Jill On Money: 529s are STILL the best way to save for college

Business / Jill On Money /

With graduation season winding down, now may be a good time to refocus attention towards those who are earlier in the process — the ones saving for the ever-increasing cost of higher education.

According to the Education Data Initiative, the average annual cost for public in-state, four-year institutions is $25,707; the cost for out-of-state ...Read more

Jill On Money: Will the class of 2023 be happy?

Business / Jill On Money /

Last year, I wrote about how the college graduates from the class of 2022 were lucky. Although they suffered through COVID, when it was time to start their careers, the economy was firing on all cylinders, the job market was hot, and starting salaries were rising.

A year later, circumstances have shifted. The economy is slowing and there is a ...Read more

Jill On Money: Confidence shaken

Business / Jill On Money /

Confidence is an essential component of the financial system.

Without it, worried depositors pull their money from banks; spooked investors don’t trade with firms that they believe won’t make good on purchases or sales; and none of us would accept dollar bills as currency.

Confidence (or lack thereof) is in the news, after a trio of ...Read more

Jill On Money: Fed puts itself under the microscope

Business / Jill On Money /

Some crises seem to come out of the blue, while others take place in slow motion. The failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) qualifies for the former, while the failure of First Republic Bank (FRB) would be the later.

It wasn’t a surprise when the FDIC announced that it was seizing and selling the bulk of the institution to JP Morgan Chase, but...Read more

Jill On Money: Housing affordability still tough

Business / Jill On Money /

If you want to see the effects of the Federal Reserve’s interest policy over the past three years, look no further than the nation’s residential real estate market.

In its effort to keep the economy afloat amid the pandemic, the central bank dropped interest rates to zero and purchased bonds. Accordingly, mortgage rates plummeted to all-...Read more

Jill On Money: Paying for College

Business / Jill On Money /

The May 1st deadline to make college decisions is approaching, which means that families are deep into conversations about how to pay the looming, large bill.

Before making a decision that can have repercussions for years ahead, there are a few things to keep in mind.

As I have noted in the past, financial aid packages are notoriously ...Read more

Jill On Money: Financial advice — Don’t be fooled

Business / Jill On Money /

It’s just a coincidence that the month that begins with a day dedicated to fools is the same month that we raise awareness about the importance of financial education.

April is National Financial Capability Month (formerly Financial Literacy Month), which highlights “the value of high-quality financial education in improving Americans' ...Read more

Jill On Money: Springtime Q&A

Business / Jill On Money /

It’s time to clean up the inbox. Here’s a smattering of questions that I have fielded lately:

Fred: Are there income limits to consider for a backdoor Roth IRA conversion? My wife and I are in our late 50s and make about $300,000.

Answer: The first step of a backdoor Roth is a contribution into a non-deductible traditional IRA. Because it ...Read more

Jill On Money: Two big tax prep questions

Business / Jill On Money /

The tax filing deadline (April 18) is rapidly approaching, so clear off a workspace and start by answering two big questions.

Will you take the Standard Deduction or Itemize? The standard deduction is a set amount that increases based on inflation.

The other option is to itemize, which is when you tally up certain deductions including state ...Read more

Jill On Money: Bank failures put Fed in the hot seat

Business / Jill On Money /

Federal Reserve officials were under fire as they convened their two-day policy meeting, during which they decided to raise short-term rates by a quarter of a percentage point to 4.75-5.00 percent. Despite uncertainty in the banking sector, the Fed said that still-high inflation required action.

The rate decision, along with events of the ...Read more

Jill On Money: Lessons from Silicon Valley Bank’s failure

Business / Jill On Money /

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which catered to technology startups and the venture capital firms that financed them, was taken over by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). (The FDIC is an independent agency of the U.S. government that protects customers of insured banks against the loss of their deposits, up to $250,000, per depositor,...Read more

Jill On Money: The gender wage gap is stuck

Business / Jill On Money /

The gender pay gap, which is the difference between the earnings of men and women, has been stuck for years.

In 1982, women earned just 65 cents to each dollar earned by men. The differential narrowed, but since 2002, the numbers have barely budged. In 2022, U.S. women typically earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men.

It would be great...Read more

Jill On Money: Back to Buffett

Business / Jill On Money /

Warren Buffett released the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letter and the 92 year old “Oracle of Omaha” has a number of notable comments about markets and investing.

For over 58 years most of the decisions that he and his partner — 99-year-old Charlie Munger — have made were “no better than so-so,” and in fact, some bad bets ...Read more



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