Jean takes calls and answers e-mails from listeners on a variety of topics, from balancing a budget while working on commission to drawing up a living will and other important documents.
I work on commission and my paychecks are not always consistent. My husband and I struggle to pay bills when my commission is low. How can we fix this?
Jean says money management and a budget is necessary to get this couple back on track. "You have to make sure you are not thinking just about the amount that is in your checking account [on payday], but the amount that has to be in your checking account month after month," she says. Once a budget has been made, Jean says you might have to play tricks with yourself, such as putting some commission checks in a savings account and out of sight until needed.
I recently started contributing to a Roth IRA. I have been checking the status frequently and noticed that I've already lost $125. Should I be worried?
"I don't want you to worry," Jean says. "The markets have just been a roller coaster…and it looks like it is going to be that way for quite some time." While it is difficult to see your investment lose money, Jean says you should continue making contributions to the Roth IRA. "The money you put in, over time, is going to be so much more meaningful than any money you earn on money you put in," she says.
Would you recommend getting a living will from an online service or computer software instead of from an attorney?
A living will—a document which tells a doctor whether or not you want life support if you are injured or ill—doesn't have to be drawn up by a lawyer, Jean says. An online service or software program should suffice, she says. "By all means, the software out there is good," Jean says.
Creating documents that name a healthcare proxy and durable power of attorney for finances are also important, Jean says. If you've never had a living will or other such documents before, Jean suggests having a lawyer look over your documents after you create them.
Published on August 21, 2007