March 21, 2014 |
Lee is making some changes in his life. He wants to know what happens if he renounces his U.S. citizenship and becomes instead a citizen of the Philippines. Can he keep receiving Social Security checks? An intriguing scenario. Lee doesn't say why he wants to switch teams, but it could have something to do with taxes. A number of Americans jump ship each year because they're displeased with the U.S. tax system. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions In any case, the Social Security Administration does have a status for ex-citizens who may be due monthly checks.
February 14, 2001 |
The government released rollover risk ratings for 30 more vehicles on Tuesday, giving low marks to eight sport-utility vehicles and high grades to four cars. The ratings of the 2001 vehicles are based on a mathematical formula for measuring the vehicle's center of gravity and width. SUVs and pickup trucks are more top-heavy and thus more likely to get lower marks than a car or van.
April 23, 2014 |
Kathleen says the cost of her health insurance has soared. She wants to know why -- and who she can complain to. Kathleen isn't alone. A lot of people have seen their health-insurance premiums rise in recent months, and there's a reason for this. Obamacare. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions That's not to say all such rate hikes are unjustified. In most cases, the costs are rising because the quality of the coverage is improving. The Affordable Care Act requires that all health insurance meets certain standards, and some plans are going up in cost for the simple reason that they're complying with the law. For more, plus who's taking complaints about such things, check out today's Ask Laz video.
April 22, 2012 |
It's never been easier to feel like a natural woman. The 1960s mantra about getting ourselves back to the garden now applies to an increasing number of beauty products, with some small companies literally going to the garden and farm to bring customers fresh, natural, pure and organic ingredients in their hair- and skin-care items. These products provide an alternative to more mainstream offerings, which over the last half-century have become increasingly laden with synthetics that some would rather avoid.
December 3, 2008
Re "U.S. tackles consumer debt market," Nov. 26 OK, I admit that I do not have a degree in economics. However, the information I am reading about "bailouts" defies any logic I know as a consumer. The latest is that the government plans to give billions to industries that will encourage consumer credit. Everyone I know is trying desperately to get out from under credit debt. Can someone who has credit-card debt explain how encouraging the use of further indebtedness through credit can help the average consumer?
June 7, 2009
Re: David Lazarus' consumer column, "Finally, AT&T writes a contract in plain English," May 31: "The 8,000-word contract was a triumph of consumer-unfriendliness" -- and clearly was written by lawyers on steroids! Michael Lohnberg Agoura Hills
December 10, 2013 |
Godfrey is fed up with those subscription cards that come tumbling out of magazines. Why do publishers bother using them? The publishing industry calls these things "blow-in" cards, and they've been around for years as a way to attract new subscribers. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions In 2009, the New York Times reported that blow-in cards appeared to be falling out of favor as digital distribution grew. But there's not much evidence to back that up. So why does this pesky practice persist?
February 27, 2014 |
Any buyer of a new car has faced this question: Should I plunk down extra money for an extended warranty? It can make sense if you'll sleep better at night knowing you have an additional layer of coverage for your wheels. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions But do the statistics bear this out? And do you have to decide right away, when the dealer is pressuring you to come across with more cash? For the answers, check out today's Ask Laz video.
May 1, 1988
When people attending the Bruce Springsteen concert pay scalpers $350-$850 for a $25 ticket, it is easy to understand why we have inflation. The consumer is being consumed. MONROE RUBINGER Beverly Hills