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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

Navigating the World of Student Loans

Business / Ask Carrie /

Dear Carrie: I'm collegebound and beginning to look at financing options. Given the sometimes alarming headlines about student-debt levels, should I be worried about overextending myself? -- A Reader

Dear Reader: The headlines are indeed alarming:

-- "The Student Loan Debt Crisis Is About to Get Worse" (Bloomberg).

-- "Student Loan Debt ...Read more

What Money Values Are You Passing on to Your Kids?

Business / Ask Carrie /

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

Saving for College: What's the Difference Between a 529 Plan and Custodial Account?

Business / Ask Carrie /

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

Can You Roll Over a Roth 401(k) to a Roth IRA?

Business / Ask Carrie /

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

Getting a Tax Refund? Here Are Five Smart Ways to Use It

Business / Ask Carrie /

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

 

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