A Financial Heart-to-Heart 

heartsWhen we sent out the DailyWorth reader survey late last year, and we asked what your burning questions were for 2010, more than 80% of you asked for more practical information about investing, budgeting and saving.

Yet, when we delve into practical topics like refinancing and target date mutual funds, 30% fewer of you read emails on those days.

Ladies. Here's your money mantra for 2010: Discomfort.

We know you want to grow and change financially—i.e. you want to develop a mature and secure money life. But it won't happen unless you stretch yourself to absorb information that makes you uncomfortable. And so, with the affection and respect that you've come to expect from DW, here are some questions for ya. The first five people who answer all three correctly get a free copy of MP's inspiring, eye-opening book, Money Can Buy Happiness.

  1. If you have $10,000 on your credit card at 19.99% interest rate, and you're paying the monthly minimum of 2.5%, how long will it take to pay it off?
  2. If you add a 13th mortgage payment every year, how much sooner would you pay off your 30-year mortgage?
  3. Let's say your income now is $50,000 per year and you'd like to retire in 30 years, and live on the same amount. You're 35 now and have $50,000 saved in your retirement accounts. What is the total you need in savings at age 65 to comfortably withdraw $50,000 per year? (Hint: The standard withdrawal rate is 4% of your nest egg. Also, for this example, do not include Social Security benefits.)