There Are No Dumb Questions About Money: Answers and Advice to Help You Make the Most of Your Finances [NOOK Book]

Overview

Up-to-Date, Common-Sense Money Answers, from the Internet's #1 Personal Finance Journalist!

• Quick, bite-size advice you can understand, trust, and use
• Save for retirement, college, or anything else
• Pay off debt, the smart way
• By award-winning MSN Money/AARP ...
See more details below
There Are No Dumb Questions About Money: Answers and Advice to Help You Make the Most of Your Finances

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Overview

Up-to-Date, Common-Sense Money Answers, from the Internet's #1 Personal Finance Journalist!

• Quick, bite-size advice you can understand, trust, and use
• Save for retirement, college, or anything else
• Pay off debt, the smart way
• By award-winning MSN Money/AARP financial columnist and CNBC contributor Liz Weston

You can build financial security--and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to do it. This book brings together all the help you'll need, in common-sense language anyone can understand. It's organized around the questions real people have asked Liz Weston, the Internet's #1 financial columnist. Weston's answers are simple, accurate, and up-to-date… and best of all, you can use them.

Here are powerful, sensible ways to get out of debt… set financial priorities for a better life… and save for everything from college to retirement. Weston offers realistic, up-to-date help with everything from investing to home buying, from improving your credit score to avoiding identity theft. You'll also learn how to master the emotions of money: to get past the pain, arguments, and guilt, and do what works.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780133088953
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 9/6/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,265,429
  • File size: 528 KB

Meet the Author

Liz Weston is an award-winning, nationally syndicated personal finance columnist who is one of the most-read money experts on the Internet. The New York Times called her book, The 10 Commandments of Money: Survive and Thrive in the New Economy, a "wonderful basic personal finance book...[with] enough counterintuitive ideas to keep even people who know a bit about personal finance reading further.” Her earlier book, Your Credit Score: How to Improve the 3-Digit Number that Shapes Your Financial Future, is a national best-seller and was recently published in a fourth edition.

Liz’s columns run twice a week on MSN Money while her question-and-answer column “Money Talk” appears in newspapers throughout the country, including the Los Angeles Times, the Palm Beach Post, the Portland Oregonian, Stars & Stripes, and others.

Liz has appeared on The Dr. Phil Show, NBC Nightly News, and The Today Show, and for several years is a weekly commentator on CNBC's Power Lunch. She is a regular commentator on public radio, including Marketplace Money’s “Getting Personal” segments.

She was awarded the 2010 Betty Furness Consumer Media Award by the Consumer Federation of America, designed to honor individuals who have made “exceptional progress in American consumerism.” Other honors include a 2007 Clarion Award for her MSN series on financial benchmarks and a 2008 “Best in Business” designation from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. She participated in journalism teams that won a Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service in 1989 and a Gerald Loeb business journalism award in 1997. She has a bachelor’s degree in economics and is a graduate of the Certified Financial Planner training program.

She lives with her husband and daughter in Los Angeles.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Balanced Budget, Balanced Life: Setting Your Financial Priorities 5
How to Stick to a Budget 6
For a Budget That Works, Get Control of Your Debt 7
What Do Average Families Spend? 8
Balancing Your Budget in the Big City 9
Income Dropped? Expenses Have to Drop, Too 12
How to Beat “Frugal Fatigue” 12
Fast Ways to Cut Cable, Cell Bills 15
What to Do with an Extra $5,000 a Month 15
Planning a Family? How to Prepare Financially 16
Facing a Layoff? Rule #1: Conserve Cash 17
Living Paycheck to Paycheck? Knock It Off 18
Why Your Budget Doesn’t Work 19

Chapter 2 Slay the Debt Dragon 21
What Comes First? 22
What Comes First, Savings or Debt Payoff? 23
Why You Shouldn’t Pay Down Your Mortgage 23
Don’t Drain Your Retirement to Pay Debts 24
Use Inheritance to Pay Down Debt, Boost Savings 25
How to Stop Collection Calls 26
Garnishments Are Taking Food off This Family’s Table 26
Massive Debts Mean Gambling Is More Than a “Habit” 27
Debt Doesn’t Disappear After Lender Write-off 28
How Long Bad Debt Can Haunt You 29
What to Do When You Can’t Afford Your Life 30
Young Widow Struggles with Late Husband’s Debts 31
Dealing with After-Death Creditors 32
Fighting an Aggressive Collection Agency 32
Student Drowning in Debt Needs Professional Help 33
How to Cope with a Big Medical Bill 35
When Bankruptcy Is the Best of Bad Options 36
What to Do When Bankruptcy Won’t Work 37

Chapter 3 Burnish Your Credit Score 39
Improving Bad Scores Takes Time, Patience 40
Why “Free” Credit Scores Aren’t 41
How Credit Card Balances Affect Your Scores 41
Does a Credit Card Make You a Slave to Lenders? 42
Why Carrying a Balance Is Stupid 43
No Credit Cards? You May Not Get the Best Rates 43
How to Use Credit Cards to Improve Your Scores 44
Should You Stay in Debt to Help Your Scores? 44
Don’t Close Accounts If You’re Trying to Improve Your Scores 45
Close Cards the Smart Way 45
Debts Rising? It’s Time to Cut Spending 46
Big Debts Mean You Can’t Afford Your Life 46
Marriage Doesn’t Combine Your Credit Reports 47
Unwanted Time Share Can Lead to Credit Score Hit 48
“Piggybacking” Can Pose a Serious Risk 49
Skimping on Credit Card Payments Can Damage Scores for Years 50
Short Sale Causes Credit Scores to Plunge 50
Finding an Apartment After Foreclosure 51
Recovering from Bankruptcy Takes Five to Ten Years 52
Installment Loans Can Boost Credit Scores 53
Not All Loans Help Your Scores 54
How to Score 800+ 54
Credit Scores Not Perfect? Don’t Sweat It 55
Zombie Debt May Still Hurt Credit Scores 56
Insurance Scores Differ from Credit Scores 56
“Too Many Credit Cards” Boosts Insurance Premiums 57

Chapter 4 Couples and Money 59
When Savers Marry Spenders 59
Credit Concerns or Just Cold Feet? 61
Fiancé’s Reluctance May Be Just Prudence 61
His, Hers, or Ours? Setting Up Finances As a Couple 62
Time Share Causes Financial Woes 63
Adding Fiancé As “Authorized User” May Help His Scores, but Be Careful 64
New Wife Could Help His Credit, but She’s Not Obligated 65
Marriage Didn’t Trash Son’s Credit Score 66
Spouse’s Debt May Be Yours—or It May Not Be 66
Separate Your Finances Before Divorce Is Final 67
Couples’ Big Age Difference Affects Retirement Planning 68
Choosing Pension Payout? Get Expert Help 69
How Marriage, Divorce, and Death Affect Your Social Security Check 70

Chapter 5 Family Money: Keeping the Financial Peace 75
When Grandpa Reneges on Promised Money 76
When a Sibling Wants a Loan 76
Supporting the Family Spendthrift 77
Quit Trying to Change a Deadbeat 78
Helping Parents Support a Freeloader 78
Saying No to Handouts for Adult Children 79
Daughter’s Family Is Bleeding Them Dry 80
Could Son’s Unpaid Bills Harm Parents’ Credit? Maybe 81
When It Makes Sense to Let Your Adult Kids Live at Home 82
How to Buy Stocks for Children 82
Dealing with Parents’ Financial Crisis 83
Beware Becoming Trustee of a Sibling’s Money 84
Are Family Heirlooms Worth the Fight? 85
Stepdaughter Wants “Everything”: What Does She Deserve? 86
How Can I Resolve a Spat with My Siblings over an Inherited Home? 87

Chapter 6 How to Stop Working Someday: Saving and Investing for Retirement 89
With Retirement, There’s No Making Up for Lost Time 90
$25 Is Enough to Get Started Saving for Retirement 90
There’s No Such Thing as “Risk-Free” Retirement Investing 91
Stocks: A Must or a Gamble? 92
Dependents Can Fund Roths Even If Their Parents Can’t 93
Don’t Tap Retirement Funds for a Bigger Down Payment 94
Build Retirement Funds Before Paying Down a Mortgage 95
Don’t Suspend 401(k) Contributions to Pay Down Loan 96
Retirement Planning Without a Retirement Plan 96
Self-employed? You’ve Got More Retirement Savings Options 97
Roll Your 401(k) into an IRA? Maybe Not 98
Windfall in Your 50s? Don’t Blow It 99
Get a Second Opinion Before Buying a Variable Annuity 99
Don’t Count on an Inheritance to Fund Your Retirement 100
What’s a “Safe” Withdrawal Rate? 100
Is a 3% Withdrawal Rate Too Conservative? 101
Social Security: Grab It Early, or Wait for Bigger Checks? 102

Chapter 7 Protect What You Have 105
Should a 29-Year-Old Buy Life Insurance? 105
Don’t Buy Life Insurance If You Don’t Need Life Insurance 107
Help Your Pet Without Risking Your Finances 108
Going Bare on Health Insurance Isn’t Smart 109
“Eating Healthy” Won’t Protect Against Medical Bills 109
Is Disability Insurance Worth the Cost? 110
Why You Shouldn’t Buy Cellphone Insurance 111
Get a Second Opinion Before Buying an Annuity 112
When You Can Skip Rental Car Insurance 113
Stick with Insurance Minimums or Buy More Coverage? 114
Is Disaster Insurance Worth the Cost? 115

Chapter 8 Identity Theft 117
Don’t Trust Your Tax Papers to the U.S. Mail 118
Sometimes You Have to Cough Up Your SSN 119
Credit Account Closure May Be Cause for Alarm 119
Credit Freezes May Be Your Best Defense Against ID Theft 120
What Should I Do If My Sister Is an Identity Thief? 121
What to Do When Your Wallet Is Stolen 122
Do Dead People Have to Worry About ID Theft? 123
101 for Identity Theft Victims 124
Redact Your Medicare Card to Reduce ID Theft Risk 125
Are Businesses Protecting Your Social Security Number? 125

Chapter 9 Home Sweet Home: What You Need to Know About Real Estate 127
How Much House Can I Afford to Buy? 128
No Down Payment Saved? You’re Not Ready to Buy a Home 128
Student Loan Debt May Limit Mortgage 130
Shop Hard Before You Refinance 130
When to Pay Down Your Mortgage 131
Should You Refinance a Mortgage That’s Almost Paid Off? 132
When Shorter Loans Make Sense 133
Adjustable Mortgage May Not Be Affordable for Long 133
Should She Walk Away from Her Home? 134
What Foreclosure Does to Your Credit 135
Don’t Expect Mortgage Lender to Do the Right Thing 135
New Rules May Help More Underwater Homeowners 136
Get Help with a Mortgage Modification 137
Short Sales Can Trash Your Scores 138
A Short Sale Isn’t a Bailout 138
How to Speed Up Foreclosure 139
Property Loss May Lead to Bankruptcy 140
Will You Face a Tax Bill after Foreclosure? 140
Finding an Apartment after Foreclosure 141
How to Get a House Sold Fast 142
How to Dump a Time Share 143

Chapter 10 Pay for College Without Going Broke 145
If You Can Save for College, You Should 146
529 College Savings Plans Are a Good Option for Many 147
Withdrawals from 529s Can Be Tricky 148
529s Aren’t Always the Best Way to Save for College 149
Mom Stole College Fund. What to Do? 149
Did Grandma Divert the College Fund? 150
Don’t Overdose on Debt for a Child’s Education 150
“Free Money” May Not Make School Affordable 151
It’s Too Late to Borrow for Child’s College Education 152
Finding a Way to Pay for School 153
Is It Too Late to Go Back to School? 154
“Dream School” Can Turn into a Nightmare 154
Is a “Dream School” Worth Any Price? 155
Ivy League Tuition Waiver Doesn’t Apply to Our “Dream School” Applicant 156
Tiny Salary, Big Debt 157
Degree from For-Profit School Leads to Big Debt 158
How to Make Headway on Student Loans 159
Is Graduate School Worth Borrowing For? 159
Wrestling with Student Loan Debt? Know Your Forgiveness Options 160
Student Loans in Collections? Here’s Where to Find Help 161
Settling Student Loan Debt: Tough but Possible 162
Student Loan Settlement Won’t Be Cheap 163

Chapter 11 Find an Advisor You Can Trust 165
Variable Annuity for a Dying Woman? I Don’t Think So 166
“Unsuitable” Annuity Can Be Undone 167
Is a Money Manager Worth the Cost? 168
How to Find an Advisor You Can Trust 69
Your Broker Is Not a Retirement Expert 169
How to Invest an Inheritance 170
Finding Trustworthy Advisors 171
What to Do Now with Your Extra Cash 172

Chapter 12 At the End: Caring for Elders and Planning Your Estate 173
Helping an Indigent Parent Navigate “the System” 173
Son-in-Law Badgers Elderly Couple for Money 175
Protecting a Parent from Financial Opportunists 176
Daily Money Managers Can Help Pay the Bills 176
A Reverse Mortgage Could Keep Mom in Her Home 177
Asset Transfer Could Delay Medicaid Eligibility 178
Incapacitated Parent? Tread Carefully 179
Father’s Living Trust Is Missing 180
The Documents You Need but Probably Don’t Have 181
Who Needs an Estate Plan? 182
Why Estate Plan? 182
DIY Wills and Trusts Can Backfire 183
Can the Guardian of Your Kids Change His Mind? 183
Are Unequal Bequests a Good Idea, or Are They a Disaster in the Making? 184
Credit Cards Must Be Paid Before Estate Is Distributed 185
Executor Won’t Have to Pay Mother’s Debts out of Pocket 186
Dad Died Without a Will. What Now? 187
A Guide for Executors 187
What’s the Best Thing to Do with an Inherited IRA? 188
Social Security Benefits Don’t Last Forever 189
What Happens to Personal Loans After Lender Dies? 189

Index 191

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    To two below

    I can help!!!! I won't help on the boyfriend/girlfriend stuff though. And my mom said I can't give my age away. You can call me Pip.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    To Tessa to help person

    Your parents do care about you at school and the teachers and the princible also care. God will always have your back.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    To natalie

    Its ok just live with it!

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    Im Luke

    I forgot to say that i really want to do this because i am really good at helping people and i feel like i can make a difference.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    To scarlet

    I have had a huge crush on a boy for four years and i need to know how to get him to like me
    Reply to-- Sarah142

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    To below

    Go to next result and oook for kates! Plz

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    to scarlet.

    I live in the weak and the wounded i am the devil and i am here to do the devils work i just cant take no pleasure in killing theres just some things you gotta do dont mean you hafta like it i ate his liver with some fava beans.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    To Scarlet

    How do you know if a boy likes you?

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2013

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2013

    Lili to any...

    I need help to find a good se.xy guy.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2013

    TO SCARLET!!!!!!!!!!!!URGENT!!!!!!!!

    Scarlet! I just answered two advice posts! I scrolled down to look for more and there were 2 more!!!!! Plz come to res 2 and answer those for me!!! I'll take two for you here. Please help me!!!!!! Help! Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, Battle Strategy and Useful Arts

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2013

    Tessa to help person

    I am having trouble at school. EVERYBODY calls me a loner because I dont have a boyfriend. I dont like it very much. I am starting to lose control of my emotions. I dont got any friends to help me out. I have told my parents. They dont care. I have told all the teachers that I thought could help me. They dont care. I told the principal. He dont care. What should I do???

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    I need help

    I am going to give my virginity away soon but want to practice. Any tips?

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    I need help.

    Did you post it?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2014

    Interesting

    Now try to help those who cant get regular hours and dont know how much money they will have.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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