Another year has passed, during which time Nolo continued to offer readers in-depth information about legal and practical matters. We’ve covered everything from buying a home to paying taxes to suing your neighbors,employers, and former friends. (Uh, not that we’re recommending all that litigation.)

Which articles were favorites among Nolo readers this year? The drum roll please. Okay, enough drum roll:

  1. Will I Get Penalized for Working While Collecting Social Security Retirement? This topped the list last year, too! Do we spot a trend? Indeed, studies show that baby boomers are increasingly working past 65—which was once the traditional retirement age—either because they want to or because they can’t afford to stop. As Nolo’s article explains, however, working while receiving early retirement benefits may permanently reduce your Social Security retirement check.
  2. Avoiding Capital Gains Tax When Selling Your Home: Read the Fine Print. Sheesh, this was number two on last year’s list, too. You’d think Americans were interested in saving money or something.
  3. What Is a Serious Health Condition Under the FMLA? Something new in third place! Sadly, many readers might have been flat on their backs while reading it. The article describes how U.S. law gives some workers a right to time off (without pay) in order to either care for a family member who has a serious health condition or recuperate from their own serious health condition, among other things.
  4. Meal and Rest Breaks: Your Rights as an Employee. Fessup, people, how many were looking up this article while pretending to be working? Then again, plenty of employers perhaps forgot what they ultimately learned from Scrooge, and are stingy about breaks. What’s more, U.S. federal law doesn’t require meal or rest breaks, and only some states have stepped in to mandate them.
  5. Getting a Patent on Your Own.  How about inventing a robot that makes it look like you’re at your desk while you’re really taking a very long lunch break? This article explains how to file a patent application on the cheap, without a lawyer’s help.
  6. Which States Recognize Common Law Marriage? This one’s entirely new to Nolo’s top ten list. We won’t even try to explain the reason for the sudden interest. Many readers might have been disappointed, however, to find that in all but a handful of states, a legal marriage requires a state-issued license and a ceremony.
  7. Defamation Law Made Simple. No,this isn’t “Defamation Made Simple.” (Plenty seem to have the hang of that already.) This article explains when a person can head to court and claim damages from someone who committed libel or slander.
  8. How to Form an LLCHurrah for Americans’entrepreneurial spirit! And, uh, for their desire to make sure they don’t personally get stuck with the bills if their new business goes belly up or is sued.
  9. Overview of Landlord-Tenant Laws in CaliforniaWith the Golden State on the top five list of states with high median rents, it’s little wonder this article made the top ten Nolo list. It discusses important issues like when someone who just couldn’t pull together the month’s rent will have to pay a late fee and how much warning a landlord must give before evicting.
  10. What Are the Differences Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy? So as to not end on a down note, we’ll assume that curious readers were all studying for trivia contests, and wanted to be ready for this tricky question.

Let’s sign off with the immortal words of the late Stan Lee (of Marvel Comics , who passed in 2018): “Excelsior!”

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