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How Can Couples Max Out Social Security Benefits?

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Readers: Are you and your spouse nearing that magic age when you can file for Social Security benefits? If so, you've got a lot to think about. Because while waiting longer to file generally means a higher monthly benefit, with a little planning, couples may be able to optimize their benefits in the short and long term.

Of course, there'...Read more

10 Steps to a DIY Financial Plan

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Readers: Did you know that 78% of people with a financial plan pay their bills on time and save each month versus only 38% of people who don't have a plan? That's a pretty powerful statistic, if you ask me. Or would it surprise you to learn that 68% of planners have an emergency fund, while only 26% of nonplanners are financially prepared...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 ...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

Is Social Media Ruining Your Finances?

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Readers: If I asked you how much time you spend on social media each day, would you answer honestly? Chances are most of us spend more time perusing popular platforms like Facebook and Instagram than we'd like to admit. According to the Pew Research Center, in America, around 7 in 10 adults use social media to connect with friends and share...Read more

How Should Millennials Save for Retirement?

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Carrie: I'm 28 and have a good job. My company offers a 401(k), but I haven't signed up yet -- mostly because I don't understand if it's the best move. I know I should be saving for retirement, but it seems so far in the future, and I have other things I need to cover. Also, I probably won't stay with this company forever, so it seems ...Read more

A Millennial Asks: Is an HSA a Good Deal?

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Carrie: I'm starting my first job and wondering about the HSA option that comes with my benefits package. Is this really a good deal? -- A Reader

Dear Reader: The short answer to your questions is a resounding "yes"; a health savings account can be a very good deal. This is especially true for someone like you who is just starting out. ...Read more

Thinking About Taking the Plunge? Tips for a First-Time Home Buyer

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Carrie: I'm 35 and would really like to buy my first home. I've saved a pretty good chunk for a down payment, but I still worry that I'll get in over my head. How can I know for sure this is the right move for me? -- A Reader

Dear Reader: While recent statistics show that more millennials are getting into the housing market, I get ...Read more

Is Your Wedding Your Top Financial Goal?

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Readers: While there's a lot of talk about how millennials are creating their own wedding traditions -- from cotton candy bouquets to movie-themed ceremonies -- there's one thing that seems to be a constant: the high cost. According to The Knot 2018 Real Weddings Study, the national average for a wedding (without the honeymoon) is now $33...Read more

Top 10 Financial To-Do's for Today's Grads

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Readers: This is always an exciting time of year, as new grads -- and their parents -- anticipate the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. And apparently, there are lots of opportunities when it comes to employment. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers Class of 2019 Student Survey, the job market for new...Read more

2019 Modern Wealth Survey Results Are In. How Do You Stack Up?

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Readers: Every year about this time, Schwab conducts a survey that takes a close look at how Americans view wealth and manage their money. I've long been fascinated by the complicated relationship that we have with money and how that impacts our ability to make smart financial decisions, so to me, this survey is a gold mine of information...Read more

What Do Military Vets Need to Know About Their Finances?

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Carrie: My son joined the Army right out of high school with the idea of a military career. After 12 years and two tours of duty, he's decided to return to civilian life. I've been reading that vets can face financial problems once they're on their own. Can you share your thoughts on the ways he can get a firm financial footing? -- A ...Read more

 

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