February 17, 2013 |
Dear Liz: A lot of financial advice sites say you should have an emergency fund equal to three to six months of living expenses. What would be considered living expenses? Should you use three to six months of your net take-home pay or a smaller number? Is three to six months really enough? Answer: Let's tackle your last question first. The answer: No one knows. It's impossible to predict what financial setbacks you may face. You may not lose your job - or you may get laid off and be unemployed for many months.
November 23, 2012 |
"Spiritual" estate planning is becoming a hot topic for baby boomers who want to make sure their values are passed down along with their money, financial planners say. Bequests to charities are up 19% in a year, according to Charity Navigator, a nonprofit that monitors charities. But it goes beyond leaving money to a favorite group, said South Florida attorney Alice Reiter Feld. "It's leaving money with a purpose," she said. That extends into deciding how to give money, or not, to family members, Feld said.
November 9, 2012 |
UCLA freshman guard Shabazz Muhammad has been declared ineligible by the NCAA after a lengthy probe uncovered a violation of NCAA amateurism rules. It's unknown how many games Muhammad will miss. UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said that figure is yet to be determined, but that UCLA will appeal the decision. "I feel bad for the kid," Guerrero said as UCLA prepared to open its season against Indiana State. Muhammad's case dragged on for about a year as the NCAA examined ties between two financial planners to his family and AAU team.
November 3, 2012 |
On the morning of Halloween, Kyle Anderson was called into an office. The UCLA freshman point guard expected trouble, but instead he received news he had been waiting weeks to hear. The NCAA had cleared him , meaning he'd be eligible to play for the Bruins this season. "Words couldn't describe how happy I was," the men's basketball guard said Friday night after UCLA's "Pauley Madness" event at Pauley Pavilion, his first public comments since being cleared. The NCAA was investigating ties between a sports agent and Anderson's father, Kyle Sr. UCLA officials had long expected Anderson to be cleared, but the process dragged on weeks longer than they expected.
October 7, 2012 |
Dear Liz: We have $130,000 invested in mutual funds, but the returns the last few years have been less than 4%. With the financial advisor taking 2% as a fee annually, we are not satisfied with the growth. A co-worker suggested buying blue-chip stocks with a strategy to hold and reinvest the dividends. If this is done in a self-directed plan to avoid the fees, we could be netting 4% plus. Is this a good plan or should we trust the advisor's optimism that our returns will improve soon?
September 30, 2012 |
Dear Liz: My former employer is offering the one-time opportunity to receive the value of my pension benefit as a lump-sum payment. The other option is to leave the money where it is and get a guaranteed monthly check from a single life annuity when I reach retirement age. I am 40 and single, and I have been investing regularly in a 401(k) since graduating from college. I have minimal debt aside from a car payment. When does it make financial sense to take a lump sum now instead of an annuity check later?