financial planning

Watch: A Publisher's Clearing House Winner Thinks About the Future

For a Louisiana couple, a Feb. 28 visit from the Publishers Clearing House van carried with it an instant transformation from penny pinchers to millionaires. In an exclusive interview with DailyFinance, Elise Gutierrez laid out some of her savings plans for the future.

Her Financial Goal: Get a Handle on Retirement Planning

Everyone has things they want to improve about their financial lives -- and we in the AOL newsroom are no exceptions. So we asked money expert Jean Chatzky for advice on how to reach our goals. Today: A music editor who wants to understand more about her 401(k).

His Financial Goal: Get Ahead of the High Cost of Higher Education

Everyone has things they want to improve about their financial lives -- even the staff of DailyFinance. So we asked money expert Jean Chatzky for advice on how to reach our goals, and we're sharing her answers with you. First up: An editor looking ahead to college tuition bills.

New Year, Same Beneficiaries? Here's Why You Need to Review

If you haven't checked the beneficiary designations on your financial accounts lately, you really should. It's quick, easy, and though it may not sound all that important, getting it squared away now could make a huge difference to your family later.

The Surprising Generation that Has a Handle On Its Finances

We all know that we should save more and spend less, but we don't always follow that advice. When you break down our responses to the financial crisis by generation, however, some interesting patterns emerge -- and you probably wouldn't guess which generation is doing the worst at financial wellness.

The Biggest Mistake of Financial Planning for Special Needs Kids

When it comes to raising special needs children, the financial challenges can be overwhelming -- expensive in the near term, and making long-term planning even more of a high-stakes endeavor. And, with the best of intentions, parents could be making one incredibly costly mistake.

Where Does Your Spouse's Credit Card Debt Go When They Die?

When a husband or wife dies, it's not just the emotional issues that can be overwhelming; the financial issues can be, too. Here are three important financial actions no widow or widower should delay taking -- and the answer to the pressing question in the headline above.

For Richer, Not Poorer: 6 Reasons to Cut Your Wedding Cost in Half

Financial advisor Nicole Seghetti has counseled many young couples, and never once has she heard newlyweds say they wish they'd spent more on their wedding. Mostly, they wished they'd spent far less. Here are the six most common things they'd rather have saved that cash for, and how much further it would have gotten them.

The Biggest Risk to Your Golden Years -- It's Not What You Expect

We devote our entire working lives socking money away for tomorrow. But even the most well-crafted and seamlessly executed financial plan does nothing to mitigate one enormous risk we confront. Sadly, we typically don't realize this threat until we come face-to-face with it.

Why Healthy People In Their Prime Need Life Insurance Too

It's easy to assume that if you're young and healthy, you'll be alive next year. It's probably true, too. But there are many grieving relatives and friends out there who will remind you that the unexpected does happen, and it can leave all kinds of chaos in its wake.

Victoria O'Hara's 6 Best Tips for Would-Be Investors

Victoria O'Hara parlayed a relative's gift of one share of stock into a sizable portfolio by investing in a few shares at a time, on a postal worker's salary. Here are her top lessons for any novice investors hoping to emulate her success.

5 Surprisingly Smart Ways to Blow $1,000 of Your Tax Refund

You may see your tax refund check as a choice between a crazy splurge and responsible saving. But you could also put that money to work for you less conventionally. Here are five good ways to spend $1,000 of your April windfall that you might not have considered.

8 Ways That Tech Can Help You Save

With the advent of the "new iPad," the role of technology in streamlining our lives is in the forefront of many people's minds. On the Today show, digital lifestyle expert Mario Armstrong discussed eight websites, apps and gadgets that you can use to help you save and manage your money.

Marriage and Money: How Do You Join Your Finances?

As my wedding day approaches, I am beginning to understand that marriage is not just a union of love; it's also a joint venture that includes the combining of financial assets. Cue the discussion of ... The Shared Bank Account.

3 Ways to Take Control of Your Finances in 2012

After the overindulgence of December, it's no surprise that so many people spend January trying to turn over new leaves. If you're ready to get your financial house in order, consider one of these three websites, each with a different take on helping you better manage your money.

How Did You Do It? Share Your Money Success Stories

The start of a new year is a traditional moment for turning over a new leaf -- but real change doesn't come easy. With that in mind, we're asking you, our readers to share your best financial planning stories, tips and secret strategies.

7 Resolutions for Retirees in 2012

Retirees may be past the days of resolving to work out more or buy fewer $4 coffees. Yet when it comes to money in particular, resolutions may be even more important for those living on fixed income. From financial nuts and bolts to more holistic aims, here's a look at seven worthy resolutions for retirees to commit to in 2012.

12 Smart Ways to Spend $1,200 in 2012

Develop a spending plan can help limit impulsive purchases and set your priorities for the coming year. With that in mind, these 12 ways to spend $1,200 in 2012 offer a mix of the practical and the indulgent. Even if you don't have that much, the tips may give you some ideas on how to get the most from your money to help you and others.

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 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.

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.

Help Your Kids Save While They're Still in School

So your resident college student is knee-deep in student loans, tuition, fees and rent payments. But infusing her bank account will sap the funds you have earmarked for your retirement. What's a concerned parent to do? Help her start building up some savings of her own. Here's how:

Why It Doesn't Pay to Be Too Optimistic Financially

When it comes to managing financial matters, you can't go wrong by hoping for the best but planning for the worst. In other words, underpromise and overdeliver. What does that look like in real life? Read on for some figures and calculations that point the way towards prudent retirement planning.

9/11 Survivor Finds 'Purpose' by Helping Others

In 2001, Nicole B. Simpson was just another Morgan Stanley financial planner on the 73rd floor when the 9/11 attacks struck. She survived, but the emotional trauma left her old life in the wreckage. Eventually, though, she found a new purpose in helping others through traumas of their own.