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2018-04-26T17:17:17.455Z
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If you’re wrestling with a thorny money question or simply hoping to get your finances on track, hiring a financial planner sounds appealing. But searching for one can quickly get confusing. You want a financial advisor you can trust and who’s able to help with your specific situation — but also someone whose payment structure...

Andrea Coombes is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: acoombes@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @andreacoombes.

After falling victim to a credit card scam that left her on the hook for $35,000, Tiffany Aliche, also known as “The Budgetnista,” lost her job when the day care where she worked closed down. Shortly after, she fell behind on her mortgage payments and lost her home. She knew she had to rebuild her...

Kimberly Palmer is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: kpalmer@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @kimberlypalmer.

You’ve made it through tax season after spending hours toiling over your return — it’s OK to stop thinking about taxes now, right? Not so fast. Tax pros say there are a few planning tricks you can try right now, while the pain is still fresh and your paperwork is close at hand, to make tax prep...

Tina Orem is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: torem@nerdwallet.com.

Students risked disciplinary action at nearly 3,000 high schools in the first nationwide walkout for gun policy reform in March. But they most likely didn’t risk their hopes for college admission. “Attention HS students: @AdelphiU fully supports your desire to stand up for your beliefs. Participation in non-violent demonstrations has never and will never affect...

Anna Helhoski is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: anna@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @AnnaHelhoski.

“The sooner you start saving, the sooner you can stop, kick back and watch your investment returns build on themselves, thanks to the power of compounding.” That’s what you should tell the young adult in your life when you give him a Roth IRA contribution for graduation. There’s a decent chance he won’t listen, but...

Andrea Coombes is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: acoombes@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @andreacoombes.

If a dripping faucet wakes you up at night, the thought of paying a plumber may be what keeps you from falling back asleep. Most homeowners have experienced anxiety related to their home, according to a new report, with home repairs and maintenance topping the list of stressors. NerdWallet’s 2018 Pulse on Homeownership reports that...

Elizabeth Renter is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: elizabeth@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @elizabethrenter.

In this series, NerdWallet interviews people who have triumphed over debt using a combination of commitment, budgeting and smart financial choices. Responses have been edited for length and clarity. The Art of Really Living Who: John Coyle How much: $147,000 in 15 years What would you do to pursue a career as an Olympic speedskater...

Sean Pyles is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: spyles@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @SeanPyles.

The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds touched 3% today for the first time since 2014, after flirting with that level for a few months. As the benchmark neared, many investors worried increasingly whether stocks would plummet. And indeed, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index dipped 1.3% today after months of wavering, representing a drop of more than 8%...

James Royal, Ph.D. is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: jroyal@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @JimRoyalPhD.

When designing his current home, Andre Kim knew he wanted a garden. Not just a few herbs or tomato plants, but a permanent feature that could change his family’s diet and help them feel more connected to the land. Kim, a real estate developer from Los Angeles, found Farmscape, an urban farming company in California,...

Beth Buczynski is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: bbuczynski@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @bethbuczynski.

A finished basement increases your home’s usable space, but taking it from concrete and cobwebs to a comfy hangout spot may be pricier than you think. The cost to finish a basement and turn it into a livable space ranges from $6,500 to $18,500 on average, according to analysis by Home Advisor. Basement remodeling projects —...

Beth Buczynski is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: bbuczynski@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @bethbuczynski.

Conventional wisdom about credit cards is often black and white, from whether you should use cards at all to which types deserve a slot in your wallet. But personal finance is just that — personal, experts say. “Financial advice is best when it is not one-size-fits-all,” said Bruce McClary, spokesman for the National Foundation for...

Gregory Karp is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: gkarp@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @spendingsmart.

Wells Fargo agreed Friday to pay $1 billion in penalties after the bank was fined by two federal regulators — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. If you have had an auto or home loan at the bank, you could get money back for any wrongfully charged...

Spencer Tierney is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: spencer.tierney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @SpencerNerd.

A SunTrust Bank data breach means the personal information of 1.5 million customers is at risk of falling into the wrong hands. The information, which includes client names, addresses, phone numbers and account balances, may have been stolen by a former employee, according to SunTrust. Customers should act now to protect themselves. There have been...

Margarette Burnette is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: mburnette@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @Margarette.

After a long morning of job interviews in Anderson, South Carolina, in 2007, Kevin Sherman prepared to board his airplane back to Michigan, where he was about to graduate from Michigan State with a mechanical engineering degree. He chatted with his fellow job interview candidates in the boarding area about other job opportunities. As he...

Kimberly Palmer is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: kpalmer@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @kimberlypalmer.

On the off chance you missed the news: Taxes, they are a-changin’. Actually, they already have: Most of the $1.5 trillion tax cut — a wide overhaul of the tax code under President Trump — went into effect Jan. 1. By lowering individual income tax rates nearly across the board through 2025, the act freshens the lipstick on...

Arielle O'Shea is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: aoshea@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @arioshea.

America’s national parks are brimming with natural wonders: cascading waterfalls, towering redwoods, white sand beaches. But visiting these gems can cost money and soon will get a little pricier: Many national parks will increase their entrance fees by $5 beginning June 1. In honor of National Park Week April 21-29, here are seven ways to...

Lauren Schwahn is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lschwahn@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lauren_schwahn.

Heading into the workforce saddled with student loan debt can make any new graduate panic. But many borrowers have the power to make their loan payments more manageable — and fail to take advantage of it. A new NerdWallet analysis puts the Class of 2018 in retirement at age 72 after years of careful budgeting, debt...

Coronado in Panama once had pristine beaches and not much else. Today the resort town is a haven for U.S. and Canadian retirees, with strip malls, fast-food joints and a lot of people speaking English. “For all the world, it’s like you’re in a U.S. beach town,” says Kathleen Peddicord, publisher of Live and Invest...

Liz Weston is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: lweston@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lizweston.

Dreaming of a spring getaway with white-sand beaches and a cool drink in your hand? A search for airline tickets can bring your dream down to earth, if the steep fares charged by many airlines outstrip your savings. What if you could book your trip today and pay for it later — without maxing out...

Amrita Jayakumar is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: ajayakumar@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ajbombay.

Most people aren’t at a loss for ideas on how to spend a cash windfall. With bills to pay, savings accounts to fortify and even the most modest of vacations to plan, the dilemma is deciding what to drop from the list. The IRS reports that the average tax refund so far this year is...

Dayana Yochim is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: dyochim@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @DayanaYochim.