September 17, 2014
The IRS says you can use IRA money penalty-free for a first home purchase. But that doesn't mean it's a good idea.
September 10, 2014
Even though you're divorced, you might be able to tap into your ex-spouse's work record for Social Security benefits—as long as you meet all the qualifications.
September 3, 2014
Teens may feel grown up, but when it comes to managing money they still have an awful lot to learn.
August 27, 2014
A new school year is exciting. Use it as a chance to get them on the path to financial literacy.
August 6, 2014
Renting out a vacation home can help defray your costs—but the tax rules are complicated. To avoid a big IRS headache, pay close attention and keep accurate records.
July 30, 2014
In retirement, some insurance is essential, and some is just a waste of money. Make sure you know the difference.
July 23, 2014
If your employer lets you decide between a traditional and a Roth 401(k), consider choosing both!
July 16, 2014
Your home may be your biggest investment, but it's no guarantee of a comfortable retirement.
July 9, 2014
Helping a new grad is a balancing act between offering financial support and fostering independence.
July 2, 2014
Deciding to buy or rent is a big decision. So is deciding what to do with your down payment in the meantime.
June 25, 2014
Social Security disability benefits are paid to millions of Americans—but it can be tough to qualify.
June 18, 2014
Don't let student loans jeopardize your future. Strike a balance now between paying back debt and saving.
June 11, 2014
Times may have changed, but certain old-fashioned economic values remain.
June 4, 2014
There are lots of financial issues to handle when a spouse dies—but fortunately you don't have to handle them alone.
May 28, 2014
It's hard to think of finances when a spouse has died, but don't ignore possible Social Security survivor benefits.
May 14, 2014
The new myRA can be a step in the right direction for retirement savings, but it's a baby step at best.
May 7, 2014
Parents are used to giving kids a financial hand, but aren't always comfortable being on the receiving end.
April 30, 2014
Are you maximizing your Social Security benefits? Here's what you should know before you apply.
April 23, 2014
It's recommended that people gradually move away from stocks as they get older—but can you overdo it?
April 16, 2014
Don't fall victim to common money myths and misconceptions. You can improve your financial reality by getting the truth.
April 9, 2014
Experts may say you need a million or more to retire, but is that true for everyone? It's best to run your own numbers.
April 2, 2014
Retirement may bring more leisure, but it takes some work to get there.
March 26, 2014
A 401(k) loan may sound appealing, but it's not the only—nor the best—way to get the cash for a home remodel.
March 19, 2014
You may be willing to share your IRA with your family, but Uncle Sam wants his share, too.
March 12, 2014
Whether or not your teen needs to file a tax return, a first job can be a great lesson in financial reality.
March 5, 2014
Are your financial resolutions gathering dust? Refresh your finances with these easy spring cleaning tips.
February 26, 2014
IRA contributions can only be made from what the IRS defines as earned income. But wages aren't the only type of income that qualifies.
February 26, 2014
Retirement saving isn't just about stashing cash. There are tax-smart ways to help you get farther faster.
February 19, 2014
When you take over a custodial account, the gains—and the losses—are yours for better or worse.
February 12, 2014
Even if your spouse is calling the shots financially, it's essential that you know the game plan.
February 5, 2014
If you're worried about your Valentine's Day budget, get creative. It can be just as much fun to be frugal.
January 29, 2014
Own a small business? Don't miss out on these opportunities to save more for retirement and decrease taxable income.
January 22, 2014
No matter your age, it's wise to think about what you'd want done in a medical crisis—then put it in writing.
January 15, 2014
Thinking of downsizing? It's great to sell your home when prices are up, but that's not the only consideration.
January 8, 2014
Even if money is tight, you can realize your travel dreams—with systematic savings and a little creativity.
January 2, 2014
Still trying to keep your financial resolutions? Don't despair! Here are some you can commit to year after year.
December 24, 2013
You can't wrap them with a bow, but your gifts of time, knowledge or education may be the most valuable of all.
December 18, 2013
Don't let money worries ruin your holiday. Use this quick year-end review to ring in the new year with confidence.
December 11, 2013
Kid not going to college? Don't despair. Those 529 assets can be used for a variety of higher education costs.
December 4, 2013
If the stress of gift giving is getting you down, a charitable donation in someone's name can be the perfect fit.
November 27, 2013
Financial equality isn't just about money. It's also about the way you handle financial changes as a couple.
November 20, 2013
Different money styles don't have to derail retirement planning. Here's how to work as a team.
by Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz
November 15, 2013
It's possible to include both your children and charity in your estate plan. Here are a few tips on how to make this work.
November 13, 2013
With a little planning, it's possible to enjoy retirement without jeopardizing your future—even if you live past 90!
November 6, 2013
While your 401(k) balance may be tempting, taking an early distribution could be more of a loss than a gain.
October 30, 2013
Raising kids is expensive, but being financially prepared isn't just about money—it's about planning ahead.
October 23, 2013
Avoid these mistakes now to help build a more financially secure future.
October 16, 2013
Helping your family financially doesn't always mean writing a check. Get creative—and protect your nest egg.
October 9, 2013
Student loans can mean future opportunity—or a heap of financial trouble. Weigh the pros and cons before you sign.
October 2, 2013
If health insurance is the only thing keeping you from retiring, the new marketplaces may help your exit strategy.
September 25, 2013
Don't panic about the future cost of college. Instead, put yourself on a savings program you can stick with.
September 11, 2013
Learning about money is a hands-on experience. Give your kids financial responsibility and the lessons will follow.
by Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz
September 6, 2013
Who needs it?
August 28, 2013
The Supreme Court opened the door to financial benefits, but same-sex spouses have to take action to get them.
August 14, 2013
Social Security can be a complex topic. Best to make sure you understand the facts before you make any decisions.
June 26, 2013
When a young adult moves back home, it can be a plus for both of you—as long as you set some limits.
by Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz
June 21, 2013
Are you saving enough?
June 12, 2013
Buying a home is an emotional as well as a financial commitment. Make sure you're ready to take on both.
May 29, 2013
The best way to tackle astronomical future college costs is to save wisely—and think creatively.
May 15, 2013
Even young kids can learn about money if you make it fun. And it can be as simple as a trip to the store.
May 1, 2013
To get a handle on debt you not only need to prioritize current payments—you need to manage future expenses.
April 17, 2013
A prenuptial agreement isn't about distrust; it's about creating a foundation for your financial future together.
April 3, 2013
There are many ways to help aging parents financially—and not all of them mean money out of your own pocket.
March 20, 2013
Avoiding doing your taxes? A little organization can make it a whole lot easier.
March 6, 2013
Giving to charity is easy—getting the tax benefit can be a little harder. Check out the IRS requirements.
February 27, 2013
Whether your old 401(k) has been sitting with a former employer for two years or 20, consider moving it—and get it working again.
February 20, 2013
There are generous exclusions for capital gains on the sale of a home—but timing is crucial.
February 13, 2013
There's more than one way to pay for college. Plan your strategy now—and get your kids involved, too.
February 6, 2013
An estate plan isn't only about money; it's about protecting yourselves and your kids. Do it now.
January 30, 2013
Being your own boss means freedom, but it also means financial responsibility. Know the costs before making a change.
January 23, 2013
A divorce can be overwhelming, but taking certain financial steps can help keep emotions from overriding good judgment.
January 16, 2013
If you're considering making one of your kids executor or trustee for your estate, remember it's not a reward—it's a responsibility.
January 9, 2013
Income from an annuity may be a smart move—but be prepared to do your homework.
January 2, 2013
Getting a handle on your finances can seem daunting, especially if you try to do it all at once. Take it one step at a time with this checklist.
December 26, 2012
Honest communication now is the key to avoiding family disharmony down the road.
December 19, 2012
Even when the kids become self-sufficient, there's more to consider before you cancel your policy.
December 12, 2012
Bonds can provide income and help balance stock volatility but they have their own risks. Learn more.
December 5, 2012
Moving in together? Try a "yours, mine and ours" approach with your finances.
November 28, 2012
In every couple, there's usually one person who takes the financial lead. But the other should still be involved.
November 21, 2012
Remarrying raises a lot of financial issues. Handling them upfront is especially important for you and your family.
November 14, 2012
Insuring your income is important at any age, but especially during your peak earning years.
November 7, 2012
Turning 70½ is a milestone for you—and the IRS. Get the facts about Required Minimum Distributions and avoid hefty penalties.
October 31, 2012
Unmarried couples are faced with a few added financial and legal issues. Learn how to put some safeguards in place.
October 24, 2012
Facing college costs? Learn some strategies for maximizing financial aid eligibility.
October 17, 2012
You might not want to focus on your age, but you can reap the financial rewards of age-related milestones.
October 10, 2012
Changing jobs is exciting, but be careful. There's a lot more than salary to consider.
October 3, 2012
Leasing a car may seem like the low-cost way to get on the road, but there's more to consider than cash when making your decision.
September 26, 2012
You don't need to hold on to every bit of financial paperwork forever, but you do need a system to keep everything straight.
April 11, 2012
The sheer number of different retirement accounts can be confusing, but don't let that keep you from saving. Get the facts and get started!
March 14, 2012
IRAs are great when you're saving for retirement. But once you no longer have earned income, you need to make a change.
October 19, 2011
Investing on behalf of your grandchildren is a fantastic—and generous—idea. But choosing the right investment account demands some thought!
September 28, 2011
LTC insurance can be a smart way to cover costs of a long illness—but exercise a healthy dose of due diligence before you buy.
September 21, 2011
Market swings can make even the most experienced investor’s stomach churn, but getting out at a low could be even more unsettling.
September 14, 2011
There's no easy way to reduce private school tuition. But many schools offer an easy way to reduce the impact of inflation.
September 7, 2011
You've saved some money and want to invest. At the same time, you're afraid of losing. What should you do? Start with some soul searching.
August 31, 2011
A reverse mortgage may sound like an easy way to supplement your retirement income but proceed with caution!
August 24, 2011
Buying a car you can afford takes time and thought as well as money. Start with this financial roadmap.
August 17, 2011
Low home prices may be tempting, but check in with your feelings as well as your finances before making a move.
August 10, 2011
Planning for baby's arrival? Don't let financial essentials get lost in the flurry. Take time now (while you have it!) to get financially prepared.
August 3, 2011
With rock bottom interest rates, don’t expect to make much on your cash while you’re waiting to reinvest. Best to focus on your re-entry strategy.
July 13, 2011
Investing aggressively to boost your retirement nest egg could be a good idea—as long as all the other pieces are in place.
June 22, 2011
Keeping track of investments when you have multiple accounts can be a challenge. Here are three ways to make it more manageable.
June 15, 2011
You could use money in your 401(k) to get out of a financial jam—but it will cost you in more ways than one.
June 1, 2011
A summer job can be a boost for a college fund as well as a teenager's self-esteem. But be sure to set some realistic parameters.
March 2, 2011
Teens want to learn about money. Get advice on teaching them from money expert Jean Chatzky.
February 23, 2011
Making a student loan last takes planning and discipline—just like studying and passing exams. Here's how to apply those skills to managing your money.
February 16, 2011
With a little planning, you can turn your 2011 tax break into a real boost for your bottom line.
February 9, 2011
Many couples avoid talking about money. But if you start the conversation now—you may be able to avoid the heartache later.
February 2, 2011
How do assets—your own as well as your child's—impact financial aid eligibility?
January 26, 2011
No longer have time to follow the market? Switching from stocks to mutual funds could make sense both from an investment and a tax standpoint.
January 19, 2011
Get control of bad financial habits with these ideas for spending less—and enjoying more.
January 12, 2011
Getting an unexpected financial windfall can be as overwhelming as it is exciting. But it's a real opportunity to learn financial skills if you use it wisely.
January 5, 2011
A new baby's daily needs can make your head spin—but you still need to do some straight thinking about your child's financial future.
December 29, 2010
Improving your credit score is a very worthy goal; building assets for your future is an even better one.
December 22, 2010
Getting out of debt is the first step to taking control of your finances. But you can't afford to stop there.
December 16, 2010
Investing a big chunk of your assets in your own business can lead to big rewards—but be sure to put some safety nets in place, too.
December 8, 2010
In an interview with columnist and author Farnoosh Torabi, Carrie discusses ways for young investors to get into the right mindset for financial success.
December 1, 2010
Does it make sense to borrow from your 401(k) to pay off debt? The simple answer is no. Read more from Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz.
November 24, 2010
If your goal is to be really rich, then think outside the box… and work really hard.
November 17, 2010
Are ETFs taking over the investment world? Are traditional mutual funds close to extinction?
November 10, 2010
What is a parent's responsibility after a child has finished college? The short answer: Retirement comes first!
November 3, 2010
IRS rules around inherited IRAs can make a difficult situation even harder to handle. Make it easier on yourself by knowing your options in advance.
October 27, 2010
Paying off your mortgage before you retire can be a great idea. Just make sure you're not short-changing yourself to do it.
October 20, 2010
If you're qualified, opening a Roth can be a strategic complement to a traditional IRA for both tax and retirement planning.
October 13, 2010
If you're retired, should you use some of your capital to eliminate your mortgage? Or keep your capital working in the markets?
October 6, 2010
With taxes, nothing is simple
September 29, 2010
Giving a gift of stock is easy. But giving it a value for tax purposes can be a bit more complicated.
September 15, 2010
Many people don't realize that taking Social Security early reduces not only their own benefit but also spousal and survivor benefits.
September 8, 2010
Your brother borrows $10,000 and seems reluctant to pay it back. It's time to remind him of his obligation (and understand the legal implications of family loans).
September 1, 2010
A Roth IRA and a 401(k) are both great ways to start saving for retirement. Here's how to make them work to your advantage.
August 25, 2010
Enrollment in Medicare is automatic if you've already filed for Social Security, but when you're not receiving Social Security, it's in your hands.
August 18, 2010
Read an article from Schwab expert Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz about why giving money to adult kids can raise some sticky issues.
August 11, 2010
Do you need a financial plan when you're young? Absolutely. Start early and you'll not only protect your future, you'll make everyday money management a lot easier.
August 4, 2010
What happens when your parents run out of money? How should you divide the responsibilities among your siblings? Start by having a conversation.
July 29, 2009
Your credit rating plays a huge role in your ability to get credit—and the rate you’ll pay for credit—and that’s why it’s important to make your credit rating as high as possible.
July 28, 2010
Mutual funds make investing so easy; why bother with individual stocks? But a stock portfolio does have its plusses, if you know what you're doing.
July 21, 2010
Getting an MBA degree is expensive. Should you quit your job and go to school full-time? Or keep working and pursue a degree at night and weekends?
July 14, 2010
Switching credit cards doesn't necessarily affect your credit rating. It's not the card but how you use it that counts.
July 7, 2010
When you make considerably more than he does, will finance ultimately trump romance? Ways to keep money from tripping you up as you walk down the aisle.
June 30, 2010
Just getting started? Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz gets advice from Ramit Sethi, author of ‘I Will Teach You to Be Rich.’
June 23, 2010
When it comes to estate planning, an equal division is usually best. But if you want to do something different, understand the consequences—and talk it out first.
June 16, 2010
Your kid has graduated, but there's one more class he or she needs to take: Personal Finance 101.
June 2, 2010
Insurance—for health, home, and car—is widely acknowledged as a necessity, but liability insurance offers a valuable additional layer of protection for your assets.
May 26, 2010
Home ownership is the largest monthly budget item for most people. Trading down to a smaller house may be an opportunity to save some serious money.
May 19, 2010
When nearing retirement, market volatility can be scary—but capital growth may still be more important than capital preservation if you want your assets to last.
May 12, 2010
Even if one of you hasn't worked, you and your spouse can collect the equivalent of 150 percent of the working spouse's Social Security benefit.
May 5, 2010
You've put off saving. Do you have to put off retirement? Not necessarily. But you do need to take a hard look at everyday ways to start saving right away.
April 28, 2010
It would be great if the IRS rewarded us for being generous. Unfortunately, even if you give your IRA distribution away, it's still taxed as income.
April 21, 2010
A 401(k) is a great way to save for retirement. But don't be complacent. It may not be enough. Crunch the numbers now to see if you need to save more.
April 14, 2010
In tax-advantaged IRAs, there's no tax benefit for taking a loss on an underwater position. But that's generally the right thing to do, and here's why.
April 7, 2010
Making a charitable gift from your IRA always benefits the recipient. Whether there's a tax benefit for you depends on when and how it's given.
March 31, 2010
Can a scholarship for college or grad school be considered taxable income? The answer—perhaps surprisingly—is 'yes.'
March 24, 2010
When spouses are at different ages, the question of whether to pay off a mortgage can be less about the debt and more about the future.
March 17, 2010
'Save for the future.' Good advice, but it doesn't tell you where to save. Know what you're saving for, and your choices will be clearer.
March 10, 2010
Just because you think you can handle the risks of aggressive investing doesn't necessarily mean you should take them.
March 3, 2010
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are hotter than ever. How do they differ from traditional funds? What role should they play in your portfolio?
February 24, 2010
High earners can convert a traditional IRA to a Roth starting in 2010. But is it always a good idea?
February 17, 2010
A financial advisor can be worth the extra cost—as long as you find the advisor who's right for you.
February 10, 2010
The 'good' credit cards—those with low rates—go to people with excellent credit history. But how do you build a credit history without a credit card?
February 3, 2010
When you're thinking of paying off a high-interest home equity line with low-earning emergency funds, it's more than an interest-rate game.
January 27, 2010
Almost everyone with dependents needs life insurance. But what kind of insurance depends on what your financial goals happen to be.
January 20, 2010
Higher education is expensive—and private schools are hugely so. Are they worth the extra money?
January 13, 2010
While there aren't strict rules about how many times you can borrow against your 401(k), doing so can have other far-reaching consequences.
January 6, 2010
Just because you can make an early withdrawal from your Roth IRA contributions penalty-free doesn't make it a good idea.
December 23, 2009
depends on what's best for the recipient—and for you.
December 15, 2009
Close to retirement? Here are some age-related dates and deadlines to put on your calendar.
December 9, 2009
If helping grown kids is hurting your retirement, don't be afraid to put yourself first. It may actually be the best thing for all of you.
December 2, 2009
What can you do when retirement benefits don't cover a surviving spouse? Plan ahead.
November 25, 2009
Inflation will have an impact on your investment portfolio—if it rears its ugly head. But what assets are affected by rising prices? And what, if anything, should you do about them?
November 18, 2009
Are you saving enough for retirement? It's not just about numbers. It's about the kind of life you want to lead.
November 11, 2009
If you're at the point of needing a payday loan, stop right there
November 4, 2009
You can tap your IRA penalty-free when you reach the age of 59 ½—but it's best to wait as long as possible to ensure that asset lasts as long as you need it.
October 28, 2009
Is it a good idea to take out a mortgage to buy stocks? What are the risks? How should you prepare for them?
October 21, 2009
IRA deductibility rules are complicated, but worth understanding so you maximize your tax advantage and boost your retirement portfolio.
October 14, 2009
Everyone knows it's important to save. But how much should be saved? That depends on your goals and how long you have to reach them.
October 7, 2009
Trying to recover from the recent downturn? Following the same old rules can help you shape a new approach to investing.
September 30, 2009
An investment account for a child is an asset for his or her future—and a uniquely powerful opportunity to teach them about personal finance.
September 23, 2009
Virtually everyone needs insurance to protect themselves against catastrophic loss—but not everyone needs life insurance.
September 16, 2009
The typical retirement planning scenario assumes you'll need an income for 30 years. But if your timeframe is shorter, how do you adjust your income projections?
September 9, 2009
Managing your financial life after losing a spouse is difficult. But there are resources you can turn to for practical help and support.
September 2, 2009
Helping your graduate pay off student loans is a great gift. Discussing your payment options and decisions can make the gift even more valuable.
August 26, 2009
Gift tax exclusions can be confusing on many levels. Get the facts
August 19, 2009
Most people can manage their money just fine without professional help. But some personal financial challenges are harder than others, and don’t be afraid to get the expertise you need.
August 5, 2009
How does earned income affect your Social Security benefits? That depends on when you start taking benefits and how much you make.
July 22, 2009
At age 24, with a good job and time on your side, what’s the next smart financial step?
July 15, 2009
You have the cash to pay off your mortgage early. Should you? It’s a balance of practical considerations and your peace of mind.
July 8, 2009
One of your primary retirement planning goals should be to ensure your money last for the duration of your retirement. Here are some ways to understand how long your capital could last.
July 1, 2009
Are your retirement savings looking a bit battered by the recent economic storm? Take three steps now to protect what you have while preparing for brighter days.
June 24, 2009
Where's the best place to invest available cash? The answer depends on your goals and timeframe, not the state of the market today.
June 17, 2009
Spreading your money across stocks, bonds and cash doesn't have to be difficult
June 10, 2009
When is the right time to go back into the market? A good question that’s virtually impossible to answer.
June 3, 2009
Want to give a family member a financial boost but worried about taxes? Relax. Monetary gift giving can be tax-free for both giver and receiver.
May 27, 2009
A hundred bucks may not seem like much for an investment portfolio—but it might be plenty to get a teenager involved in investing and personal finance.
May 20, 2009
Three readers at very different life stages share a common investing concern. The answer to their questions has a common theme: time.
May 7, 2009
Many Roth IRA investors can access their account to help with a down payment on a first home without triggering taxes or penalties—but does that make it a good idea?
April 23, 2009
Given the turmoil in the markets, is the 529 plan still a viable option for college savings?
April 9, 2009
Can you help your kids financially without weakening their motivation? Yes, but you have to be selective about the type of help you give.
March 26, 2009
Even if your spouse has no earned income, he or she can still contribute to a Spousal IRA, effectively doubling your retirement savings power.
March 12, 2009
If you’re drowning in a sea of credit card debt, should you raid your 401(k) plan?
February 26, 2009
You’re no doubt discouraged by the stock market; is it time to invest in yourself?
February 12, 2009
Saving and investing are obviously important to your future. But it’s also important to know how much you’re going to need and when you’re going to need it.
January 29, 2009
What do college financial aid programs consider when determining eligibility?
January 15, 2009
How do you know if you're really prepared for a comfortable retirement?