Money blogger for the @WashingtonPost. Read more: @GetThereWP. Past life: @WSJ & @MarketWatch. Send me your tips & questions:

Back on the brink? A guide to what’s happening in the markets — U.S. investors have just received a humbling lesson in how tightly knit together the world has become. Take a virus from Liberia, a Saudi oil discount, a disappointing German export statistic, a sales tax increase in Japan, demonstrations in Hong Kong and tensions with Russia.

Are student loan borrowers being ‘driven into default’? — Student loan borrowers are not getting enough help avoiding default, according to a report released Thursday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The report, which focused on private student loans, analyzed more than 5,300 complaints filed in the 12 months ending in September. The total number of complaints jumped by 38 percent from the previous year.

What investors should make of today’s market plunge — Stocks are down today by a lot - after swinging up and down and up down. But investors shouldn't panic just yet. Some analysts and financial advisers say they have been expecting stock markets to show more movement now that the Federal Reserve is winding down its stimulus.

Boomers paying close attention to health care costs — As the youngest of the baby boomers celebrate their 50th birthdays this year, many will put renewed attention on what will likely be the biggest expense in retirement: their health. Still the responsibility of caring for retirees - as well as the cost - often falls on family members.

The reason Americans are spending less — Months before the start of the holiday season, Americans are keeping their wallets shut, a new survey finds. Two-thirds of Americans say they aren't spending as much as they could each month, according to the poll released Tuesday by

“Longevity is both a risk and an opportunity” — Roger Ferguson says money was a regular topic of conversation at the dinner table when he was growing up. As a child he went with his father to the Federal Reserve to buy Treasury bonds. His understanding of finance, and how it works, grew throughout his career as an economist and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, where he served during the Sept.

Your guide for Medicare open enrollment — People will be able to review and change their Medicare plans when open enrollment starts October 15. The tendency for many will be to ignore this opportunity and stick with their current plans: On average, about 88 percent of enrollees in Part D plans, which cover prescriptions, did not change their prescription drug plans during open enrollment between 2006 and 2010, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

How to help your grandchildren get through college without going into debt — More people are carrying student loan debt into their 60s, but likely not for their own education. Often, the debt is from loans they took out to help a grandchild or other relative. Consider a report released by TransUnion this week that looked at shifts in the debt consumers take on by age.

How debt loads are changing for young and old consumers — The kind of debt consumers take on is changing. And the changes look very different by age, according to a TransUnion report released Wednesday that looks at the shifting make up of consumer debt loads over time. Not surprisingly, younger consumers are seeing student loans crowd out most other types of loans, says Charlie Wise, vice president in TransUnion's Innovative Solutions Group.

The real cost of putting college on a credit card — Want to use your credit card to buy a $10,000 Hermès Birkin bag? You'll pay the sticker price, provided you pay the balance in full to avoid any interest charges. But if you want to use your credit card to pay off the last $10,000 of your college tuition bill, you might have to pay an additional $275.
More Articles →
Oct 19, 2014

A steep drop in mortgage rates created a frenzy of refinancing this week. Is it too late for you to join?

Oct 19, 2014

RT @UpshotNYT: Is there really a relationship between valuations and stock movements?

Oct 19, 2014

Everything you need to know about what’s happening in the markets right now:

Oct 18, 2014

This smart program saves homeowners from foreclosure:

Oct 18, 2014

U.S. investors have just received a humbling lesson in how tightly knit together the world has become.

Oct 17, 2014

The drop in mortgage rates just created a frenzy of refinancing. Should you jump in?

Oct 17, 2014

“We never thought we’d see a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage below 4 percent again.” Time to refinance?

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