Q&A: My 401(k) is making only 2-3%, so why not borrow from it and pay it back at 5%?

Dear Liz: You have warned in the past about the risks of a 401(k) loan. I have been investing now for 15 years, and the last 14 years, my average return has been between 2% and 3%. I am considered moderately aggressive in my choices of international (24%), large and small cap (52%), midcap (16%) […]

Continue reading...

Q&A: Changing credit scoring formulas will help some — but not everyone

Dear Liz: I read that the credit bureaus have started deleting black marks from people’s credit reports. This is good news for me. I have never been late on a house payment in 30-plus years, but my credit is in the low 600s due to a loan I co-signed for an ex-girlfriend who has been […]

Continue reading...

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 6 ways to optimize your credit card’s bonus mall. Also in the news: 5 tips for starting a business while working full time, 6 ways to get free money from the government, and the 10 most stolen cars and the cost of theft insurance. 6 Ways to Optimize Your Credit Card’s Bonus […]

Continue reading...

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Don’t get taken by government grant scams. Also in the news: When you should and shouldn’t tap your Roth IRA, using your credit cards to pay for child care, and a report that finds many American teens lack basic financial skills. Don’t Get Taken by Government Grant Scams The government doesn’t want […]

Continue reading...

Make your teen a millionaire this summer

Gary Sidder set up Roth IRAs for his sons when they turned 13. Each year, the Littleton, Colorado, certified financial planner and his wife, Francie Steinzeig, a school psychologist, contributed an amount equal to whatever the two boys earned cutting lawns, shoveling snow and doing odd jobs. As the sons’ earnings increased, so did the […]

Continue reading...

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 debt questions you’re afraid to ask. Also in the news: The best accounts for short-term savings, the 10 most-stolen cars and the cost of theft insurance, and what happens when your bank loses a cash deposit. 5 Debt Questions You’re Afraid to Ask We have the answers. Best Accounts for Short-Term […]

Continue reading...

Q&A: How cosigning a mortgage loan can bring big risks

Dear Liz: I’ve been self-employed for just over a year. Because of disbursements from a recent divorce, I have enough money to make a 40% down payment on a modest house. My income will easily cover the resulting mortgage payments, health insurance and other expenses, but I’ve been turned down for a loan several times […]

Continue reading...

Q&A: When waiting to take Social Security doesn’t make sense

Dear Liz: I receive $2,400 per month in Social Security. My wife, who turned 66 in early April, was told by the Social Security Administration that her retirement benefit will be about $800. Can I get spousal benefits for her of $1,200, less what her Social Security amount will be? My problem is that she […]

Continue reading...

Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: The myRA program is dead. But there is an alternative. Also in the news: Borrowing money from friends and family when you’re in a jam, and four financial milestones to reach before you retire. Obama-Era Retirement Plan Is Dead. Here’s an Alternative The myRA program is dead. Ask Brianna: Should I Borrow […]

Continue reading...

Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 essential money tips for Generation X. Also in the news: Sales tax holidays, the best ways to send money to your college student, and why Americans are more financially content. 5 Essential Money Tips for Generation X The clock is ticking towards 50. Sales Tax Holidays Save Shoppers Money on Back-to-School […]

Continue reading...