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Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial advice, gathered from around the web:
How credit affects your love life
"You'll never look at 'credit unions' the same way again," said Luke Kawa at Bloomberg. A Federal Reserve working paper has found that people tend to form romantic relationships with individuals who have similar credit scores. People with higher credit scores are also more likely to be in committed relationships, and stay in them longer, while couples with mismatched credit scores are more likely to break up. The results "have both practical and intuitive underpinnings." Couples with similar credit histories, for example, are more likely to take on a mortgage together, thus raising the "transaction cost" of a breakup. Beyond finances, economists hypothesize that credit scores hint at a person's "underlying trustworthiness." In other words, if you can't meet your financial obligations, "your wherewithal to stay current with someone else's life is also probably suspect."
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Lapsing long-term care insurance
"Buying long-term care insurance has always been a dicey proposition," said Dan Kadlec at Time. The coverage — meant to pay for lifetime care through a nursing home, assisted living facility, or in-home assistance — is expensive and may never become necessary. But new data from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College show that a third of people who buy the coverage let it lapse, many at exactly the wrong time. In 23 percent of the cases studied, those who let their coverage lapse needed long-term care within four years. The study found little evidence that seniors let the insurance lapse on purpose; most drop it because of financial hardship or because they develop cognitive impairment.
Make $1,000 before Christmas
"With some simple strategies," there's plenty of time between now and the holidays to raise $1,000 for gifts, said Stacy Rapacon at Kiplinger. One way is to change your tax withholding to take home more money next payday. Three out of four workers get a tax refund, at an average of about $3,000, so you've probably banked a healthy refund for 2016 by this point in the year. Another option is to sell your unwanted electronics, using resale sites. NextWorth will pay up to $170 for an iPhone 5S. Ride sharing can also "turn your car into a moneymaker." Uber estimates that its drivers earn about $19 an hour on average. Finally, don't forget to redeem your credit card rewards. Around $4 billion in annual rewards goes unused, according to CardHub.com.
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