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

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

To hedge or not to hedge on the euro

With the Fed's decision to help turn the economy around by basically pumping out more cash, which would make the dollar weaker and help lower the cost of U.S. exported goods and hopefully build jobs here in the United States, does it mean fewer euros for dollars in exchange?

Updated: November 27, 2010, - 10:15 PM

Skewed tax code rewards homeowners

Was the home mortgage deduction a large contributor to the foreclosure crisis, leading people to buy more house than they can afford and also cause them to not build any equity?

Updated: November 20, 2010, - 10:34 PM

Credit cards can be hard to get for recent grads

A daughter who rejected credit card offers in college is now looking to build a credit record. Her last rejection included a form letter suggesting that she not apply for too many cards because that hurts her credit score.

Updated: November 13, 2010, - 10:00 PM

To pay off or not to pay off the mortgage? That's the question

QTell me again why I shouldn't pay my mortgage off early.  My wife and I are in our early 50s and we have seven years left on a $65,000 mortgage at 5.25 percent interest. I know most advisers say not to pay extra, that you lose the interest deduction and that you should be able to take that extra money and make more money. But I think there is a lot of financial security in being debt-free.  Most of the extra money that I will be using to pay off the mortgage will come from reducing my contribution to my tax-deferred annuity at work. My thought is that once the mortgage is paid off, I will max out my annuity contributions. Here's another factor that plays into my decision: There have been layoffs here at work. If I end up getting laid off, a paid-off mortgage would help immensely. Am I making a mistake by paying off our mortgage early?

Updated: November 06, 2010, - 05:44 PM

Dealing with debt: She's got a good start

A single, middle-age female with a significant amount of debtis wondering if she need to look at a different way to handle it.

Updated: October 30, 2010, - 11:03 PM

Deflation may become the new normal

It goes without saying that these are trying times. Sure, the economic mandarins at the National Bureau of Economic Research pronounced that the recession ended 16 months ago. And it goes without saying that it's better to be growing than shrinking.

Updated: October 23, 2010, - 10:54 PM

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