Q: I’m 64 and lost my last full-time job a year ago. I have since exhausted my unemployment benefits and been on and off food stamps. (I’m waiting to get back on them right now because my temporary-to-permanent job didn’t become permanent after all.) Fortunately, I almost never need to go to a doctor, or if I do, I don’t know that I do and can’t afford to find out.
Q: My son is 12 and re-ceives a regular monthly allowance that I’ve been giving to him in cash. I think it might be time for a checking account. I would like to teach him about using a debit card and not overdrawing his account.
Q: Our son went to an expensive private school and ended up with more than $100,000 in federal and private loans by the time he graduated. My wife cosigned a private loan for $25,000 for the first year, and that was the last we heard of any loans until he graduated with a degree in social services.
Q: I am a CPA and fairly knowledgeable about investing, but I have a question about my IRAs. I am 58 and my husband is in his mid-80s. We both are retired with federal pensions and no debt other than a mortgage. My plan is to start taking money annually from my traditional IRA in two or three years.
Q: None of the Web-based tools I’ve seen really get at the heart of the problem of how much I really need in retirement. For example, if I am diligent and save 20 percent of my income (I earn over $150,000), why would I need to replace 95 percent or even 80 percent of my income to maintain my standard of living in retirement?
Q: My partner passed away a little more than a year ago. I inherited his 401(k) and life insurance. I opened an IRA in which to place the amount of the 401(k), but the company told me that after a year – which is now – I have to withdraw the money over five years. Is that really required?
Q: Everyone talks about Roth IRAs and how beneficial they are. But I am self-employed, my husband contributes 16 percent toward his 401(k), our house is paid off, and we no longer have dependents to deduct on our 1040 tax return. My contribution to my traditional IRA is the only tax deduction we have left. Should I consider a Roth anyway? If so, why?
Q: What would you suggest that someone do with $20,000 if the someone is closer to 40 than 30, single, with $100,000 of student loan debt and a $250,000 mortgage? My salary is around $100,000 a year. I have an emergency fund equal to six months of expenses and I make an annual IRA contribution since my employer doesn’t offer a 401(k) plan.
Q: Last year I bought an electric vehicle, motivated in part by the $7,500 federal tax credit. I consulted with my tax preparer, a CPA, to ensure I would generate enough income to fully use the one-time, use-it-or-lose-it credit.
I am furious at my grandmother, and now believe both accounts were cashed out and given to my cousin. Without knowing anything about the accounts, except that one was intended for me, is there any way to find out what actually happened to the money?
Q: I am a 20-year-old college student with a stable, part-time job. I haven’t contributed to a 401(k) with this company because I don’t plan to be working for it for two years, which is how long I’d have to wait for my contributions and earnings to be 100 percent mine.
Q: You’ve written about the 50/30/20 budget structure that people should strive to achieve. As you said, it’s a difficult feat. But here’s my question: How does one even come close when you live in a major metropolitan area?
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