When Your College Friend Becomes an Insurance Salesman: A Survival Guide

Lunch started off well, but fifteen minutes in he got very serious and said something like "you’re starting to make some money, have you thought about securing your financial future?"

Reader Mail: Starting Out as an Adult

I recently procured my first real job (score!), and have come up with a basic budget and blah blah blah. Beyond that though, I do not know what I should be doing to get started at Being A Real Adult Who Makes Good Money Decisions.

Reader Mail: Company Matches and Roth IRAs

I have a somewhat specific and possibly stupid question: I found your posts on 401(k)s and IRAs really helpful, and while you gave great advice about traditional IRA vs. Roth, I'm not sure how to choose between 401(k) and Roth IRA?

Reader Mail: Should I Borrow Money from Retirement?

I've currently got two credit cards with balances: one with $5,500 (interest rate is 9.9%) and one with $1,700 (with a 20.99% interest rate). I've got about $4,000 in my Roth IRA, none of which is invested. I'm trying to figure out if it's worthwhile to withdraw the $1,700 from my IRA to pay down the higher-interest credit card and focus all my monthly payments on the lower-interest one. I've always been told "never borrow against your retirement," but it seems that this might be a good idea. Help?! — N.C.

Reader Mail: I Saved A Lot of Money. Now What?

OK, I am a young professional with a good job that I got in 2008 after graduating college. Since my hiring, I've managed to put away about $12,000 into a savings account, and a few months ago my parents gifted me another $20,000 because they gave up on me ever having a wedding.

What You Need to Know About Traditional and Roth IRAs

Why you need to know this: A Roth IRA is the retirement account financial planners say all young people should have.

Reader Mail: Going to Grad School and Being Responsible

I’m a recent college graduate and have been working as a government contractor for the past two years. I have saved about $15,000, which I have mentally divided into thirds: travel/fun money, emergency money, and long-term savings money. I have about $4,000 in Stafford Loan debt leftover from college and no consumer debt.

My Retirement Plan Is Having No Retirement Plan

I don't have any retirement savings. I had precisely one opportunity to sign up for a 401(k), after I'd been working for a year at a grocery store (it was Portland), but I thought I was quitting soon, so I didn't sign up. I stayed for another year.