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need to know
Avon reports wider-than-expected loss
PepsiCo profit up 31% to top estimates
SNB chairman won’t rule out further rate cuts
Sweden cuts interest rate further below zero
European stocks knocked to lowest since 2013
FTSE 100 hits lowest level since 2012
SocGen profit up on Amundi stake sale
Dollar at lowest vs. yen since late 2014
Shell cancels $14.4 billion bridge credit facility
Hong Kong stocks dive as selloff kicks in
U.S. government runs $55 bln budget surplus

The greatest bull market of all time probably isn’t what you think it is
Greatest bull market ever likely isn’t what you think

Howard Gold: The 5 worst investment calls of this century
The 5 worst investment calls of this century

Chuck Jaffe: It’s time for these trendy mutual funds and ETFs to put up or shut up
Time for trendy ETFs, funds to put up or shut up

Rio Tinto swings to loss, drops dividend policy
Total narrows loss on fewer write-downs
Glencore copper, zinc output falls on cutbacks


Twitter proves Wall Street critics were right
Twitter adds new timeline feature

FBI closes in on Oregon holdouts


North Korea reportedly executes top general

India to pick up China’s slack in oil demand

BP CEO calls for cuts to carbon emissions
If you’re bullish on oil, these stocks are buys

Which of Europe’s Piigs might fly?
Which of Europe’s Piigs might fly?


The 10 toughest investment decisions

Bass issues warning on China’s foreign cash reserves
What’s holding back the world economy?
China's FX reserves drop $99.47 bln


Yellen: Fed isn’t sure negative rates are legal
Yellen doesn’t expect to reverse Fed rate hike
Yellen gets into heated exchange at hearing
Bond market, Yellen face off on negative rates

Will falling oil prices bankrupt Saudis, Russians?
Cheap oil may make OPEC dominant again
As oil revenue drops, Gulf states ponder taxes
Will oil get so cheap, it won’t pay to extract it?

Christie, Fiorina drop out of presidential race

A break for zombie-fighting Amazon developers
Why Apple, Amazon, Starbucks are successful
Amazon up after new share buyback plan

Portland Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum live with ... mom
Meet the NBA stars who live with their mothers

REIT bonus targets at heart of Brixmor scandal

Private-equity firms now buying back their own shares

Has college financial aid totally backfired?

Michael Moore: Imagine life without student debt
6 ways Obama would make college affordable

Social Security in the crosshairs: replacement rates again
Stage is being set for cuts to Social Security

Is it wise to hold on to cash reserves?

/conga/frontpage.html 367693

Markets »

122.29MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 131.80M
Unchanged
201
Decliners
3048
Advancers
3255
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 15,915 -100 0.62%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,284 +15 0.35%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,852 0 0.02%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,060 -20 0.97%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,235 +40 3.37%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 26.58 -0.87 3.17%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,559 -114 2.00%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 8,816 -201 2.23%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 3,922 -139 3.43%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 15,898 -817 4.89%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 7,842 -302 3.71%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 305 -10 3.14%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,437 -17 0.68%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 15,713 -372 2.31%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 18,546 -742 3.85%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 22,952 -807 3.40%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,538 -44 1.70%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 +0.00 0.37%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 112.16 -1.20 1.06%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.44 -0.01 0.84%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 0.00 0.38%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.68 -0.14 0.15%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.81 -0.07 0.08%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.56 -0.11 6.48%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.16 -0.08 34.07%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.74 +0.10 5.98%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.80 +0.08 4.56%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.25 -0.16 11.37%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.01 0.00 0.00%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 27 -1 3.17%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,235 +40 3.37%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/25518691/delayed 360 0 0.07%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed 15,610 -256 1.61%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,817 -30 1.64%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 16 +0 2.05%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 101.00 1.46 1.47%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 94.27 -0.72 -0.76%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 684.12 6.01 0.89%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 11.98 -0.22 -1.80%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 37.41 -0.10 -0.27%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.34 -0.01 -0.09%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.43 -0.22 -0.60%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 28.04 -0.31 -1.09%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 28.30 0.02 0.07%
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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% 11.96% 11.62%
Business 13.12% 13.12% 12.85%
Student 13.42% 13.42% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.35% 14.35% 14.12%
Airline 15.17% 15.17% 15.10%
Cash Back 15.20% 15.26% 15.27%
Reward 15.25% 15.28% 15.14%
Instant Approval 18.02% 18.21% 18.00%
Bad Credit 22.56% 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

New York Markets Open in:

Futures: /quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed S&P 500 -1.6% /quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed DOW -1.6% /quotes/zigman/43108768/delayed NASDAQ -1.8%

need to know
Avon reports wider-than-expected loss
PepsiCo profit up 31% to top estimates
SNB chairman won’t rule out further rate cuts
Sweden cuts interest rate further below zero
European stocks knocked to lowest since 2013
FTSE 100 hits lowest level since 2012
SocGen profit up on Amundi stake sale
Dollar at lowest vs. yen since late 2014
Shell cancels $14.4 billion bridge credit facility
Hong Kong stocks dive as selloff kicks in
U.S. government runs $55 bln budget surplus

The greatest bull market of all time probably isn’t what you think it is
Greatest bull market ever likely isn’t what you think

Howard Gold: The 5 worst investment calls of this century
The 5 worst investment calls of this century

Chuck Jaffe: It’s time for these trendy mutual funds and ETFs to put up or shut up
Time for trendy ETFs, funds to put up or shut up

Rio Tinto swings to loss, drops dividend policy
Total narrows loss on fewer write-downs
Glencore copper, zinc output falls on cutbacks


Twitter proves Wall Street critics were right
Twitter adds new timeline feature

FBI closes in on Oregon holdouts


North Korea reportedly executes top general

India to pick up China’s slack in oil demand

BP CEO calls for cuts to carbon emissions
If you’re bullish on oil, these stocks are buys

Which of Europe’s Piigs might fly?
Which of Europe’s Piigs might fly?


The 10 toughest investment decisions

Bass issues warning on China’s foreign cash reserves
What’s holding back the world economy?
China's FX reserves drop $99.47 bln


Yellen: Fed isn’t sure negative rates are legal
Yellen doesn’t expect to reverse Fed rate hike
Yellen gets into heated exchange at hearing
Bond market, Yellen face off on negative rates

Will falling oil prices bankrupt Saudis, Russians?
Cheap oil may make OPEC dominant again
As oil revenue drops, Gulf states ponder taxes
Will oil get so cheap, it won’t pay to extract it?

Christie, Fiorina drop out of presidential race

A break for zombie-fighting Amazon developers
Why Apple, Amazon, Starbucks are successful
Amazon up after new share buyback plan

Portland Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum live with ... mom
Meet the NBA stars who live with their mothers

REIT bonus targets at heart of Brixmor scandal

Private-equity firms now buying back their own shares

Has college financial aid totally backfired?

Michael Moore: Imagine life without student debt
6 ways Obama would make college affordable

Social Security in the crosshairs: replacement rates again
Stage is being set for cuts to Social Security

Is it wise to hold on to cash reserves?

/conga/frontpage.html 367693

Markets »

122.29MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 131.80M
Unchanged
201
Decliners
3048
Advancers
3255
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 15,915 -100 0.62%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,284 +15 0.35%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,852 0 0.02%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,060 -20 0.97%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,235 +40 3.37%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 26.58 -0.87 3.17%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 5,559 -114 2.00%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 8,816 -201 2.23%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 3,922 -139 3.43%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 15,898 -817 4.89%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 7,844 -300 3.68%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 305 -10 3.14%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,437 -17 0.68%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 15,713 -372 2.31%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 18,546 -742 3.85%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 2,763 -18 0.63%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 22,952 -807 3.40%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,538 -44 1.70%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.13 +0.00 0.37%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 112.16 -1.20 1.06%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.44 -0.01 0.84%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 0.00 0.38%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 95.68 -0.14 0.15%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.81 -0.07 0.08%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 1.56 -0.11 6.48%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.16 -0.08 34.07%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.74 +0.10 5.98%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 1.80 +0.08 4.56%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.25 -0.16 11.37%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.01 0.00 0.00%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2260836/delayed 27 -1 3.17%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/33772884/delayed 1,235 +40 3.37%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/25518691/delayed 360 0 0.07%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/48241424/delayed 15,608 -258 1.63%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/43106711/delayed 1,816 -31 1.65%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/32655632/delayed 16 +0 2.05%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 101.00 1.46 1.47%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 94.27 -0.72 -0.76%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/59527964/composite 684.12 6.01 0.89%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 11.98 -0.22 -1.80%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 37.41 -0.10 -0.27%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 11.34 -0.01 -0.09%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 36.43 -0.22 -0.60%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 28.04 -0.31 -1.09%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 28.30 0.02 0.07%
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% 11.96% 11.62%
Business 13.12% 13.12% 12.85%
Student 13.42% 13.42% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.35% 14.35% 14.12%
Airline 15.17% 15.17% 15.10%
Cash Back 15.20% 15.26% 15.27%
Reward 15.25% 15.28% 15.14%
Instant Approval 18.02% 18.21% 18.00%
Bad Credit 22.56% 22.88% 22.73%
Source:CreditCards.com

Top 3 from Barron's

Today's list of the most-viewed stories from Barron's. More »

  1. 1.
  2. 2.
  3. 3.

Visit Barrons.com

SPONSORED SECTIONS

Trending Tickers
  • /quotes/zigman/714403/composite SPY-0.09%
  • /quotes/zigman/41663/composite GLD+0.77%
  • /quotes/zigman/118681/composite TSLA-3.09%
  • /quotes/zigman/23556538/composite TWTR+4.03%
  • /quotes/zigman/3059264/composite DUST-6.14%
X
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As of July 2, 2013, the SmartMoney content you loved now lives on MarketWatch.

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