Beware the hidden risks of self-directed IRAs

Dear Liz: My 401(k) plan has grown exceptionally well this year. I think we all know that it can’t last. I just recently heard about self-directed IRAs. I was intrigued at the possibility of opening one by rolling over a portion of my 401(k) money directly. The problem is, my company’s 401(k) provider will not […]

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Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Hidden taxes that can bust your budget. Also in the news: how to job hunt during the holidays, the fastest growing jobs in America, and how to make the most out of your year end charitable giving. Hidden Taxes That Can Bust Your Budget How to avoid being caught by surprise. 3 […]

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Friday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How driving could affect your credit. Also in the news: The five C’s of credit, what you shouldn’t do this Christmas, and what we can learn about personal finance from three holiday classics. How Does Driving Affect Your Credit? Unpaid tickets could wreck your credit score. The 4 Judgments Every Lender Makes […]

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Great money books to get or give

Donna Freedman was kind enough to include a couple of my books in her recent post, “The gift of personal finance,” which made me realize that there was an unusually good crop of money tomes that appeared this year. I’m delighted to recommend the following for anyone who’s interested in making the most of his […]

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Should you bail on your 529 plan?

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Long-time readers know I’m a big fan of using state-run 529 college plans to save for higher education expenses. (Remember the mantra: if you can save for college, you should!) Money in these plans grows tax-free when used for qualified college costs and doesn’t have much impact on financial aid (which is going to be […]

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Thursday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Mythbusting your FICO score. Also in the news: Steps retiring entrepreneurs should take, tax moves Boomers should make right away, and how retailers trick you into spending money. 5 Myths About Late Payments & Your FICO Scores Mythbusting, FICO style. 10 Steps for Retiring Entrepreneurs Using your company as a cash cow […]

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Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Should real estate be a part of your retirement plan? Also in the news: How to avoid resetting the mortgage clock, finding the right financial advisor, and how to manage erratic prescription drug costs. How Real Estate Fits Into Your Retirement The risks and rewards of including real estate in your retirement […]

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Failed business loan strains couples’ finances

Dear Liz: We took a home equity loan against our house to open a business in 2006. We also ran up credit card debt for the business. The business went under, and we’re struggling to pay off the loan, which is $150,000 (a $1,150 payment every month), and the credit card debt, which we got […]

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Should daughters be forced to give money to Mom?

Dear Liz: I read with interest your recent column about the filial obligation law possibly coming into effect in California. I hope this is true. I have three grown daughters who make terrific money and who will not offer a pittance to me. I live on Social Security, period. I could really use a few […]

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Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Compiling your year-end tax list. Also in the news: What high schoolers need to know about personal finance, smart money moves for uncertain times, and what hip hop can teach us about finance. Your Year-End Tax To-Do List It’s not too late to add deductions. What Do High Schoolers Need to Know […]

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