fiduciary

How to Find an Advisor

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Finding a financial advisor is never easy. It's hard to find somebody you feel totally comfortable with, especially when it comes to your finances. That's what we're discussing on the latest bonus call with Frances from New England.

Have a money question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

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Do I Need This Annuity + Your Money with Ron Lieber

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Why is my advisor trying to get me to buy an annuity? Such a common question on this show, and that's how we kicked things off this week with John from Colorado. Even though John is in great shape with several million saved, that doesn't mean he automatically needs an annuity. Such an interesting call! 

As someone who consumes a massive amount of financial data and then tries to make it palpable to listeners, viewers and readers, I am drawn to those who have an uncanny ability to break through the clutter.

At the New York Times, my-go to writer for personal finance is Ron Lieber. His column, the wildly popular Your Money, covers just about anything and everything that hits you in the wallet, from investing to paying for college to mortgages and homes.

And that pretty much describes how our discussion went. We bounced around -- from Equifax to the cost of college and the fiduciary debate.

Ron is also an accomplished author. His most recent book is The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money.

His latest book project, What To Pay For College, is set to be released in 2020 and will ask college presidents questions that families don’t know (or are afraid) to ask, as well as putting the surprisingly small amount of existing data on this topic into context and pulling the curtain back on how schools set prices which can now top $125,000 for four years of tuition, room and board for state residents.

It’s always a blast to talk shop and the state of the financial services industry with a colleague, especially when it’s somebody you so highly respect.

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"Jill on Money" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.

Rescuing Retirement with Teresa Ghilarducci and Tony James

At a time when Congress can’t seem to agree on much, lawmakers are acknowledging that the main retirement savings vehicle, the 401(k), needs some fixing. Before you get too excited, the changes being considered are more like touch ups, rather than a complete renovation.

Early conversations include: requiring plan sponsors to let participants know how much their total savings would translate into monthly income; a repeal of the age limit on IRA contributions; a more liberal approach to pooled 401(k) plans, which would help more small businesses offer retirement benefits to their employees; and the option to use a portion of a tax refund to fund retirement.

While none of these ideas represents a game-changer for retirement savers, it would be the first major enhancement since 2006. But if lawmakers wanted to seek a more radical approach, they would consult with Teresa Ghilarducci and Tony James, co-authors of Rescuing Retirement: A Plan to Guarantee Retirement Security for All Americans, who claim that "The U.S. experiment with 401(k)s and IRAs, launched in the early 1980s, has failed miserably to deliver on its promises."

Ghilarducci, a labor economist and leading expert in retirement security, and James, Executive Vice Chairman of the investment firm Blackstone Group, have a detailed, well-researched and more extreme recommendation for rescuing the U.S. retirement system. It starts with a concept called a “Guaranteed Retirement Account” (“GRA”), which would be offered to every worker, "from Uber drivers to CEOs."

The GRA would be portable, whether you work for a number of different companies or for yourself – and each individual would control his or her account. It would be funded by a minimum 3 percent of salary, half contributed by the worker and half by the employer.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the GRA is that it fixes some of the big problems that are prevalent in current plans, the biggest of which is that right now, saving for retirement is voluntary. The GRA would mandate retirement savings for everyone, including those who work part-time or are self-employed.

If it all sounds too good to be true, I encourage you to check out the book. I was a cynic, but after reading it and interviewing Ghilarducci and James, I’m a convert.

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

Have a money question? Email me here or call 855-411-JILL.

We love feedback so please subscribe and leave us a rating or review in Apple Podcasts!

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"Better Off" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.

Why You Need Life Insurance

At what point should you consider purchasing life insurance? And what kind? Term, whole life, etc? That's what we're discussing today with Gabriel from D.C.

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“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

Have a money question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

We love feedback so please subscribe and leave us a rating or review in Apple Podcasts!

Connect with me at these places for all my content:

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What You Need to Know About PMI + Early Retirement

We kicked off this week with the always popular topic of early retirement. This time it's Terri from New York who is looking to hang it up. Terri and her husband have a pretty solid plan in place but she wanted to run it by me just to make sure she's not missing anything. 

Rising home prices has helped many homeowners get richer on paper...they have also prompted a big influx of questions about private mortgage insurance (PMI) and refinancing, so we figured it was time to bring on an expert.

Nicole Hamilton, a tech executive-turned-mortgage and homeownership expert, founded Tactile Finance, the first digital tools that let people visualize their homeownership outcomes over time, putting consumers on a level playing field with the professionals who serve them.

Nicole is also the author of the book Avoid the Money Pit, Turn Your Home into a Financial Powerhouse, and the founder of Homeownering.com, a company that provides unbiased, independent information for homeowners to get the best financial outcome possible.

We touched on a variety of topics and questions facing the average consumer as they try to navigate the murky waters of homeownership:

  • What if I don’t have 20% for a downpayment?
  • What is PMI?
  • How do I know if I need PMI?
  • Should PMI be a dealbreaker?
  • Will PMI eventually go away?
  • Will PMI go away on its own or is it my responsibility?
  • Is refinancing always a good idea?
  • Pros and cons of an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)
  • Should I prepay my mortgage?

All those topics and more! And based on what we’ve been seeing in the inbox, I think we did a pretty good job covering all your burning questions!

So when you’re checking out those open houses this summer, or considering a refi before rates go even higher, playback this episode and you’ll be well armed with loads of information.

Have a money question? Email me here.

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"Jill on Money" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.

How to Invest Extra Money

Having some extra money to invest, and not knowing what to do with it, is what I like to call a good problem to have! That's the case with Kelly in Atlanta, who's sitting on 125k with no short term needs on the horizon.

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

Have a money question? Email us here or call 855-411-JILL.

We love feedback so please subscribe and leave us a rating or review in Apple Podcasts!

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Was My Annuity a Mistake? + Retirement Game-Changers

If you're a regular listener then you know how I feel about annuities and all the various insurance products being sold to people who more times than not don't need what they're being pitched. 

But what if you already have one? What should you do? Keep it? Get out and pay the surrender charge? Well, it all depends on your unique situation, and that's what we discussed with Stewart from Louisville as we kicked off the latest show. 

In hour two I chatted with Steve Vernon, an old pal of mine from my CBS MoneyWatch days. 

Steve was on to talk about his latest book, Retirement Game-Changers: Strategies for a Healthy, Financially Secure, and Fulfilling Long Life.

The 21st century retirement offers a whole new set of challenges, including longer lives than our parents and grandparents, the demise of traditional pension and retiree health plans, periodic stock market crashes that can derail our retirement, and sky-high medical and long-term care costs.

Retirement Game-Changers helps you navigate these challenges as you transition from your work life into your retirement years. 

In this easy-to-follow guide, you'll discover how to:

  • Generate recession-proof retirement income that lasts the rest of your life 
  • Enhance your health and longevity
  • Protect against ruinous medical and long-term care costs
  • Lead a fulfilling and socially connected life

Retirement Game-Changers might be your road map for planning the most important period of your life. It's time to take charge and make your retirement years count!

Have a money question? Email me here.

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"Jill on Money" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.