Jill on Money: Credit, Social Security, Roth IRA

Last Updated May 28, 2011 5:41 PM EDT


After digesting the awesome financial legacy of Oprah Winfrey, we kicked off the Memorial Day weekend Jill on Money radio show with special guest John Ulzheimer, the President of Consumer Education at SmartCredit.com. John discussed how your credit score is determined and how to repair bad credit - here's a quick (less than 2 minutes!) video highlighting the topic:

I fielded a couple of e-mails from Peter and Sudhir about Roth IRAs, which was great opportunity to discuss the role of the Roth IRA and some of the eligibility rules for this valuable retirement vehicle.

Loretta wrote in to find out how she should start the search for a financial advisor. This prompted me to dig up an old, never-published article called "Nine Questions to Ask Financial Advisors". Check out the link below and let me know if I forgot anything!

Next up: should Anthony spend a portion of his inheritance on rental property? Sounds alluring, but beware the headaches of being a landlord!

In the second hour, I turned to a number of Social Security questions. Given the results of the 2010 census, it's clear that SS will be a hot topic of discussion for a while. Jim called from Oregon, wondering when he and his wife should draw Social Security. We discussed the strategy of the lower wage earning spouse to claim benefits at his or her full retirement age, while the higher wage earner delays until age 70. Then when higher wage earner turns 70, the lower earner can take ½ of the higher benefit.

Here are a few reminders about Social Security:
  • If you live beyond 78, it makes sense to forgo SS between ages 62-66
  • If you live beyond 82.5, it makes sense to delay SS until maximum level of 70
  • To guesstimate how long you might live, check out livingto100.com
Finally, since it is Memorial Day, I urge you to take a moment to remember our fallen servicemen and servicewomen.

Here are web sites and resources mentioned in this week's show:
Thanks to everyone who participated and benvenuti a casa to Mark, my globe-trotting producer! If you have a financial question, there are lots of ways to contact us:
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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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