Business
March 21, 2015
money032215 column on donor advised funds charitable giving

What's driving the surge in donor advised funds?

The recent Medtronic acquisition of Covidien not only lowered the company’s corporate tax rate, but also created a tax headache for longtime Medtronic shareholders —…
Business
March 21, 2015

A primer on how, and when, to start drawing down your IRA

Last year I reached a milestone age: 59 ½, old enough to withdraw money from my individual retirement accounts with no penalty. While this felt bittersweet,…
Business
March 21, 2015

Farrell: Getting started with 529 college-saving plans

Q: I am looking for a 529 plan for my grandson. Do you have an idea on some of the better plans that seem to…
Business
March 14, 2015

Business credit cards have many advantages

Business owners’ needs are often distinctly different from consumers’ needs, which is why a business credit card can be beneficial. Instead of making all of…
Business
March 14, 2015

5 things to know about divorce and your credit score

Many people believe getting divorced automatically hurts your credit, but that is not true. The act of getting divorced itself won’t damage your credit because…
Business
March 14, 2015
A 2016 Chevrolet Volt. The depreciation rate for plug-in electric cars has been twice that of a gasoline engine car.

Bucking consumer trends can often pay dividends

Warren Buffett made billions of dollars buying on sale. “Whether we’re talking about socks or stocks,” the Oracle of Omaha has said, “I like buying…
Business
March 14, 2015

Watch that 'free' money for IRA rollovers

Back in the day, you could walk into a bank to open a new account and walk out with a free toaster. Today, you can…
Business
March 14, 2015
300 dpi Rick Nease illustration of man sitting on cracked egg that looks like a U.S. dollar bill; can be used with stories about retirement, pensions,

Tax time is a good time to consider the nest egg

For many people, tax time is the key opportunity to make strategic moves to bolster their retirement accounts.
Business
March 14, 2015

Farrell: Book has tips on getting the most out of Social Security

chris farrell Social Security is the foundation of America’s retirement system, a near-universal safety net against the risk of running out of money in old…
Business
March 7, 2015

Chris Farrell: Think buckets for retirement money

Q: We are a semiretired couple. Husband works part-time in sales — mainly to keep busy and occupied after selling his own small business. I…
Business
March 7, 2015

Ross Levin: Figuring those windfalls into your financial plan

Whether Minnesota should have been surprised by the huge budget surplus given the economic and stock market recovery is far less important than how it…
Business
February 20, 2015

Farrell: Stock index funds tend to be the smart choice

Q: The Wall Street Journal reports that in the past 10 years, stock index funds have almost doubled to 35 percent of stock fund assets.…
Business
February 20, 2015
Damon Runnals, of the Southern Theater, launched a subscription program where members can attend as many shows as they want for $18 a month.

Twin Cities theaters fine-tune their giving pitch

on the other hand brad allenAn oft-repeated bit of conventional wisdom proclaims the Twin Cities home to more live theater seats per capita than any…
Business
February 13, 2015

Farrell: Life annuity not for everyone, but worth a look

Q: I am a 66-year old, single female with about $473,000 in IRAs and 401(k)s. About one-third-plus are in targeted retirement funds. I have been…
Business
February 7, 2015
A late-game interception by the New England Patriots’ Malcolm Butler, left, meant game over for the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

Levin: Smart investors know to avoid 'game over'

We all want to avoid what the Seattle Seahawks experienced at the end of the Super Bowl.
Business
February 5, 2015

Farrell: Be wary of using variable universal life policy to save for college

Q: My wife and I are in our mid-40s. We are pretty well off financially. … Our saving for retirement looks strong. We also have…
Business
February 4, 2015
Reitrement readiness newspaper headline on hundred dollar bills

For some 3Mers, crowdsourcing key to pension decision

When 3M offered to buy out defined pension plans, comparing notes online emerged as a useful tool.
Business
January 24, 2015

Levin: Learn when to say yes to opportunities

I recently ran into renowned arctic explorer Will Steger at a coffee shop one morning. I was reading; he was getting started on his regular…
Business
January 24, 2015

McGuire: Reviewing a family's mixed financial record

Some of the 2014 financial goals were no sweat, but inertia wasn't kind to aspirations to review our insurance portfolio or up our game when it came to comparison shopping.
Business
January 17, 2015

Farrell: Three approaches to drawing down retirement savings

Q: I don't understand why all of the financial experts recommend that retirees withdraw only 4 percent (or less) of their nest egg in retirement.…