From 401ks to Finding a New Job

The day after President Obama outlined his strategy to turn the nation's faltering economy around, many Americans still have questions about how they will survive the recession.

Though the federal government has pledged to put hundreds of billions of dollars toward new jobs, new projects and tax cuts, families are still struggling with everything from education to mortgages.

ABC News financial contributor Mellody Hobson and ABC News workplace contributor Tory Johnson say the answers to many people's questions can be found by making some changes and staying smart about money.

VIDEO: Mellody Hobson and Tory Johnson answer viewer questions on the economy.
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Is Your Money Safe?

Hobson, the president of Ariel Investments, said many people are worried that the federal government is going to move toward nationalizing banks. But she said that's unlikely to happen for a few reasons, including the fact that such a system would be hard for the government to manage.

"Nationalization of other banks in other countries has not worked," she added.

Hobson said that as long as people have their money stored in a FDIC bank, it will be protected.

Time to Hit the Books Again?

Johnson, the CEO of Women for Hire, said workers considering going back to school need to decide whether it's worth delaying their careers and amassing more debt to earn another degree when they may be able to find employment using the skills they already have.

"You don't have to let your career be defined or limited by your major," she said, noting that many workers have jobs outside their fields of study.

But if you decide you really want to further your education, Johnson said, go for it. She added that it's important to make sure you've truly exhausted all career possibilities.

Saving for the Future

Several high-profile companies and their smaller counterparts have announced they will either cut or eliminate their 401(k) matching programs, a cost-saving measure that has caused Americans to worry about how they should be saving their money.

Hobson said Americans need to find some way to save, and a 401(k) is still a good option.

"First and foremost the money is tax-deferred," she said, adding that it also grows in the account tax-free.

And even if the company is no longer matching funds, a 401(k) can be a stable nest egg.

"It's really the only way to guarantee a comfortable retirement these days," she said.

Preying on Desperate Job Seekers

While some well-established businesses, such as Avon and Mary Kay, require workers to put up some of their own start-up money, Johnson said to beware of Internet job offers that require a fee and promise big money for little work.

"If you're asked to send money to a random PayPal account ... stay away," Johnson said.

With Internet scammers getting more savvy, job seekers need to be extra-cautious about where they send their money and their personal information.

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