Thirteen smart financial steps to take in 2013

Many Americans dutifully make New Year's Resolutions, but unfortunately most get broken or forgotten before too long. So let's not call these "New Year's Financial Resolutions." Instead, here are 13 smart financial steps that you can take to help get and keep your finances on track in 2013.

How to do your federal taxes for free

Going to college; getting your first job; moving into your own place. To these rites of passage, add one more: doing your own taxes. And, it doesn't have to be scary. There is actually a simple way to do your taxes that can help you save money and time.

New electronic payment rule will protect federal benefit payments from financial crimes

Last year alone, more than 440,000 Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) checks were reported lost or stolen. Despite the risks, millions of senior citizens, people with disabilities and other federal benefit recipients still receive their payments by paper check. Beneficiaries' increased exposure to financial crime is one reason why the U.S. Department of the Treasury is phasing out paper checks for federal benefits by March 1, 2013.

Tips to save time and money during the holiday season

Time flies, and between the hectic activities of the holiday season, work, school, household chores and playtime with your family (if you can fit it in), the only minutes you have left in the day are reserved for sleep and recharging your batteries. While it's impossible to slow down time, you can find ways to consolidate some activities or eliminate tasks you'd rather not be doing anyway, presenting you with valuable me-time for rest and relaxation.

Will your taxes go up in the new year?

When the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 2012, many Americans will celebrate the arrival of a new year with streamers, confetti and a round of "Auld Lang Syne." But when they wake up the next morning, January 1, 2013, they may not be as excited to learn that their federal taxes have increased.

Boomers connect at rapid pace

Even though they're still common, jokes about clueless baby boomers calling their kids to figure out how to use technology are starting to feel outdated. While today's youngest generations are practically born with tablets, smartphones and laptops in their hands, grandparents are also adopting technology at a startling pace.

Why Alzheimer's should factor into your retirement plan

In an ideal world, you will retire and enjoy many years fulfilling your dreams and spending time with those you love the most. Your retirement years can be some of the happiest and most enjoyable years of your life. But while we all hope for the best outcome possible, it may be prudent for you to plan for the possibility that life may deal you a difficult hand.

How to achieve 4 common financial goals

Whether it's the new year, a new job, a new baby or simply the right time to get your finances order, the process usually starts with setting some goals. The first step in the process of achieving your financial goals is to recognize what needs to be done to put yourself in the position you want to be in. Once you've identified those goals, you just need to figure out how to accomplish them.