Liz Weston: How to mess up a variable annuity

Variable annuities are complex insurance products — so complex that what people actually buy and what they think they're buying may be quite different. Those misunderstandings can end up costing them,...

Liz Weston: Don't be duped by these phone and email scams

Some of us in the personal finance realm have a weird little hobby: We try to scam the scam artists. We're not out to steal their money — just their time. When fraudsters call to say...

Liz Weston: Is your wealth dripping away?

As a spokesperson for the insurance industry, Loretta Worters often gives tips to homeowners on preventing water damage. Some of her knowledge comes from personal experience. Worters...

Liz Weston: 3 steps to keep 'solo agers' happier and safer

Retirement coach Sara Zeff Geber visited several Northern California assisted living facilities to interview "solo agers" — people, either single or coupled, who don't have children to help them as t...

Liz Weston: How to nag new coworkers to save for retirement

The most important thing you can say to a new hire may well be: "Have you signed up for the 401(k) yet?" An astounding 3 out of 10 workers don't know whether their employers offer re...

Liz Weston: 3 sites to help aging parents organize details

Certified financial planner Sean Fletcher of San Francisco knew his dad had an estate plan, complete with a health care directive detailing what medical treatment should be given in an emergency. When...

Liz Weston: Make your money last in retirement

Many people worry about running out of money in retirement. That's understandable, since we don't know how long we'll live, what your future costs might be and what kind of returns we can expect on ou...

Liz Weston: Don't believe these Social Security myths

Researchers tell us that most people would be better off waiting to claim Social Security benefits. Yet most people file early. More than half apply for Social Security before they...

Liz Weston: What will long-term care cost you?

Many people are frightened of long-term care costs — for good reason. Most people over 65 eventually will need help with daily living tasks, such as bathing, eating or dressing. Men ...

Liz Weston: How to extend your (working) life

Many people plan to work past normal retirement age, by choice or necessity. But most aren't taking the steps that could increase the odds they'll be able to do so. When asked what t...

Liz Weston: Let's get real about health costs in retirement

You won't pay for health care in retirement with one lump sum. That's the way these expenses are often presented, though, and the amounts are terrifying. Fidelity Investments, for ex...

Liz Weston: The life-changing magic of working a bit longer

Retirement experts frequently recommend working longer if you haven't saved enough. But you may not realize just how powerful a little extra work can be. Researchers who compared the...

Liz Weston: Is better credit worth exposing your bank data?

America's credit bureaus haven't exactly covered themselves in glory when it comes to protecting your private data. So you might well be skeptical about two new credit-enhancing products that require ...

Liz Weston: Income can peak before you're ready

Most retirement calculators are optimistic to a fault. They assume our incomes will rise throughout our working lives, or at least stay roughly the same. In reality, our incomes are ...

Liz Weston: How debt 'solutions' could dig you in deeper

Americans are slipping ever deeper into hock. To cope, many people turn to debt consolidation loans, cash-out mortgage refinancing and retirement plan loans that promise relief but could leave them wo...