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March 2020

February 2020

What to buy and not buy in March

March can be a slow shopping month, especially if you compare it to February, with its Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Days sales. However, March isn't totally blank when it comes to sales. Look for sales on television sets, cruises, luggage, winter sports gear, and seasonal fruit, according to On the what not to buy list are android phones, spring apparel, gym memberships, and lingerie. Read more →

What are the best airline rewards programs?

WalletHub, a personal finance website, compared the 10 largest domestic airlines’ rewards programs for 23 key items, ranging from the value of a rewards point or mile to blackout-date policies. Here are the best frequent flyer programs: Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles United Airlines - MileagePlus Alaska Airlines - Mileage Plan Southwest Airlines - Rapid Rewards JetBlue Airways - TrueBlue Read more →

What you need to do to get ready for a possible COVID-19 outbreak in your community

It was helpful Tuesday when a federal official advised Americans to prepare for a possible coronavirus outbreak where they live. “It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen,” Nancy Messonnier, M.D., director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a New York Times article. Messonnier said that cities and towns should plan for “social distancing measures,” such as dividing school classes into smaller groups of students or closing schools. Meetings and conferences may have to be canceled, she said. Businesses should arrange for employees to work from home. What do you need to do to be prepared? One federal official said to get ready in your home like it was a snow storm or hurricane. Read more →

Debt collector settles with FTC, New York over fraudulent scheme

The operator of a debt collection scheme has settled claims by the Federal Trade Commission and New York attorney general that he and the companies he controlled lied to consumers about how much debt they owed and used illegal scare tactics to collect it. Under the settlement, Robert Heidenreich, who ran the scheme from the Buffalo, New York area is permanently banned from the debt collection business and prohibited from misleading consumers about any financial products. The FTC filed its lawsuit in the case in October 2018. “Together, the FTC and the New York Attorney General stopped the latest in a line of illegal and abusive debt collectors,” said Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “As a result of this joint law enforcement action, Mr. Heidenreich will never again be allowed to collect debts.” Read more →

Baby boomers write about family issues, finances, and candy

Last week, I spend days looking through my photo collections for photos for a funeral. It was a huge, huge trip down memory lane. Marriages, kids, divorces, travel, deaths, and more. I feel like I’ve been through an emotional wringer. However, through it all, I had an additional realization, again, that I need to work on getting my photos better organized. I have 50 notebooks full of photos, and I have about that many more that need to be put in archival sleeves. Also, I could take more photos out of my digital chronical files and put them in the named files so I could have them handy to use. Anyway, above is one of the photos I found, which is now properly identified. Meanwhile, my baby boomer blogger friends are busy, too, continuing to write great articles. Read more →

An accessory incline sleeper included with baby beds is being recalled by Kolcraft due to the risk of suffocation

Kolcraft is recalling about 51,000 inclined sleeper accessories included with its cuddle ‘n care 2-in-1 bassinet and preferred position 2-in-1 bassinet. Infant fatalities have been reported with other manufacturers’ inclined sleep products, after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side, or under other circumstances. No incidents or injuries have been reported with the two recalled products. Read more →

Consumer Reports announces top 10 choices for best cars of 2020

While luxury brands Porsche and Genesis claim the top two spots, moderately-priced brands are close behind in the latest Brand Report Card Rankings from Consumer Reports, a product testing organization. The annual rankings show which automakers are producing the most well-performing, safe, and reliable vehicles based on Consumer Reports testing and member surveys.  Brands from South Korea and Japan, including Genesis, Subaru, Mazda, Lexus, Hyundai, and Kia, claim six of the ten top spots in Consumer Reports’ 2020 rankings. Porsche went up two positions from last year to claim the top spot, replacing Subaru. Rounding out the top-10 are Audi, BMW, and Mini. Kia and Mini are the only two brands that are new among the top group in Consumer Reports Brand Report Card Rankings, replacing Toyota, down three spots from last year, and Lincoln, down five spots from last year. Read more →

Education Department rule that fails to protect students from fraud challenged by lawsuit

A low-income advocacy group filed a lawsuit Wednesday to invalidate the U.S. Department of Education’s new borrower defense rules, which dump protections from predatory schools and impose standards and hurdles for defrauded students seeking to cancel loans. The lawsuit was filed by the Project on Predatory Student Lending and Public Citizen Litigation Group on behalf of the New York Legal Assistance Group. The lawsuit challenges borrower defense regulations published in September 2019 that are due to take effect in July 2020. Federal law states that students can ask to cancel their federal student loans when the schools they attend engage in misconduct or close suddenly. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Education issued new rules to protect student borrowers and federal taxpayers. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos attempted to block those rules from going into effect three times – and the groups suing now were successful in having those attempts declared illegal. Read more →

Do you think you’ll miss a credit card payment in 2020?

The average American household owes a near-record $8,700 to credit card companies. Forty-six million Americans, nearly one in five adults, think they will miss at least one credit card payment due date in 2020, according to a WalletHub credit cards survey released Tuesday. The researchers think this indicates that cracks in the foundation of consumers’ finances are beginning to show, under the strain of mounting debt. “The reason that roughly 46 million people expect to miss at least one credit card due date in 2020 is that we’re stretched too thin – in terms of both time and money,” said Odysseas Papadimitriou, WalletHub CEO. Read more →

Baby boomer bloggers offer advice about entertainment, travel, health, and love

Friends provide such joy in life. I was really fortunate when I moved to the Seattle area years ago and joined the League of Women Voters. I met a group of wonderful women who have become my good friends. We’ve worked on league projects together – land use, environmental, housing, educational, and children’s issues as well as registering voters. And through the years, we’ve enjoyed and helped each other so much. Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, was the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National League of Women Voters. To celebrate in the morning, I went to the Washington State Senate to observe the reading of a proclamation honoring the league and its work. In the afternoon, I attended a Gala 100th Birthday Party and High Tea sponsored by the Tacoma-Pierce County League of Women Voters. It was a great day of celebration and memories. Meanwhile, our baby boomer bloggers continue writing helpful articles. Topics include Galentine's Day, a new dog, health care struggles, a blog update, Academy Award nominated movies opinions, and a visit to Eleanor Roosevelt's home in the Hudson Valley. Read more →