Jean's taking your calls and e-mails! From how to hire a financial adviser to how to invest winnings from a game show, she's giving her advice on all questions money!
What is the best way to find a financial adviser who is not affiliated with a bank? Jean says that you should look for a fee-only financial adviser. She says that they are located in every state and can be contacted through the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. "They will either charge you by the hour or they'll charge you for doing a whole plan," she says. "They are not going to recommend that you buy particular investments [and] then take a commission when you buy them."
It is always a good idea to ask a financial adviser for references, and Jean says you should call at least three of the references. "You really want to listen to your gut when you go in and talk to people like this," she says. "It is really important that you find somebody with whom you feel you can be open and honest."
I won more than $100,000 on a game show and I want to put some of the money away for my daughter's education. How do I invest the rest? Jean says that you may want to reconsider using the money for your daughter's future education. "There is no financial aid for retirement, but there is financial aid for college," she says. However, if education is a priority over retirement, Jean says putting away $10,000 to $15,000 for your daughter's education would be fine.
She says the next thing you should do is consider the hefty tax liability on your winnings. Jean says you should determine how much to put aside for taxes and then put that money away for Uncle Sam. "The rest, put into a diversified portfolio of index funds," she says. "Tax-shelter as much of it as you can in IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP-IRAs—if you happen to work for yourself—then just let it ride. Putting away a big chunk of change like this is a terrific way to assure you that some of your retirement and college goals will be met."
I am facing foreclosure on a real estate investment that I financed for my son. Is there life after foreclosure or will my credit be ruined forever? Jean says that there absolutely is life after foreclosure. "But, you are going to want to wait a good two years to let your credit score and credit history settle back out to show future creditors that you are once again responsible with money," Jean says.
Financially supporting a child's wants, needs and projects can often become a bad situation that Jean says many parents find themselves in. "Parents can be so blind where their children are concerned—if they need something, we give it to them, with very little thought as to how it will impact our own finances and our own retirement," she says. Often the best way to help children become financially sound is to give support and advice. Jean says that is a better plan for you emotionally and financially.