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Mailbag for Friday, September 29, 2006

| Sep 29, 2006
Our economics editor Chris Farrell answers your burning money questions. This week, advice on becoming a contract worker, paying down student loans and building a home.

Money Matters: A road trip home

| Sep 29, 2006
August brought lower home prices, but not low enough for one author. Karrie Jacobs went in search of the perfect $100,000 pad. 14,000 miles later, did she find it? Kai talks with Karrie.

Pumping your pocketbook

| Sep 29, 2006
Oil prices keep dipping and the price at the pump is slowly following. Can declining energy prices really make a difference in your household? Kai interviews Severin Borenstein, the director of the University of California Energy Institute.

Medical ID theft

| Sep 29, 2006
Identity theft isn't only about credit cards. Your medical records can fall into the wrong hands. How do you protect yourself? Kai talks with Joseph Menn of the Los Angeles Times.

Bugs for retirement

| Sep 29, 2006
There are plenty of ways to save for retirement. Pick an index fund. Or use a Roth. But what about a safety net of classic VW Bugs? Tom Kramer has the story.

Easy ways to diversify your portfolio

| Sep 29, 2006
It's a popular personal finance mantra: diversify, diversify, diversity. Are you as diversified as you think? Steve Tripoli reports.
Posted In: Investing

Inflation's up, consumer spending down

Janet Babin | Sep 29, 2006
The government released some worrisome economic data. August's core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, posted the biggest year-over-year increase in more than a decade. And consumer spending was down. Janet Babin reports.
Posted In: Economy

Making it easier to find pension costs

Amy Scott | Sep 29, 2006
The agency that sets U.S. accounting rules has issued new requirements for corporations to state pension liabilities on their balance sheets. Marketplace's Amy Scott reports.
Posted In: Investing, Wall Street

Maybe there's some benefit to Medicare plan

Helen Palmer | Sep 29, 2006
When Medicare launched its new drug benefit a year ago, critics predicted horror story scenarios. But new details released by the Bush administration have Medicare officials doing a victory dance. Helen Palmer reports.
Posted In: Health, Washington

Columbia alums, get out your wallets

Ashley Milne-Tyte | Sep 29, 2006
Columbia University is starting a $4 billion capital campaign — the largest ever in American higher education. But even larger campaigns are expected to be announced soon. Ashley Milne-Tyte reports.
Posted In: New York