Can You Spend Money on Fun Without Feeling Guilty?

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Carrie: I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by all the things I need to save for. From retirement and emergency funds to my son's college account and home repairs -- on top of trying to pay extra on the mortgage and student loans -- I feel as if I have very little left over for anything else. I know these bigger things are important, but ...Read more

Is It Time to Declutter Your Finances?

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Carrie: I am trying to simplify my finances and have way too many accounts (savings, checking, brokerage, credit cards). What happens when you close an account? Is that bad to do? -- A Reader

Dear Reader: Decluttering is certainly a popular concept these days. So why not apply it to our finances? While we all start out thinking we'll keep ...Read more

Have You Taken Care of Your Estate Planning Basics?

Business / Ask Carrie /

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 planning...Read more

Should You Tap Your 401(k) to Fund Your Down Payment?

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Carrie: My husband and I are trying to scrape together enough money for a down payment on our first home. Because we live in an expensive real estate market, we need to be creative and consider all our potential resources. Would it be OK if we borrowed from our 401(k)s? -- A Reader

Dear Reader: How exciting that you're buying your first ...Read more

Need to Adjust Your Financial Attitude? Start Here -- Now!

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Carrie: I'm 28 and trying to be smart about my money. My problem is that as soon as I pay down my credit cards, I start running them up again. The result is I can't seem to save, and I feel as if I'm fighting a losing battle. I know I need to adjust my financial attitude, but how? -- A Reader

Dear Reader: First, realize that you'...Read more

Will Collecting a Public Pension Reduce Your Social Security?

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Carrie, I'm retiring soon with a pension that's outside of the Social Security system. I've also earned enough credits from earlier employment to qualify for Social Security benefits. I know my benefits will be reduced because of Windfall Elimination/Pension Offset reductions. Are there any strategies to minimize these reductions? Is ...Read more

Women and Retirement: Can You Afford Not to Save?

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Carrie: For the past three years, my 29-year-old daughter has been working for a good company that offers a 401(k), but she still hasn't started to contribute. She says she can't afford it. How can I persuade her to get going? -- A Reader

Dear Reader: I wish I had enough space in this column to share with your daughter the myriad ...Read more

How Much Should You Be Saving?

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Carrie: I am turning 30 and know that I need to get serious about saving. How much should I be setting aside? -- A Reader

Dear Reader: Thank you for this question. The future can seem so far away -- and the path to that future so unsure -- that it can be difficult to know exactly how much to save or even to find the motivation to get ...Read more

Tax Basics: What's Your Tax IQ?

Business / Ask Carrie /

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

Is Your Teen Financially Fit?

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Parents of Teens: The pandemic has changed our everyday reality in so many ways -- financially, educationally and socially. Money may be tighter. Kids may be doing online school. And we're all spending a lot more time at home. But for all the changes in our lives, according to a recent Schwab survey, there's one thing that hasn't changed ...Read more

Mother's Day Tips for Teaching Your Kids About Money

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Readers: Moms these days can fill a lot of roles -- from nutritionist to chauffeur to nurse to counselor. We're called on to be experts in everything from caring for physical wounds to healing broken hearts. On top of that, many of us hold down full-time jobs! Now I'm going to add one more responsibility to the list: financial coach.

Think...Read more



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