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October 15th, 2009
05:25 PM ET

Join us This Saturday for "Dollar Dilemmas"

Are you encouraged about the Dow passing the 10,000 mark for the first time in a year? Or would you say you're still skeptical about the stock market?

Does the Dow's jump have you thinking about making changes to your 401k plan?

What about Christmas and Hanukkah? Are you already thinking about how much you're going to spend on gifts? Do you plan to spend more, less or about the same this year?

Join us this Saturday at 4pm ET as we tackle your "Dollar Dilemmas" with the Dolans. We want to know what's on your mind. Leave us your questions and comments.

Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield • Josh Levs
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. cami

    I would like to know how soon you think the American people are just going to say screw credit and stop bassing their lifes on credit scores? I believe that most of us are going to just stop paying our credit cards and let our credit be bad. Really if the banks want to continue doing bad business maybe we the people will just have to live with what we have. For example if you don't own a home just continue to rent, if you need a new car just settle for a used one(purchase though dealer where it doesn't matter if your credit is bad), if your home needs repair just save a few monthly payments you would have made to your credit card to pay for the repair. I don't think most of the American people are going to continue worring about their credit scores nor the so called American dream.

    October 16, 2009 at 12:17 am |
  2. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    You hit the needle on the head what about Christmas will the hollidays put the market in the black or will they fall in the red the way I see it is theres not enough employd shoppers to rebuild the retail markets and the money that people do have will go to pay utillity bills without jobs the after Thanksgiving sales dont look too promising I see red .

    October 16, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  3. Kyle

    Why are we to believe that the traditional way is the only way.
    The American Economy is consumer driven. Consumers spend money and the economy grows. That’s why it is confusing when in a Recovery the government traditionally concentrates on Wall Street. Especially when historically and in present times, Wall Street concentrates on themselves, looking to make the best of a self-inflected wound that has spread to the rest of the nation.
    That’s also why the U.S. people are suspicious of Wall Street’s and the government’s motivations. They seem to run contrary to how the country runs in prosperous times. And, they always look to those with the conflict of interest to develop the plan of action.
    That leads to those who began the problems, profiting from the problems.

    October 16, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  4. Rosalind

    My 401K has taken a hit like most people in the US, but I don't know how to go about making intelligent changes to ensure I have something to retire on. How do I find someone I feel comfortable enough with to talk about my investments and to set up some type of recovery plan for by 401K?

    October 17, 2009 at 1:19 pm |

    The dow this week is a clear signal that the economy is slowly coming back to mend. Employers have cut back on raises and for those of us who have jobs we feel fortunate and grateful to be employed. Some people though just spend and spend running their credit card bills to the max even though they don't really have the money and pay over time. Those individuals are asking for it especially with interest rates are so high. If you can't pay ithe balance within 30 days you shouldn't be in posession of a credit card.

    October 17, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  6. Carl

    I took a loan against my house just before the crash. I left about $100K in the house. That vanished, now I am upside down by about $50k. Is there any way I can refinance to take advantage of the lower rates. My credit is excellent.

    October 17, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  7. Jim

    When is the government going to quit treating the tax payers like credit cards?

    October 17, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  8. paul thomas

    My wife and I are retired. We live off of interest that our life time of savings has given us. We cannot live on 1.5% interest. We are not going to risk our money in the stock market. What about people like us? Our income has dropped 1/3 and I don't see how to make it now.

    October 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  9. Jamie

    I do think things are getting better for the economy but I won't be spending a whole lot this Holiday season. I think a lot of people have learned how fast and dramatically things can change and will be conservative this season.

    October 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  10. paul thomas

    When I said our income has dropped 1/3 I ment 2/3.

    October 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  11. Obianchi

    Hey Josh,,,,,lets get real here the DOW going above 10000 means what? Investments in economies abroad yielding returns vs actually reaping profits from productivity here in the US linked with job creation? Lets keep it real we are still imploding!!!

    October 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  12. Jane

    Afer a lifetime of scrimping and doing the right thing, paying my bills, putting my children through college, and then IRA's have been decimated, my insurance out of pocket last year for myself and my spouse was $17K, my expenses go up every year, my choices go down.

    On top of it, Wells Fargo just lowered my HELOC. They raised my Credit Card rate by 3%, my personal line of credit by 2 1/4% and Chase, Citibank have followed suit. As they have said " this has nothing to do with your management of credit, we just can ahead of the new regulations designed to protect you...ha ha ha".

    Christmas? No, not for me, my children, we will take what we have to make our Grandchildren have a joyful time, as should all children, but for us, No.

    When will the banks realize they are punishing us and when will Washington wise up and put a stop to loan sharking by the likes of Wells Fargo and Citibank?

    October 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  13. Susan Prescott

    Salaries still have not caught up to the increase in costs over the last few years. For the holiday season, the extended family has already opted out of the usual gift exchange due to the economy, we will certainly be spending less. We eat at home more often, which is a good thing because it is healthier and we are less likely to get the flu.

    October 17, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  14. steve

    I at least am working, and do have health insurance. But the health insurance just went up 13%, My credit card company just increased my APR by 5% (a "business decision" they told me). Since I will get a small state pension, my social security will be cut by over 50% (W.E.P.) . Oh yea... I did get a 1 1/2% pay raise. Lovely!

    October 17, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  15. Dan Fleury

    I have heard that if you don't use the money in your HEALTH SAVINGS account, you lose it. Is that true?

    October 17, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  16. Jack Miyler

    How can you or any of your guests advocate investing in this market that still has the foxes guarding the chickenhouses. Nothing has changed the people that did this to the U.S are still in the same positions. BEWARE!!!!!!

    October 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  17. joe tierney

    i am not surprised at the dow. it is a false front. when the dow was at it's lowest, one of the banks that received a 10 billion dollar bailout invested that our bailout money in the market, which was legal, but, not what the bailout was for, and made a trillion dollars. that pulled them out of the recession. But not me. i have not worked in one year. i was self employed,.therefore,, i can't collect and i do not show-up on any statistic.
    people are still losing their homes and congress, who just past a ridiculous reform bill that does nothing, is doing fine with their health insurance and retirement package. america, itself, who are not revolting after all of this, is being duped again that the economy is doing well. wait till january and february of 2010. the dow will be in the 5000's and gold will be 2000/oz. and economists will be wondering why consumer confidence will be down
    T o make things real, you won't even look at this. it will be answered, like telephone are, with a prewritten response. why? because you are doing fine and don't REALLY CARE.

    October 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  18. Tom Owens

    If the threat of inflationis so high, why are the Dolan's telling us to save dollars that will be worth less when inflation hits?

    October 17, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  19. Alan L. Reid

    Would it be wise to transfer traditional IRA's to Roth IRA's and pay the tax now.

    October 17, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  20. barb

    We current owe 169,000 on our house which is worth approximately 400,000. We are 6 years into a 15 yr mortgage which is fixed at 5%. I've seen some 15 year mortage advertised lately at 4.25%. We are currently 37 years old and do not need the extra cash each month-my job is secure (speech therapist) my husband's is iffy (chemist). Should we stick with the mortage we currently have and be mortage free in 9 years or should we refinance at a lower rate? Thanks!

    October 17, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  21. Sosena

    I love the Dolan's, what a great advice!!!

    October 17, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  22. LoriMarie

    Our company has decided to only put in 1% where it used to be 3% for our 401 K What are we supposed to do, stay the same as 1% or keep going 3% is what the company used to match. Thanks Dolans and Josh

    October 17, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  23. malik

    i have a 100hundred thousand dollar s in a special needs trust!just locked in a c.d a chase for 3.42 was that a good idea?do you know how i can get a bigger and a safe return?lost 45,000 in the stock market!iam disabled and on social security.iam waiting for a intestine trans plant!

    October 17, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  24. Martin Burks

    I'm 64, and hoping to work at least 6 more years. I've more than maxed my 401-K contribution ($22,500), or about 22% of income. My employer matches 25 up to 15%.

    I'm thinking that putting the extra money into the 401-K would be better put into a mutual fund. Help?

    October 17, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  25. Laura Anderson

    I am 51 and on disability. I was the sole heir of my mothers' estate, which is in a revocable trust. It consists of both stocks and funds – and there is also an IRA. How should I see my broker working this to my benefit, for the long term?

    October 17, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  26. Isaac

    Many people say get out of debt but never tell you the practical steps to take like
    1. If you have more than one credit card, merge them and get only one
    2. Make a plan to pay small amounts weekly
    3. Do not us your credit card for everyday basics you need
    4. For every debt card transaction, deposit a dollar in your savings account.

    These are practical steps, use them

    October 17, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  27. steve dallas tx

    I was laid off in may and recently went back to work...50% of my former wage...I have discovered that it's a full time job fighting for my money...Bank hit me with extra fee's....They agreed and said woops...electric company didn't honor new rates ...had to take it to the puc...My advice and i hope your guests advice...It's your money fight for it...

    October 17, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  28. AJ

    LUV YA DOLANS!!!!!!!!

    how much money should i have in my 401 (k) after 19yrs w/ the same company....100K, 200K....what's a good barameter?



    October 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  29. Craig Freedman

    Laura... since you are asking the question..."How should I see my broker working this to my benefit, for the long term?" I have to assume that your broker has not provided you with a game plan that you feel comfortable with or that you understand. Find a new Advisor.

    October 17, 2009 at 8:11 pm |
  30. Craig Freedman

    LoriMarie... Regardless of what your company is matching on your contributions, the real benefit of your 401(k) is the tax-deferred growth that you will receive over time in order to help you to save for a financially secure retirement. Additionally, the money that you contribute to your 401(k) helps to reduce your remaining taxable income. That's a 2 for one bonus. Your priority should be to contribute up to the maximum allowed in a 401(k) based on your age and based on your financial capability, regardless of what the company matches.

    October 17, 2009 at 8:19 pm |
  31. Craig Freedman

    Martin Burks......I assume you are referring to a mutual fund in a taxable account. If you have quality mutual funds in your 401(k) your money may be better served in your 401(k) because first it will grow tax-deferred and it may be able to continue to grow tax-deferred for many years after you retire. Second, the money that you contribute to the 401(k) helps to reduce your remaining taxable income. In the alternative the capital gains that are realized in a mutual fund each year in a taxable account become taxable even if you reinvest them. That means you’re being taxed on that money before you invest it in the mutual fund as it is paid to you in the form of a salary and then you’re being taxed on the gains as it is being realized each year by the fund manager. Always consult an accountant working proper tax adviser when making these kinds of decisions.

    October 17, 2009 at 8:29 pm |
  32. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    I may got a couple of things scrambeled but my point seems to have gotten thru only the rich and famous will have Christmas.

    October 18, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  33. Tigerman

    Where do everyone think that the Gov. got the bailout money from? the $700B.? they borrowed it from the federal reserve with interest which owned by the banks so they can bail them out. Amazing right??? check out you tube, federal reserve and how it was created.
    Small claim courts, what they are here for? sure you can win a case that's easy, now the hard part collecting that win, the small claim court her for you to file the claim but you're on your own to try to collect. I say unless the small claim courts changes the rules on going after the losing party we should stop filling for nothing, oh no not for nothing it's money going to pay for the judges, for the city, for the court for security and more...

    October 21, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  34. Tigerman

    Watch out from the loan modification company named U.S. Home Bailout in Las Vegas, they don't do what they say they do, they promise you a lot and they deliver nothing. I lost $5000.00 to help with 2 houses in 2 months. They claim to file a complaint against your lenders by their lawyer Chambers and Selik in the court tie up the property up to 5 years, forcing the lender to negotiate lower interest AND lower PRINCIPAL, their complaint is pro-per not as they claim drafted by the lawyer, all complaint are the same means a templates filling out the blanks only, so everyone's complaint is the same just they fill out the blanks with the names of the lenders and your address... The judges dismissing these complaints so fast because they have no meanings, nothing specific. I asked for my money back they refused, they said they did lots of work on my files, till now they never showed me any brake down hour by hour what they worked on. the lenders kept calling me instead of them so what did they do? nothing.
    I filed a complaint against them with the Attorney General, Mortgage and Lending Division and the Nevada State Bar... Really watch out from this company.

    October 21, 2009 at 1:46 pm |