Finance guru Dave Ramsey appeared on "Good Morning America" to talk about how people can get out of debt.
He gave some tips for how people can manage their finances and pay down their debts.
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Viewers have written in to ask Ramsey about their individual finance questions. Here are their questions and his answers.
Patricia McFarlin from Las Vegas, Nev., wrote:
Hello, I would like to know: I work for the federal government and every payday I buy EE and I savings bonds. In your opinion is this a good investment or should I put my money only in TSP [Thrift Saving Plans] investment funds?
Answer: TSP is better. Make sure you are debt-free and have three to six months of expenses in an emergency fund. If you're debt-free with cash in the bank, you can totally focus on investing. Sell the bonds and put the money in a TSP.
Kymberlee Ricke from Chicago, Ill, wrote:
I've heard that negative items on your credit report that are more than seven years old can be removed. Is this true and how can I do it?
Answer: You can only have inaccuracies removed from your credit report. The credit report clears all credit information seven years from the date of the last activity. If a debt is unpaid it will be on your credit report until the creditor stops reporting it.
I have two kids -- a 9-year-old and 7-year-old. I want to put aside money for their education. Currently I am putting aside $400 every month, in a regular savings account in my name. I have gotten conflicting advice about 529 education plans and custodial accounts. How should I save for my kids' education?
Answer: I recommend Educational Savings Accounts, ESAs, funded in a growth-stock mutual fund. ESAs grow tax-free when used for higher education. Some 529s are good but the ESA is better.
Joyce Fowler from Monrovia, Calif., wrote:
What affects the CD rates and when do you foresee them going up? I feel like this is the only safe place to put my cash but the return is ridiculous.
Answer: The bank determines the CD rate. I call them certificates of depression because they are terrible investments. CDs are OK for short-term savings but money market accounts are better. For long-term investing, mutual funds are still the way to go.
Cynthia Hawkins from Irvine, Calif., wrote:
I have been unemployed since the end of Oct. My 401(k) contribution stopped and I have no other retirement savings occurring. I feel uncomfortable not saving for retirement (I am 49) but feel that I need to conserve my cash until I get another job. Is this the right thing to do?
Answer: For right now you need to put any investing on hold and just save your cash. Go into emergency mode and focus on your necessities only. When you find another job you can focus on investing again but now is not the time.
Michael Goldin of Stratford, N.J., wrote: I'm [a] retired government [employee] currently working for the state of N.J. Approx[imately] half of all my financial instruments are invested in a New Jersey municipal bond fund. Is this the right thing to do?
Answer: You need to diversify -- spread your investing around. I always recommend mutual funds spread across four types of funds: 25 percent in growth funds, 25 percent in growth and income funds, 25 percent in international funds and 25 percent in aggressive growth funds. If you are closer to retirement you may want to consider more conservative funds.