Chris Farrell

Columnist | Your Money
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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 cfarrell@mpr.org and put "Your Money" in the subject line.

Recent content from Chris Farrell

Diversification now, more options later

Q I am getting conflicting advice in regard to taxable and non-taxable retirement accounts. I have heard it is smart to have pretax [401(k)] and after-tax (Roth IRA) accounts to keep yourself balanced in fear of uncertainty around future tax laws. However, I have the option through my employer to contribute after-tax dollars into a Roth 401(k). What's the smart move?

Updated: February 07, 2011, - 03:26 PM

Being without savings isn't a wise strategy

Q My mother recently received an inheritance of more than $11,000. We're wondering what to do with the money that would be in her best interest. She is a 69 and a widow, and she lives on Social Security. She owes about $27,000 on a home equity mortgage on her house at 5.5 percent. Her car is paid off.

Updated: January 29, 2011, - 10:17 PM

Second home counts, one way or another

But maybe there is another question worth asking here: Why stretch your finances to keep a second home you rarely use?

Updated: January 22, 2011, - 10:00 PM

Brother wonders if he should lend $50,000

It pays for a new entrepreneur to try to raise money outside of family and friends.

Updated: January 15, 2011, - 10:21 PM

Chris Farrell: Sustainability - The government takes a pass, and businesses point the way

From Wal-Mart to Dow Chemical to Silicon Valley and beyond, companies are embracing a new, core strategy.

Updated: January 15, 2011, - 06:22 PM

What's the answer when values collide?

The choice: Pay off medical school loans ($137,000 at 0.6 percent interest ... not a typo) immediately OR over the scheduled 30-year plan ($650/month without any increases).

Updated: January 08, 2011, - 10:04 PM

Dipping into IRA from late mom can be risky

Here's another way to decide whether to use the IRA money: What would your late mother think? Would she be pleased that you tapped into the inheritance this way or distressed that you didn't let a good chunk of the money compound longer? Honor her way of thinking with your decision.

Updated: January 01, 2011, - 09:20 PM

Whole life policies ... and alternatives

QWhen my financial adviser suggested whole life insurance, I just about fell off my chair! Now, I'm actually considering it and wanted to get your opinion. I'm 56 and have been putting everything in my 401(k). I have a home, and that's pretty much it.

Updated: December 18, 2010, - 09:46 PM

Yes, Tracey, there's life after bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is all about a fresh start. But you'll need to establish priorities.

Updated: December 11, 2010, - 10:57 PM

Rolling over your 401(k): The basics

What do you need to consider when deciding if I should transfer money from an old 401(k) to a new one?

Updated: December 04, 2010, - 10:12 PM

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