If you're feeling the pinch of a rising mortgage payment, you're hardly alone. By one estimate, about $1.3 trillion in existing mortgages will face an interest-rate reset by the end of 2008. Anyone who took out an adjustable-rate mortgage in recent years, or was enticed by a mortgage with a too-good-to-be-true initial rate, will get hit with a reset that goes up, not down.
If you want professional help dealing with your finances, you need to know how to interview potential advisers. Most important, you need to make sure you put any potential hire through the "Three E" test: experience, expenses and execution:
It's prudent, not paranoid, to always verify and confirm that you know - not think, but know - that every aspect of your financial life is in order. With that in mind, here's my list of common bad assumptions that can cost you plenty.
You deserve to enjoy your job, to feel appreciated and challenged in it, and to be fairly compensated for your work. If that's not how things are playing out at the moment, it's time to take responsibility for your future. If any of the following scenarios ring true, it's time to make a change.
Saying no to a family member or friend is never easy, but when it comes to cosigning a loan or credit-card application, it's often the smartest answer. By cosigning, you're not merely vouching for someone's character, you're agreeing to take on full responsibility in a default. In the lender's eyes, you are Option B when Option A doesn't come through.
The price of gas has soared, which means filling up these days requires emptying out your wallet. But while you can't control the price of gas, you do have many ways to lower your car insurance premiums. The following suggestions can help reduce your costs.
Home-buying expenses aren't just about the mortgage. One of the most overlooked expenses is the slew of fees you pay to seal the deal. These expenses are called closing costs because you pay them in full when you "close" the sale. According to www.bankrate.com, closing costs for a $180,000 mortgage average about $2,800, not including state and local taxes.
Almost five months ago, when the Dow lost 416 points in one day, I happened to be on Larry King Live. He asked me what individual investors should do in the wake of the meltdown. My advice is about 180 degrees from what you might have heard from hyperactive market-watchers.
As recent natural disasters have taught us, we all need to give our insurance policies a checkup.If you're in a flood zone or an area susceptible to hurricanes and strong storms, you need flood insurance. Damage from rising water isn't covered in standard policies. Ask your insurance agent to help, and look into the federal policy offered by FEMA (www.floodsmart.gov). If you want your flood insurance to cover the contents of your home, you'll have to pay a higher premium. It's worth it.
Facing the truth about the real state of your finances is the first step in regaining control.
Q: I am a 44-year-old single woman. I work as a nurse and make a decent living. Every year I keep my sanity by treating myself to a trip that usually costs between $1,000 and $2,000. I know I should probably be investing my extra money, but I cherish these vacations. What do you think I should do?
Your credit score is an incredibly important part of your financial life. All of your creditors will look at your score to determine whether you're eligible for credit and, if so, at what interest rate.
Can't tell a 529 plan from an IRA? With some basic research, you can find the right plan for you.
More adults in their 50s are worried about caring for their aging parents. Midlifers whose elderly parents may need assistance need to create a family plan for handling these new demands.
More fiftysomething adults are finding their homes full of grown children who have moved back in.
What makes this new reality so tricky to navigate is the emotional component. Your kids are the center of your universe. There's nothing you wouldn't do for them, right? That's where the problems can start. Your blind devotion to those you love can often cause you to make some financial and familial missteps.
This week, Suze Orman answers readers' questions.
You know you're on the wrong path. But that's good news - now you can take steps to get your finances back on track.
The best financial adviser you'll ever find is staring back at you in the mirror. But if, upon further reflection, you opt to hire one, here's how to make sure you hook up with someone top-notch:
In this week's column, Suze Orman answers questions from readers.
Q: Help, I married a mooch! My husband borrows money from everyone - friends, relatives, people we have just met, our daughter's employer. He never tells me; I always find out by accident. He also never bothers to repay these people. This is obviously becoming a big problem. What should I do?
Starting today, Suze Orman's personal finance column, "Women & Money," will appear in the Image section every week. Orman is an Emmy Award-winning television host and best-selling author, as well as a magazine and online columnist and motivational speaker. We hope you enjoy the addition to our pages.