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Couples and Credit Scores: Is It a Match?
February 3, 2016

Keeping your credit score high is important for your financial life—and maybe also for your love life.

Do Asset Allocation and Diversification Still Work?
January 27, 2016

The thinking about asset allocation and diversification hasn't changed, but there are new ways to fine-tune them.

Should you refinance your mortgage?
January 20, 2016

Rising interest rates may have you thinking about refinancing your mortgage but there's a lot more to consider.

What's the Best Way to Choose a Guardian for Your Kids?
January 13, 2016

Don't let uncertainties keep you from choosing a guardian for your kids. If you don't do it, the state will.

What's a Financial Plan? Do You Need One?
January 6, 2016

A financial plan isn't only for the wealthy. It's a great roadmap for anyone wanting to give their finances a solid sense of direction.

10 Financial Resolutions for a Brighter New Year
December 23, 2015

Resolved to be in better financial shape next year? Here are 10 easy-to-keep resolutions to get you started and keep you on track.

If You Become Incapacitated, Will Your Family Know What to Do?
December 16, 2015 The idea of dementia is hard to contemplate. But it's even harder for everyone if you never bring up the subject.

Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits?
December 9, 2015

Social Security disability benefits are paid to millions of Americans—but the process to qualify is lengthy. Don't delay.

Can You Turn Your Investment Loss into Tax Savings?
December 2, 2015

No one likes to lose money on investing, but by harvesting capital losses, your losses could be more palatable.

Tax-Free Gift Limits: How Much Money Can You Give??
November 25, 2015

Current gift tax exclusions are pretty hefty, but before you write that special holiday check, know the rules.

How Can a Teenager Begin to Invest?
November 18, 2015

Help a young person get started investing now and they'll thank you for years to come. Here's how.

Top 10 Year-End Tax Planning and other Financial To Do's
November 11, 2015

There's still time to close out 2015 with a financial flourish. Check these top 10 year-end to dos off your list.

Does an Ex-Spouse Qualify for Survivor Benefits?
November 4, 2015

There are three basic qualifications for ex-spouse survivors' benefits. But there's even more to consider.

What's the Best Life Insurance Policy for a Young Family?
October 28, 2015

Life insurance can be complicated, but the choices for a young family can be simple and straightforward.

Happy Halloween! 10 Tips to Treat Yourself to a More Secure Financial Future.
October 21, 2015

Haunted by money worries? Treat yourself to a more secure financial future with these 10 smart money management tips.

Taking Social Security at 62: Is It a Good Idea?
October 14, 2015

Taking Social Security early is always an option—but it could cost you in the long run.

Saving for Your Child's Future? Define That Future.
October 7, 2015

Saving for a child is a great idea but before opening an account, you need to think about your ultimate goal.

It's Open Enrollment. HSA vs. FSA—What's the Difference?
September 30, 2015

Open enrollment is a great time to plan for health care costs and get a tax break, too. Don't ignore it!

Will Debt Derail Your Retirement?
September 23, 2015

Retired or not, your debts have to be paid. Best to come up with a realistic repayment plan ahead of time.

Social Security Strategies for Spouses: Do You Know Your Options?
September 16, 2015

Want to maximize your Social Security benefits? If you're married, there's more than one way to do it.

What Is a Living Trust? Do You Need One?
September 9, 2015

A living trust isn't a necessity for everyone but it can be a smart way to protect yourself and your heirs.

Retirement Cash Reserves: What About a HELOC?
September 2, 2015

A HELOC is great to cover the unexpected, but when it comes to retirement cash reserves, you need to plan ahead.

Filing for Ex-Spouse Social Security Benefits—Does Your Ex Have to Be Involved?
August 19, 2015

If you qualify for SS benefits based on your ex's work record, it's a matter of age and timing—not communication.

Can You Spend Money on Fun Without Feeling Guilty?
August 12, 2015

Saving for the future is important but so is enjoying today. Learn to budget for financial security—and for fun.

This Is What Marriage Equality Looks Like—For Your Finances
August 5, 2015

Now that the Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, it's essential for new couples to familiarize themselves with the financial benefits of marriage.

Should You Care About Rising Interest Rates?
July 29, 2015

Will rising interest rates affect you personally? If you're a saver, a borrower or an investor—absolutely.

Portfolio Blues: Should I Stay in the Market or Get Out While I'm Ahead?
July 15, 2015

Worried about the stock market? Don't be. Whether stocks are up or down, let your own timeline be your guide.

Social Security Questions: Where Can You Get Good Advice?
July 8, 2015

Getting ready to contact the Social Security Administration? Don't expect them to give you financial advice.

Will You Have to Pay Capital Gains Taxes on the Sale of Your Home?
July 1, 2015

There are generous exclusions for capital gains on the sale of a home—but timing is crucial.

Welcome to the Real World: Personal Finance Tips for New Grads
June 24, 2015

Your child has graduated, but there's one more class he or she needs to take: Personal Finance 101.

Retirement Conundrum: Spend Now or Save for Later?
June 17, 2015

If you plan carefully, it's possible to enjoy retirement without jeopardizing your future—even if you live past 90!

Suddenly Alone—Where Can You Turn for Help?
June 10, 2015

It's hard to focus on finances after losing a spouse. But there are resources to turn to for help and support.

Yes, There are Retirement Benefits for a Nonworking Spouse.
June 3, 2015

Even if your spouse hasn’t worked outside of the home, he or she is entitled to certain retirement benefits, including Social Security.

Baby On the Way: Are You Ready for Your New Financial Reality?
May 27, 2015

Planning for baby's arrival? Take time now (while you have it!) to get financially prepared.

Need to Adjust Your Financial Attitude? Start Here—Now!
May 20, 2015

Getting a handle on spending and saving means changing your attitude as well as your behavior. Take these steps.

Apple Pay: Making It Work for YOU
May 13, 2015

Apple Pay may be exciting and new, but best to couple it with some old fashioned wisdom about spending.

Women and Retirement: Can You Afford Not to Save?
May 6, 2015

Women are living longer than men but saving less for retirement. Here's why they need to save more—and sooner.

How Much Should You Be Saving?
April 29, 2015

Everyone knows it's important to save. But how much? That depends on your goals and how long you have to reach them.

Things You Want to Know About Investing but Are Afraid to Ask—Part 3
April 22, 2015

Got investing basics down? Great. But before you invest, there are still a couple more questions to ask.

Things You Want to Know About Investing but Are Afraid to Ask—Part 2
April 15, 2015

New to investing? Need a refresher on types of investments? A little review of basic terms can be good for everyone.

Things You Want to Know About Investing but Are Afraid to Ask—Part 1
April 8, 2015

Thinking about investing but don't know where to begin? Get your grounding with a few basic concepts.

How Do You Value a Gift of Stock? It Depends on Whether You're the Giver or the Receiver.
April 1, 2015

Giving a gift of stock is easy. But knowing the value for gift or income taxes can be a bit more complicated.

Social Security: Should You Wait Until Age 70 to Collect?
March 25, 2015

While waiting to collect Social Security means a bigger monthly check, that's not the only thing to consider.

Required Minimum Distributions: What Are the Dates and Deadlines?
March 18, 2015

Turning 70½ is a milestone for you—and the IRS. Get the facts about Required Minimum Distributions and avoid whopping penalties.

Six Tips on Preparing for Tax Day
March 11, 2015

Avoiding doing your taxes? A little organization can make it a whole lot easier.

Seven Potential Costs of Owning a Home that Should Factor Into Your Budget
March 04, 2015

You've got the down payment and mortgage covered—but have you budgeted for the extra costs of owning a home? Here are seven to definitely consider.

If You Have a 401(k), Do You Need an IRA, Too?
February 25, 2015

While a 401(k) can be the backbone of your retirement plan, there's a good case for having an IRA as well.

Paying for College: Are Scholarships Taxable?
February 18, 2015

Favorable tax treatment of scholarship money is only one way Uncle Sam may be able to help you with college costs.

Money Management Tips For Couples Merging Households
February 11, 2015

You're emotionally ready to move in together, but what about financially? Share your money concerns before sharing an address.

Modern Love and Money: Who Picks Up the Check?
February 4, 2015

For love and money to work hand-in-hand, it's best to start with the first date.

Learn How To Start Investing With These Five Simple Steps.
January 28, 2015

It isn’t difficult to become an investor. Learn how to start investing with these five simple steps.

Cash or Credit—Which Is the Smarter Way to Pay?
January 21, 2015

Credit card perks are alluring, but you may get a savings bonus when you pay for everyday purchases with cash.

Close to Retirement? Don't Miss These Dates and Deadlines!
January 14, 2015

Close to retirement? Here are some age-related dates and deadlines to put on your calendar.

What's in Store for 2015: Important IRS, Social Security and Medicare Updates
January 7, 2015

Small changes in rules and regulations may affect how you save and spend in 2015. Best to be informed.

10 Resolutions for a Happy Financial New Year
December 31, 2014

Need fresh financial motivation for 2015? Here are 10 resolutions to get you on the path to a financially secure future.

What's the Best Way to Keep Last-Minute Holiday Spending Under Control?
December 17, 2014

Feeling pressured to buy more this season? Remember, mindless spending now can lead to painful bill paying later.

How Many Credit Cards Do You Really Need?
December 10, 2014

Too many credit cards in your wallet? Be careful how you use them—and how you get rid of them.

Finding the Right Financial Advisor—Where to Start?
December 3, 2014

Finding the right financial advisor takes some in-depth thinking and research. Start here.

Holiday Spending Worries? Generosity Doesn't Always Come With a High Price Tag
November 26, 2014

With a little creative thinking, you can extend your generosity this holiday season without spending a fortune.

What Will You Do for Giving Tuesday?
November 19, 2014

Giving Tuesday is an international movement of charitable giving. Here's how you can join in.

Should You Be Debt-Free Before You Retire?
November 12, 2014

Being debt free before you retire can be a smart goal. But you have to look at your bigger financial picture.

What's the Best College Saving Strategy When You Have Young Kids?
November 5, 2014

While it's important to start saving for college early, it's equally important to be strategic about how you save.

Is Maxing Out Your 401(k) Enough?
October 29, 2014

The IRS-mandated maximum 401(k) contributions may actually leave you short. To find out if you're on target, do the math!

13 Ghastly Money Mistakes That Could Come Back to Haunt You
October 22, 2014

Avoid these money mistakes to help keep the ghost of past decisions from spoiling your financial future.

Are You Making the Most of Your Employee Benefits?
October 15, 2014

Don't miss out on valuable employee benefits! Use Open Enrollment to fine-tune your choices.

Will a Second Baby Break the Bank?
October 8, 2014

Being financially ready for a second child means planning ahead and carefully prioritizing.

You've Inherited an IRA—Now What?
October 1, 2014

Inherited IRA rules are different for spouses and non-spouses. Make sure you know the rules that apply to you.

Do You Have to Pay Income Taxes on Social Security Benefits?
September 24, 2014

Depending on your retirement income, your Social Security benefits may be taxed. Don't be surprised. Be prepared.

Can You Dip Into Your IRA to Buy a First Home? Should You?
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.

Social Security and Divorce: Can You Collect Benefits on Your Ex's Earnings Record?
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.

How Financially Savvy Is Your Teenager?
September 3, 2014

Teens may feel grown up, but when it comes to managing money they still have an awful lot to learn.

Got Kids in Grade School? Start Their Financial Education Now!
August 27, 2014

A new school year is exciting. Use it as a chance to get them on the path to financial literacy.

Renting Out Your Vacation Home—What Are the Tax Rules?
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.

How Much Insurance Do You Need in Retirement?
July 30, 2014

In retirement, some insurance is essential, and some is just a waste of money. Make sure you know the difference.

Roth vs. Traditional 401(k)—Which Is Better?
July 23, 2014

If your employer lets you decide between a traditional and a Roth 401(k), consider choosing both!

Is Your Home Equity Part of Your Retirement Savings?
July 16, 2014

Your home may be your biggest investment, but it's no guarantee of a comfortable retirement.

Helping Recent Grads: How Much Financial Support Should You Give?
July 9, 2014

Helping a new grad is a balancing act between offering financial support and fostering independence.

Buy or Rent? And Where to Park Your Down Payment until You Decide?
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.

What's On First—Paying Off Student Loans or Saving for Retirement?
June 18, 2014

Don't let student loans jeopardize your future. Strike a balance now between paying back debt and saving.

How Can You Set a Good Financial Example for Your Kids?
June 11, 2014

Times may have changed, but certain old-fashioned economic values remain.

What Financial Steps Should You Take When a Spouse Dies?
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.

Who Qualifies for Social Security Survivor Benefits?
May 28, 2014

It's hard to think of finances when a spouse has died, but don't ignore possible Social Security survivor benefits.

Should the New myRA Account Be Your IRA Account?
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.

Is There a Tactful Way to Help Your Mom (or Dad) Financially?
May 7, 2014

Parents are used to giving kids a financial hand, but aren't always comfortable being on the receiving end.

Social Security Basics—Five Things to Think About Before You Apply
April 30, 2014

Are you maximizing your Social Security benefits? Here's what you should know before you apply.

Retirement Ahead: Do You Have Enough Exposure to Stocks?
April 23, 2014

It's recommended that people gradually move away from stocks as they get older—but can you overdo it?

9 Money Myths Exposed: Do You Know the Truth?
April 16, 2014

Don't fall victim to common money myths and misconceptions. You can improve your financial reality by getting the truth.

Saving for Retirement: How Much Is Enough?
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.

Is There a Secret to a Successful Retirement?
April 2, 2014

Retirement may bring more leisure, but it takes some work to get there.

What's the Best Way to Pay for a Home Renovation?
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.

Can You Give Part of Your IRA to Your Family Tax Free?
March 19, 2014

You may be willing to share your IRA with your family, but Uncle Sam wants his share, too.

Does Your Teen Need to File a Tax Return?
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.

Spring Cleaning Tips to Put Your Financial House in Order
March 5, 2014

Are your financial resolutions gathering dust? Refresh your finances with these easy spring cleaning tips.

Can You Contribute to an IRA If You Don't Have a Job?
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.

Need to Put Retirement Savings on the Fast Track?
February 26, 2014

Retirement saving isn't just about stashing cash. There are tax-smart ways to help you get farther faster.

When You Cash Out a Custodial Account, Who Declares the Gains or Losses?
February 19, 2014

When you take over a custodial account, the gains—and the losses—are yours for better or worse.

Do You Know Enough About Your Family Finances?
February 12, 2014

Even if your spouse is calling the shots financially, it's essential that you know the game plan.

3 Tips for Charitable Giving Through Your Estate Plan
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.

Life Insurance for Life
by Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz
September 6, 2013

Who needs it?

Your Empty Nest Is Full Again. Now What?
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.

Health Care Costs in Retirement
by Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz
June 21, 2013

Are you saving enough?

Which Retirement Account Is Best for You?
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!

Can You Make IRA Contributions After You Retire?
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.

What's The Best Way to Invest for Your Grandchildren's College Education?
October 19, 2011

Investing on behalf of your grandchildren is a fantastic—and generous—idea. But choosing the right investment account demands some thought!

Do You Need Long-Term Care Insurance?
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.

Is It Time to Get Out of the Market?
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.

Does It Make Sense to Prepay College Tuition?
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.

You're Ready to Invest—Or Are You?
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.

Reverse Mortgages: Do the Advantages Outweigh the Risks?
August 31, 2011

A reverse mortgage may sound like an easy way to supplement your retirement income but proceed with caution!

Can I Upgrade My Car Without Driving Off a Financial Cliff?
August 24, 2011

Buying a car you can afford takes time and thought as well as money. Start with this financial roadmap.

Is Now the Time to Buy Your First Home?
August 17, 2011

Low home prices may be tempting, but check in with your feelings as well as your finances before making a move.

Where's the Best Place to Park Your Cash?
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.

You Want to Invest Aggressively, but Should You?
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.

Seeing the Forest and the Trees: A Consolidated View of Your Portfolio
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.

Thinking of Taking Money from Your 401(k)? Consider the Ultimate Cost.
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.

Should Teens Be Expected to Work to Help Save for College?
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.

Jean Chatzky Speaks to Parents of Teens: Yes, Your Kids Want to Learn About Money!
March 2, 2011

Teens want to learn about money. Get advice on teaching them from money expert Jean Chatzky.

A Short Course in Student Loan Management
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.

Turn Your Temporary Tax Break into Permanent Savings
February 16, 2011

With a little planning, you can turn your 2011 tax break into a real boost for your bottom line.

Can Finance and Romance Go Hand in Hand?
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.

Your Child's Assets and Financial Aid: What Counts, What Doesn't
February 2, 2011

How do assets—your own as well as your child's—impact financial aid eligibility?

Is It Time to Switch From Individual Stocks to Mutual Funds?
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.

Need to Redirect Your Spending? Let Your Goals Be Your Guide
January 19, 2011

Get control of bad financial habits with these ideas for spending less—and enjoying more.

Managing a Windfall? Don't Be Terrified—Be Proactive
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.

First Steps for Your Baby's Financial Future
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.

Boosting Your Credit Score: A Good Idea (But Not Always Priority No. 1)
December 29, 2010

Improving your credit score is a very worthy goal; building assets for your future is an even better one.

Investing in Your Own Business? Be Sure to Give Yourself Some Safety Nets!
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.

It's All About Attitude: How to Take Charge of Your Financial Future
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.

You're In Debt: Does a 401(k) Loan Make Sense?
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.

Aiming High: How Can I Amass a Fortune by the Time I Retire?
November 24, 2010

If your goal is to be really rich, then think outside the box… and work really hard.

Do ETFs Mean the End of Traditional Mutual Funds?
November 17, 2010

Are ETFs taking over the investment world? Are traditional mutual funds close to extinction?

Financial "Aid" After College: What Are a Parent's Responsibilities?
November 10, 2010

What is a parent's responsibility after a child has finished college? The short answer: Retirement comes first!

Does It Make Sense to Decrease Your Retirement Savings to Pay Down Your Mortgage?
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.

A Roth IRA Can Enhance Your Retirement Tax Strategy
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.

Paying Off the Mortgage: A Good Investment?
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?

Roth IRA Withdrawals: The Exceptions Can Be as Important as the Rules
October 6, 2010

With taxes, nothing is simpleincluding Roth distributions. Get the facts first so you don't run the risk of paying taxes and penalties on your hard-earned savings.

Considering Taking Social Security Early? Think About What This Might Mean for Your Spouse.
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.

Family Business: A Loan Is a Loan
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).

Roth IRA vs. 401(k)—Do You Have to Choose?
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.

Sixty-Five and Still Working? Don't Miss Out on Medicare.
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.

How You Give Money to Your Children Can Be as Important as How Much
August 18, 2010

Read an article from Schwab expert Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz about why giving money to adult kids can raise some sticky issues.

Financial Planning 101: Required Course
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.

Aging Parents: Sharing the Burden
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.

How to Build a Credit Rating—and Keep It High
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.

Investing 101: Stocks vs. Funds
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.

Investing in Yourself: What's the Best Way to Get an MBA?
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?

Is It a Mistake to Cancel a Credit Card?
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.

How to Keep Finance from Ruining Your Romance
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.

How Young Adults Can Overcome Financial Challenges
June 30, 2010

Just getting started? Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz gets advice from Ramit Sethi, author of ‘I Will Teach You to Be Rich.’

Dividing Up Your Estate: Does It Ever Make Sense to Split It Unequally?
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.

Protecting Your Home: Do You Need Extra Liability Insurance?
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.

Trading Spaces: When Does It Make Sense to Buy a Smaller House?
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.

On the Sidelines at Age 60: Is that the Prudent Choice?
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.

Retirement Saving: Making Up for Lost Time
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.

Is a Personal Gift from an IRA Tax Deductible?
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.

Is Maxing Out Your 401(k) Enough?
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.

Retirement Investing: Dealing with Losses in an IRA
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.

IRA Charitable Rollovers: A Question of Timing
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.

Mortgage Question: He Says Pay It Off, She Says Why Now?
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.

Saving for Your Child’s Future? Define That 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.

Smart Ways to Look at Risk
March 10, 2010

Just because you think you can handle the risks of aggressive investing doesn't necessarily mean you should take them.

ETFs v. Mutual Funds: How Do They Differ? Which Is Right for Me?
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?

You Can Convert to a Roth--but Should You?
February 24, 2010

High earners can convert a traditional IRA to a Roth starting in 2010. But is it always a good idea?

Do You Need a Financial Advisor?
February 17, 2010

A financial advisor can be worth the extra cost—as long as you find the advisor who's right for you.

Credit Cards for People with Little or No Credit History
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?

Should We Tap Our Savings to Pay Off a HELOC?
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.

Protecting My Assets: What Kind of Life Insurance Is Right for Me?
January 27, 2010

Almost everyone with dependents needs life insurance. But what kind of insurance depends on what your financial goals happen to be.

College Finance: Is a Private College Worth the Cost?
January 20, 2010

Higher education is expensive—and private schools are hugely so. Are they worth the extra money?

The Lowdown on 401(k) Loans
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.

You Could Use Your Roth IRA to Pay Off Student Loans—but Should You?
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.

Financial Gifts: Is It Better to Give Cash or Stock?
December 23, 2009
depends on what's best for the recipient—and for you.

Your Retirement Comes First—Even When "Kids" Need Your Help
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.

Preparing to Support Yourself—How Much Do You Need?
December 2, 2009

What can you do when retirement benefits don't cover a surviving spouse? Plan ahead.

Can You Protect Your Portfolio from Inflation? Should You Try?
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?

Are You Saving Enough for Retirement? Only You Can Decide.
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.

Payday Loans Out of Control? Get Help Now.
November 11, 2009

If you're at the point of needing a payday loan, stop right thereand start getting real help right away.

Is Your IRA an Emergency Fund? Possibly—but Don't Touch It If You Don't Have To
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.

Is It a Good Idea to Borrow in Order to Buy Stocks?
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?

Maxing Out Your Tax-Deductible IRA
October 21, 2009

IRA deductibility rules are complicated, but worth understanding so you maximize your tax advantage and boost your retirement portfolio.

Recovering from the Downturn: You Can't Change the Past, but You Can Help Shape the Future
October 7, 2009

Trying to recover from the recent downturn? Following the same old rules can help you shape a new approach to investing.

Giving Money to Your Adult Children? Use It as an Introduction 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.

Life Insurance: When It Makes Sense (and When It Doesn't)
September 23, 2009

Virtually everyone needs insurance to protect themselves against catastrophic loss—but not everyone needs life insurance.

How to Plan for a Shorter Retirement
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?

What's the Best Way for a Parent to Help Pay Off Student Loans?
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.

Managing Your Portfolio: What to Think About When You Want to Do-It-Yourself
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.

Social Security Benefits: Timing Can Make a Difference
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.

Advice for 20-Somethings: How to Make a Good Financial Start Even Better
July 22, 2009

At age 24, with a good job and time on your side, what’s the next smart financial step?

Does It Make Sense to Pay Off Your Mortgage?
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.

Retirement Can Last a Very Long Time: Will Your Money Last as Long as You Do?
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.

Looking for a Safe Port in the Economic Storm
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.

In Today’s Market, Where Do You Put Your Cash?
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.

Taking the Mystery Out of Diversification
June 17, 2009

Spreading your money across stocks, bonds and cash doesn't have to be difficultand it certainly is important!

Market Timing: The (Nearly) Impossible Challenge
June 10, 2009

When is the right time to go back into the market? A good question that’s virtually impossible to answer.

You Want to Buy a House—Can Your Roth IRA Help Make That Dream Come True?
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?

Investing for College: 529s Are Still a Good Idea
April 23, 2009

Given the turmoil in the markets, is the 529 plan still a viable option for college savings?

Helping Young Adults Means More Than Writing a Check
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.

Nonworking Spouses Can Save for Retirement, Too.
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.

Borrowing from Your 401(k): Is It Ever a Good Idea?
March 12, 2009

If you’re drowning in a sea of credit card debt, should you raid your 401(k) plan?

Some Alternatives to the Stock Market: Investing Directly in Your Own Future
February 26, 2009

You’re no doubt discouraged by the stock market; is it time to invest in yourself?

Taking the Long View: Define, Save, Invest, & Measure
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.

Financial Aid and Personal Assets: Is There an Optimal Strategy?
January 29, 2009

What do college financial aid programs consider when determining eligibility?

Answering the Question: 'Do I Have Enough Money for Retirement?'
January 15, 2009

How do you know if you're really prepared for a comfortable retirement?