June 7, 2013 |
Dear Liz: My husband and I have been putting 5% and 6%, respectively, into our 401(k) accounts to get our full company matches. We're also maxing out our Roth IRAs. The CPA who does our taxes recommended that we put more money into our 401(k)s even if that would mean putting less into our Roth IRAs. We're also expecting our first child, and our CPA said he doesn't like 529 plans. What's your opinion on us increasing our 401(k)s by the amount we'd intended to put into a 529, while still maxing out our Roths, and then using our Roth contributions (not earnings)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 2013 |
I got a clue even before my column ran this week that its subject - what "Negro" means these days - might make some folks uncomfortable. I'd pulled up to the valet stand at the Hilton and waited while the young man fumbled through the standard question about the evening's event. "You're here for the United … uh, United … uh, the College Fund dinner?" he asked. Yes. The United Negro College Fund. He'd managed to leave that word out. I understand why it flummoxed him. By the time he was born, we'd moved past that to "black" and on to "African American.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 18, 2012 |
Many colleges seek donations for new construction or scholarships. Pasadena City College, however, has an additional goal that was unthinkable before California's budget crisis forced community colleges to slash course offerings. The school is seeking donations from alumni and others to restore some of the 570 classes it planned to cut this academic year. The campaign, launched in April, has received about $89,400 in donations, and the school is also devoting $106,000 from savings resulting from some cost cuts, officials said.
October 16, 2012 |
Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney referred to a plan to give Massachusetts students a “tuition free” education at state schools. He is correct that it covers tuition, but students did not get a free ride. Fees, for example, and other costs were not included. Also it's worth noting that Massachusetts is a relatively high tax state, with more funding for public education. The former Massachusetts governor also referred to supporting Pell Grants, which are federal funds that support the education of the lowest-income students.
February 19, 2012 |
Dear Liz: When my cousin and I were children more than 20 years ago, my grandparents opened a college savings account for each of us. I have no idea what kind of account this was, or where it was located. My grandfather passed away a few years later. While I was in high school, my grandmother informed me the investments had not done well, and she was closing the accounts. I received a check for $500 at high school graduation that was supposed to be the balance of the account. I assumed my cousin received the same, until she recently posted on a social networking site she was thankful her grandmother started a college fund when she was young that covered the entire cost of her education.
January 22, 2012 |
Dear Liz: I have a high-interest car loan (more than 10%) and just landed a part-time job to add to my full-time cash flow. I want to pay the car off as quickly as possible, but I have read and been told that paying a loan off early doesn't help scores as much as paying the duration of the loan. Is there truth to this? It seems foolish, though, since won't I be paying more interest? Answer: The primary concern with paying off a loan is that the lender may stop reporting the account to the credit bureaus.