughter. This made ... [full story]
2084 times read - No comment posted

Feb 22,2008
The days when most folks joined a company right out of school and remained until retirement are long gone. Today, people intentionally change jobs numerous times during their lifetimes. Unfortunately, such changes aren't always voluntary, as anyone who's been laid off knows. If you've recently been laid off or fear one is around the corner, here are a few ways to cope with what lies ahead: Rein in expenses. It may take months to find ... [full story]
3123 times read - No comment posted

Feb 22,2008
On Feb. 13, President George W. Bush signed a bill designed to put money into the pockets of millions of consumers, provide tax breaks to businesses, and alleviate some of the problems in the home mortgage industry. But the real goal of the "Economic Stimulus Plan of 2008" is to jump-start the ailing economy. The plan will probably affect you and the larger economic picture. - Rebates for (almost) everyone: Most American families who file ... [full story]
2270 times read - No comment posted

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