Liz Weston

Columnist Money Talk

Recent Articles

  • Heirs fail to inform lender of mother's death
    Heirs fail to inform lender of mother's death

    Dear Liz: My mother passed away unexpectedly in late 2008. She had a mortgage, and the house was under her name only. She didn't leave a will. My family is still paying the loan, and the company does not know my mother passed away. We don't have a lot of money and we need advice on how to get...

  • Know risks of buying in-laws' home
    Know risks of buying in-laws' home

    Dear Liz: My in-laws just informed us that they have gone through their retirement fund and soon won't be able to pay their mortgage. They borrowed against the house they've lived in for 30 years and currently owe $325,000. They are devastated, so I am trying to figure out the best way for them...

  • Don't rely on expected government pension to pay for retirement
    Don't rely on expected government pension to pay for retirement

    Dear Liz: My husband works for the government and will be receiving a pension when he retires. Am I still supposed to save the recommended amount for retirement from my income or can that amount be reduced since we know we have the pension? We are starting a family and could use any extra money...

  • Take a retirement annuity or a lump sum?
    Take a retirement annuity or a lump sum?

    Dear Liz: I am 54 and considering retiring in three or four years. I have been fortunate to work at a Fortune 100 company for 30-plus years and have both a defined benefit pension plan and a 401(k). When I retire, we have the option of taking a lump sum or an annuity. Most financial people I...

  • Reduce lifestyle before tapping home equity to refinance debt
    Reduce lifestyle before tapping home equity to refinance debt

    Dear Liz: My wife and I accrued $28,000 of credit card debt over the past eight years. In addition to a sizable student loan bill for law school, our home mortgage and the expenses associated with three young children, we are struggling to get ahead enough to knock our credit card debt down....

  • Start with legitimate websites when researching work-from-home jobs

    Dear Liz: Are there legitimate "work from home" Internet job opportunities, or are all those advertisements just scams?

  • Consider filing for bankruptcy if debt repayment would take five years
    Consider filing for bankruptcy if debt repayment would take five years

    Dear Liz: I'm a 33-year-old mother who lost my full-time job during the recession in 2009. I may have my "stuff" together again, but am considering filing bankruptcy. Each month I'm spending almost half (yes half!) of my income on debt payments to credit cards, loans and medical bills. Each...

  • Culinary school costs leave a sour taste
    Culinary school costs leave a sour taste

    Dear Liz: I am 48 and planning on a career change. I was looking at a culinary school website and it looks pretty exciting. It is a two-year, full-time program and the cost is about $65,000, which doesn't cover the dorm or apartment expenses for living nearby. Of course, the institute's...

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