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A Real Estate Dilemma

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You own a condo and it's paid off, but the condo association fees are really starting to annoy you. Should you ditch the condo and buy a house? That's the dilemma facing Kristen from Portland, Oregon.

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Retirement Plan

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Who doesn't want to retire earlier than expected? Unfortunately, the reality is that most of us can't. Is our latest bonus caller Mark one of the lucky ones? Press play to find out!

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Retirement Planning and Talking College with Beth Kobliner

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We kicked things off on the latest radio show with Barbara from New York. Barbara is in the interesting position of having two financial advisors currently looking over her assets. So she’s getting different opinions from two well informed advisors. Which one should she go with? Do you really think it’s going to be that easy! Tune in to hear the outcome.

October marked the beginning of the college financial aid application season. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as the FAFSA, became available for the 2018-2019 school year on October 1.

Having the college talk with your kids can certainly be a tricky and complicated situation. To help you guys out, we’re joined by bestselling author and financial literacy advocate, Beth Kobliner.

Beth’s latest project, We Need To Talk College, focuses on choosing the right college and figuring out how to pay for it.

The project focuses on four main areas:

  • Starting the conversation: Here’s where the journey begins. Starting to talk about your worries and excitement when your kid is in 9th grade gives your family time to prepare for big changes ahead. So gather around the kitchen table, or cozy up on the couch, and start talking.

  • Shopping for schools: It can be overwhelming—trying to separate higher ed hype from the truth, navigating the application process, and figuring out what your kid will actually get for all that money. Here’s how to become a super smart college shopper and create a shortlist of schools that fit your kid’s needs and your budget.

  • Paying for college: College costs have soared—but a degree is more valuable than ever. Here you’ll find all the resources you need to understand financial aid, talk to your kid about the money side of higher ed, and keep track of your progress toward paying for college.

  • Making the final choice: You’ve come a long way from that first college conversation. Now that the acceptance and award letters are in, it’s time for you and your kid to make a final decision. It can feel like a leap of faith, but never fear: Here’s where you learn how to choose a college that checks all the boxes, without losing your mind.

When you complete these four steps, it’s time to celebrate, because you did it! You have a kid on the way to college!

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

State of the Economy with Diane Swonk

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You guys know I’m a sucker for chatting with a rockstar economist, especially when it’s a woman! We did it earlier this year with Linda Yueh, and this week we’re doing it again with Diane Swonk.

Diane is one of the most respected macroeconomists, who maintains a unique perspective on the inner workings of Main Street as well as Wall Street. She is an expert on the economics of the labor market, monetary policy and structural changes that are distinct from economic cycles.

All of this came in handy as we chatted about global and domestic economic conditions, touching on a variety of topics such as:

  • Will there be more interest rate hikes?

  • Are we on the verge of another recession?

  • What is the biggest threat facing the global economy?

With a network that includes economists, industry leaders and geopolitical experts, Diane advises policy makers at all levels of government, including central bankers.

For her outstanding contributions in the field of economics, Diane has been named a Fellow of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE). She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the Sitting Committee to the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago and advises the economics department at the University of Michigan.

She has testified before Congress to improve the quality of economic data and on the causes and consequences of income inequalities.

If you’re a Twitter user, Diane is definitely one to follow.“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

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When to Use Bonds

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You're saving and saving and saving for retirement. Most of it is in stocks...but what about bonds? Do you need them and what's the best way to start mixing them in? That's what we chatted about with Dee from Seattle on the latest bonus call.

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

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

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What to Do with Old 401(k)

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Unless you're only going to work for one employer, which is exceedingly unlikely, chances are you're going to have some old retirement plans out there. What should you do with them? Leave where they are? Roll into the new plan? Consolidate? That's the question from Lisa in New Jersey on the latest bonus call.

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

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

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The Fifth Risk with Michael Lewis

If you’re a regular listener, you know this show is not political in nature. We leave that stuff to the so-called experts.

But since next Tuesday is Election Day, we thought we’d talk a little politics with rockstar author and repeat guest, Michael Lewis.

A prolific writer, it’s highly likely that you’ve probably picked up at least one of his books, including Moneyball, The Blind Side, The Big Short or Flash Boys.

In this interview, we discuss his latest work, The Fifth Risk, which focuses on the consequences we may face if some of the people given control over the government have no idea how it works.  

As you turn the pages, you’ll be taken into various departments of the government that at times resemble a rudderless ship.

In Agriculture, the funding of vital programs like food stamps and school lunches is being slashed. The Commerce Department may not have enough staff to conduct the 2020 Census properly. Over at Energy, where international nuclear risk is managed, it’s not clear there will be enough inspectors to track and locate black market uranium before terrorists do.

Willful ignorance plays a role in these looming disasters. If your ambition is to maximize short-term gains without regard to the long-term cost, you are better off not knowing those costs. If you want to preserve your personal immunity to the hard problems, it’s better never to really understand those problems. There is upside to ignorance, and downside to knowledge. Knowledge makes life messier. It makes it a bit more difficult for people who wish to shrink the world to a worldview.

Thankfully, Michael Lewis also finds the heroes, those public servants whose knowledge, dedication, and proactivity keep the machinery running.

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

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Should I Buy an Annuity?

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Michael in Illinois is considering a Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract. What are the pros and cons he should keep in mind when it comes to a QLAC? That's the discussion on the latest bonus call.

“Better Off” is sponsored by Betterment.

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

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Retirement Planning, ARMs and An Inside Account of the Financial Crisis

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We opened the show with Ben from Houston who wanted to run his retirement plan by us. He’s got a variety of accounts, an adjustable rate mortgage and some college funds for the kids. As you’ll hear, this guy is a risk taker. Is he taking too much risk? What about that mortgage…should he pay it off? Or should he consider refinancing and locking in a long-term rate?

The rest of the hour was spent on emails. The good news is that we’re actually making some serious progress. We’re finally into the month of October. That’s the good news. The bad news is that next week is already November. A good problem to have!

In hour two we get the inside account of the financial crisis from Neil Barofsky, the former Inspector General of TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) and author of Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street.

As you’ll hear, the discussion is basically a play-by-play of how the Treasury Department bungled the financial bailouts.

At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, Barofsky gave up his job as a prosecutor in the esteemed U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York City, where he had convicted drug kingpins, Wall Street executives, and perpetrators of mortgage fraud, to become the inspector general in charge of overseeing administration of the bailout money.

It’s fascinating to hear him talk about how from the onset, his efforts to protect against fraud and to hold big banks accountable for how they spent taxpayer money were met with outright hostility from Treasury officials in charge of the bailouts.

Barofsky offers an insider’s perspective on the mishandling of the $700 billion TARP bailout fund. There’s no holding back as he reveals the extreme lengths to which our government officials were willing to go in order to serve the interests of Wall Street firms at the expense of the broader public, and at the expense of effective financial reform.

Just like the book, this interview delivered an incredible account of Barofsky’s plunge into the political hot-seat of Washington, as well as a vital revelation of just how captured by Wall Street our political system is and why the too-big-to-fail banks have become even bigger and more dangerous in the wake of the crisis.

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

Investing Extra Money

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You just sold a piece of real estate and walked away with 75 grand. What should you do with it? Is paying down another mortgage the best option? That's the question from John in Houston on the latest BONUS call.

“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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