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Finances

10:01 a.m. April 14, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My husband signed for a car for a friend — against my wishes. Now we get notices for unpaid tolls and parking tickets. What if there’s an accident? ‘Every time another ‘past due’ envelope arrives I panic at the thought of the savings I worked so hard to put away might be gone in one accident’‘Every time another ‘past due’ envelope arrives I panic at the thought of the savings I worked so hard to put away might be gone in one accident.’
2:20 p.m. April 13, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My parents made my sister executor of their $4 million estate, and joint owner of their bank accounts. Should I be worried? ‘We have five other siblings who are currently unaware of this arrangement’‘We have five other siblings who are currently unaware of this arrangement.’
6:22 a.m. April 11, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
I’m a farmer in my late 30s and live a frugal lifestyle. My son has a disability. Should I pay extra on my mortgage — or save for retirement? ‘He has a disability that will likely mean he will be living with us for our entire lives’‘He has a disability that will likely mean he will be living with us for our entire lives.’
4:26 a.m. April 10, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
‘What the hell!’ I’m 28, have no debt, a 401(k), Roth IRA and $45K in cash. Should I save for a house or buy a Tesla Model 3? ‘I believe I can buy the car and strap down, and save more aggressively to replenish the funds’‘I believe I can buy the car and strap down, and save more aggressively to replenish the funds.’
7:02 a.m. April 4, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My mother visited my sister, who didn’t give her breakfast or lunch. She makes $150K. Should I tell her to feed her guests? ‘Side note: I think our success bugs them as she points out that our real-estate investments are doing so well. I’ve offered to go in with them on a real-estate deal and the answer is always no’‘Side note: I think our success bugs them as he points out that our real-estate investments are doing so well. I’ve offered to go in with them on a real-estate deal and the answer is always no.’
6:44 a.m. April 4, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
‘I cut his hair because he won’t pay for a haircut’: My multimillionaire husband is 90. I’ve looked after him for 41 years, but he won’t help my son ‘I bet that you have never heard from anyone who has too much money’‘I bet that you have never heard from anyone who has too much money.’
11:12 a.m. April 3, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My stepmother got nothing when my father died, per their prenup. She asked me to buy her a home. What should I do? ‘What would be some ways I could help her financially or otherwise without giving her a house?’‘What would be some ways I could help her financially or otherwise without giving her a house?’
9:50 a.m. April 3, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My parents want to use $300,000 in retirement savings to pay off $160,000 left on their home. Is that a good idea? ‘I would like to be able to help them financially and be their safety net, but my means are limited’‘I would like to be able to help them financially and be their safety net, but my means are limited.’
8:59 a.m. April 3, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
‘I want to hurt him the same way he hurt me’: My husband sprung a prenup on me days before our wedding. He kept all copies ‘For two years, I asked for a copy and he couldn’t find it. When I finally had enough, I found it in his office and made myself a copy’‘For two years, I asked for a copy and he couldn’t find it. When I finally had enough, I found it in his office and made myself a copy.’
2:54 p.m. March 21, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
‘My husband told me that my $1,400 stimulus check will be spent on aluminum siding on our home.’ How can I reclaim what’s mine? ‘As soon as I heard the stimulus bill passed, I got a sick sense of dread in my stomach’‘As soon as I heard the stimulus bill passed, I got a sick sense of dread in my stomach.’
2:53 p.m. March 21, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My mother is recovering from alcoholism. My ‘narcissistic’ sisters took over her life and drained her bank account. What can I do? ‘In her late 60s, her years of alcohol abuse finally caught up with her when she developed Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome’‘In her late 60s, her years of alcohol abuse finally caught up with her when she developed Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome.’
2:50 p.m. March 21, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My ex-boyfriend and I contributed to our household based on our salaries. I’m now owed $23K in back pay. Do I pay him back? ‘He and I don’t really talk anymore, but we ended on relatively good terms, and I want to do the right thing’‘He and I don’t really talk anymore, but we ended on relatively good terms, and I want to do the right thing.’
2:28 p.m. March 20, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
‘I have tried to be kind’: I gave my ex half of the first two stimulus checks for our child. He still calls me a ‘monster.’ What do I do with the third? ‘I am bugged by him paying nothing while also going on trips and buying vehicles when he gets extra money, instead of paying anything to me for our child. Maybe I am being petty’‘I am bugged by him paying nothing while also going on trips and buying vehicles when he gets extra money, instead of paying anything to me for our child. Maybe I am being petty.’
12:17 p.m. March 20, 2021 - By Alessandra Malito
I’m 52, won’t live past 80 and have $1.6 million. ‘I am tired of both the rat race and workplace politics.’ Should I retire? Have a question about retirement, including where to retire? Email HelpMeRetire@marketwatch.com Have a question about retirement, including where to retire? Email HelpMeRetire@marketwatch.com
5:33 p.m. March 12, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My daughter was a TV star and saved $1 million. If she buys a home and moves in with her boyfriend, will he have a claim? ‘If he contributed to any part of the mortgage payments, could he claim he contributed to the (increased) value of the property, asking for money if/when it is sold?’‘If he contributed to any part of the mortgage payments, could he claim he contributed to the (increased) value of the property, asking for money if/when it is sold?’
7:19 a.m. Feb. 27, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
‘My sisters and I disagree on most things, but never could I have imagined how our relationship would end’ My sister put our mother in a nursing home, where she died of COVID-19. Should I take legal action against her or the nursing home?My sister put our mother in a nursing home, where she died of COVID-19. Should I take legal action against her or the nursing home?
4:46 p.m. Feb. 21, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My daughter-in-law will only have a second child by surrogacy — and wants to use $200K of my son’s inheritance to pay for it ‘He has already dipped into capital by covering his wife’s $250,000 in college and credit-card debt before they were even married — a pretty heroic rescue!’‘He has already dipped into capital by covering his wife’s $250,000 in college and credit-card debt before they were even married — a pretty heroic rescue!’
5:04 p.m. Feb. 20, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My wealthy fiancée wants me to accept ‘standard-of-living’ costs should we divorce. I’m a proud veteran and won’t accept more than $50,000. Who’s right? ‘I have worked very hard for everything I have. I take pride in the fact that I’ve overcome a lot of adversity to be where I am now, and I’m happy with my finances’‘I have worked very hard for everything I have. I take pride in the fact that I’ve overcome a lot of adversity to be where I am now, and I’m happy with my finances.’
5:03 p.m. Feb. 20, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
‘My husband burned through all of our finances. If we divorce, I don’t want him to get one penny.’ How can I protect myself? ‘Is there a way I could put that money in a trust or someplace where my husband would not be able to access in the event we actually file for divorce?’‘Is there a way I could put that money in a trust or someplace where my husband would not be able to access in the event we actually file for divorce?’
12:35 p.m. Feb. 20, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
Our housekeeper does not work when we’re at home due to COVID-19. We still pay her. Could we treat those payments as a ‘gift’ to reduce her income tax? ‘Understanding that times are tough, we have continued to send her payment for the weeks where we asked her to stay home’‘Understanding that times are tough, we have continued to send her payment for the weeks where we asked her to stay home.’
10:00 a.m. Feb. 19, 2021 - By Alessandra Malito
News and analysis for those planning for or living in retirement Retirement news and analysis Retirement news and analysis
10:45 a.m. Feb. 6, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My spendthrift fiancée, 30, refused to sign a prenup. Would it be wrong to secretly put my assets in a trust? This man writes, ‘I love her dearly, but I am really concerned’This man writes, ‘I love her dearly, but I am really concerned.’
10:00 a.m. Feb. 5, 2021 - By Alessandra Malito
News and analysis for those planning for or living in retirement Retirement news and analysisRetirement news and analysis
6:57 a.m. Feb. 3, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
When my parents died, my sisters and I split their estate. I chose a painting that may be worth $50,000. Should I tell them? ‘The process of dividing their estate was done equitably, and without stress or rancor. Until now’‘The process of dividing their estate was done equitably, and without stress or rancor. Until now.’
10:02 a.m. Jan. 31, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My sister is a single mother and thinks ‘squatter rights’ is the way to secure housing in the pandemic. What can I do? ‘She has been better with her money the last three months, but she has been very irresponsible in her spending the last few years — paying for breast implants, for example’‘She has been better with her money the last three months, but she has been very irresponsible in her spending the last few years — paying for breast implants, for example.’
10:02 a.m. Jan. 31, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My father inherited money from his parents — he now tells people he earned it due to his (nonexistent) investment prowess ‘I would like my dad back, but I am afraid he is too far gone’‘I would like my dad back, but I am afraid he is too far gone’
9:03 a.m. Jan. 30, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
‘This is sheer economic waste. We distributed our $1,200 stimulus to our church:’ Why did we get these checks instead of poor Americans? ‘We do not light our fireplace with $100 bills, but we are comfortable’‘We do not light our fireplace with $100 bills, but we are comfortable.’
11:48 a.m. Jan. 28, 2021 - By Krystal Barker Buissereth
5 ways to make this year better than last year Make 2021 your year of wellness—including financial wellnessMake 2021 your year of wellness—including financial wellness
7:28 a.m. Jan. 23, 2021 - By Andrew Keshner
Financially fragile Americans during COVID-19 have difficulty answering these 15 money questions — can you? A new survey asked who could cover unexpected expenses during the pandemic’s early days.A new survey asked who could cover unexpected expenses during the pandemic’s early days.
7:22 a.m. Jan. 23, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My wife has a degenerative neurological disease. My father-in-law wants to put her in a facility — and take over our finances ‘My father-in-law now seems obsessed with moving my wife out of our home to some sort of group home/facility. The mere thought of this seems abhorrent and barbaric’‘My father-in-law now seems obsessed with moving my wife out of our home to some sort of group home/facility. The mere thought of this seems abhorrent and barbaric.’
10:00 a.m. Jan. 22, 2021 - By Alessandra Malito
News and analysis for those planning for or living in retirement Retirement news and analysisRetirement news and analysis
10:12 a.m. Jan. 19, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
I took care of my late mother for 8 years. Am I obliged to tell my sisters she made me co-owner of a substantial bank account? This daughter writes: ‘My conscience is getting the better of me, and I would like to be transparent about being the joint owner of this savings account’This daughter writes: ‘My conscience is getting the better of me, and I would like to be transparent about being the joint owner of this savings account.’
10:00 a.m. Jan. 15, 2021 - By Alessandra Malito
News and analysis for those planning for or living in retirement Retirement news and analysisRetirement news and analysis
10:31 a.m. Jan. 12, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My mother’s husband died. Her savings are dwindling, yet she pays my sister’s bills. Should I intervene? ‘I’ve been able to reduce her bills by canceling things she doesn’t use, and negotiating for discounts for her cellphone and TV’‘I’ve been able to reduce her bills by canceling things she doesn’t use, and negotiating for discounts for her cellphone and TV.’
10:00 a.m. Jan. 8, 2021 - By Alessandra Malito
News and analysis for those planning for or living in retirement Retirement news and analysisRetirement news and analysis
9:05 p.m. Jan. 4, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My mother gave me a substantial financial gift. I gave it back. My soon-to-be ex-husband says half belongs to him ‘My husband persuaded me to add his name to the account with the money from my mother’‘My husband persuaded me to add his name to the account with the money from my mother.’
7:17 a.m. Jan. 2, 2021 - By Quentin Fottrell
My brother-in-law smokes weed, drinks booze and plays video games. My in-laws pay his mortgage. What happens after they’re gone? ‘Neither I nor my wife want him to be homeless, but I worry that I will be responsible for taking care of my brother-in-law’‘Neither I nor my wife want him to be homeless, but I worry that I will be responsible for taking care of my brother-in-law.’
10:25 a.m. Dec. 30, 2020 - By Angie O'Leary
How female entrepreneurs can thrive in good and bad times It’s important to separate business finance from personal financeIt’s important to separate business finance from personal finance
6:51 a.m. Dec. 27, 2020 - By Quentin Fottrell
My aunt stole my mother’s Social Security, and persuaded my elderly father to sign over power of attorney ‘My father was recently very sick and in the hospital, and he was not in his right mind’‘My father was recently very sick and in the hospital, and he was not in his right mind.’
6:45 a.m. Dec. 27, 2020 - By Quentin Fottrell
My father left his estate to me and nothing to my 3 wealthier brothers. They now want their share. Should I do as they say? ‘Two brothers never called our dad while he was alive or even asked me, “How’s Dad?” One brother complained about how much he spent on Dad’s meals.’‘Two brothers never called our dad while he was alive or even asked me, “How’s Dad?” One brother complained about how much he spent on Dad’s meals.’
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