Los Angeles Times

Liz Weston

Columnist Money Talk

Recent Articles

  • 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...

  • Personal finance Q&A: How a cash-out refi can affect college financial aid

    Personal finance Q&A: How a cash-out refi can affect college financial aid

    Dear Liz: We have two children in college, both entering their junior years. We have two more in high school. The two currently in college need additional financial assistance, as they've tapped out their federal student loans. We are middle class, grossing about $125,000 a year, so we don't qualify...

  • Personal finance Q&A: Rules for filing gift tax returns

    Personal finance Q&A: Rules for filing gift tax returns

    Dear Liz: You recently answered questions about tax breaks for college education expenses. We are contributing $20,000 to our grandson's college education yearly. He is not our dependent. We are senior citizens with a gross income of about $110,000. Is there any deduction for this expenditure that...

  • Personal finance Q&A: How much of IRA contribution is tax deductible?

    Personal finance Q&A: How much of IRA contribution is tax deductible?

    Dear Liz: I am changing jobs because of a layoff. I contributed to my former employer's 401(k) to the extent possible. My new employer also offers a 401(k), but I won't be eligible for a year. I want to use an IRA in the meantime. I do not understand how I should answer the question on the tax...

  • Personal finance Q&A: Saving for retirement should be primary goal

    Personal finance Q&A: Saving for retirement should be primary goal

    Dear Liz: I'm engaged to be married and need your advice on getting started in the world of shared finances. My fiance is 43, I'm 31. He's debt free, with a savings account but no retirement fund. I have $34,000 in student loans (consolidated at 4.25%) and it weighs heavily on my mind as I'm desperate...

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