Elaine Silvestrini

Associate Personal Finance Editor, Kiplinger.com

Elaine Silvestrini has had an extensive career as a newspaper and online journalist, primarily covering legal issues at the Tampa Tribune and the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey. Her beats have also included breaking news, municipal government, the military and mental health. She has won several awards, including from the Florida Society of Professional Journalists and Florida Sunshine State Awards in categories including community leadership. Among her recognized work was a series of stories about tax refund fraud in Tampa, Florida, that uncovered shortcomings in the ability of law enforcement to address rampant theft from taxpayers. This reporting helped lead to a change in Florida identity theft law to make it easier to prosecute criminals. She’s had fellowships at Journalist Law School at Loyola and at the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. In more recent years, she's written for several marketing, legal, financial and health websites, including Insurance Journal, Annuity.org,  Drugwatch,com, Health.com and LegalExaminer.com, and the newsletters Auto Insurance Report and Property Insurance Report. In addition, she worked for nearly a year as an assistant criminal defense investigator in the Federal Public Defender Office in Tampa. Originally from New Jersey, she lives in Florida with her husband and cats.

 

 

What to Do When You Can’t Pay Holiday Debt
Photo of a checkbook, a calculator and crumpled wrapping paper.
Budgeting

What to Do When You Can’t Pay Holiday Debt

More Americans borrowed money to pay for holiday purchases and now the bill is due. Balance transfer cards offer a reprieve.
January 19, 2022
Could You Lose Your Job if You Get COVID-19?
Photo of a woman on a couch with her hand to her forehead like she's sick
careers

Could You Lose Your Job if You Get COVID-19?

With omicron surging, many are losing the ability to work. Can they get fired? Will they get paid time off? It depends.
January 12, 2022
Biden Extends Suspension of Student Loan Payments
Photo of paper money
loans

Biden Extends Suspension of Student Loan Payments

The president gave borrowers another 90 days until May 1 before they have to start paying back their student loans.
December 22, 2021
How to File Tornado Insurance Claims
Photo of a home damaged by a tornado in Kentucky
insurance

How to File Tornado Insurance Claims

The five-state storms caused billions in damages. If you were affected, make sure you document your losses and contact your insurer immediately.
December 14, 2021
Scammers Target Last-minute Shoppers
photo of a woman in a santa hat holding a credit card grimaching as she looks at a laptop screen
Scams

Scammers Target Last-minute Shoppers

Products may be in short supply, but potential thieves are not. Be “scam smart” to keep your holiday happy.
December 14, 2021
Last-minute Gifts That Save Money All Year
Smiling woman carrying very large present
spending

Last-minute Gifts That Save Money All Year

Supply chain issues may not have motivated you to buy early and now you’re panicked. No need to worry; we’ve got you covered.
December 9, 2021
What You Should Know About Giving Tuesday
Photo of two hands holding a stack of paper money with a red heart on top
Charity

What You Should Know About Giving Tuesday

After draining their wallets to buy holiday gifts, Americans will dig deeper into their pockets for charities on Giving Tuesday.
November 29, 2021
Resist the Impulse to Buy These 14 Holiday Gifts
Photo of an older person holding up a pair of pink underpants from a gift
shopping

Resist the Impulse to Buy These 14 Holiday Gifts

Don't let those holiday sale promotions persuade you into buying something now that will be much cheaper later.
November 18, 2021
Renting a Car Over the Holidays Will Be a Trip
photo of woman handing a person car keys with planes in the background
cars

Renting a Car Over the Holidays Will Be a Trip

Chip shortages, the pandemic and a surge in demand will combine to make renting a car a challenge. Here’s our best advice to find a rental you can aff…
November 17, 2021
2021 Holiday Travel May Not Be Jolly
photo of travelers waiting on line at an airport
Travel

2021 Holiday Travel May Not Be Jolly

With shortages threatening holiday vacations, here’s what to expect — and what you can do.
November 17, 2021
Workers: Expect Higher Salaries and More Perks in 2022
Photo of smiling man looking at papers and pumping his fist
Employee Benefits

Workers: Expect Higher Salaries and More Perks in 2022

The pandemic economy, the “Great Resignation” and inflation are motivating companies to raise wages and find ways to increase employee satisfaction.
November 4, 2021
After Storms, Beware of Flooded Cars for Sale
Photo of a flooded vehicle
Buying & Leasing a Car

After Storms, Beware of Flooded Cars for Sale

There's a chance the used car you have your eye on could have been damaged. Here’s what to watch out for.
October 29, 2021
Sell Your Gold Safely for a Fair Price
photo of a hand with money and a hand with gold jewelry
personal finance

Sell Your Gold Safely for a Fair Price

Selling gold jewelry and coins can be daunting with hucksters abounding. Here’s how to avoid being scammed.
October 25, 2021
Saving for College? Everything You Need to Know About 529 Plans
Photo of woman holding a jar of money for college
529 Plans

Saving for College? Everything You Need to Know About 529 Plans

529 plans offer considerable convenience and potential tax savings when putting money aside for education. That said, there are still a range of rules…
October 22, 2021
COVID-19 Throws Travel Insurance a Curveball
photo of man sitting slumped down among chairs in an airport
Travel

COVID-19 Throws Travel Insurance a Curveball

Could “Cancel for Any Reason” insurance be worth the cost for you?
October 13, 2021
How to Calculate Your Net Worth
photo of calculator
savings

How to Calculate Your Net Worth

Run an inventory of your assets and liabilities to find out how much you’re worth.
September 20, 2021
17 Free or Cheap Things to Do With Your Kids During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Father and daughter wearing robot costumes at home
Raising Money-Smart Kids

17 Free or Cheap Things to Do With Your Kids During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We’ve got lots of kid-friendly activities to do at home that will keep your family safe and your finances sound.
September 8, 2021
Your Tree, Your Neighbor’s Property: Whose Insurance Pays?
Photo of a tree on a car
insurance

Your Tree, Your Neighbor’s Property: Whose Insurance Pays?

And how to be a good neighbor when your tree drops by uninvited.
September 2, 2021
Pandemic Aid That’s Still Available
Photo of a man holding a box of produce wearing a mask that says "vote.'
health insurance

Pandemic Aid That’s Still Available

Broad-based stimulus checks and the like are over, but some people still qualify for help.
January 7, 2021
529 Plan FAQs
Photo of woman holding a jar of money for college
college

529 Plan FAQs

We’ve got answers to your frequently asked questions about 529 plans.
October 8, 2019