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.
September 19, 2012
Even if your marriage ended, you might still be able to tap into your ex-spouse's Social Security benefits—as long as you meet all the qualifications.
September 12, 2012
Trying to get a sense of your income taxes in retirement? Break it down into parts.
September 5, 2012
Medicare only covers so much. Be sure to make healthcare a significant part of your retirement plan—and your budget.
August 29, 2012
It's smart to think about reducing debt before you retire. But you need to look deeper.
August 22, 2012
What you do with your 401(k) after retirement affects the future growth of your savings as well as your income taxes. Know your choices.
August 15, 2012
Don't let not having a 401(k) stunt your retirement savings. Create your own plan and put it on automatic.
August 8, 2012
New relationships can be complicated enough without money misunderstandings. If you're looking at a future together, come to a financial understanding now.
July 25, 2012
Filing for Social Security early may seem like money in your pocket, but you actually may be leaving money on the table.
July 18, 2012
While all income is money in your pocket, the IRS distinguishes the types of income you can contribute to an IRA and more.
July 11, 2012
If you're carrying a load of debt down the aisle, it's best to decide how it will be paid off before you
reach the altar.
June 27, 2012
Taking a break before college can be a good idea—as long the time is spent getting a real-world education.
June 20, 2012
Taking Social Security early is tempting, but generally not the wisest. However, if you're married, it can work to your advantage.
June 6, 2012
While the day-to-day care of a special needs child can be challenging, providing a secure financial future is equally important—and potentially complicated.
May 16, 2012
When times are tough, a hardship distribution from your 401(k) might be possible. But it's not your only option.
May 9, 2012
When you're just starting out, it's less important how much money you make than how wisely you use it.
May 2, 2012
Independent seniors are taking to the Internet—and so are the scammers. Help the tech-savvy senior in your life know what to look out for.
April 25, 2012
Even when you're older, converting to a Roth may be a good estate-planning move—but beware of the taxes!
April 18, 2012
If having a portfolio large enough to follow the four percent rule seems out of reach, don't panic. Instead make a commitment to save, save, save.
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!
April 4, 2012
It's generally not smart to withdraw money from your retirement account before you actually retire. But paying off high-interest debt might be an exception.
March 28, 2012
A 529 account isn’t just about returns—it's about tax advantages and more. Find out why it makes sense to stick with it.
March 21, 2012
A periodic check-up—of your portfolio and your entire financial picture—can help you adjust to changes in the markets and your life.
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.
March 7, 2012
If you get a big tax refund this year, use it wisely. Then make sure you're not having too much withheld from your paycheck.
February 29, 2012
If you're 65, applying for Medicare isn't just a question of whether you need it; it's a question of timing—and avoiding a penalty.
February 22, 2012
Even positive changes like a new house, a new baby or a new job can cause financial panic. Here's how to get back in control.
February 15, 2012
If you've worked in both the public and private sectors, your retirement benefits may seem substantial. Unfortunately Uncle Sam may not let you collect them all.
February 8, 2012
In any relationship there's room for financial autonomy as well as shared goals. But you have to talk.
February 1, 2012
If you're retiring without a lot of resources, make sure you protect what you have.
January 25, 2012
Whether you invest a small or large amount of money, the basic principles are the same. And it all starts with you.
January 18, 2012
As we age, our financial savvy can slip. Best to consider your choices for financial advice sooner rather than later.
January 11, 2012
Paying off student loans is essential—but make it part of a bigger financial plan.
January 4, 2012
Credit card debt can be pernicious, especially when it starts to mount. Here's how to get started eliminating it.
December 28, 2011
No matter how different your finances, when bringing kids together in a new family, you need to start with some common financial values.
December 21, 2011
Helping one of your children buy a house is hugely generous. Be sure he or she is ready for home ownership—and don't mortgage your own future.
December 14, 2011
Talking in advance about an inheritance is painful, but sometimes it’s essential to keep the family together.
December 7, 2011
While it's currently possible to make a charitable gift from your IRA without paying income taxes on it, you have to act quickly—and you have to be at least 70 ½.
November 30, 2011
Preferred stock isn’t at all what most people think of as 'stock.' In fact, it acts more like a bond. Find out how and why.
November 23, 2011
You don't pay income taxes when you receive a gift or inheritance, but that doesn't mean Uncle Sam is totally out of the picture.
November 16, 2011
While technically you can't borrow from your IRA, you can use the money tax- and penalty-free for 60 days. But beware—timing is everything.
November 9, 2011
It's possible to withdraw money from an IRA to pay for qualified education expenses, but follow the rules or it could cost you a bundle.
November 2, 2011
At age 73, most folks are taking money out of their retirement plans—but if you're working, you can continue to save.
October 26, 2011
When it comes to saving, build your foundation first—then go for your goals. Here's how.
October 19, 2011
Investing on behalf of your grandchildren is a fantastic—and generous—idea. But choosing the right investment account demands some thought!
October 12, 2011
Even Social Security survivor benefits are affected by the age you begin collecting them. Best to get the facts and avoid surprises.
October 5, 2011
Giving appreciated stock rather than cash can be better for your tax situation—as well as for a charity’s bottom line. Here’s why.
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 29, 2011
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.
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 9, 2010
FDIC insurance protects your money in the bank—up to a point. If you keep a lot of cash in the bank, understand the limits of FDIC coverage.
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?