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When Can I Retire?

It's less a practical question nowadays and more of an existential angst: "Will I have enough for retirement?" And depending on your age, your job, and your marital and family status, figuring out your retirement plan can seem like an impossible bit of calculus.

The key word there is "seem" -- with a little information and some careful planning, figure out when you can retire can get a lot simpler.

Sometimes it's hard to see and other times it's hard to admit, but the law affects our lives on a constant and daily basis. We don't always realize we're making legal decisions, let alone if those decisions are right or wrong.

So here are some common legal mistakes you might have already made, how to fix them if you have, and how to avoid them if you haven't.

In a move criticized by many, Kansas enacted new rules limiting the use of cash assistance (also known as public assistance, or welfare).

Kansas' new law, which goes into effect on July 1, is an extensive ban on products and services that can't be purchased with cash assistance. Items that cannot be purchased with welfare include alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco products, lottery tickets, concert tickets, professional or collegiate sporting tickets, or sexually oriented adult materials. Cash assistance also cannot be used at casinos, tattoo parlors, nail salons, bail bond companies, or fortune telling businesses.

While Kansas' welfare law is the most restrictive law so far, laws prohibiting use of cash assistance for certain purchases are not rare

It's out of sight and out of mind, but your credit report can affect your life in many ways you never expected. A bad credit report can make it hard for you to get a loan or a credit card. It can get you rejected for a rental apartment. It can even hurt your job search efforts.

Mistakes on credit reports happen all to often. You expect to have great credit, but suddenly you're rejected for a home loan. There may be an error on your credit report, hurting your score.

Here is how you can check for errors and correct your report:

Maybe your sister totaled your car and won't pay for repairs, you contracted to rebuild your neighbor's fence and now they won't return your calls, or your college roommate stole your credit card and ran away to Tijuana. Whatever the case, you're owed a debt. How in the world do you go about collecting it?

There's plenty of ways to go about collecting what you're owed, from taking a gentle approach to pulling no punches. Here's five straightforward ways to collect on a debt, from least to most severe:

Supreme Court Mortgage Ruling: 5 Things Borrowers Should Know

A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court this week may be of particular interest to homeowners hoping to rescind a mortgage loan.

The court ruled unanimously in favor of Minnesota couple Larry and Cheryle Jesinoski, Reuters reports. The Jesinoskis sued their mortgage lender, Countrywide (now owned by Bank of America), after the company refused to rescind the couple's $611,000 loan. The company claimed that the federal law allowing for mortgages to be rescinded required the couple to file a lawsuit within three years, which they did not do (they merely sent a letter). The Court ruled that in this case, the letter was good enough.

What should consumers take away from this ruling? Here are five things borrowers should know:

Top 10 Legal How-Tos of 2014

The idea of tackling a legal issue yourself may seem intimidating, but you may be surprised at what you can accomplish with a little legal know-how.

Of course, there are some instances where consulting with a lawyer is the most prudent option. There are others, however, in which hiring a lawyer may or may not be necessary. Our series "Legal How-To" presents some of those scenarios, laying out what is required for those who may be interested in taking on a legal issue on their own.

What were this year's most popular DIY legal stories? Here are the top 10 Legal How-Tos of 2014:

5 Legal New Year's Resolutions for 2015

When it comes to New Year's resolutions, adding a few legal goals to the list can be a great way to stay current on your long-term legal needs.

From estate planning to personal finances, there are a number of ways to be proactive when it comes to legal planning. And though you can't always prevent legal issues from arising, you can put yourself in a better position to handle them once they do.

What can you do this New Year's to help plan for a better legal foundation in 2015? Here are five legal New Year's resolutions:

4 Tips After Teen Wins $4M Lotto on Her Birthday

There are certainly worse birthday gifts than scratch-off lottery tickets, especially when one of those tickets ends up being a $4 million prize-winner.

Deisi Ocampo of Chicago received a pair of lottery tickets as a gift from her father on her 19th birthday, reports WMAQ-TV. She didn't have a chance to scratch them off until the next day, but when she did, she discovered that she was the winner of a $4 million prize.

Now that Ocampo -- a college student who works at a clothing store and lives with her parents -- has a little more money in the bank, what can she do to help make sure she makes the most of her newfound wealth? Here are four tips she may want to consider:

If you're fighting in court over a cash payment, how can you prove that you actually paid?

Paying for things in cash may be becoming less common as technology marches on, but if you still use cash, you'll want to get some proof that you paid. In many cases, the person you paid may be reluctant or defiant about admitting that he's been paid. In order to get the law's help, you may need to prove that the cash in question actually changed hands.

So how do you do this? Every case is different, but here are some potential ways to prove you paid for something with cash: