Send Michelle Singletary money questions you want answered


I remember getting my Security information a few months before my birthday. It was, for many years, the best time for me to think about my financial future.

That’s it The books stopped coming more than a decade ago as the government tried to save money. So you go online, except in some limited circumstances, i sign up for your information – this, by the way, it was rescheduled to 2021 with a lot of useful information.

But even if you don’t have that annual celebration, you can make your birthday a time to think about how you’re going to handle your finances. What should you do in your 20s? When you turn 40, ask if it’s yours is on the retirement savings path. Hitting 60? The old-or-early debate about taking Social Security faces you this decade. I’m 80 years old and I still don’t have a heart. What is that?

To help guide you in your financial research, I’ve created, with the amazing team at The Washington Post, an interactive guide – financial tips for all ages. You can find it at

Michelle Singletary’s awards for all ages

I have received hundreds of questions over the years from readers across the country. I’ve compiled the most common topics into a guide, from debt to wealth creation to housing and health.

There are tips for all ten years of your financial life, from 20-somethings to happy retirement with the results of their smart plans.

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There is also a “Post Reports” podcast that includes a conversation with my two 20-year-old daughters. We talked about their struggles with aging. They have stories. Get ready to laugh and cry as I discuss the financial issues that rule our lives.

Publishing Report: How to be smart with your money at any age

I wrote this project with you in mind. Every time I read a poll or study that says Americans don’t understand finance, I want to shout “It’s not their fault!”

Yes, some people are frustrated because of bad choices. But the decisions you have to make about your finances can be overwhelming, and it’s hard to know who to trust to help you make the right decisions.

“I want to say something that scares me the most about the age of not having a set path,” said my youngest, Jillian, during the podcast. “Do I want to stay in this job? Do I want to move to another state? Do I want to live in the area? All big question marks. And that’s the thing about aging that I don’t like.”

That’s saying a lot, considering she has a mother who spends most of her career writing about personal finance and a father who is the same. his mastery of money management.

What we have done is put in one place a compilation of important financial questions, attached and linked to my columns over the years and other articles as sources. But as I put this project together, I knew I couldn’t hit all the issues to begin with. This is why I need your help.

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To improve the project, we add questions from readers. How do you feel about your money?

“In your most important money column, I didn’t see anything about funerals,” emailed Jim Ward of Alexandria, Va. “Should I prepay my funeral?”

I will update the project next month and add Ward’s question.

Many people believe that they have taken care of their funeral at funeral homes and funeral homes, but only their family knows that after their death there are many things to pay. That is if they can get the information for the “first order,” as it is sometimes called.

“Just buried my brother, his grave was paid for, not his funeral,” Ward wrote. “My brother talked about premeditation, but after going through his papers, we didn’t find anything.”

What followed was a search for the policy they thought existed.

6 exciting steps for end of life planning

“We contacted the funeral home used by his church and found out he had not made any arrangements,” Ward said. “The funeral home contacted the church’s cemetery, and we found out that he bought a plot of land.”

Ward ended up paying for the death out of pocket.

A friend pointed out another thing missing from the project – a section dedicated to people in their 90s and beyond.

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There are 2.4 million people in the United States 90 or older, which includes 2.3 million people from 90 to 99 and nearly 98,000 centenarians, according to the Census Bureau’s one-year estimate from 2021.

In a 2011 announcement, an official for the agency said: “Traditionally, the cut-off age for ‘very old’ has been 85, but the increase in people is living longer and the elderly population itself is aging. Because of its rapid growth, the 90-and-older population deserves close attention.”

In 2016, there were 81,000 centenarians in the United States. That number is expected to rise to 589,000 by 2060, according to the census. By 2050, people 90 and older are expected to make up 10 percent of the population that includes people 65 and older.

We stopped recommending it for people in their 80s. My guess is that Americans over 80 would benefit from the same advice that was offered ten years ago. But they should have their own group, which will be combined with centenarians.

As with any endeavor of this depth and breadth, something is certain left out. But I’ll do my best to answer some of your toughest financial questions. And you may not agree with my advice, but the goal is to facilitate a conversation so that you can expect your money. I hope I have done that, and you will be an active participant to help me identify topics to add to this project.


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