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: student loans, . student loan repayment options
I am extremely in debt with my student loans. At Age 25, I am wondering about the best way to resolve this debt. I currently have a part-time job and make less than $600 a month. How do I go about refinancing with such little tangible income? Jennifer, New York, NY
Posted In: Savings, college savings, mortgage, retirement savings
My husband and I just refinanced our house at a great rate (15-year fixed mortgage at 2.875 percent). Our house payment is low and we can afford to pay more each month. Would the best use of our money be to pay down the principal on this low-interest loan or put extra away for retirement or for our children's college fund? We have two young children and are in our late 20s/early 30s. Thanks for your help! Katie, Helena, MT
Posted In: Investing, diversification, dollar cost averaging
It's striking how well the old rules for managing money hold up. We forget that these insights were forged during scary times, such as the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Great Inflation of the 1970s.
Posted In: Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs, baby boomers
The U.S. could be on the "cusp of an entrepreneurship boom -- not in spite of an aging population but because of it."
Posted In: retirement savings, 403(b), fees
Fees matter. Financial companies love to talk about compounding returns. But fees compound too.
Posted In: student loans, federal student loans, student loan repayment plans
I am 26 years old and recently graduated from grad school. I have about $28,000 of loan debt, from both undergrad and grad school. My deferment is up next month, and without changing or consolidating anything, I will owe more than $500/month. I work for a non-profit and cannot make that high of a payment. I know I have some options for repayment and consolidation. I am trying to find a balance in which I am paying what I can afford each month, but not extending my loans so much that I am paying an absurd amount of interest. Elisa, Bozeman, MT
Posted In: health care, medical expenses, Retirement, retirement savings
The mutual fund giant Fidelity calculates that a 65-year-old couple retiring in 2012 will need around $240,000 to cover medical expenses through their retirement. Ouch!
Posted In: college graduate, job market, Savings, student loan repayment options
I am a 25-year-old college graduate with approximately $27,000 of student debt. I have been unable to find a job since graduating and am making $1,000 a month, give or take. I now have $1,500 in my checking and $1,000 in savings. This is the most money I have had at one time and am unsure how best to utilize it. My savings account is for emergencies. My budget allows for $150 a month of disposable income. Should I contribute what remains of my disposable income to the loans, save it or try to invest it? I am currently paying $100 a month to the loans to maintain activity. Thank you for your time. Nathaniel, Raynham, MA
Posted In: rollover IRA, IRA, Roth-IRA
My wife will soon lose her job after several years working in non-profit. I am confident in her ability to find another job, but in the meantime, we have been told that she will have to take money out of her 403(b), totaling about $45,000. What should we do with it? Roth IRA? Something I don't know about? James, Louisville, KY
Posted In: retirement savings plans, retirement savings, 401(k), Roth-IRA, sel-employed
Why can I put more money each year into a 401(k) than I can an IRA? This is stupid. I'm currently a contract employee and can only put $6,000 a year into an IRA, since I'm 50 and can use the catch-up provision. Last year, as an employee of a company that offered a 401(k), I saved more than $12,000. Plus, my company matched very generously. Thanks, Ernie, Sunnyvale, CA