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Jill on Money: Easter, stock market highs

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Happy Easter weekend! While it pales in comparison to Christmas on the retail level, Americans spend a whopping $17.2 billion ($145 per consumer) on Easter festivities, according to BigInsight. That number includes: 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies, 700 million Peeps and 16 billion jelly beans. All that AND we get to watch Judy Garland in "Easter Parade" and celebrate new highs for the S&P 500!

We started the show with a reminder: when you know that a bill is due, whether it's a tuition bill or a construction bill, it behooves you to keep that money safe--as in, NOT in the market! That's the message to Kelly from IL, who asked about allocation of a 529 plan and Kathy from Washington DC, who is about to start a home renovation.

We fielded lots of allocation questions: Bev from WI is helping her friend plan for retirement, using Vanguard funds; CJ from NC is concerned about having excess cash, but equally worried about losing money in the stock market; Steve wants to know how to invest $500,000; Judd from NY wants an uncomplicated way to put $250K to work; Mel and his wife are in their mid 70's and need a reality check on the right balance for their retirement assets; and "S" wants to make sure his $1.4 million is in the right funds.

On the real estate front, Jerry asked about refinancing programs for loans not guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie; Kathy asked about paying down a home equity loan; and Peter wondered about investing in real estate inside his retirement accounts.

We walked Colleen through the life insurance process and then addressed a tough question from David regarding end of life planning.

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

-- The ABCs of Annuities: 6 Questions to Ask

-- The Pros and Cons of Annuities

--Immediate Annuity Calculator

-- Annuity salespeople don't like me

-- Social Security: Manage your account online

-- Social Security estimator

-- When to take Social Security?

--Social Security: File and Suspend

-- Social Security: Double-Dipping

-- Medigap insurance

-- Retirement Calculator

-- Retirement Plan Required Distribution Calculator

-- Long-term Care - US government web site

-- Long term care conundrum

-- Life Expectancy Calculator

-- Life Insurance calculator

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

-- Estate Planning: the Documents You Need

-- NYT Rent vs. Buy Calculator

-- Re-Fi Calculator

-- Another Re-Fi Calculator

-- Reverse mortgage info via HUD

-- Reverse Mortgages: Don't let the Fonz sell you

-- 529 plan info

-- College Loans: What you need to know

-- Student Loan Consolidation

-- Money As You Grow

-- National Foundation for Credit Counseling

Thanks to everyone who participated and to Mark, the BEST producer in the world. 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:

Tweet me: @jillonmoney

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