Take a look at the Roth 401k

Take a look at the Roth 401k

Q: My company recently added a Roth option to our 401k plan. We can now choose to contribute to the Roth or the traditional 401k. Some of my coworkers say the Roth is better, but I’m not sure. What do you think?

A: Not every 401k plan offers a Roth option, but if yours does, you should take a close look at it. Roth 401k plans are similar to Roth IRAs. Contributions are made with after-tax money and all future gains and withdrawals are tax-free. Roth 401k plans have several attractive benefits.

Short sales, credit reports and FICO scores

Short sales, credit reports and FICO scores

Q: I sold my home in a short sale in 2010. I plan to buy another home next year. How will my short sale affect my home purchase?  

A: As you get ready for your new home purchase, one of your best resources will be a good mortgage banker. They are familiar with the realities of the mortgage market and can provide insight into your situation that is beyond the scope of this column. With that in mind, here are some things to consider as you apply for a mortgage.

You Need a Health Care Proxy

You Need a Health Care Proxy

Q: I was recently at CHOMP and I saw a brochure about something called a “health care proxy.” What is it and do I really need one?

A: The short answer is yes. If you are over 18 years old, you need a health care proxy.

Your health care proxy is one half of what is known as an Advance Health Care Directive. The other half of the directive is your living will. The purpose of your Advance Health Care Directive is to help physicians, family members and caregivers understand your preferences in the event you need medical care but are unconscious or mentally incapacitated. 

Is a reverse mortgage right for me ?

Is a reverse mortgage right for me ?

I recently saw a TV commercial advertising reverse mortgages. I have owned my home for many years and my mortgage is almost paid off. Is a reverse mortgage a good idea to help me cover my living costs?

A: If you are at least 62 years old and have significant equity in your home, a reverse mortgage might make sense. However, reverse mortgages can be tricky. Here are some things you need to know before deciding if a reverse mortgage is right for you.

To the Class of 2017: Stay Out of Debt

To the Class of 2017: Stay Out of Debt

High school graduation season is upon us. In coming weeks, valedictorians across the country will admonish their fellow graduates to follow their dreams. For some, that will mean heading off to college. For others, it will mean going to trade school or getting a job. But no matter which path you follow, there is one piece of financial advice that will pay greater dividends than any other: stay out of debt.

When you get into debt, you surrender some of your freedom. The more debt you have, the more freedom you give away.