We get lots of questions from our podcast listeners and newsletter readers, so we thought it might be fun to answer as many as we can in this special edition of our podcast.
Today Stacy Johnson and I, along with producer and novice investor Aaron Freeman, are going to answer your questions about paying off your mortgage early, estate planning, paying down credit card debt, getting those robocalls to stop and more.
Remember, even though we sometimes talk about specific investments and other financial moves you can make in our shows, never take them as recommendations. Before investing in anything or changing your approach to finances, do your research, and make your own decisions.
You can watch this episode below, or if you’d prefer to listen, you can do that with the player at the top of this article. Or, you can download the episode wherever you get your podcasts:
If you’ve got money questions of your own, do what these readers and listeners did: Ask us! You can ask a question by simply hitting “reply” to any of our daily newsletter emails, or by sending it to [email protected].
We get too many questions to answer them all, so forgive us if we don’t get to yours, but rest assured, we’re doing our best!
Here are our questions for today.
Should you pay off your mortgage or invest?
I am 70 years old, but working full-time for $14 per hour. I have a mortgage on my condo of $64,000. Am I wiser to pay extra on the principle of my condo, or wiser to invest monthly and pay off the condo with investment dollars?
We are thinking about paying down our mortgage with a 401(k) that has $54,000 we still owe $64,000 on our mortgage. We are almost 60 years old. Is this a good idea right now?
- Check out our article on the debate between paying off your mortgage and investing.
- Trying to decide if you should pay off your mortgage early? We’ve got everything you need to consider.
- Stacy takes a look at whether you should use your savings to pay down your mortgage.
How do I stop robocalls to my landline?
HI, I enjoy a multitude of your articles and find many both helpful and interesting.
Question: Is there a method that can be followed to stop robocalls to a landline?
- Check out this resource from the FTC on how to stop robocalls.
- We’ve also got an article on stopping unwanted robocalls.
Is it time to pull money out of the banks?
With all of this craziness going on what are your thoughts on pulling money from the banks? I have heard people talking about the Bank Holiday that may be coming soon (e.g. What happened in Greece) and recommending that we pull our money. I’ve heard we lost control over our currency. What do you think?
- Even though it’s scary out there right now, it might not be the time to panic. Check out what Stacy says to do with inflation, war and a down market causing fear.
What could be dragging my credit score lower?
Why would my FICO score go down when there are no related issues apparent in Equifax, Experian or TransUnion?
- We don’t know your exact scenario, but Stacy talks about why your credit score might be lower after you pay off debt.
- Doing everything right, but your credit score is still down in the dumps? Check out what Stacy has to say about what’s stagnating your score — and how to fix it.
- It’s counterintuitive, and that’s why people don’t know it: Check out this one fact that could be holding your credit score back.
- Credit scoring formulas are always being updated. Here’s one type of debt that won’t have as big an impact anymore.
- Want to keep tabs on your credit report? Check out how you can get regular credit reports.
Should I move my son into my home while I move into an apartment?
I have a question: I’m over 65 and retired and own my home. (No mortgage.) I’m thinking of moving my disabled vet son into my home, and I would move into an apartment. Since I live in ID, and no one can afford Idaho anymore, I was thinking to charge him the rent he can afford and using that to help pay my own rent. The problem with this scenario is that I think the county will take away my homestead tax credit. In essence, I would not only be subsidizing my son’s rent but also increasing my taxes. It’s just the two of us, and the bulk of my nest egg is in the home. Do you have any thoughts about this, perhaps a better way to set it up?
- Unfortunately, once you move out of your home, that affects your tax breaks in many states. Check out Idaho’s rules, and if you live in a different state, make sure you understand the implications before you move out of your home.
- Looking to help your kids? We’ve got some ideas for how you can give your boomerang kids a good start.
How will you manage your aging parent’s estate after they’re gone?
I am worried that my 91-year-old mother will pass away, and I will not know where all her important paperwork is. You once posted an article with a list of everything someone should have gathered in case of their death. Can you please send me that list, so my mother will know what to find and organize for me, so I will be prepared when the time comes?
- Check out our podcast episode on talking to your aging parents about their money.
- We’ve also got estate planning tips and tricks to make it easier on everyone.
- Estate planning? We’ve got your estate planning document checklist.
How can I pay off all my credit card debt?
I am a 58-year-old widow with about $45,000 of credit card debt. I’ve never had a late payment, but need to do something soon. I’m paying about $1,500 a month, and it’s taking a toll on me. Do you recommend debt consolidation, or something else? Thanks.
- Looking for the right financial help? We’ve got you. Check out our article on how to figure out which financial professionals are right for you.
- Stacy offers his take on whether you should get a debt consolidation loan.
- Head over to YouTube and watch our podcast episode on how to get out of debt — and what to do once you’re debt-free.
- We have two slideshows full of tips on how to get out of debt. Use these debt pay-down tips to get rid of debt once and for all.
- Before you decide on debt consolidation, make sure you know what you’re getting into. I’ve shared my story of what happened when I made a debt consolidation mistake.
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If you haven’t listened to our podcast yet, give it a try, then subscribe. You’ll be glad you did!
About the hosts
Stacy Johnson founded Money Talks News in 1991. He’s a CPA, and has also earned licenses in stocks, commodities, options principal, mutual funds, life insurance, securities supervisor and real estate.
Miranda Marquit, MBA, is a financial expert, writer and speaker. She’s been covering personal finance and investing topics for almost 20 years. When not writing and podcasting, she enjoys travel, reading and the outdoors.