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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.

Who Qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefits?
June 25, 2014

Social Security disability benefits are paid to millions of Americans—but it can be tough to qualify.

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.

Valentine's Day: Can You Be Romantic on a Budget?
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.

What's the Best Retirement Plan for Your Small Business?
January 29, 2014

Own a small business? Don't miss out on these opportunities to save more for retirement and decrease taxable income.

Do Your Folks Have an Advance Healthcare Directive? Do You?
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.

Is Downsizing the Right Move for You?
January 15, 2014

Thinking of downsizing? It's great to sell your home when prices are up, but that's not the only consideration.

Can You Save for a Vacation Without Blowing Your Budget?
January 8, 2014

Even if money is tight, you can realize your travel dreams—with systematic savings and a little creativity.

10 Resolutions for a Happy Financial New Year
January 2, 2014

Still trying to keep your financial resolutions? Don't despair! Here are some you can commit to year after year.

Some Last-Minute Thoughts on Giving Lasting Gifts
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.

Year-End Financial Checklist: 10 Smart Ways to Bring 2013 to a Close
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.

529 Accounts: What Happens When Your Child Doesn't Go to College?
December 11, 2013

Kid not going to college? Don't despair. Those 529 assets can be used for a variety of higher education costs.

Looking for the Perfect Gift This Season? Consider a Charitable Donation
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.

If One of You Makes More, Can You Still Be Financial Equals?
November 27, 2013

Financial equality isn't just about money. It's also about the way you handle financial changes as a couple.

Can You and Your Spouse Get on the Same Retirement Planning Page?
November 20, 2013

Different money styles don't have to derail retirement planning. Here's how to work as a team.

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.

Retirement Conundrum: Spend Now or Save for Later?
November 13, 2013

With a little planning, it's possible to enjoy retirement without jeopardizing your future—even if you live past 90!

Thinking of Taking an Early 401(k) Withdrawal? Think Again
November 6, 2013

While your 401(k) balance may be tempting, taking an early distribution could be more of a loss than a gain.

Got Kids? Make Life a Little Easier With This Financial Checklist
October 30, 2013

Raising kids is expensive, but being financially prepared isn't just about money—it's about planning ahead.

10 Scariest Money Mistakes—Don't Be Tricked!
October 23, 2013

Avoid these mistakes now to help build a more financially secure future.

Are Family Obligations Putting a Financial Strain on Your Retirement?
October 16, 2013

Helping your family financially doesn't always mean writing a check. Get creative—and protect your nest egg.

Student Loans: Things to Consider Before—and After—You Borrow
October 9, 2013

Student loans can mean future opportunity—or a heap of financial trouble. Weigh the pros and cons before you sign.

Can the Affordable Care Act Help You Retire Early?
October 2, 2013

If health insurance is the only thing keeping you from retiring, the new marketplaces may help your exit strategy.

Saving for College: Five Steps to Get You Started
September 25, 2013

Don't panic about the future cost of college. Instead, put yourself on a savings program you can stick with.

Can Middle Schoolers Learn to Make Smart Money Choices?
September 11, 2013

Learning about money is a hands-on experience. Give your kids financial responsibility and the lessons will follow.

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

Who needs it?

Financial Steps for Same Sex Spouses
August 28, 2013

The Supreme Court opened the door to financial benefits, but same-sex spouses have to take action to get them.

Ten Myths and Misunderstandings About Social Security
August 14, 2013

Social Security can be a complex topic. Best to make sure you understand the facts before you make any decisions.

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?

Is It Time to Buy Your First House?
June 12, 2013

Buying a home is an emotional as well as a financial commitment. Make sure you're ready to take on both.

College in 2028: Can You Save Enough?
May 29, 2013

The best way to tackle astronomical future college costs is to save wisely—and think creatively.

Can a Preschooler Learn the Value of Money?
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.

Mountain of Debt: What Should You Pay Off First?
May 1, 2013

To get a handle on debt you not only need to prioritize current payments—you need to manage future expenses.

Is There a Positive Side to a Prenuptial Agreement?
April 17, 2013

A prenuptial agreement isn't about distrust; it's about creating a foundation for your financial future together.

Helping Aging Parents Financially: Is There Any Way to Lighten the Burden?
April 3, 2013

There are many ways to help aging parents financially—and not all of them mean money out of your own pocket.

Preparing for Tax Day: What Do You Really Need?
March 20, 2013

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

Are All Charitable Contributions Tax Deductible?
March 6, 2013

Giving to charity is easy—getting the tax benefit can be a little harder. Check out the IRS requirements.

What Can You Do With an Old 401(k)?
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.

Will You Have to Pay Capital Gains Taxes on the Sale of Your Home?
February 20, 2013

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

How Can You Close the College Saving Gap?
February 13, 2013

There's more than one way to pay for college. Plan your strategy now—and get your kids involved, too.

Are You Putting Off Estate Planning?
February 6, 2013

An estate plan isn't only about money; it's about protecting yourselves and your kids. Do it now.

What's the Cost of Being Your Own Boss?
January 30, 2013

Being your own boss means freedom, but it also means financial responsibility. Know the costs before making a change.

Contemplating a Divorce: What Should You Do to Protect Yourself Financially?
January 23, 2013

A divorce can be overwhelming, but taking certain financial steps can help keep emotions from overriding good judgment.

Estate Planning: Who Makes the Best Executor or Trustee?
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.

Should You Consider an Annuity?
January 9, 2013

Income from an annuity may be a smart move—but be prepared to do your homework.

Financial Checklist: 10 Priorities for the New Year
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.

Estate Planning in a 2nd Marriage: What's Fair?
December 26, 2012

Honest communication now is the key to avoiding family disharmony down the road.

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.

Baby On the Way: Are You Ready for Your New Financial Reality?
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.

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.

Need to Adjust Your Financial Attitude? Start Here—Now!
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.

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.

How Do You Value a Gift of Stock? It Depends on Whether You're the Giver or the Receiver.
September 29, 2010

Giving a gift of stock is easy. But giving it a value for tax purposes can be a bit more complicated.

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.

Welcome to the Real World: Financial Advice for New Grads
June 16, 2010

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

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.

Yes, a Nonworking Spouse Can Collect Social Security.
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.

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.

Paying for College: Is a Scholarship Considered Taxable Income?
March 31, 2010

Can a scholarship for college or grad school be considered taxable income? The answer—perhaps surprisingly—is 'yes.'

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.

Close to Retirement? Don't Miss These Dates and Deadlines!
December 15, 2009

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

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.

How Much Should You Be Saving
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.

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?

Suddenly Alone—Where Can You Turn for Help?
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.

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.

Making Sense of the Gift Tax
August 26, 2009

Gift tax exclusions can be confusing on many levels. Get the factsthen talk to your advisor.

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.

Tax-free Giving Can Be Good for Both Giver and Receiver
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.

Get Someone Started on a Lifetime of Investing
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.

Portfolio Blues: Advice Through the Ages
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.

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?