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Disney's ESPN woes undercut 'Star Wars' gain
Pinterest hires Google exec as new ad chief
U.S. stocks end flat as oil continues to slide
SolarCity shares drop on soft forecast
Apple CEO Cook’s deleted Super Bowl tweet
Google CEO Pichai gets $199 million in stock
What to expect from Whole Foods earnings
Sears warns on sales, to speed up closures

The sad truth of why retirement
is a myth

Burberry sues, says J.C. Penney copied its designs

S.F. real estate looks like it did before dot-com crash
Every major city in the world, in one map

Americans quitting their jobs hit a nine-year high
NFIB survey hints wage gains are fleeting
Job openings are second highest on record

Recipe for less boring Oscar speeches

What to know before buying Beyoncé tickets

How to get mortgage approved: hope for sunny day

Can oil get so cheap that it won’t pay to extract it?
Oil sinks under $29 as EIA lowers price outlook
Barron’s Buzz: How low can the price of oil go?

99 Cent Gas May Be on Its Way
99-cents-a-gallon gas may be on its way: 24/7 Wall St.

Is the gold rally the real deal or ‘fool’s gold’?
Teen can keep $20,000 gold bar found in lake
Gold one of Wall Street’s best bets early in 2016
Gold futures stretch win streak to five sessions

Why is everyone freaking out about ‘CoCos’?
Convertible bonds are alluring as stocks fall
 
Deutsche Bank co-CEO says bank is ‘rock solid’
Deutsche may buy back billions in debt: FT
Why the selloff in European banks is ominous

This stock market has been Europe’s best in 2016

Strategists are arguing that stocks need a true purge

A strand of Lennon’s hair is selling for $12,000

White House forecasts decade-best economic growth
Obama proposes $4.1 trillion federal budget

Five questions that Janet Yellen must answer
Yellen may say goal is not to slow the economy
Fed: Too white, too male, too many bankers?
Expansion won’t die of old age: S.F. Fed study

Facebook, Amazon are the keys to tapping this market
French regulator threatens to fine Facebook
India bans Facebook’s free Internet service


Europe’s battles: migrants, ‘Brexit’ and ECB
German output, exports drop in December
Roubini: Welcome to the New Abnormal


This has been the No. 1 car in America for decades
How far can you get on $50 in gas?


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Markets »

127.74MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 130.29M
Unchanged
156
Decliners
4273
Advancers
2073
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,014 -13 0.08%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,269 -15 0.35%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,852 -1 0.07%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,078 -7 0.33%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,191 -8 0.64%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 28.51 +0.57 2.04%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,632 -57 1.00%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 8,879 -100 1.11%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 3,998 -69 1.69%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 15,913 -528 3.21%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 7,928 -195 2.39%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 309 -5 1.58%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,454 -17 0.69%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 15,690 -395 2.46%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 19,288 +105 0.55%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 23,938 -83 0.34%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,574 -50 1.89%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 0.00 0.03%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 114.72 -0.41 0.35%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.45 +0.00 0.02%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 0.00 0.13%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 96.00 -0.06 0.06%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 89.25 -0.03 0.03%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.71 -0.02 0.99%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.24 0.00 0.00%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.68 0.00 0.00%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.79 0.00 0.00%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.42 0.00 0.00%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.02 +0.04 166.52%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 29 +1 2.04%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,191 -8 0.64%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/25518691/delayed 361 -1 0.14%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed 15,907 -52 0.33%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,844 -4 0.23%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 15 0 1.35%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 99.54 -0.21 -0.21%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 94.99 -0.02 -0.02%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 678.11 -4.63 -0.68%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 12.20 -0.07 -0.57%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 37.51 -0.30 -0.79%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.35 -0.24 -2.07%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.65 -0.46 -1.24%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 28.95 -0.97 -3.24%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 28.28 0.11 0.39%
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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.3%
2 yr CD
0.7%
1 yr CD
0.5%
MMA $10K+
0.2%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.96% 11.88% 11.62%
Business 13.12% 13.11% 12.85%
Student 13.42% 13.42% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.35% 14.30% 14.12%
Airline 15.17% 15.16% 15.10%
Cash Back 15.26% 15.23% 15.27%
Reward 15.28% 15.25% 15.14%
Instant Approval 18.21% 18.18% 18.00%
Bad Credit 22.88% 22.88% 22.73%
Source:CreditCards.com

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Encore
A blog about living in and planning for retirement

Should Seniors Bother Paying off Debt?

At some point, is one too old to bother paying off a debt?

Consider this Kansas couple saddled with $120,000 in debt on 13 credit cards. Jim Bostick, then 68, and his wife Francine, then 57, feared they’d spend their golden years in the red. Then “Jim was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and I knew he wouldn’t be able to continue working,” Francine says in this interview with The National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “With the debt that we had there was no way we could pay it. I lay awake at night,” she says.

The couple finally took action. Francine reached out to the non-profit Housing and Credit Counseling Inc. in Topeka, Kan., a member of the national foundation. In addition to her full-time job, she took an evening cleaning job and launched her own Avon business. Despite his condition, Jim, who was a maintenance and custodial supervisor at Kansas State University, worked 30 hours per week to help the couple stick to their household budget and $2,500 a month repayment plan. “It was probably the greatest thing I ever did,” Francine says.

But was it the smartest?

Based on their age, they should have explored filing for bankruptcy, some experts say. “I think the couple did the ethical thing, but it probably was not in their financial best interest to do what they did, especially at their age,” says Wade Westhoff, a financial adviser based in Danville, Calif. Couples facing retirement – especially if they have already paid off their mortgage – have less reason to worry about the impact of a bad credit rating, he says. “They could have wiped the slate clean.”

The Bosticks were offered bankruptcy as one solution, says Marilyn Stanley, COO of the Housing and Credit Counseling Inc., but they chose not take that route. (The organization typically charges a maximum of $45 for counseling services over a six-month period, she says, although it doesn’t turn away people who are unable to pay.) “Bankruptcy is used as a management tool for some people,” Stanley says. “but the Bosnicks felt responsible for their debt.”

Others agree that the Bosticks took the only right course of action. “If people in debt don’t pay it off you and I will have higher fees and interest rates,” says financial adviser David Hefty, CEO of Hefty Wealth Partners in Auburn, Ind. Plus, he says, the Bosticks didn’t have any medical emergency. “Everyone wants nice things,” Francine says; “we used credit cards to get them.”

For their fortitude, the Bosticks were named “Clients of the Year” by the NFCC.

Comments

We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (1 of 1)

View all Comments »
    • I’m a senior widow and heavily in debt. I sold a lot my things just to make the minimum credit card payments. Then down the road, used the cards to get the car fixed or pay on my property taxes. Sort of a catch 22 situation. At my age, I wasn’t too concerned with ruining my credit when I stopped paying on my mounting credit card bills. I stopped because I ran out of things to sell.

      After a long soul searching, I decided to file bankruptcy. There’s two ways to look at it. I made the debt and should pay it off or “The devil made me do it”.

      Maybe credit card companies had no business enticing me into high spending limits on my cards. After all if I default, they still make out. The have insurance against people who don’t pay.

      Higher interests? If they were more sensible in the first place, they could keep the interest rates lower than loan sharks rates! But they’d rather go after everyone and their family pets….. yes, even family dogs have been issued credit cards along with college students who had no real way of paying off their bills!

      Maybe an ounce of prevention could prevent a ton of debt in the first place. We have become a nation of “instant gratification”. Get all the nice things even if you aren’t as rich as the 8% of our nation’s fat cats. Of course we want it all. All those cool things are flashed in our faces on TV, the internet and print media. Even the credit card companies hog most of the TV commercial air time with the car companies hog the other half…. again more easy financing.

      Who’s fault really is it? Ours or the credit card companies?

      Remember who got the nice juicy bail outs? Corporations like Bank of America, Citi Corp, Chase and a whole lot more. What did they do with the bail out money???? Give it to the insanely already rich to fatten their wallets even more.

      Me? I’m just a peon who’s about to jump from the red into the green so I can pay my normal bills every month and even maybe be able to buy some new clothes every so often!! I’m filing chapter 7!

About Encore

  • Encore examines the changing nature of retirement, from new rules and guidelines for financial security to the shifting identities and priorities of today’s retirees. The blog also explores news that affects retirement, from the Wall Street Journal Digital Network and around the web. Lead bloggers are reporter Catey Hill and senior editor Jeremy Olshan. Other contributors include The Wall Street Journal’s retirement columnists Glenn Ruffenach and Anne Tergesen; the Director for the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Alicia Munnell; and the Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, Michael Kitces, CFP.

MarketWatch - Stock Market Quotes, Business News, Financial News
Bulletin
Investor Alert

Tokyo Markets Close in:

need to know
Disney's ESPN woes undercut 'Star Wars' gain
Pinterest hires Google exec as new ad chief
U.S. stocks end flat as oil continues to slide
SolarCity shares drop on soft forecast
Apple CEO Cook’s deleted Super Bowl tweet
Google CEO Pichai gets $199 million in stock
What to expect from Whole Foods earnings
Sears warns on sales, to speed up closures

The sad truth of why retirement
is a myth

Burberry sues, says J.C. Penney copied its designs

S.F. real estate looks like it did before dot-com crash
Every major city in the world, in one map

Americans quitting their jobs hit a nine-year high
NFIB survey hints wage gains are fleeting
Job openings are second highest on record

Recipe for less boring Oscar speeches

What to know before buying Beyoncé tickets

How to get mortgage approved: hope for sunny day

Can oil get so cheap that it won’t pay to extract it?
Oil sinks under $29 as EIA lowers price outlook
Barron’s Buzz: How low can the price of oil go?

99 Cent Gas May Be on Its Way
99-cents-a-gallon gas may be on its way: 24/7 Wall St.

Is the gold rally the real deal or ‘fool’s gold’?
Teen can keep $20,000 gold bar found in lake
Gold one of Wall Street’s best bets early in 2016
Gold futures stretch win streak to five sessions

Why is everyone freaking out about ‘CoCos’?
Convertible bonds are alluring as stocks fall
 
Deutsche Bank co-CEO says bank is ‘rock solid’
Deutsche may buy back billions in debt: FT
Why the selloff in European banks is ominous

This stock market has been Europe’s best in 2016

Strategists are arguing that stocks need a true purge

A strand of Lennon’s hair is selling for $12,000

White House forecasts decade-best economic growth
Obama proposes $4.1 trillion federal budget

Five questions that Janet Yellen must answer
Yellen may say goal is not to slow the economy
Fed: Too white, too male, too many bankers?
Expansion won’t die of old age: S.F. Fed study

Facebook, Amazon are the keys to tapping this market
French regulator threatens to fine Facebook
India bans Facebook’s free Internet service


Europe’s battles: migrants, ‘Brexit’ and ECB
German output, exports drop in December
Roubini: Welcome to the New Abnormal


This has been the No. 1 car in America for decades
How far can you get on $50 in gas?


/conga/frontpage.html 367529

Markets »

127.74MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 130.29M
Unchanged
156
Decliners
4273
Advancers
2073
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,014 -13 0.08%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,269 -15 0.35%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,852 -1 0.07%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,078 -7 0.33%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,191 -8 0.64%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 28.51 +0.57 2.04%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,632 -57 1.00%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 8,879 -100 1.11%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 3,998 -69 1.69%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 15,913 -528 3.21%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 7,928 -195 2.39%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 309 -5 1.58%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,454 -17 0.68%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 15,690 -395 2.46%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 19,288 +105 0.55%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 23,938 -83 0.34%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,573 -50 1.90%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 0.00 0.02%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 114.72 -0.41 0.35%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.45 +0.00 0.02%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 0.00 0.13%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 96.00 -0.06 0.06%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 89.25 -0.03 0.03%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.71 -0.02 0.99%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.24 0.00 0.00%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.68 0.00 0.00%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.79 0.00 0.00%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.42 0.00 0.00%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.02 +0.04 166.52%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 29 +1 2.04%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,191 -8 0.64%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/25518691/delayed 361 -1 0.14%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed 15,911 -48 0.30%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,844 -4 0.22%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 15 0 1.35%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 99.54 -0.21 -0.21%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 94.99 -0.02 -0.02%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 678.11 -4.63 -0.68%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 12.20 -0.07 -0.57%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 37.51 -0.30 -0.79%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.35 -0.24 -2.07%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.65 -0.46 -1.24%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 28.95 -0.97 -3.24%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 28.28 0.11 0.39%
Visit the quote page and your most recently viewed stocks will automatically be displayed here.
Please log in to view your watchlist
MarketWatch Portfolio

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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.3%
2 yr CD
0.7%
1 yr CD
0.5%
MMA $10K+
0.2%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.96% 11.88% 11.62%
Business 13.12% 13.11% 12.85%
Student 13.42% 13.42% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.35% 14.30% 14.12%
Airline 15.17% 15.16% 15.10%
Cash Back 15.26% 15.23% 15.27%
Reward 15.28% 15.25% 15.14%
Instant Approval 18.21% 18.18% 18.00%
Bad Credit 22.88% 22.88% 22.73%
Source:CreditCards.com

SPONSORED SECTIONS

Trending Tickers
  • /quotes/zigman/245568/composite DIS+0.22%
  • /quotes/zigman/13139813/composite SCTY-5.69%
  • /quotes/zigman/118681/composite TSLA+0.18%
  • /quotes/zigman/207002/composite DB-1.03%
  • /quotes/zigman/17430636/composite SUNE+6.48%
X
Powered by StockTwits
Link to MarketWatch's Slice.

As of July 2, 2013, the SmartMoney content you loved now lives on MarketWatch.

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  • Personalized news and quote email alerts
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