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Jocelyn Black Hodes

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

My husband and I each got $500,000 life insurance term policies after our second child was born. We both work, though I am an entrepreneur so my income fluctuates. His friends have told him their wives have no life insurance or only a small...

Which Debt Should I Pay Off First?

My husband and I have student loans and mortgage debt (on our primary home and rental properties). Which should we pay down first? —Stephany Y., Los Angeles, CA You’ve probably heard student and mortgage debt referred to as “good debt.” That’s...

How Much Do I Need to Retire?

How much money would you need to never have to work again? Helping people like you answer that question is what I spent most of my time figuring out for clients as a financial advisor. With company pensions going the way of the dodo bird and...

Help! I'm Running Out of Money

What do you do when you’re already retired and your savings are dwindling? —Gerri, McKinney, TX You can take some comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Many retirees, and those saving for retirement, suffered a huge blow when the economy...

Explore the Muni-verse

You’ve probably heard of the phrase “tax-free municipal bonds” and wondered what they are, and whether they have a place in your financial plans. If you are tax-sensitive (i.e. looking to keep taxes low), and seeking to preserve assets while...

Can I Lose My 401(k)?

"If I leave my job to freelance or take another job, what should I do with my retirement account? I won't lose the money, will I?" - Jennifer, Brooklyn, NY Before you leave, it’s important to understand the (potentially negative) impact on your...

Why Is the Wage Gap Growing Wider?

It’s 2013—haven’t we closed the so-called wage gap between men and women yet? Apparently not, according to a new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). Worse, the gap seems to have widened. The ratio of women’s to men’s...

4 Questions for Your 401k

Ok, you’ve got a 401(k) set up. Needless to say, your plan is only as good as what you do with it. Ideally, you’re contributing the maximum your budget will allow (or at least getting the employer match, if there is one). But you should also pick...

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