Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Use holiday stretch to make 2013 better ]]> Lead story image

Everyone is waiting for the fiscal cliff problem to be solved — or to see what happens if we don’t solve it and face higher taxes and government spending cuts. There’s nothing you can do about that. But don’t let that anxiety paralyze you and keep you from making sensible plans for the New Year. This is the week to get going — the “gap week” between the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, when you fall into a turkey-and-football stupor and lounge on the couch testing out your new consumer electronics. If you waste this week, though, you’re making a … ]]> Fri, 03 May 2013 12:15:48 -0500 <![CDATA[ On pensions: Something’s gotta give ]]> Lead story image

The State of Illinois cannot print the money to pay the pensions of teachers and other state employees. And there isn’t enough money in the pension funds to generate the promised payments. It’s a simple fact, acknowledged by everyone who can do the math. Clearly, this is not just a crisis for state employees who hope to retire and live on their pensions. It affects every Illinois taxpayer, because we will all be asked to pay up. ]]> Fri, 03 May 2013 12:15:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ Savage: Money strategies to use before year ends ]]> Lead story image

You’re busy with holiday shopping and parties, so you don’t give much of a thought to your finances at year end. But here are a few tips that could save you real money if you pay just a bit of attention before year-end. ]]> Fri, 03 May 2013 12:15:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ What will happen if we jump off fiscal cliff? ]]> Lead story image

TERRY SAVAGE: It’s down to the wire, and they don’t seem to be taking it seriously in Washington. At least not seriously enough to come up with some middle ground that will change the trend of huge deficits and increasing government spending. ]]> Fri, 03 May 2013 12:15:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ Terry Savage: Holiday gifts can teach kids about money ]]> Lead story image

Shopping for holiday gifts for children or grandchildren this season? Surely you’ll be spending money. So why not make the gift itself teach something about the value of money? Here are my annual holiday gift suggestions for children. ]]> Fri, 03 May 2013 12:15:46 -0500 <![CDATA[ Online deals go beyond CyberMonday with dynamic pricing ]]> Lead story image

TERRY SAVAGE: Retailers are making online deals more like airline fares that change by the hour. ]]> Fri, 03 May 2013 12:15:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ Online shopping’s best benefit is price comparisons ]]> Lead story image

TERRY SAVAGE: Here’s the thing about holiday shopping online. What you don’t get is the sensory and enticing experience of walking through a store and being “struck” by the “perfect gift.” What you do get is a disciplined way to shop for the best price on something you already have decided should be the perfect gift. ]]> Fri, 03 May 2013 12:15:43 -0500 <![CDATA[ Medigap, Medicare drug coverage plans: What you need to know ]]> Lead story image

TERRY SAVAGE: Dec. 7 is the deadline for America’s seniors to make some difficult and important decisions about one of the most complex, confusing, and costly aspects of their life. Thanksgiving is the perfect time for families to help parents and grandparents use the online tools to sort through the choices. ]]> Fri, 03 May 2013 12:15:43 -0500 <![CDATA[ Terry Savage: How to financially manage the fiscal cliff-hanger ]]> Lead story image

Relax. The headlines tell you that there’s a fiscal Armageddon ahead — and right now, there’s nothing you can do about it. You’ve had your chance to speak by voting. Now, hopefully our representatives will listen. ]]> Fri, 03 May 2013 12:15:42 -0500 <![CDATA[ What the ‘fiscal cliff’ means to you ]]> Lead story image

Terry Savage: We have just edged a lot closer to the fiscal cliff, which has become the current equivalent of the terrifying doomsday clock that used to represent approaching nuclear annihilation. Only now we are coming closer to the possibility of tax increases and spending cuts that could destroy our fragile economic recovery. ]]> Fri, 03 May 2013 12:15:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Learn important lesson from Sandy’s destruction ]]> Lead story image

Terry Savage: An unexpected and life-changing event can happen to any of us — no matter where we live, or how much money or property we have amassed. And the consequences can be devastating — whether your home and contents are totally wiped out, or your photos and personal finance records are washed away. ]]> Thu, 06 Dec 2012 06:23:19 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chinese currency plays complex, crucial role in U.S. economy ]]> Lead story image

TERRY SAVAGE: The Chinese currency has taken center stage in some of the economic policy debates leading up to the election. That is because of the perception that China is the source of all our jobs woes as their economy continues to grow at a rate four times as fast as ours. The theory is that by keeping their currency artificially “cheap” against the dollar, it encourages America to import more goods from China — while encouraging job growth there to make all those products. ]]> Fri, 03 May 2013 12:15:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ What do FDIC limit changes at end of year mean? ]]> Lead story image

Q. I read that something is changing about FDIC deposit insurance at the end of the year. Should I be worried? A. The only changes to FDIC deposit insurance that will take place at year-end relate to the unlimited insurance given to non-interest bearing checking accounts, which are typically used by big corporations to pay bills and handle payroll accounts. The FDIC extended unlimited insurance coverage to those accounts during the financial crisis of 2008, to keep large business deposits in the banking system. That coverage will now be reduced to the $250,000 that is standard for all deposit accounts. … ]]> Fri, 03 May 2013 12:15:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Terry Savage: Don’t try to beat market; even pros can’t ]]> Lead story image

Are you still trying to outguess the stock market? That’s a futile proposition for even most professional money managers. A new study by noted investment adviser Harold Evensky proves the point. ]]> Fri, 03 May 2013 12:15:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Terry Savage: Federal student loans next big crisis ]]> Lead story image

Federal student loans are about to become a larger financial crisis than the mortgage disaster. With $1 trillion in student loans outstanding — and more being added every year — cutting the interest rates on federal student loans is a topic that both parties should agree upon immediately. ]]> Fri, 16 Nov 2012 06:19:15 -0500