Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web


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What to do with that new (Obamacare) tax form, remaking your career in your 50s and 60s, the problem with cheap clothes, the credit score gender gap and the lightning-fast pace of credit card fraud.

1. What Is the 1095-B & Why Did I Get It?

[Credit.com] “This year, you may have received a tax form you haven’t seen before: the 1095-B. It’s a form sent by your health insurer or employer that shows you had the minimum health insurance needed to avoid a tax penalty during the tax year. (In short, it’s an Obamacare thing.)

If you’re like me and haven’t filed your taxes yet, you might have received this form in the mail and wondered what the heck you’re supposed to do with it. Wonder no more. This article explains where it comes from, what it means and the other variations you might encounter.

2. Reinventing Your Career in Your 50s or 60s

[The Dollar Stretcher] “Although he began serving food out of his gas station twenty years earlier, it wasn’t until age 65 that Harlan Sanders began franchising Kentucky Fried Chicken. While it might have been unusual to think of reinventing yourself in 1955, today many people in their 50s and 60s are taking on new career opportunities.”

Just the other day I was talking to a someone 30 years my junior and they expressed their desire to “retire at 50.” I explained that, when I was his age, I had a similar goal, but I’ve learned that the key to fulfillment isn’t retiring at an early age, it’s doing something you love and never retiring at all. Make sense? Then this article is for you.

3. Men vs. Women: Why Are Credit Score Differences So Large After Age 65?

[Credit Sesame] “The credit scores of women remain behind those of men, and the gap becomes largest, with a 15-point difference, at age 65 and older.”

The credit score gap between seniors of both sexes isn’t huge: an average score of 705 for men and 690 for women. The reasons, according to this article, include “generational differences in financial literacy, marital status, family relationships and earning capacity.” If you’re getting a little long in the tooth, or know someone who is, check it out. Then check out our recent article, “How and Why to Keep a Stellar Credit Score in Retirement.”

4. How Long Does It Take to Steal $18,000?

[Debt.com] “Between the time she entered the store with her wallet and when she got to the cash register without it, someone had spent $18,000 on her credit card …”

When I was visiting Seattle a few weeks ago, I noticed someone had charged several hundred dollars at a restaurant in Sacramento with my American Express card. I did what I was supposed to do: Call American Express and cancel the card. The problem? I was using it to pay for my hotel, and a new card couldn’t reach me in time. I was lucky I’d brought another card.

This article explains how quickly fraud can strike and what you can do to make it more difficult for thieves. Although, judging by my recent experience, even being cautious isn’t a guarantee. Maybe the slogan should be, “American Express: Don’t leave home without two.”

Click here and learn to slash your taxes with our new tax course!

5. The High Cost of Cheap Clothes

[Wise Bread] “[C]lothes have gotten much cheaper with the rise of ‘fast fashion,’ and trends last weeks rather than years. Now, anyone can chase trends, even on a budget.”

It would seem that inexpensive clothing is a good thing, not a bad one. But this author points out the downsides, including overseas sweatshops, environmental costs and, not surprisingly, lousier clothes. She goes on to explain how to beat the system by buying higher quality clothes and taking good care of them. Check it out, then check out our recent article, “12 Ways to Get Great Clothes at a Deep Discount.”

Stacy Johnson

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