To help ring in the New Year, we’re celebrating with our HerMoney family with five special Mailbag-focused episodes! Our listeners submit THE BEST questions all year long (to firstname.lastname@example.org), and we wanted to get 2020 kicked off right by answering as many of your questions as possible. Jean and Kathryn tackled five episodes on topics including retirement, home-buying, student loans, credit and debt, and raising children. Here’s a look at all of them:
In this episode, Jean offers her thoughts on how women with limited incomes can afford to adopt, and available funding and financing options. We also talk through starting 529 plans for children, and strategies for supporting adult children through grad school without enabling them. And if you’ve ever wondered how to help your kids save, this episode’s for you! Jean offers her thoughts on engaging your children, and how parents can open a brokerage account to help their little ones get excited about investing early on.
In this episode, Jean advises a listener on how to buy a new home when all your money is tied up in your old one, as well as the ins and outs of selling a rental home while keeping some money liquid for a new home purchase.
She also advises on whether or not a listener should pay off her mortgage early, or invest the money, and weighs in on whether or not a couple should renovate and sell their home, or stay put.
In this episode, Jean advises a woman on how much she really needs to save for retirement… Is $1.7 million per person the right amount, or perhaps 25 times your annual expenses? Jean also shares her thoughts with a woman who’s debating where to put an extra $4,000 she has annually to invest for retirement.
Jean guides a mother of twins who is saving for retirement in a 401(k) and also considering investing in real estate and putting money into an HSA, in an effort to maximize her money for herself and her girls. Lastly, we tackle the question of investing worries that are rooted in a fear of losing money, and a question about selling stock in order to pay off the mortgage early.
In this episode, Jean advises a woman who co-signed for her daughter’s student loans and is now struggling to repay the debt because her daughter hasn’t taken responsibility for the loan.
We also hear from a woman who is getting a divorce, and her husband has told her he won’t be contributing to their two children’s college funds once they turn 18. She’s looking for a way to ensure her money grows as quickly as it can, and is debating an ESA (Education Savings Account) for her son who is in college.
Jean also guides a listener on how the 529 accounts she has for her nieces might impact their ability to get financial aid, and what to do with those accounts before they head to college. Lastly, Jean tackles a question about the best ways to refinance $180,000 in student loans while still being eligible for income-based repayment plans.
In this episode, Jean answers a question about how business credit cards can impact your personal credit, and what it means for your credit score when you close a business account. We also dive into a question about adding a child to your credit card as an authorized user to help them build credit. (Note: Not every credit card company reports credit history of authorized users.)
Jean also guides a listener who is wondering if she should claim bankruptcy, see a credit counselor, get a side gig, or cash out a retirement annuity in order to get back on track. Lastly, we advise a woman who is looking to pay down debt with personal loans, while also working to improve her credit score, and to stay motivated to pay down her debt.