MoneyAndHappiness

Money Never Stops Buying Happiness

New research out of the Brookings Institution claims there is no ceiling above which additional wealth stops contributing to people's sense of well-being.

Holiday Cheer: Dani Johnson's Trip from Homeless to Millionaire

The holidays can be difficult for people suffering financial and personal setbacks. Dani Johnson, who went from homeless to millionaire, has been there -- and talks with Laura Rowley about overcoming despair and finding hope as the holiday season approaches.

How Retirees Can Get Better Returns on Their Nest Eggs

A retiree named Bob is confronting a dilemma many of his peers face: His nest egg is parked in safe cash investments, like certificates of deposit, and earning barely any interest. What can he do to get a better return? Laura Rowley looks at an increasingly popular alternative.

Your Money Brain Explained: Why Saving Is So Hard

Why do we procrastinate about financial decisions when we know that putting them off hurts us in the long run? Why do we splurge today instead of saving for retirement? And when is the brain at its prime in terms of decision-making? Harvard economist David Laibson joins DailyFinance's Laura Rowley in New York's Central Park with his insights.

How to Take a Tax Loss When Property Values Fall

A reader named Sally bought a property that has since fallen in value. If she sells it for less than she paid, what effect will it have on her taxes? DailyFinance's Laura Rowley has the answer.

How Visions of the Future Help You Manage Money Today

Researchers have found that people who create concrete mental pictures of their goals are more likely to save money for them. Here's the story of one woman who looked into her own crystal ball, got a clear vision of what she wanted, and implemented a financial strategy that allowed her to achieve it. DailyFinance's Laura Rowley shares the lessons learned along the way.

The Best Defense: Money Moves to Protect Your Family

In financial planning, people usually play offense: It's about finding the right strategy to get to the goal. But it's just as crucial to have a good defense. Cal Brown, a financial planner and author of the new book "When Life Strikes: Weathering Financial Storms," shares some of his defensive plays with DailyFinance's Laura Rowley.

How the Taxes Work on a Roth IRA Conversion

When you contribute to a traditional IRA, you can deduct that money from your taxable income that year. When you contribute to a Roth IRA, you don't get the immediate tax benefit -- but you withdraw your money tax-free in retirement. It's also possible to convert from a traditional to a Roth, but you have to pay taxes to do so. A reader named Ron wants to know how that works, and when he'd have to pay the taxes. DailyFinance's Laura Rowley explains.

Decades Later, Student Loan Default Still Haunts Her

President Obama recently announced a plan to provide relief to student loan borrowers, but for the millions already in default on such loans, that help comes too late. Failure to repay those loans can wreck your finances permanently. Casey Zimmerman Thompson is a cautionary tale: More than two decades ago, she borrowed just $7,100.

3 Tips for Cleaning Up Your Finances After a Debt Storm

When you get deep into credit card debt, it can feel like you've been through a financial storm. That's the story for a social worker named Heather, who has $30,000 in credit card debt. DailyFinance's Laura Rowley looks at key steps to clear the debris from her path to a brighter financial future.

The Most Affordable Places to Retire in 2012

Financial planner Thomas Corey has a new book revealing the most affordable places to retire in 2012, highlighting cities and towns that also offer lifestyle benefits. He unveils the winners for DailyFinance's Laura Rowley.

Money and Happiness: Laura Rowley Helps You Find Both

For 25 years, journalist and author Laura Rowley has helped people navigate the minefield of personal finance and explored the relationship between money and happiness. In her DailyFinance column, she aims to help you make enlightened decisions about your money -- and your life. Need some advice? All you have to do is ask.

How to Face Your Budgeting Fears and Take Control

In the midst of a divorce, a mom of five faces a financial horror story: $40,000 in credit card debt, a huge mortgage payment and minimal college savings -- and she has no idea how to budget. DailyFinance's Laura Rowley offers a few ways she can begin her escape from the financial twilight zone.

How to Beat the Big Banks at the Fee Game

Columnist Laura Rowley cuts through the hype and explains how she found banks that would pay her for her checking account instead of the other way around. Here's the low-down on high-yield checking accounts.

What Not to Do When Filling a Prescription

Cold and flu season is upon us. Americans spend $400 million on prescription drugs to relieve the symptoms, according to one study, and some of them spend too much. DailyFinance's Laura Rowley looks at what not to do when filling a prescription.

The 4 Emotional Traps Making Us Miserable

Americans are unhappy. Consumer confidence is at lowest level in over 2 years, and the "misery index" is at a 28-year high. But there's a lot more to our distress than the numbers. The real source of our current unhappiness lies in a set of deeper emotional triggers -- triggers that we can change.

When Opening a No-Interest Credit Card Is a Bad Idea

While rolling your credit card debt onto a new card that offers 0% interest for a period of time is usually a smart money move, there are some people who shouldn't do it. This reader is one of them. DailyFinance's Laura Rowley explains why.

Is Safe Investing Possible? How to Manage Market Volatility

With all the volatility in the stock market today, some individual investors are wondering if they should be more active with a portion of their portfolio, or back away from equities entirely. But if you bail out of stocks, where can you find decent returns? DailyFinance's Laura Rowley talks with Stuart Ritter, financial planner with T. Rowe Price.

Should You Cash in an Annuity to Pay Off Your Debts?

Stacy is on a fixed income. She could free up more cash if she paid off her credit cards and mortgage. Should she cash in an annuity to make that happen? DailyFinance's Laura Rowley explains the key factor Stacy should consider in making the decision.

How to Stretch Out Foreclosure for Years

Janet's a lawyer who's losing her home, and she knows: When it comes to foreclosure, bureaucracy and paperwork can be your friends. Her foreclosure process has lasted for nearly 900 days, and counting. For homeowners in dire financial straits, her story is a lesson in how to keep a roof over your head as long as possible.

When Does It Make Sense to Pay Off a Mortgage?

Paul, 62, is like a lot of people near retirement: He wants a safe place to invest his money. But the interest rates on savings accounts barely keep up with inflation. Would it make sense to pay off a mortgage instead? DailyFinance's Laura Rowley reports.

A Reader Asks: How Can I Increase My Credit Limit?

A reader named Crystal wanted to increase the limit on her credit card, but got denied -- and she found the explanation the card company gave her cryptic. DailyFinance's Laura Rowley decodes the message and offers tips on accessing credit.

Balancing Student Loans With Saving for Retirement

A 52-year-old single mom needs to save for retirement, but her cash flow is strangled by rising student loan payments for herself and her sons. How can she minimize her loan payments and free up cash for retirement savings? DailyFinance's Laura Rowley offers some tips.

A Reader Asks: Is My Money Safe in the Bank?

More than 70 U.S. banks have failed this year, according to the FDIC. And one DailyFinance reader wants to know how safe is the money in our bank accounts? Laura Rowley responds.

Is It Smart to Tap Retirement Funds to Buy a Home?

A 53-year-old woman got divorced in May, and now, she wants to relocate to a new city and buy a little bungalow for herself and her 100-pound dog. But with her low income, she's wondering whether her best bet to get that home is deplete her retirement savings and buy it with cash. Our experts weigh in.

How to Find Seed Money to Restart a Family Business

A New York mom with two kids in college and income worries wants to relaunch her old business -- which would help the family budget and let her resume a career she loved. Where can she find the start-up money? DailyFinance's Laura Rowley whips up a few ideas.

Advice for an Exec Laid Off After 37 Years With One Firm

Rhonda, a 57-year-old Californian, was laid off in September after 37 years with a medical laboratory company. Now she needs to dust off those rusty job hunting skills, and figure out her financial next steps too. DailyFinance's Laura Rowley brought in a couple of experts to guide her.

Divorced Mom: How Do I Rebound Financially?

Splitting up makes a mess of your finances,as Lynn, a nurse living in Florida knows all too well. Her 2008 divorce from her husband of 28 years left her in debt, with bad credit, and with limited financial skills. She's already begun to dig out, but she needs a better plan.