Jill on Money: Boosting income

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We started with Rosemary in Colorado, a 53 year old recent widow, who asked about municipal bonds as a vehicle for her $500,000 of insurance money. While many think bonds are safe, I can't stress enough that bond prices can swing wildly.

A listener in Louisville wanted my input on Intermediate Bond funds as a way to earn more on than the piddling interest he is earning with bank savings accounts and money market funds. Bill from Buffalo has $170K in US series E bonds which are earning 4 percent interest--yes, 4 percent guaranteed interest! As you can guess, I want Bill to hold on to those bonds until they stop paying interest.

Another way to boost future income is to fully utilize all retirement planning tools available. Ben from Boston asked about buying years of service in a pension plan to become vested. Usually, buying back time works well, but each situation requires a little number-crunching.

Here's a quick TV segment about boosting income:


While we're on the topic of retirement, Jeremiah works for a small business that doesn't offer a retirement plan-what are his options? Steve is working part-time to supplement his retirement income and wanted to know where to direct $300 each month.

Meyer receives 25-50 percent of his take-home salary in the form of options and Restricted Stock Units (RSUs). As a result, he needs a strategy to diversify these holdings in order to minimize his exposure to company risk.

To kick off summer and the related weird weather that it often brings, I invited my pal Steve Testa of Testa Brother Insurance to walk us through some basic property and casualty insurance concepts. Steve says the biggest mistakes people make when they purchase homeowner's polices are:

-- Under-insuring

-- Shopping for price only (not comparing apples to apples)

-- Not reading policy details before a loss occurs

Here are web sites and resources mentioned in this week's show:

-- Jill's Blog

-- NAPFA: National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (fee-only advisors)

-- Best CD Rates

-- E, EE and I Savings Bonds

-- Social Security: Manage your account online

-- Social Security estimator

-- When to take Social Security?

--Financial documents: What to shred, what to keep

-- Estate Planning: the Documents You Need

Thanks to everyone who participated and to Mark, the BEST producer in the world and welcome Katiana, our new intern! If you have a financial question, there are lots of ways to contact us:

Call 855-411-JILL and we'll schedule time to get you on the show LIVE

Send an email: askjill@moneywatch.com

Tweet me: @jillonmoney

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    View all articles by Jill Schlesinger on CBS MoneyWatch »
    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Editor-at-Large for CBS MoneyWatch. She covers the economy, markets, investing or anything else with a dollar sign. Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch in 2009, Jill was the chief investment officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.

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