| Feb 22, 2013
| 9:06 PM
Dear Liz: I'll be done paying off my car in a couple of months. What's a good strategy for redirecting that money once it's paid off? Should I use the whole amount each month to start saving for my next car, or would I be better off splitting it up and...
| Feb 19, 2013
| 3:32 PM
It's amazing, and depressing, when political compromise functions only to throw obstacles in the way of ideas that bring the greatest good to the greatest number of people.
Today's example: the long, tortuous road to bringing more retirement security to...
| Mar 1, 2013
| 8:06 PM
Dear Liz: I just turned 70. Must I draw now from my IRA? I still work full time. I heard from one investment company representative that since I work, there is an exemption that I may not have to start withdrawals. Is this true?
Answer: You can postpone...
| Feb 17, 2013
Dear Liz: A lot of financial advice sites say you should have an emergency fund equal to three to six months of living expenses. What would be considered living expenses? Should you use three to six months of your net take-home pay or a smaller number? Is...
| Feb 16, 2013
| 11:58 AM
We've all heard the saw about California being hostile to industry. Here's an industry that indisputably has grounds for complaint: the gun industry.
Finally, the Legislature is getting something right.
According to many experts, California's firearms...
| Jan 13, 2013
Dear Liz: Recently, someone from an insurance company proposed that I stop investing through my 401(k) at work and instead invest in his insurance company contract with after-tax dollars. He claims the funds would be guaranteed so that I would never...
| Dec 30, 2012
The good news for the U.S. economy as we enter 2013 is that the election's over. The bad news is that the election's over.
What's good about it is that both parties in Washington can shed their preoccupation with the campaign theatrics that dominated...
| Dec 1, 2012
| 9:00 AM
The question that normally comes to mind when someone claims to know the future is why he's out hustling rubes for pennies with his purported clairvoyance, instead of using it to make a fortune and retiring to the South Seas.
Of course, the answer is...
| Dec 9, 2012
Just as the devil's finest trick is persuading you that he doesn't exist (according to the poet Baudelaire), the best trick of big-money political donors may be persuading Americans that Citizens United doesn't matter.
Citizens United, of course, is the...
| Dec 9, 2012
Dear Liz: I'm about to marry an active-duty military man. We're in the process of marrying our finances, and I have several questions.
First, what is a good emergency fund for us? We run our household on his salary because I'm recently unemployed. I'...
| Nov 14, 2012
Last week, Proposition 30 sailed to victory, and $6-billion worth of nasty budget cuts were avoided.
Guess again, Goldilocks.
K-12 schools and community colleges, in particular, won a temporary reprieve, but they're still wobbly...