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Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, CFP
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Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, CFP®, is a leading advocate for financial literacy and one of America’s most trusted sources for financial advice. As leader of Schwab Community Services as well as board chair and president of Charles Schwab Foundation, she is devoted to making investing more accessible to the American public, encouraging men and women of all ages to take charge of their finances. Carrie speaks and writes extensively about personal finance issues and is the author of "The Charles Schwab Guide to Finances After Fifty: Answers to Your Most Important Money Questions" (Crown Business: 2014).

Entries by Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, CFP

Mindful Spending Part 4: Putting It All Together

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2016 | 12:56 PM

Dear Readers,

If you've been following my columns about mindful spending, you know that this is the last week of the 30-day Financial Cleanse. For the past three weeks, each of my columns has focused on a single theme. Week 1 was about getting on top of day-to-day...

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Mindful Spending Part 3: What Are Your Top Three Financial Goals?

(0) Comments | Posted May 16, 2016 | 4:21 PM

Dear Readers,

It's hard to believe we're already in Week 3 of our Financial Cleanse. If you're just hearing about it, the Financial Cleanse is a 30-day program my team and I developed to help people focus on how they spend their money. It gives you three simple steps to...

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Mindful Spending Part 2: Do You Know How Much You Spend per Month?

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2016 | 7:36 PM

Dear Readers,

If you read my last column, you're already familiar with my new 30-day Financial Cleanse. It was inspired by my own rewarding experience with a food cleanse. The Financial Cleanse is a week-by-week program offering three simple steps per week that, hopefully, will be a real boost to...

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Mindful Spending Part 1: Do You Know Where Your Money Is Going?

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2016 | 2:47 PM

Dear Readers,

Recently, I participated in a 30-day food cleanse. It took discipline and control, of course. But I came away from the experience feeling better, stronger and generally much healthier. And it made me aware of unconscious eating habits that really weren't doing me any good. So what does...

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Dividing Up Your Estate: Does It Ever Make Sense to Split It Unequally?

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2016 | 2:10 PM

Dear Carrie,

I have two grown sons: one is a corporate attorney and one teaches English at a public high school. Needless to say, their incomes are quite far apart. I'm tempted to leave my less-well-off teacher more money, but is this a good idea? And if so, what's the...

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How Realistic is a College Scholarship?

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2016 | 1:05 PM

Dear Carrie,

Our daughter will be starting college in a year and a half, and while we have some money saved, we don't have enough to cover the whole bill. People often say that scholarships are a long shot, but I'm wondering if that's true?

--A Reader

Dear Reader,

With...

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Roth IRA Withdrawals: The Exceptions Can Be as Important as the Rules

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 1:09 PM

Dear Carrie,

I'm thinking of taking a distribution from my Roth IRA. What do I need to know? Are there any taxes or penalties?

--A Reader

Dear Reader,

This is a great question because a transaction that presumably would be very simple can quickly get bogged down in rules and...

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Starting Your Own Business? Are Your Personal Finances in Order?

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2016 | 1:54 PM

Dear Carrie,

After several years as an employee, I'm launching my own construction business as a sole proprietor. I've got a great accountant for the business side, but need help figuring out the personal side of my money. Can you help?

--A Reader

Dear Reader,

In the excitement and challenge...

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Maxing Out Your Tax-Deductible IRA

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2016 | 4:44 PM

Dear Carrie,
How much can a person who is 55 invest yearly in an IRA that is tax-deductible?

--A Reader


Dear Reader,

It seems like such a simple question. But the answer is anything but, thanks to the complex web of rules and regulations surrounding the whole...

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The Lowdown on 401(k) Loans

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2016 | 1:42 PM

Dear Carrie,

Is there a limit to the number of times you can borrow from your 401(k)?

--A Reader


Dear Reader,

During difficult economic times, borrowing from your 401(k) can seem like a great idea. After all, it's your money and you are, in effect, borrowing from yourself...

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First Steps for Your Baby's Financial Future

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2016 | 12:55 PM

Dear Carrie,

I've just had a baby! Things are pretty crazy in my house right now, but I want to be sure I give my daughter every opportunity I can. I have a little bit of money saved up, but I'm uncertain what the best use is for it. Should...

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Thinking of Taking an Early 401(k) Withdrawal? Consider the Ultimate Cost.

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2016 | 1:07 PM

Dear Carrie,

If you're younger than 59½, is it possible to withdraw money from your 401(k) without having to pay it back?

--A Reader

Dear Reader,

The balance in your 401(k) can be a tempting source of cash when times are tough and you have no other options. And...

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Does Your Teen Need to File a Tax Return?

(0) Comments | Posted February 29, 2016 | 3:31 PM

Dear Carrie,

My daughter is 16 and has her first paying job. Does she need to file a separate tax return?

--A Reader

Dear Reader,

Congratulations to your daughter--and to you. A first job is an important milestone for both kids and parents. It's a step toward independence and personal...

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Online Scams: How Can You Protect Yourself and Your Family?

(0) Comments | Posted February 22, 2016 | 1:09 PM

Dear Carrie,

My mother is quite independent and does a lot of her financial business online. I hear about fraudsters preying on seniors all the time and worry about her falling for a scam. How can I protect her?

--A Reader

Dear Reader,

It seems there's no limit to...

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Should You Consolidate Your Student Loans? Important Things to Consider

(0) Comments | Posted February 16, 2016 | 11:14 AM

Dear Carrie,

I've been carrying a number of both federal and private student loans for several years. While I've been able to keep up on payments, I'm thinking about consolidating to make things simpler. Is that a good idea?

-- A Reader

Dear Reader,

You're absolutely right that consolidating your...

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Couples and Credit Scores: Is It a Match?

(0) Comments | Posted February 8, 2016 | 1:34 PM

Dear Readers,

Imagine this scenario: Over a wonderful dinner, you and your sweetheart have discussed the future, what you each want out of life, your dream house, the possibility of a family, and everything seems to be pointing to your happiness. Then the love of your life graciously offers to...

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Do Asset Allocation and Diversification Still Work?

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2016 | 10:59 AM

Dear Readers,

Here we go again. Just when we thought we could put the worries of 2008 and its aftermath behind us, market volatility once again has individual investors spooked and wondering what to do. While every investor knows that risk comes with the territory, the recent wild gyrations are...

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Should You Refinance Your Mortgage?

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2016 | 11:06 AM

Dear Carrie,

I'm thinking of refinancing my mortgage since I know interest rates are going up. Does it still make sense or have I missed the boat?

--A Reader

Dear Reader,

Rising short-term interest rates are on a lot of people's minds these days. For savers, it's a plus, but...

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What's the Best Way to Choose a Guardian for Your Kids?

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2016 | 5:22 PM

Dear Carrie,

My husband and I can't come to an agreement on who to appoint as a guardian for our three young children. He says his brother; I say my sister. How can we reach an agreement?

-- A reader

Dear reader,

Although my kids are now grown-up, your question...

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What's a Financial Plan? Do You Need One?

(0) Comments | Posted January 11, 2016 | 12:18 PM

Dear Carrie,

I'm in my late thirties, have a great job, and about to get married. Unfortunately, though, I don't feel that I have a real handle on my finances, especially as I look ahead to married life. Is there a good way for me to get up to speed?

...

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