Should we invest in stocks or pay off student loans with money gifted to us from our wedding?

I encourage the two of you not to consider this as an either/or situation, but instead use the money to provide for multiple goals. Focus on multiple goals to help you achieve both financial stability and a happier life . . . .

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I want to invest some of my savings with a long-term strategy to use to pay back the loans I will be taking out for school; what kind of investment strategies or accounts should I consider?

Before we discuss the investment opportunities for paying back the loans, start by talking with a financial planning specialist to identify additional financial aid opportunities to offset the schooling costs. Although it's great you . . .

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Will my husband's financial advisor be able to learn about my personal credit card debt when reviewing our finances and joint tax return?

No, your financial adviser will only have access to information approved and provided by you and your husband. This information may come out if you and your husband were to submit your credit reports to the adviser for. . . .

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Should I take money out of my 401(k) to pay off my house and save money on the mortgage payments in retirement?

The answer to this question will also depend on how much money you have in your 401(k), what your Social Security benefit is expected to be, and how much your annual expenses will be in retirement. If you have a sizable 401(k) (think more than 15x to 20x your annual . . . .

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I am saving for a down payment for a house; should I keep the money in my savings account or move it somewhere different?

Considering you have a 3-year timeline, a standard savings account isn't optimal due to the low interest rates being unlikely to keep up with inflation. A money market savings account or certificate of deposit would be a better to consider. If you are comfortable with taking on more risk . . . .

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How should I get out of debt?

Other than the credit card debt, your other debt and your housing costs actually look quite good. If you can get the credit card debt paid off, you'll be doing very well financially. Your best bet is to make minimum payments on your student loans and your car loan and put everything you can . . . .

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Should I take a lower salary working for my family or pursue a higher paying job for a good company?

From your question, it seems like you truly think working for the bank is the right choice, and I agree. You are not the only person who is going through a situation like this, although it might feel that way. I am also a professor of entrepreneurship and at least once a year I have a student . . . .

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Should my wife and I deplete our cash reserves, withdraw from my 401(k), or use a HELOC to finance home improvements?

I would be hesitant to pay for the home improvement either through withdrawing from a retirement account or getting a HELOC. Both options will increase your risk and harm your ability to enjoy a comfortable retirement over the long-term. There are other recommendations you should . . . .

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