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  • Tax return

    Bernie vs. Hillary: How Do Their Tax Plans Really Stack Up?

    Financial Literacy Politics 

    Tax policy is a crucial component of any political campaign, but as important as taxes are to many voters, they’re not easy to understand. Expert analysis comes in handy, but due to the complex nature of tax policy, even that can be puzzling. Take, for example, recent joint research from the Urban Institute and Brookings Institution. Researchers from the left-leaning think tanks’ tax policy centers assessed the tax plans from Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and […]

  • Medical history

    You Aren’t the Only One Who Knows What Meds You’re On

    Personal Finance 

    Most people expect their medical data to remain in just a few hands — their doctor, their pharmacist, their family, etc. — but prescription medication data can be shared with a number of companies you may not expect. Consumer Reports reminded readers last week that prescription drug data can be shared not only with your pharmacist, but with the pharmacy chain, data miners and insurance companies. These companies use the data to send you ads for medical […]

  • Election Scam

    One More Thing to Hate About Election Season: Scams

    Politics Consumer Protection 

    In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s an election year, and with that comes the onslaught of election-related phone calls, emails, snail mail, campaign signs, TV ads, radio ads … yeah, it’s enough to make you stop paying attention. But within that onslaught are things you do need to pay attention to: The scammers that are hoping you’re too fatigued or too naive to notice that they’re not on the up-and-up. They want to lift your […]

  • Your Identity Portfolio Can Make or Break You

    Data Security Identity Theft 

    No matter how good or lucky the investor, no one beats the market 100% of the time—unless, of course, you are Bobby Axelrod. There is, however, an investment portfolio that is somewhat more predictable. It works along similar lines, but it is possible to exercise significantly more control over it than equities. I’m talking about your identity portfolio. I’ve written elsewhere about your credit portfolio, which can be a wealth-builder or a weapon of individual […]

  • What to do if you're audited

    What to Do Immediately If You’re Audited

    Personal Finance 

    Unless you’ve intentionally done something wrong on your tax return, chances are you’re not going to get audited. The Internal Revenue Service’s 2014 Data Book shows the overall audit rate for individual taxpayers was under 1% of all returns filed. IRS audits fall into two categories: Correspondence audits, which typically just look to correct a filing error and can be handled by mail with an IRS agent; and field audits, which take place in person […]

  • Adam Levin at the Commonwealth Club

    (Video) Adam Levin and Michael Finney: Tips for Protecting Ourselves in the Cyber World

    Video 

    Adam Levin joined consumer reporter Michael Finney at the Commonwealth Club to discuss his book, Swiped, as well as what consumers can do to protect themselves against data breaches and identity theft.

  • 16 States With a Huge Identity Theft Problem

    Identity Theft 

    Identity theft is a big problem, and it’s a growing one. The Consumer Sentinel Network (a database used by the Federal Trade Commission and a variety of agencies) received nearly 500,000 complaints about identity theft in 2015. Complaints increased about 47% from 2014 and about 69% from 2013, making it the second most common source of consumer complaints, after debt collection. Of course, the number of complaints about identity theft only gives a partial picture […]

  • Social Security Is Changing Soon. Here’s What You Need to Know

    Financial Literacy Retirement Personal Finance 

    There has been much buzz about Social Security recently—and with good reason. Section 831 of the Bipartisan Budget Act contains the first major change to Social Security claiming rules since the Senior Citizen Freedom to Work Act in 2000. Finding out who is affected and what they need to do is a challenge. The Social Security Administration sent an emergency message to its field offices in February explaining how its employees should implement the changes. […]

  • Cyber wall

    The National Security Nightmare the Candidates Aren’t Discussing

    Data Security Politics 

    Whether you love it, or it makes you want to move south of the border, Donald Trump’s Great Wall of Mexico is an idea whose time has come. That said, the Republican presidential candidate has a few things wrong. First, The Donald’s wall is misnamed. It should be called the Great Cyber Wall of America or the American Cyberdome or, at any rate, something denoting a digital information and communication protection system. The second thing […]

  • Credit Card

    6 Ways You Can Lose Your Credit Card Rewards

    credit Personal Finance 

    Your points, miles and cash back are not nearly as secure as the money you deposit in a federally secured bank. Your credit card rewards are subject to some rules and terms that you need to follow in order to redeem and use them. Credit card rewards come in several different forms, and each has its own vulnerabilities. To make sure that you never lose your valuable rewards, consider these six ways that it can […]

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