Liz Weston, Los Angeles Times

Liz Weston

Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles, CA, United States

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Past articles by Liz:

What happens when your unmarried life partner dies without a will?

The lack of a will generally means no inheritance for an unmarried life partner. But in California, longtime partners might be able to use the 'Marvin rule.' → Read More

How landlords weigh your credit history when deciding whether to rent to you

Your credit score is only one factor landlords take into account when deciding who would be a good tenant. → Read More

When selling a vacation home, here are the taxes to expect

Selling a vacation home is different from selling a primary residence when it comes to the taxes you will need to pay. → Read More

When a HELOC rate is too good to be true

A surprisingly low rate promised on a home equity line of credit is probably just a "teaser" rate, which eventually could go much higher. → Read More

A health crisis brings high medical bills. Here are tips for dealing with the costs

It's understandable to worry about medical bills after a cancer diagnosis or other serious health issue. There is help available, if you know where to look. → Read More

How to help someone else build credit

Adding someone to your credit card account as an authorized user is a great way to help them build credit. → Read More

Here's how to budget your money using the 50/30/20 rule

The 50/30/20 budget was popularized by Sen. Elizabeth Warren and her daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi in their book, “All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan.” → Read More

They lent a friend a van. It's getting awkward. Now what?

Financial transactions between friends can result in big headaches. Here are tips on what to consider before you offer help. → Read More

Should extra cash go to retirement or emergency savings?

Your first priority should be building an emergency fund. Most financial planners recommend having a reserve of 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses. → Read More

Why asking for lower card limits can hurt your credit scores

Credit-scoring formulas like it when you are using less of your available credit. So reducing those card limits could cause your scores to fall. → Read More

Bank failures spotlight brokerages' SIPC insurance: How it works

The nonprofit Securities Investor Protection Corp. protects against the loss of cash and securities when a covered brokerage fails. But there are limits. → Read More

How an unexpected credit score drop could signal a serious problem

A big credit score drop may indicate a late payment, collection account or fraud. How to check your credit reports at all three credit bureaus. → Read More

How to get started managing your retirement assets

Balancing current living expenses with the potential for future long-term care can be overwhelming. Here are some suggestions on getting started. → Read More

How your ex could boost your Social Security benefits

Many divorced people don’t realize they can get Social Security benefits derived from their ex-spouse’s work history. → Read More

Three habits that can help protect your credit cards from fraud

Dealing with the aftermath of credit card fraud taught me to value security over convenience, and to change these bad habits that made me an easier target. → Read More

Selling a rental property? Here are the tax consequences

Selling a rental property is more complicated than selling your personal home. If you're not using the proceeds to buy another property, it's going to cost you. → Read More

What's best for education savings? A 529 plan or I bonds?

Both 529 plans and I Series Savings Bonds have advantages when saving for education. But for most families, here is why 529 plans have the edge. → Read More

LIZ WESTON: Sneaky ways inflation affects your money in 2023 [Column]

By now, you’re probably familiar with the more obvious ways inflation affects your finances. Your money doesn’t go as far at the grocery store, for example. But other ways inflation helps or hurts have gotten less attention. → Read More

Sneaky ways inflation affects your money in 2023

Here are some of the major changes to watch for this year. → Read More

Why you need to pay attention to your credit utilization

Credit bureaus pay attention to your credit utilization, or how much of your combined credit card limits you’re using. Here's how to manage it. → Read More