Sandra Is a Single Mother And Worried About Paying For College

Question: Dear Steve, I am a 40-year old single mother of one. Currently, I have $22K in credit card debt among 3 creditors: American Express $16K (9.99%), Home Depot $3K (12%), and Furniture Express $3K (zero interest and payment until March 2010). I have $35K in student loans (6.2%) with Wachovia, who is also the … Read more

Are My Retirement Funds Safe From Creditors?

Q. I understand that in certain circumstances IRA and 401(k) money may be protected from a lawsuit. However, if a person is retired and has rolled over their ERISA plan to an account with a financial institution, are those funds still protected? A. Generally speaking, yes. The laws can vary by state. “Under federal law, … Read more

401(k) Limit Updates Worth Knowing for 2015

Every year someone asks me how much they can actually contribute to their 401(k). There seems to be a ton of confusion. Some 401(k) participants seem to think it’s a percentage. They are confused by the match percentage. Somehow they have confused that’s the max that they should contribute. Not true, that’s the max contribution … Read more

Lost My High Paying Job and Now Want to Tap My 401(k) to Pay Off Debt. – Tom

“Dear Steve, 20 years same company making 200 or more each year in a sales role. Got fired unexpectedly. Been riding large debt load for years, but managing it I guess because of big income. My monthly nut is about 4k. + another 3k to float my excessive bad debt: Two cc: 32k 0% 12 … Read more

How to Borrow From a 401k in a Make Sense Way

Borrowing from a 401k is a major decision. It is important you make certain considerations before borrowing from your 401k, so that your loan doesn’t negatively impact your retirement. The key aspect to borrowing from a 401k vs withdrawing from one, is you won’t have to pay taxes or penalties unless you default on your … Read more

Here’s Why a 401(k) Loan to Pay Off Debt Can Cost You a Massive Amount in Retirement

Over the years I’ve been asked time and time again about if a 401(k) loan is a good idea to take out to pay off debt. I typically say the same thing, in most cases it makes no sense to touch the money in the 401(k) that is protected from creditors if you can qualify … Read more

Should I Drain My 401K So I Can Pay Off Debt And Retire? – Cathy

“Dear Steve, I am 65 yrs old, still working and my husband 71, retired. Our income is $51k (me), and my husband’s SS benefit of $10k. I used to have $250k Line of Credit/ c card debt. We’ve been diligently tried our best to pay and now the it’s down to $140k of Line Of … Read more

I’ve Got a 401(k) Just Sitting Stagnant. – Steve

“Dear Steve, I am a state employee and am fully vested in the state’s pension plan. My job is secure and I will be able to retire with a full pension. I also have an older 401k from a previous employer with approximately $30k just sitting stagnant. My wife and I have some credit card … Read more

Should I Drain My 401k with Disabled Spouse? – Selena

I have a disabled spouse, who is still waiting for his rating from the US NAVY for his disability. He has Multiple Sclerosis and has ZERO income, I was the bread winner in the family, until out of the blue, my employer closed our facility on Dec. 30th, 2011. After 18 years at my company, … Read more