Chris Farrell is economics editor of Marketplace Money, a nationally syndicated one-hour weekly personal finance show produced by American Public Media. Chris is also economics correspondent for Marketplace, the largest business program in broadcasting and chief economics correspondent for American RadioWorks, the largest producer of long-form documentaries in public radio. He is also contributing economics editor at Business Week magazine. He was host and executive editor of public television’s Right on the Money. He is the author of two books: Right on the Money: Taking Control of Your Personal Finances, and Deflation: What Happens When Prices Fall. Chris is a graduate of Stanford and the London School of Economics.
Posted In: Savings, college
I'm thirty-seven. My home is paid off but needs repairs. My cars are old but paid for. I recently changed jobs and will be making about $25,000 a year (nearly $8,000 more a year than my old job). My sons (single parent) are sixteen and seventeen. Making more money, should I focus on saving or fixing my house and a new car in preparation for a time when health and limited income will make it hard to do? Paying for college is off the table; they know that. I have about a thousand dollars in credit card debt that I plan to pay off. I plan to have nearly eighty dollars a week or three hundred dollars a month toward these goals. I live off so little, I want this extra to really count. First Name: Charlie, Columbus, GA
Posted In: home, mortgage, Savings, retirement savings, Roth-IRA
My husband and I are both church pastors. We have been married for a year and half and we both work full time. Our gross income is about $84,000 and we tithe 10 percent to our churches and charities, which we will continue to do. We are trying to decide whether or not to purchase a home, and whether we are saving money in the proper places.... Is this a good time to buy a home? What if we needed to sell it in four years? Should we be putting less money into savings and more into the Roth IRA's? Thank you for your help! Emma, Beverly Hills, MI
Posted In: health insurance, health savings accounts, 401(k)s
There is a lot of theory motivating consumer-driven health plans like the HSA, much of it reminiscent of ideas promoted with the rise of the 401(k) retirement savings plan. Well, three decades later the 401(k) has turned out to be a deeply flawed pension. The same is likely to be true with consumer-driven healthcare plans.
Posted In: retirement savings, Savings, annuity
I am retired and would like to safely increase income. What is a secondary market annuity? Is it a suitable vehicle for putting a portion of retirement funds to safely increase guaranteed retirement income? Are there issues to be aware of with the secondary market annuities? How should this product be purchased? Thanking you in advance for any light you can shine on this topic. Ronald, Rhinebeck, NY
Posted In: Savings, home, student loan, emergency savings
I have a dilemma that I hope you can offer some advice on: I am currently in the process of paying off some hefty student loans I accumulated while earning my bachelor's and master's degrees. I pay almost twice the required payment. (Please let me know if you need specific figures.) My husband and I would like to save for the down payment on a home to be purchased within 5 years. Would it be more advantageous for me to continue aggressively paying down the loans (fixed interest rate of 4.25 percent) or save as much as possible to apply to a home to be purchased in the near future? Michelle, Indianapolis, IN