Your Financial Questions Answered

7:34 PM, May 6, 2013   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- It's time to talk money. 2 Wants to Know is getting answers to the financial questions you want to know.
Eric Gillespie with the Consumer Credit Counseling Service division of Family Service of the Piedmont joined Tanya Rivera on 2 Wants to Know at 5:30 to answer some viewer questions.   

Tammy asked: How can a single mom plan for retirement? At 47, and with no employer retirement plan, I feel I'll have to work for the rest of my life! Help! Gillespie said, "I would recommend first sitting down with a financial counselor and reviewing your monthly budget to determine how much you can save for retirement and what expenses you may be able to reduce or eliminate to create even more savings. If your employer does not offer a retirement plan or financial planning, the next step would be to meet with a fee-only professional advisor who could assist you with investment options, benefits, and goal planning. Fee-only advisors are not paid commissions by you and should put your interests first."

Adrian asked: What are some of the best foreign funds, exchanges or bond markets to invest in if one seeks to further diversify their portfolio?  Gillespie could not answer this question because he cannot give specific investment advice.

Chris asked: How can a person be turned down for a loan based on not having a credit card? I have been told to get one with a low limit, use it to pay bills and then pay the card off. Is that a plausible to solution to the loan situation? Gillespie said, "A creditor will often factor in your credit history when reviewing a loan application. This is usually done by obtaining a copy of your credit report. If you have poor payment histories on previous loans or credit cards or no history of credit this could hurt your chances of being approved. Obtaining a credit card can be used as a way to establish or re-establish your payment history on a credit report if used responsibly and paid on time. If you do open a credit card, you want to avoid the temptation of running up the balance or taking advantage of multiple offers as this could lead to unmanageable credit card debt and damage to your credit."

Deloris asked: I want to know why you cannot take money you have put in your 403 out when you need it. Gillespie said, "Federal law prohibits 403b withdrawals except in cases of extreme hardships and then a withdrawal would be subject to penalty and taxes. Some providers offer loans against your 401k or 403b, but you should consider the positives and negatives of this option before making a decision."

Raul asked: What are the differences between a 401k and a 403b plan? Gillespie said, "401k and 403b are both are retirement plans that allow you to contribute money before taxes. Most tax exempt organizations such as schools, hospitals and non-profits offer their employees the 403b, while for-profit companies usually offer the 401k. There are not a lot of differences in the plans, but 401ks tend to have more investment options than the 403b."

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