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Dreaming Of A Celebrity Marriage? Mine Left Me $4 Million In Debt

I will never forget the moment that my soon-to-be ex-husband and I sat in our mediator’s office as he illustrated our finances on a chalkboard. “There really aren’t any assets,” he told us. But there was $4 million of debt—from bad investments, lawsuits and failed business deals that I knew nothing about.


Need a Tax Deduction? Pay Legal Fees by Year-end

No one likes paying legal fees, but tax deductions can make them a lot less painful. With a 40% tax rate, $10,000 in deductible legal fees costs you only $6,000. But if your legal fees are to get divorced or because a family member sues you for slander, the legal fees are purely personal and non-deductible. See How To Make Divorce Less Taxing. Distinguish purely personal expenses from investment expenses.


Use credit cards wisely to safeguard credit rating

My husband and I recently refinanced our mortgage, and the bank sent us our credit scores during the process. Both scores were good, but my husband’s was 30 points higher than mine. This puzzled me, because we share the same spending and bill-payment practices.


10 Common Estate Planning Myths That Can Be Detrimental to Your Family

In a recent blog post, my colleague, Nancy Anderson, writes about “Three Common Estate Planning Mistakes That You Can Easily Avoid.” It’s not surprising that these mistakes are so common since in my experience, estate planning is the area with the most widespread confusion and unfortunately, this confusion can lead to those very mistakes, costing so much in time, money, and stress to people’s families.


Free checking costs a lot more as bank fees rise to record highs

Bank of America

It costs a lot more to get free checking as banks significantly have boosted the average required minimum balance this year to $723, according to data released Monday by


Investors put money into more tangible assets: Art. Wine. Winnie-the-Pooh?

How is your portfolio doing since the 2008 financial crisis? If you’re like most Americans, it’s probably healed some. After all, stocks are up about 13 percent since October 2008. Bonds are up about 30 percent. “Winnie-the-Pooh” is doing a bit better. A 1926 first-edition copy of the fabled children’s classic can fetch nearly four times what it did in 2008 — a return of almost 300 percent.


You're probably losing $155K from 401(k) plan

A two-income American family with an average income that dutifully invests in a 401(k) plan using typical strategies will lose $155,000 – or about 30 percent of what they should have saved for retirement -- to Wall Street fees, according to a study by an economic justice advocacy organization.


Why You Might Never Want to Pay Your Mortgage Off

Paying Off Mortgage

A couple of weeks ago, I responded to a couple of questions about paying off your mortgage early. This week, I got the opposite question. Given record low mortgage rates, does it even make sense to ever pay off your mortgage at all?


Divorce Lawyers - Frequently Not The Best Tax Advisors

You can get bad tax advice or no tax advice in just about any area of life, but from my reading of tax cases and some personal observations, I think that if you want to get really bad tax advice, you should get divorced.


1 Simple Investment Tip For Mega Millions Jackpot Winners

I don’t know whether I will be among the winners of tonight’s Mega Millions lottery—the chances are extremely low, but I do have a simple investment advise for the winner (s): DON’T PAY SOMEONE TO LOSE YOU MONEY!


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