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Los Angeles Times

Liz Weston

Columnist Money Talk

Recent Articles

  • Personal Finance Q&A: What to do when tax return gets lost in the mail

    Personal Finance Q&A: What to do when tax return gets lost in the mail

    Dear Liz: My CPA sent my completed tax return to my home address via first-class mail with no tracking number. The large envelope should have arrived in two days. Over a week has passed and it's nowhere in sight. I am freaking out as it has all my financial data and is a gateway to fraud of every...

  • Parents shouldn't cosign son's auto loan

    Parents shouldn't cosign son's auto loan

    Dear Liz: Our son graduated from college last year and was recently hired as a permanent employee for a company he was contracted with for the past year. He wants to buy a new car but has limited credit history. He has a credit card he has had since starting college. He uses it lightly and pays...

  • Personal finance Q&A: What should you do with a 401(k) when leaving job?

    Personal finance Q&A: What should you do with a 401(k) when leaving job?

    Dear Liz: I'm leaving my job later this month and am trying to decide what to do with my 401(k) account. Some of my friends say to leave it where it is, and others say to roll it into a traditional individual retirement account or Roth IRA. Which is best? Answer: You can't roll a 401(k) directly...

  • Personal finance Q&A: Rethink plan to add debt near retirement

    Personal finance Q&A: Rethink plan to add debt near retirement

    Dear Liz: I would like to add on and remodel so my home will be nice for me when I retire in a few years (probably around age 65). I have a recently refinanced 30-year mortgage at 4.1%, but I've been making additional principal payments on a 20-year schedule. I think I can do what I want for around...

  • You don't need to hire a firm to set up IRS payment plan

    You don't need to hire a firm to set up IRS payment plan

    Dear Liz: I fell behind on making my quarterly estimated tax payments for a long list of reasons, and when I file my return, the IRS will find out. I have heard they can seize your IRAs, which I have but do not want to cash out to pay. I found a service on the Internet with good references and...

  • Personal finance Q&A: How to get employees to take advantage of retirement plan

    Personal finance Q&A: How to get employees to take advantage of retirement plan

    Dear Liz: We have 90 employees, many of them millennials, and only about 30% take advantage of our retirement plan. What resources and advice can I use to get our employees to take control of their retirement future? Answer: The youngest generation of adults and near-adults vividly remembers the...

  • Personal finance Q&A: What to do when your father steals your identity

    Personal finance Q&A: What to do when your father steals your identity

    Dear Liz: I have been dating my boyfriend for about eight months and he recently told me that his dad took out a credit card in his name when he was a baby. He has about $150,000 in debt because of this! This is a very serious, life-changing crime but my boyfriend is reluctant to take his dad to...

  • Personal finance Q&A: Don't hire a credit repair firm

    Personal finance Q&A: Don't hire a credit repair firm

    Dear Liz: I'm seeking help in reviewing my credit report and how to fix any issues. I am not financially distressed, but have FICO scores in the 675 range. Could you recommend someone I can hire to assist as I need to refinance a house I bought for cash? Answer: There's so much fraud in the credit...

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