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: IRA, 403(b), rollover IRA
My questions are: 1) Should we set up something for my husband that would be appropriate for us, or should we be adding more of my income to my employee 403(b) match and continue saving that way? 2) What should I do with my 403(b) from a previous employer -- let it continue or roll over?Mary, Spring Lake, MI
Posted In: Graduate school, student loan, Jobs, career
It is time for potential graduate students to hear back from schools. I was accepted to two top-rate, out-of-state schools and will likely get into an unranked in-state school. I compared the cost of out-of-state schools to the in-state school; the difference (over the 10-year repayment period) exceeds $55,000! All graduates have to pass a standardized national exam to be licensed, and all graduates in my field are employed. Is the difference in quality and reputation worth the extra debt? Will my starting salary be affected, and how important is that over the course of my career? Jordan, Raleigh, NC
Posted In: home, home sale, investments, move
I'm a 58-year-old widow and I have been paying on a 30-year mortgage for 28 years, so I am almost there. I think I owe about $8,000. I am contracted to a job that doesn't offer a pension, but I do have investments (which I think of as retirement money). All three of my daughters moved to Seattle and I want to move there this summer. Right now, I have a little cape cod, which hopefully I can sell for $200,000+. However, my daughters live in the Ballard neighborhood, where a house even a little smaller than mine would cost nearly $400,000. They have condos. I wouldn't mind a townhouse if I get a patch of land to garden. I will be getting a job when I move, but should I just rent at this point? Should I leave the investment money alone? Laura, Ann Arbor, MI
Posted In: Investing, insurance, portfolios, retirement savings
What I like about the insurance money management framework is that it takes seriously the idea that how you save and where you save is all about what you want out of life -- your goals, your desires, your values, your lifestyle.
Posted In: refinance, mortgage, behavioral finance
I have the opportunity to refinance from 5-1/4 percent to 4-1/4 percent. The savings will be $249 a month, which we really need because we probably will need a new car next year. The payback for the closing costs (rolled into the refi) would take 2 years. However, there is a small chance we could be moving due to my job before 2 years. Should I take the lower rate to get the monthly savings or find the money for the car elsewhere? My wife's and my credit scores are high -- about 800. (Yes, Tess, I checked FICO per your constant reminding on the show.) Eric, Ringwood, NJ
Posted In: Savings, retirement savings, student loans
After close to a decade in graduate school, a post-doc, 24 job interviews, and almost as many rejections, I am elated to have started my first bone-fide adult job. Which in this day and age is not only a blessing, but a miracle, for which I am truly grateful for. While I have mastered the manipulation of matter at the atomic and molecular level, I am pretty clueless about how to manipulate my finances. My question: what should my financial priorities be? repayment of school loans? saving for retirement? putting money into an emergency fund?... Romas, Berkeley, CA
Posted In: Credit Cards, credit score, credit report
We use a credit card to pay for all monthly expenses and then pay it off at the end of each month. My credit score fluctuates every quarter, depending on when the accounts are checked. My question is how can we convince the credit rating company that we do not carry any credit card debt from one month to the next? My score is currently at 749 but has been as high as 815. Thanks, I really enjoy your program. Randy, Macomb, IL