Chris Farrell

Columnist | Your Money
Chris Farrell is economics editor for American Public Media's weekly "Marketplace Money" show and author of "The New Frugality." He answers reader questions on most Sundays. Send questions to and put "Your Money" in the subject line.

Recent content from Chris Farrell

Chris Farrell: What's your household's margin of safety?

The economy is sluggish. The pace of U.S. growth is now largely hostage to the outcome of the next round of Europe's never-ending euro crisis, which has moved from peripheral nations like Greece and Portugal to the far larger economies of Spain and Italy.

Updated: August 04, 2012, - 05:52 PM

Farrell: Mortgage in retirement can make sense

A 60-year-old professional who would like to take early retirement and move to an East Coast dream home wonders if it's worth a mortgage.

Updated: July 21, 2012, - 09:09 PM

Farrell: Plan for retirement may mean finding a new job or career

Q I'm almost 58 and would like to retire at 60, taking the widow benefit. My late husband's Social Security...

Updated: July 14, 2012, - 09:08 PM

Farrell: Car owner will save by paying off 6-year loan

Q I am six months into a 6-year auto loan. Thanks to changes in my personal finances, I now can pay more per month and retire the loan sooner. The payment could be as much as three times more. Is it better to add to the monthly payment? Or save the money to earn interest and then pay off the loan when I have enough savings to pay it off? I know that interest paid on loans typically is higher than interest earned on savings.

Updated: July 07, 2012, - 05:18 PM

Build a portfolio or rebuild houses? More study needed

Not enough retirement savings? The typical solution involves working well into the traditional retirement years.

Updated: June 30, 2012, - 05:07 PM

Farrell: To own or rent? Many seniors weigh options

I read that at some point in one's senior years, it is better to rent rather than own a home. Is there any merit to this idea in 2012?

Updated: June 16, 2012, - 09:20 PM

Farrell: Failures prompt question about diversification

QMy wife and I are retired and rely on our investments to supplement our pensions.

Updated: June 09, 2012, - 09:14 PM

Farrell: Though tempting, it's best to keep student loans

Q I have a Stafford student loan, $45,000 with a fixed annual percentage rate of 4.5 percent. Currently this loan is with ACS Education. However, this loan has been sold more than 10 times in the last eight years and I feel that it's a matter of time before it is sold again to another firm.

Updated: June 02, 2012, - 09:16 PM

Performance matters - but fees do, too

A recurring theme of these columns is that when it comes to investment returns, fees matter a lot.

Updated: May 24, 2012, - 11:14 PM

'No-brainer' portfolios OK, but watch allocations

QHave a fragile recovery, high gas prices and what seems like endless volatility in the market changed the wisdom of the "no-brainer" portfolio as the long-term mix of investments -- say 25 years in my case -- for a traditional IRA?

Updated: May 12, 2012, - 04:22 PM

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