Jill on Money: Real estate, young investors, financial advice

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After a week of housing data that showed some growing improvement in the nation's real estate market (see "Will 2012 be the Year of the House?," we fielded a bunch of housing-related questions.

Ahmed in Indiana is considering a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to accelerate his mortgage pay-down, while Jacob from Washington and Jack from California wondered whether it makes sense to tap a retirement account for a house down payment or to fully fund a home purchase. Dan from California is one of the fortunate borrowers who received a mortgage, but now needs a strategy to get back on his feet.

We have some terrific young listeners on the show - I credit my appearances on CNET's podcast "The 404" for the youthful infusion of energy into the show. 404 fans call me "Aunt Jill" and we have a great deal: I provide financial advice and they help me with all of my tech questions. (If you want to check out my last two appearances on the 404, go here and here.)

Ming is just getting started and wants some tips on how to be a financially-sound adult; Stephane has become a new investor and needs guidance; Marilyn wants to know whether her husband is responsible for her student loan debt if she were to predecease him; and Gary called from Texas on behalf of his twenty-something year old son, a grad student, who needs direction for retirement.

Who needs to hire a financial advisor? That's the question that I posed, after fielding questions from Ann, who is thinking of swapping a mutual fund for a fixed index annuity; Barbara, who is considering dumping her financial advisor; and Jeanne, who has access to a free CFP service from T. Rowe Price.

Finally, Khin from California helped me talk about an important issue: why couples must share financial information, regardless of whose "job" it is to manage the money.

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

-- Jill's blog

-- 9 Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor

-- What Your Financial Advisor Gets Wrong

-- Best CD Rates

-- Where to Stash Your Cash

-- How to generate income from your portfolio?

-- Ask the Experts podcast: Real Estate

-- 404 Podcast 1/4/2012

-- 404 Podcast 11/29/2011

-- Mutual fund cost basis methods and calculator

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: askjill@moneywatch.com

Tweet me: @jillonmoney

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    View all articles by Jill Schlesinger on CBS MoneyWatch »
    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Emmy-nominated, Business Analyst for CBS News. She covers the economy, markets, investing and anything else with a dollar sign on TV, radio (including her nationally syndicated radio show), the web and her blog, "Jill on Money." Prior to her second career at CBS, Jill spent 14 years as the co-owner and Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. She began her career as a self-employed options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York, following her graduation from Brown University.