Dear Readers: Mother's Day has me feeling a bit wistful about the fact that my kids are now in their 20s, and like so many of us, I wonder where the time has gone. As I've been thinking about what it is to be a mom, I've been doing some soul-searching about what I've tried to teach my kids and why. I've often written about the importance of ...Read more
Dear Carrie: As a relatively new parent, I'm confused about the best way to save for my son's college. He's only 3 years old, but I want to get started now. What would you suggest? -- A Reader
Dear Reader: First, let me say you're smart to start thinking about saving while your son is still so young. As parents, we have a lot of financial ...Read more
Dear Carrie: I'm 56 and have both a traditional and a Roth 401(k). Right now, I contribute the maximum to my Roth each year. I plan to roll the Roth 401(k) into a Roth IRA before I'm 70 1/2 to avoid having to take an RMD. Two questions: Do I need to open a Roth IRA five years prior to the rollover to meet the five-year rule? And can I ...Read more
Dear Readers: The new tax law has caused a lot of confusion about tax refunds. On the one hand, early filing data indicated smaller refunds, but then a Feb. 28 Treasury Department report stated that four weeks into the filing season, refunds were actually up 1.3% compared to last year.
But to me, whether your own refund is larger or smaller ...Read more
Dear Readers: Lately, I've been getting a lot of questions from women wondering about their Social Security options. While many are workingwomen who qualify for benefits on their own work records, they're curious about spousal benefits and whether they're a viable choice. I'm not surprised. The Social Security system is complex. Spousal (and ...Read more
Dear Readers: Most of us think of April as tax time, but did you know that April is also Financial Literacy Month? While it's not something we go out and celebrate, it is certainly worth our attention. Officially recognized by the U.S. Senate in 2004, Financial Literacy Month shines a spotlight on the importance of teaching Americans how to ...Read more
Dear Readers: Playing pranks on someone else is fun, harmless and good for a laugh. But when it comes to money, some folks have a way of fooling themselves into believing they're on top of things -- only to discover later that it's not the case.
So, this year, I want to turn the tables and ask you a serious question: Are you being honest with...Read more
Dear Carrie: My husband and I are in our early 40s with two young kids. We know we should have some sort of estate plan, but it seems like such a chore. Any way to keep it simple? -- A Reader
Dear Reader: You're certainly not alone in putting off estate planning. On top of our understandable aversion to facing our own mortality, estate ...Read more
Dear Readers: It's tax time again, and I'm getting lots of questions, especially from young people facing tax bills for the first time. Understandably, they want to know how they can reduce their taxes. And I'm glad they're asking because, while it's easy to rely on tax software or have a professional do your taxes, I think it's important to ...Read more
Dear Readers: Recently, I've focused a lot on the challenges women often face in securing their financial future. In spite of the advances women have made, they still face personal, cultural and social hurdles when it comes to dealing with money. So, you can imagine how pleased I was to see the theme for this year's International Women's Day, ...Read more
Dear Readers: What would happen if you were hit with an unexpected medical bill or layoff or your adult son or daughter needed a quick loan to get out of a financial jam? According to the Federal Reserve's 2017 Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, 40 percent of respondents said they wouldn't be able to cover a $400 emergency ...Read more