Color of Money: Should a needy adult child get more in the parents' will?

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- It's my money.

If you're trying to decide how to divvy up your assets after you die, those three words need to be said.

During a recent online discussion, one reader wanted some insight on what's equitable when deciding who gets what in a will.

In this case, the reader's parents are considering rewriting their will, and the ...Read more

Color of Money: Two experts respond to one helicopter parent offering unwanted financial advice

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- When you're a parent, it's hard to know when to let go -- even when your child becomes an adult.

Such was the case with a well-meaning mom who had a strong opinion about her adult daughter's next car purchase. In a recent letter to Washington Post advice columnist Carolyn Hax, the daughter asked for guidance:

"I just graduated ...Read more

Color of Money: What would Michelle do in these financial conundrums?

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- Readers often want to know what I would do in certain financial situations.

Many people characterize these queries as "WWMD" or, "What would Michelle do?"

I do my best to provide informed answers based on my experience and reporting, including conversations with numerous financial experts. So here are my responses to some ...Read more

Color of Money: Worried about cuts to Social Security? Author Andy Landis has created the bible on how to navigate this retirement benefit

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- Social Security and retirement go together like peanut butter and jelly -- many people just can't have one without the other.

Yet when it comes to Social Security, there is a mountain of anxiety about how it factors into retirement plans, especially for the millions of people who depend on it as their only source of income.

...Read more

Color of Money: If your adult children want to move back home, make them sign this contract

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- That 30-year-old man who had to be forced by a judge to vacate his parents' home has finally packed his bags and left.

Mark and Christina Rotondo wanted their unemployed adult son to move out. They said they were fed up with his not contributing to the household. But their son, Michael, refused to go, so the couple filed a ...Read more

Color of Money: Who should foot the bill on the first date? #WhoPays

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- It's hard to know the rules about who pays on a first date anymore -- which can make for some very awkward moments.

My 23-year-old daughter recently came back from a first date with some questions about what happened when the time came to pay for the evening's food and fun.

She had agreed to meet the young man at a high-tech ...Read more

Color of Money: You'll soon be able to freeze your credit files for free -- but identity theft will still be a threat

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHIGTON -- Last week, a new law torched some of the banking rules that were put in place after the financial crisis to protect us. But also tucked into the otherwise awful bill was a win for consumers.

By Sept. 21, everyone will be able to place and remove a "security freeze" on their credit files for free. Such a freeze -- also called a "...Read more

Color of Money: Should grandparents open a 529 savings plan to help with college costs?

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- With the steep cost of college, lots of grandparents feel the need to help cover some of the expenses.

One way to assist is by contributing to a tax-advantaged 529 college-savings plan. Earnings in the account are tax-free if used for qualified expenses.

But for grandparents, there can be a catch to your generosity. The Free ...Read more

Color of Money: Here are the top excuses people use for not investing in a 529 college-savings plan

Business / The Color of Money /

WASHINGTON -- In the fall, my husband and I will have three children in universities: one in her second year of graduate school, one a junior in college, and the other a first-semester freshman.

When they are finished, not one of our children will graduate with any debt. None. Nada.

How did we do it without hitting the lottery or the ...Read more


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