Pay off credit cards
Q: I owe $40,000 in credit card debt (on eight cards). I am going to retire this year and have $40,000 after taxes in my savings account from work. Should I take this money and pay off my credit card debt?
A: Certified financial planner Walt Romatowski of Roseville, Calif., notes that the question does not mention if the person has adequate retirement savings and/or a pension that will provide for normal spending during retirement, or if there is a mortgage or any other kind of debt. Assuming that you do have adequate resources to cover your monthly expenses, it does make sense to pay off your credit cards, so that you can enter your retirement years with little or no debt. You don’t need eight credit cards, but you should hold on to one or two major credit cards to cover life’s inevitable unexpected expenses and to maintain your credit rating.
— Claudia Buck, Sacramento Bee
Details on Roth IRAs
A Roth Individual Retirement Account, commonly called a Roth IRA, remains a good option for long-term retirement saving. Several websites feature a variety of information, including:
• Bankrate.com: Discusses the rule governing a Roth IRA. Site: www.bankrate.com/finance/money-guides/roth-ira-rules8-121119.aspx
• TIAA-CREF: Offers side-by-side comparison of traditional IRA and Roth IRA guidelines. Site: www.tiaa-cref.org/public/advice-planning/education/financial-ed/saving_investing/ira_basics
• Fairmark: Covers Roth eligibility, distributions, and pluses and minus. Site: www.fairmark.com/rothira/roth101.htm
• Investopedia: Good primer on Roth IRA essentials. Site: www.investopedia.com/articles/retirement/04/091504.asp
• RothIRA.com: Spotlights IRA rules and basics, getting started and managing an account. Site: www.rothira.com
— Chuck Myers, McClatchy-Tribune