As chief strategist/consumer education for Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., Schwab Pomerantz is a leading advocate for individual investors. She speaks and writes extensively about personal finance issues and is a driving force in the movement to improve financial literacy in America. As president of the Charles Schwab Foundation, she also oversees the company's philanthropic strategy and resources.
With her father, company founder, chairman and CEO Charles R. Schwab, Schwab Pomerantz co-authored "It Pays to Talk: How to Have the Essential Conversations With Your Family About Money and Investing," which Publishers Weekly called "a well-rounded primer that provides one-stop shopping for the many phases of financial understanding and planning."
Schwab Pomerantz is a sought-after speaker whose public appearances have included appearances on "The Today Show," CNBC and NPR. In 2001, Working Woman magazine recognized her as one of four “Market Movers” in America who are “rewriting the rules of finance,” and she was also recognized as one of the “25 power Elite” in the financial services industry by Investment News. For four consecutive years, The San Francisco Business Times has named her one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s 100 Most Influential Women in Business.
A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Schwab Pomerantz later earned a master’s degree in business administration from George Washington University. She holds NASD Series 7, 63 and 8 registrations.
Dear Carrie, I'm 55 years old and trying to be smart about planning for my retirement years. What I'm struggling with is whether buying long-term care insurance makes sense. What do you think--is it a smart move, or just a waste of money? --A Reader
Dear Carrie, I'm turning 65 in a few months, and I am still working. I have no immediate plans to retire, but I'm wondering what I should be thinking about as I navigate through this transitional time over the next few years. --A Reader
Dear Carrie, My husband and I are both in our sixties with no immediate plans to retire, but trying to plan our finances for when that day eventually arrives. A big question mark is healthcare expenses. We're both healthy now, but of course, who knows what the future holds. Can you provide some guidance on how we can plan? -- A Reader
Dear Carrie, Several years ago, I loaned my then 24-year-old son money to buy a car on the condition that he pay it back in monthly installments.
Dear Readers, This is always an exciting time of year as new grads -- and their parents -- anticipate the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
Dear Carrie, I plan to retire in about 10 years and I'm trying to be smart about saving and planning. I've read about the 4 percent rule in the past, but given the economic uncertainty of the last several years, I'm wondering if it still applies? -- A Reader
Dear Carrie, I'm 65 and about to retire and I still have a mortgage balance of $100,000 at 4 percent. My investment portfolio and retirement savings are about $1 million. Should I pay off my mortgage before I retire? --A Reader
Dear Carrie, I have $85,000 to invest for my grandchildren's education. Where would you suggest I invest it? --A Reader
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 spending; Week 2 focused on creating a realistic monthly budget; Week 3 had you exploring your top three financial goals.
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 take each week with the goal of establishing what I call "mindful spending."
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 your financial health and maybe to your physical health as well.
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 this have to do with finances?
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 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 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 I buy a savings bond, a CD, open an investment account or put it all in a college fund? -- A Reader
First, no matter your age, all 401(k) distributions are taxed as income according to your tax bracket the year that you withdraw the money, unless you have a Roth IRA.
Dear Carrie: My daughter is 16 and has her first paying job. Does she need to file a separate tax return? -- A Reader
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?
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 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 enough to make even the hardiest investors question their approach.