Top Ten: Weekend reads: $500,000 and a retirement problem

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Everybody’s financial scenario heading into retirement is different. This encompasses more than levels of savings or income — emotions come into play. What if you are afraid to invest your money? This may be a difficult scenario when banks are paying very little interest on deposits.

Alessandra Malito continues her Help Me Retire series with practical suggestions to a reader who is 65 years old, has saved close to $500,000 for retirement, but describes himself as “terrified of investing in the markets in the current climate.” MarketWatch readers have added their own investment advice, and you can join the conversation.

Make money as the dollar slides

There is pressure on the value of the dollar as U.S. government debt balloons. But a lower dollar can also help companies that rely on exports. Jeff Reeves recommends five stocks that can benefit from the decline in the dollar.

A value stock screen

As new coronavirus cases continue to mount, it may be difficult to imagine a better time after vaccines are deployed and life returns to normal. But when it does, value stocks are expected to shine as the economy returns to sustained growth. Here’s a screen of five value stocks with good dividend yields.


Small-cap and midcap stocks

The Russell 2000 index RUT, +0.40% has been on a tear lately, as shares of smaller companies have been heating up. Michael Brush expects the U.S. economy to be “really hot” by June and recommends these ETFs and stocks for investors who want to ride the wave.

Avoid the zombie stocks

William Barritt explains that many highly-leveraged companies that would normally have great difficulty paying interest on their debt are coasting along, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented efforts to lower interest rates. He advises investors to focus on ” well-run companies with low leverage that generate a high return on invested capital” — like these six stocks.

Janet Yellen, then Federal Reserve chairwoman, testifying on Capitol Hill in 2017.


Yellen’s likely comeback

President-elect Joe Biden wants former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen to be Secretary of the Treasury. Andrew Keshner and Jillian Berman look back at Yellen’s tenure at the Fed and ahead at what her leadership at Treasury might mean for American families reeling from the economic fallout from COVID-19.

Should this couple pay off the mortgage?

CD Moriarty helps a couple who cannot agree on whether to pay off their $46,000 mortgage loan just before retirement or keep the money in their savings account. Moriarty digs deeply into how couples communicate and make financial decisions as well as the nuts and bolts of retirement expenses and Social Security timing.

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Financial aid for college — the two-year plan

Howard Gold explains why it actually takes two years to get the most financial aid possible before entering college. This means if your child is in 10th grade, it’s time to get started. Here’s how.

Time for another transformation for Fannie and Freddie

Fannie Mae FNMA and Freddie Mac FMCC have been operating under a government conservatorship since 2008. The Trump administration is pushing to return the two mortgage giants to independence. Jacob Passy explains the challenges and possible disruption ahead for the U.S. home finance market.


A FIRE advantage, even if you start late

Did you start saving and investing toward retirement during middle age? You’re probably sick of being told how important it is to begin early. But Chris Mamula explains that a later started can have advantages on the road to financial independence.

For a pension fix, look north

The U.S. has an estimated $4.6 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities. Canada showed how to clean up a pension mess.

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