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

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

Result Per Page


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters