personal finance

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Personal finance is something that leaves a lot of us scratching our heads as we ponder questions like how to save, what to invest, and how to do all this while reducing debt. University of Chicago professor Dr. Harold Pollack and his co-author, financial journalist Helaine Olen, say it really isn't as difficult as some would have you believe. 

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January is a good time to think about your financial goals for the year, come up with targets, and a plan to meet them. Whether you hope to reduce your credit card debt, increase your retirement savings, or put away enough money for the family vacation, your chances of success will improve dramatically if you think about and write down your goals now.

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As you enjoy the holidays, it’'s a good idea to remember to set aside some time to review your finances and see what options you have before January 1 to reduce your taxes.

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Where you live can have a dramatic impact on how far your money will go and what type of lifestyle you lead. According to one online cost-of-living calculator, someone earning an annual salary of $50,000 in Cincinnati would need to make $80,000 to maintain the same standard of living in Boston. But just $47,000 in Cookeville, Tennessee.

Current U.S. economic statistics seem to point to an improving economy: unemployment is down and home prices are up. Yet many Americans scratch their heads, wondering why their financial situation is not getting any better. Marketplace has partnered with Edison Research to examine this disconnect between the official numbers and how people really feel  about their economic prospects. Marketplace's Washington Bureau Chief Dave Shaw spoke with Mark Heyne about this latest poll’'s findings.

If you have paid, or are paying, into the Social Security System, you have several things to consider and decisions to make before you turn 62, the earliest age you can begin collecting retirement benefits.

Financial Opportunity Centers are one-stop neighborhood-based centers designed to help working families and individuals achieve financial stability and economic self-sufficiency. The centers provide a full range of services and support, from financial coaching, credit counseling and tax preparation, to employment assistance and enrollment in public benefit programs.

Wall Street still seems to be bullish on the markets, but historically the summer months have not been kind to stocks. The Dow Jones industrial average posted slight losses in June and August, and slight gains in July, on average over the last 20 years. Many analysts are at odds over what this summer will bring for the markets.

  As the stock markets continue their wild swings, some financial experts are calling the volatility we’'ve experienced during the last several months the “new norm” for 2015, which is not welcome news to the average investor. Joining us to look at the current markets and discuss smart ways to invest your money for the long haul are Crit Thomas, senior investment strategist with Touchstone Funds; and, local financial advisor Chris DeSimio.

Over the last week the stock market has been a rollercoaster ride, with the Dow Jones Average gaining or dropping hundreds of points from one session to the next. Joining us to look at the recent market volatility and discuss ways to invest your money for growth are Michael Schroer, managing partner and chief investment officer with Renaissance Investment Management; and local financial advisor Chris DeSimio.

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