Personal finance

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Amazon impersonators stole $27 million in a year. Here’s how

In this article AMZN Karl Tapales | Moment | Getty Images Con artists pretending to be Amazon employees scammed Americans out of $27 million from July 2020 through June 2021, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday. These fraudsters were part of a “business impersonator” scam. Criminals pose as someone the consumer trusts — in this …

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Some investors are putting more money into cryptocurrencies than stocks

Bitcoin on display. Chesnot | Getty Images Investors who are bullish on cryptocurrencies are betting more on the digital assets than stocks. In September, crypto investors put an average of $263 into accounts dedicated to coins, more than the average $250 they put in traditional brokerages during the month, according to a recent survey from …

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Coinbase will offer customers a ‘get paid in crypto’ direct deposit option

In this article COIN Coinbase signage in New York’s Times Square during the company’s initial public offering on the Nasdaq on April 14, 2021. Robert Nickelsberg | Getty Images Investing consistently in cryptocurrency just got a lot easier. In September, Coinbase announced that its users will soon be able to set up direct deposit with …

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A drop in wages prompted worries some people’s Social Security benefits could be reduced. The recovery helped change that

VALERIE MACON | AFP | Getty Images When the Covid-19 pandemic prompted a dramatic drop in wages, that also sparked concerns that one particular cohort would see lower Social Security benefits as a result. Those concerns, however, have abated, according to new data from the Social Security Administration. The reason comes down to the national …

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Is college really worth it? Here are the schools with the best return on investment

Even before the pandemic, families were starting to question the value of a college degree. Now, high schoolers are putting more emphasis on schools that will offer the best returns. “What is going to be the return on investment?,” said Robert Franek, editor in chief of The Princeton Review. “It is the question that students …

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First bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund starts trading Tuesday. What to know before adding it to your portfolio

Bitcoin on display. Chesnot | Getty Images The first U.S. bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund will launch on Tuesday, a milestone for the cryptocurrency industry, and others may soon follow. The long-awaited ProShares ETF will offer exposure to bitcoin futures contracts — agreements to buy or sell the asset later for an agreed-upon price — rather …

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If you’re joining a Medicare Advantage Plan for the first time, here’s what you need to know

fizkes | iStock | Getty Images For Medicare beneficiaries who want to join an Advantage Plan, now is the time to do it. Just be sure you know what the plan covers and what your potential costs will be — and how long you have to change your mind. During the annual fall open enrollment …

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A majority of Hispanics aren’t saving for retirement. Lack of financial knowledge is a factor, expert says

In this article MORN BraunS | E+ | Getty Images Many Hispanic Americans aren’t saving enough — or at all — for retirement. More than two-third of Hispanic households aren’t putting aside anything through workplace savings vehicles such as 401(k) plans, a Morningstar report found. Private retirement plans like individual retirement accounts aren’t filling the …

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Social Security benefits are getting biggest boost in 40 years. Here’s why they can’t jump so much every year

Don Bayley | Vetta | Getty Images This week’s announcement of the highest Social Security cost-of-living adjustment since 1982 was welcome news for retirees. It will help alleviate the financial pinch many are feeling. Beneficiaries in 2022 will receive a 5.9% boost to their checks. That’s up from a 1.3% benefit increase for 2021. Even …

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Social Security beneficiaries will soon see the biggest jump in monthly checks in 40 years. How to prepare

VALERIE MACON | AFP | Getty Images People who collect Social Security are about to see bigger checks. The cost-of-living adjustment in 2022 will be 5.9%, the Social Security Administration said Wednesday. The bump, which will help beneficiaries keep up with rising costs due to inflation, is the largest increase in about 40 years. The …

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Did you blow your budget? Here’s how to get back on track

Geber86 | E+ | Getty Images It happens to the best of us — after setting a budget, somehow spending goes off the rails. “It’s so easy to do,” said certified financial planner Diahann Lassus, managing principal at Peapack Private Wealth Management, based in New Providence, New Jersey. The coronavirus pandemic, economic recession and subsequent recovery …

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Annuities might be coming to your 401(k) plan. Here’s what you need to know

designer491 | iStock | Getty Images Retirement savers could start seeing annuities in their 401(k) plans. While allowing them in workplace retirement savings plans is not new, the 2019 Secure Act aimed to eliminate companies’ fear of legal liability if the annuity provider were to fail or otherwise not meet its obligations. Now, insurance companies, …

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What are NFTs? Here’s what you need to know about non-fungible tokens

In this article COIN Grandbrothers | iStock Editorial | Getty Images Kenny Schachter, an art dealer, columnist for Artnet and self-proclaimed nonfungible tokens evangelist, believes that the digital works could eclipse the traditional art market within five years. This month cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and the auction house Sotheby’s, which has been around since 1744, both …

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Labor Department proposes reversing Trump-era rules on socially conscious investing

Fizkes | Getty Images The Department of Labor wants to reverse a Trump-era policy that restricts 401(k) plans and other retirement savings vehicles from offering environmental, social and governance-focused assets, known as ESG, investing options. Values-based assets have become increasingly popular, with investors funneling $51.1 billion of net new money into ESG funds in 2020, …

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From inventing ocean-cleaning ships to calling on businesses to change, U.S. teens are tackling climate change

When Haaziq Kazi was in the fourth grade, he was rocked to the core when he found out about the impact of plastic waste on marine life. He decided to do something about it, designing a prototype of a ship that sucks the waste from the ocean. “There’s this saying that we haven’t inherited this …

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16 million people 65 and older will be in the workforce by 2030. These are the best and worst states for them to work and live

RUNSTUDIO | The Image Bank | Getty Images The number of older workers in the labor force is expected to swell over the next decade. By 2030, there will be 16.1 million workers 65 and older, compared to 10.6 million in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Which states those older workers …

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More than a third of jobless Americans are still long-term unemployed — and without benefits

People receive information as they attend a job fair at SoFi Stadium on Sept. 9, 2021, in Inglewood, California. PATRICK T. FALLON | AFP | Getty Images More than a third of jobless Americans are still long-term unemployed, and federal benefits for these workers ended more than a month ago.   However, the number of …

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71% of retirement age investors worry rising inflation will negatively affect their savings, survey finds

Peter Cade | Getty Images Federal Reserve officials are worried that inflation could last longer than they had anticipated, according to minutes from a recent meeting released this week. Now, a survey from Global Atlantic Financial Group shows that retirement age investors ages 59 to 75 are concerned inflation could wreak havoc on their investments. …

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