Ask Carmen - Most Commented
I had four life changing events happen over a lifetime which kept me either deferred or paying minimum payments. I have paid $30k on a$18 k loan and still owe $5k. I am 63 years old. I have a grand total of $44k saved -- $5k in a roth and 39k in an ira. I am deferred yet again. I am NOT going to pay another dime... but am told I will have my wages garnished. What is crazy is this debt isn't even mine. It is a parent plus. What are they going to do follow me to the graveyard and demand payment from my heirs?
My wife and I have been saving money in an HSA (along with the required HDHP) for the past 6 years or so. We've accumulated around $42,000 (we never take money out of it, instead use it for a long-term IRA-like savings vehicle). Is there a realistic risk of having too much money saved for healthcare down the road as we age into Medicare? We are both in our mid-40s.
I teach high school. Although I am a science teacher, I assigned a personal finance project to my students. I was horrified to find out they didn't know what loan terms were or in some cases what interest rates were...
Many objected to paying taxes, which I set at 30% for state, federal and Social Security combined. They didn't understand that there were some bills they HAD to pay each month, and a few didn't understand why they couldn't get everything they wanted and just spend as much as they wanted each month, even if it was more money than they made.
My question: How do we teach kids these things -- these kids are not learning at home -- and in conversation, some of their parents may need the training, too. Are there (free- since K-12 schools have no money) programs to teach kids? I'm sure a program designed by a professional finance person would be better than the one I designed. Can you share you ideas what the kids need to know?
Hi, My family took our first trip to Disney in December 2012 (which turned out to be great). We booked our flight with JetBlue and I discovered something by accident that really does not sit well with me.
If you pick your flights and times online at the JetBlue site and then close your browser and re-open again, the price of the flight increases. For us that was about $100 more. Now, if you clear out the history and the cookies and close the browser then re-open again...magically.... the rates go back down to the original rate. I tried this on two other computers and achieved the same results.
That to me is a very deceptive business practice! I have not tried this with other airlines but I suspect it is a common practice. Is this legal?
I am currently in probate a safety deposit box is missing it contained paper bearer bonds and paper savings bonds. How do I follow the paper trail?
I was listening to today's program. The caller who asked about money for his student-daughter's travel money was told to give her a credit card. I just wanted to comment that U.S. credit cards don't typically work in Europe. The cards issued there use Chip and PIN technology.
I moved to my companies high deductible plan this year. I typically have very few medical expenses and this was also a great way to add to my retirement as I already max out my 401k contributions and I also maxed out my HSA contributions. I am in a position that I can pay my expenses without going into my HSA or other savings. I already have 9 months living expenses in a saving account, so this would not take away from money that would go to my safety net.
If I am considering my HSA as a way to save for retirement, it seems to me I would want to minimize withdraws and let the amount accumulate into retirement.
Do I pay with the HSA withdrawing money from a tax deferred account to pay the bills and invest the money not used in another investment?
Or do I pay out of pocket and leave the money where it is safely tucked away for major medical expense or retirement?
My husband and I are striving to "semi-retire" in about 10 years at the age of 40, where both of us will drop to working part time (20 hrs a week) until age 65.
We have a "rainy day" fund of about $28,000, and currently feel very secure with our 401(k) and Roth IRA savings plans, but we don't want to take the penalty that goes along with withdrawing these funds before age of 59-1/2 years old.
We are now trying to figure out the best place to save the money that we will need to live between age 40 and age 65. The options we have considered so far are a money market account, investing in index funds or a "safe" mix of mutual funds and stocks. What is the best way to save/grow our money?
Thank you for your advice!
I'm graduating with a BS in Chemical Engineering this year. I have a job lined up in the Twin Cities, MN where I will be working for a company I love and finally making money to pay off student loans (salary ~$55,000/yr before taxes). My question to you is: how should I be handling my money while working?
I will be renting for a few years before (hopefully) having enough saved up to put a down payment on a home. Realistically, what portion of my salary is appropriate to spend on living during these few years, and how much should I be saving for my home down payment?
How quickly should I be paying off student loans? Is this an area that should take priority over others?
How much money should I then be putting away? Retirement plans, investments, emergency funds, etc. How much should I try to save for "fun" things? A new road bike, baseball games, travel, etc.
Are there other areas that I'm also completely neglecting when considering this? I haven't had much experience with finances, and I'm really looking for all the help I can get! Any advice would be great. Bear in mind, I grew up a farm boy, so luxury/expensive hobbies/etc. are not a part of my background. I would just like to live comfortably and plan appropriately for the future.
Let me know what you think and if there's any advice you have for a guy finally getting out into the real world. Thanks!