Q&A: Weighing investment choices

Dear Liz: I felt your advice about using an inherited IRA to pay off a mortgage was spot on, but I would add one suggestion. The person could use their required minimum distribution (or a little extra) from the inherited IRA each year to pay down the principal on the mortgage. Then they could see what the remaining loan balance is when they are approaching retirement in 10 years.

Answer: That could be a good alternative if being debt free is more important than maximizing their returns. Using just the distributions to pay down the mortgage would allow the bulk of the money to continue earning tax-free returns as long as possible, while reducing the mortgage balance over time.

The letter writer might do better financially by investing the distributions, but using them to pay down the mortgage could get them closer to their desired goal of being mortgage free.

Tuesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How to protect yourself after the Capital One data breach. Also in the news: Things to watch out for in the Equifax data breach settlement, why you need a midyear budget check-in, and how much you’ll need to invest each month in order to retire with a million dollars.

How to Protect Yourself After the Capital One Data Breach
Over 100,000,000 U.S. customers affected.

Equifax Data Breach Settlement: Scammers, Site Glitches, and Why You Won’t Get $125
Watch out for scammers.

Why You Need a Midyear Budget Check-In
Assessing where you’re at before the holidays.

How much you’ll need to invest each month to retire with a million dollars at age 20, 30, 40 and beyond
Charting your progress.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: Logical credit moves that can lead to trouble. Also in the news: Investing is within Millennials’ reach, ditch the dealership with online used car sellers, and what you should know about the qualified small business stock tax exclusion.

5 ‘Logical’ Credit Moves That Can Lead to Trouble
Common sense doesn’t always work in your favor.

Take Heart, Millennials — Investing Is Within Your Reach
Just make sure your financial foundation is strong.

Ditch the Dealership With Online Used Car Sellers
Get in the driver’s seat from your couch.

If Your Compensation Package Includes Stock, You Should Know About This Tax Rule
The qualified small business stock exclusion.

Q&A: Investing books for beginners

Dear Liz: What are the best books for a beginning adult investor?

Answer:The Little Book of Common Sense Investing,” by the late John Bogle, is a terrific explanation of why low-cost index funds are the best choice for most people (a sentiment shared by legendary investor Warren Buffett, who also endorsed the book). If you want to venture beyond index funds, or even if you don’t, “Investing for Dummies” by Eric Tyson, “Investing 101” by Kathy Kristof and “Broke Millennial Takes on Investing” by Erin Lowry are other good reads.

Monday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: 5 reasons to line up a loan before visiting a car dealer. Also in the news: 6 things to know about student loans before you start school, 5 tips to boost your credit card rewards, and why investor interest in CDs is rising.

5 Reasons to Line Up a Loan Before Visiting a Car Dealer
Protecting yourself from the finance department.

6 Things to Know About Student Loans Before You Start School
Important details.

Watch Your Credit Card Rewards Pile Up With These 5 Tips
Even more rewarding.

Why Investor Interest in CDs is Rising
Choosing the security of fixed-interest.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: How your tax refund could improve your credit. Also in the news: 5 smart ways to invest your tax refund, how the Apple Card stacks up against the competition, and how moving between states could raise or lower your tax burden.

How your tax refund could improve your credit
Using your refund strategically.

5 Smart Ways to Invest Your Tax Refund
Your refund could help fund your future.

How the Apple Card Stacks up Against the Competition
Comparing features.

Will Moving Between States Raise or Lower Your Tax Burden?
Dramatic swings in both directions.





Tuesday’s need-to-know money news


Today’s top story: 5 empowering tips for women on Equal Pay Day. Also in the news: 5 smart ways to invest your tax refund, 7 ways to trim your taxes in retirement, and how changes to the ACA might affect your insurance premiums.

5 Empowering Tips for Women on Equal Pay Day
It’s time to bridge the gap.

5 Smart Ways to Invest Your Tax Refund
Putting it towards the future.

Taxes in Retirement: 7 Ways to Trim Your Bill
Making your retirement a little less stressful.

How Changes to the ACA Might Affect Your Insurance Premiums
Playing the waiting game.






Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: These 4 tax scams could really cost you. Also in the news: 3 times you can pay taxes with plastic and come out ahead, how to decide between investing in a 401(k) or a Roth 401(k), and the 5 best free money-management apps.

These 4 Tax Scams Could Really Cost You
Here’s how to avoid them.

3 Times You Can Pay Taxes With Plastic and Come Out Ahead
Maximizing your rewards.

Should You Invest in a 401(k) or Roth 401(k)?
Deciding which is best.

The 5 Best Free Money-Management Apps
Managing your finances by phone.

Wednesday’s need-to-know money news

Today’s top story: What to do if you haven’t received your tax documents yet. Also in the news: Don’t let the great recession haunt your investing dreams, managing your money when your life brings change, and how to fix these IRA mistakes by April 15th.

Haven’t Got Your Tax Documents Yet? Here’s What to Do
Don’t get stalled on the road to April 15th.

Don’t Let the Great Recession Haunt Your Investing Dreams
Shake off that apprehension.

How to Manage Your Money When Life Brings Change
Adjusting your financial course.

Fix These IRA Mistakes by April 15
Avoid a penalty.