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tv   C-SPAN Weekend  CSPAN  November 14, 2009 6:00am-7:00am EST

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♪ i will never accept defeat! i will never quit! i am an american soldier! after our country was viciously attacked in september of 2001, i enlisted in my state guard, the da ga state defense force and i proudly served for
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more than eight years. but i am proud today to serve on the team with hln's robin meade, we have traveled to the national infantry museum near fort benning, georgia, to answer the questions of soldiers and their families about their wallets. why? so they can be as savvy about money as you are. i want to tell you something that is obvious to you, the country is in a really tough spot financially. we are in some difficult trouble with our economy. but i want to tell you something crazy. for those of you as young soldiers and families of young soldiers, today's economy actually gives you more opportunity than people who came before you. because everything that you need to do in order to build a financial future for yourself is
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cheaper now than it used to be. and the greatest thing is as american fighting men and women, you have access to the nation's best long-term savings plan, the thrift savings plan. i want you to know that even though a lot of your relatives in civilian life and friends in civilian life are having a very difficult time financially, you are in a position to have an absolutely fantastic financial future. >> we have lieutenant jose elizabeth, right? and he wants to know about how much money you can save selling your house. what makes you ask that? >> today i'm seeing they're saying that soldiers were getting discounts on selling their houses. >> there's a special program for soldiers that if you are, you are issued new orders for new duty station, and this was
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signed by president obama this past winter, and you are transferred and you have a home that you can't sell for what you owe on it, the feds will absorb a portion of those losses. and depending on the amount that you would be upside-down on when you sell your home, the feds would either end up covering all of it or a substantial portion of your upside-down amount. and here we go, lieutenant, i have the actual, see my executive producer is so swift. the actual law is called the military home owners assistance program. and it was signed into law on february 17th. there are specific rules about who is eligible for compensation under the program. but it's cut-off date at sunset is duty station transfers through 2012. so it is there specifically so that you in service to our country do not suffer hardship
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by, you don't choose to go to a new duty station. hey, i think i want to move -- you're told. and so you shouldn't suffer financial harm because of that. >> right behind him is staff sergeant derrick halabash. and somebody contacted him. when people contact you -- i don't know, my radar goes up. what were they telling you about relief? >> they were saying they could refinance my home to about 4.8%, a third off. do you advise going with this? >> it's within reason that you could get a 30-year refinance from 4.75%, so about 5.25%, if you have solid credit for a 15-year refi right now, from just under 4%, maybe 3.875, to about 4.25. the question is never, can somebody really write you a loan at 4.75. the question is, what fees are
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they going to charge you, in order to refi that loan. and what you want to do, if you get a quote from them, you just don't take a quote from them. you need quotes from others as well. and you want to divide them into three parts. part one is the interest rate that's all that anybody ever tells you about. second part is if they charge you what is known as points. each point is 1% of the amount of money you're borrowing. you know how many points you should pay on a refi? none. the third category is closing costs, closing costs go from here to here. and that's where a lot of lenders will say, they're like picking your pocket. while they're smiling at you. because they'll tell you, we're giving this great rate. but they charge you so much in closing costs, it's really not a great rate. so you need all three from anybody you get a quote from. but is it true you could get 4.75 right now? yes, it is.
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>> next on "clark howard" -- >> we have a brand new, 2008 truck, that has a very high interest rate in the near 20's, 20%. >> you don't! >> it just touches my heart because you know, we know that the men and women in the uniform sacrificed so much. but sometimes we don't really hear about the family stories and they sacrificed just as much.
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all right so senior officer jeff torres is a candidate. you want to talk about investing in a certain plan. so let's ask about that. >> since becoming parents in the last year, my wife and i have been concerned with the forecast for higher education in about 17 years. forecasting about $300,000 we'll have to shell out. so what i've done for the first
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year is invested in my state's 529 plan. i was wondering what your thoughts are about 529 plans or other state plans that i don't know about. >> it's a college savings plan, you put money into it all the money gross tax-free as long as the money is used for college. all the earnings are tax-free. so it is the absolute best vehicle to save for college. and so you're doing the right thing. what state plan are you in? >> virginia. and actually, we made a conscious decision to remain a virginia resident exclusively for their education benefits. >> let me tell you something about virginia. virginia is one of the states that has multiple 529 plans. and there are good 529 plans in virginia and bad ones. so i have a guide on my website which is, where you can do the hyperlink and make sure that the virginia plan you're in is the good one. not one of the bad ones. >> this is colonel hall-boyer,
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she's retiring from the reserve about five years from retirement. and she has a question about coming up on retirement. >> good afternoon, sir. i'm actually going to be retiring from the army reserve next year sometime. and will retire from my civilian job. i'm projecting five or six years from then. >> when do you rest? >> right now, i'm resting. >> this is it, she's resting. >> i just got back from afghanistan and i'm on my way home. and this is a little rest stop here. but i have about five more working years that i'm going to invest. i don't get my reserve retirement until i'm 59 1/2. and but we'll still have extra money to invest during that time. what would be the best thing to look into for end of career type investments. >> okay. let me ask you a tough question.
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if you quit working at 59 1/2, you know the odds are, you'll live maybe another 30 years or so. are you confident that you're going to have enough money five years from now, that you will be able to carry yourself the rest of your life? >> pending the market crash or, unless there's a market crash, i expect to have enough by the time i hit 60. >> so you feel comfortable that you are going to be able to bag work at 60, boom, you're done? >> well, i might not want to quit work. i still like to work. >> do you understand why i'm asking you the question? because i want to make sure that you are in a position and although i was talking with the young soldier about doing a roth account, for you, doing a roth is even better. because you're allowed to do what's known as catch-up. you can do an extra $1,000 a year, at $6,000 each year into a roth account.
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and i would do that for these next five years. when military personnel are deployed overseas, often they leave behind a spouse and children who suddenly are having to deal with money issues stateside. i had the privilege of sitting down with one couple that's getting ready for an imminent overseas deployment. >> my name is private kevin lights and this is my beautiful life, amanda lights and this is our 2-week-old son, hunter lights. i'm facing a deployment in about two weeks. >> how can i be of service to the two of you? >> i have a question. i know with the way the economy is and banks sort of changing the rules as far as things go. are there any banks still participating in the soldiers and sailors relief act? >> they don't have a choice. they have to. now why is that relevant in your case? >> my husband is deploying to north iraq in the next two
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weeks. so -- and we have a brand-new, 2008 truck that has a very high interest rate in the near 20's. 20%. >> you don't. what were you thinking? >> we were young when we got it and just we haven't refinanced yet. >> well you have two options because under the soldier and sailors relief act while you're deployed that will go down to 6%, you have to petition for it. the other thing is your credit is good? >> uh-huh. >> why don't you refi. >> we're looking at refi. >> ask them. they may require that you do some down appointment payment, reduction in the loan balance in order for them to do it. but they'll mark it down if your credit's good. >> and i have one more question for you. i have two credit cards but i've been very leery with them if i put anything on by the time i get the statement, as soon as i get the statement i pay it off. how is that affecting my credit
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score. >> making it great. >> that's the right thing to do. >> okay. >> learn from her. >> yes, sir. >> next on "clark howard" -- >> you're an example thaw don't have to be someone toting a gun to be able to serve. >> would you want me toting a gun? let's take a vote. who wants me carrying a gun?
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we were at an army post to show gratitude to the young men and women who put their lives on the line for our country. and to answer their questions and also those of retired military personnel about their wallets. but i am joined by "new york times" bestselling author, robin
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meade. it feels pretty good to be on the "new york times" bestselling list. >> ever since that happened, i've been telling everybody i'm on the "new york times" bestselling list. >> i remember i was a habitat for humanity build. and i got a phone call that "the new york times" bestseller list had come out and i was on it. and it was amazing, let me tell you, i didn't do very well in english in high school and to be on the "new york times" bestseller list was quite a shock. >> i wonder, i was going to ask clark we just saw a group of soldiers march by and i wondered what was going on. >> we've just had a graduation ceremony for a new group of recruits and i was at the ceremony earlier today. and i want you to know, there's a massive grandstand that was 100% full with family and friends. and they were standees, a couple of hundred standees because
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there was no more room for them. they were there to express their pride. and in a young soldier, a young family member who has chosen to put on the uniform of the united states army. >> nothing like it. >> and you have a long history of expressing gratitude to soldiers that is not based on some kind of pr puff thing. >> on the morning show on hln, "morning express with robin meade" every day we salute somebody. >> who is she? >> exactly. every morning we do a salute to the troops, it's once an hour. and generally it can be somebody who is in the military. but you know who it generally is? it's family members who are generally missing their loved one, they might be deployed overseas, or at another base where they can't be. >> i cannot tell you how much i miss my son. he had to leave his baby
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daughter, two weeks old to go and serve his country. >> he is the best husband, the best father. i tell him sometime i wish he was my dad. >> i love my husband so much. because he's able to put smiles on my children's faces. >> he is such an amazing husband and father, our 9-month-old daughter, kiley, misses her father so much. please be careful and come home safe. we love you so much. >> it touches my heart. we know that the men and women in uniform sacrifice so much. but we don't hear about the family stories and they sacrifice just as much. because for months at a time you're deployed. for months at a time someone back here is running the household. >> you've been to a number of army posts, fort bragg, fort sam houston, fort campbell.
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>> doing different stories there. salute to troops in another form. fort sam houston, we were visiting amputees, people who were obviously in the service and then had something happen where they were amputees, that's a great facility there. fort bragg we were there doing a memorial day special. fort campbell we were there doing a veterans day special. >> and the soldiers are pretty excited to see you. no one's asked me why i'm in uniform. i saw you looking at my uniform and you couldn't figure out -- >> i was told, are you in the reserves? what do you do? >> i'm in the state guard. >> what does a state guardsman do? >> thank you for asking. there are 27 of the 50 states have state guards that are usually part of the same military structure as the national guard. and where national guardsmen deploy here in the united states or overseas. state guardsmen only deploy within the 50 states. >> what job do you do?
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>> they have me do public affairs. >> you talk, don't you? >> i enlisted right after the terrorist attacks. someone told me about the state guard and i was like, wow. i'm too hold to go into regular army reserves or national guard. but this gave me an opportunity to serve. >> you look great. you look great and -- >> i would like on my website at i have a guide to all the states that have state guards. and how people can volunteer and enlist. >> but you're an example that you don't have to be someone toting a gun to be able to serve. >> would you want me toting a gun? let's take a vote who wants me carrying a gun? who wants me not carrying a gun? okay. not much faith in me carrying a gun. >> your weapon is your information with finances and you help us. >> oh, very good.
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-- captions by vitac -- >> i'm an american soldier! i will never accept defeat! i will never quit! i am an american soldier! welcome back to the national infantry museum in columbus, georgia, we're here with our brave fighting men and women who
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i appreciate so much putting their lives on the line for our nation's freedom. we're here to take their questions about better ways to handle their dough. >> i'm way over here with staff sergeant isaac rios, thank you for your service. and he heard you talk about tsp. and he wants to know about some other good investments for like what? >> any other investment that you recommend to just get a little bit more money. >> if you have more money than -- >> let's say you already have the tsp. >> what other investments that you know about. >> i got it. >> all right. you got $5,000 for me right now? >> yeah. >> okay. good. because you can do -- >> everybody's head swivelled, they're like, ooh, where? >> you can do up to $5,000 each calendar year in an account called a roth. roth is my favorite savings
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vehicle. you put in this money, up to $5,000. and if you're married, you can do five and five. you don't have to do five, that's just a ceiling. you put money into it, and listen to this, you never get taxed on that money. everything you earn on it, tax-free. when you spend it, you spend it tax-free. you can take money you got in savings, whatever it is, and put it into a roth account. and the tax-free advantage over time is gigantic. now when are you allowed to spend the money? when would you guess i'm going to let you spend the money? >> that was my next question. what can i spend -- >> 59 1/2. >> how old are you now? >> 33. >> so you would put this money into a roth, and you got to leave it in there for 26 years. but then everything that you have is your money to spend, dollar for dollar, government's out of your life on taxing it.
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>> chrissie landmeter i'm sitting right beside her and you guys are doing some overseas psc move to germany. you only have two months to prepare. what question do you have financially? >> i wanted to know, there's some extra costs that are going to be incurring for an overseas move that will not be covered with our allowance. shipping our pet, things with our cars, multiple things we're coming across that we have to do. i was wondering instead of dipping into our savings, which do you think would be best way to cover these costs since we only have two months to prepare and we have to start doing that now? >> well actually this is the kind of circumstance that dipping into savings is appropriate. but that's what it's there for. but you said cars, shipping cars to germany? >> well we're shipping one, but like we have to do, there's things we have to do to the car before. new tires, all of these different things. >> and you're having to pay for the shipping of the car? >> we're not paying for the
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shipping, but the maintenance that needs to be done. the shipping of the pet. we're going over the $1,000 mark and of course, i don't have that budgetsed into the monthly budget. >> but you do have savings. >> see, because you have savings you're making the people right behind you very happy. because you actually have a pay to pay for those expenses for relocation that are not covered. >> this is how much this guy loves saving money. and he's going to share a little bit of that with you. he uses one razor every six months. i'm not joking.
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i'll be remiss if i didn't tell you this. my father in law and my father are both huge fans, any time we ask them any sort of financial advice -- they always say, well clark howard says -- so we hear that a lot. so we had to tell you, they're huge fans and they really like what you do. >> thank you. >> on my way back from iraq just before i redeployed to the states, i bought a harley. and i paid half off, i paid the nine grand, i decided to take a loan out for the other nine to build my credit. i was wondering, would it be smart of me to refinance my, the loan? or just let it ride out and keep paying payments, i'm not having any problems paying it off. >> what interest rate is the harley loan at? >> the interest rate is 4.69%. >> there's no refi i would really do. that's a fantastic rate is that subsidized by harley? or is that from the credit union? >> andrews federal credit union.
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>> smart man. before we go on, i need a show of hands, who has already joined the credit union? >> all right now want to tell you something -- i need next time i come here, whatever duty station you're at and i ask that question, i want that hand up in the air. because you're missing a real opportunity. you heard that 4.69%. credit unions are so great at virtually every military installation, that you could be assigned to. you're going to have access to a credit union. if you're not familiar with why it's so great to be in one, if you go to a bank and open an account, you are helping to fund the profits for the stockholders of that bank. on the other hand, if you go to a credit union and open an account, you become an owner of the credit union, and everything they do and everything they offer, is so that you get a better deal on loans, savings
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and checking. so -- by the time we're done today, i hope that everybody will raise their hands and say they're a credit union member. >> all right. specialist greg frye is right here. and he has a question about something that i have seen on the commercials again and again. >> clark, what is the best way to invest in gold? >> other than turning in your wife's jewelry and stuff like that? >> first, any of those ads you see on tv from all of these people who buy your jewelry and all that? run away. run away, not to them. second, buying gold is tough. because when you buy actual gold, you have to pay a commission to buy it, you have to pay a commission to sell it. and then let's say you put real money into gold. let's say you take all your savings and you put it into gold. gold is something people want to steal. so then you got to pay to lock
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it up. so -- then anything i like about buying actual gold, but there's a trick way to buy it. that's easy and cheap, if gold is what you want to have. you can buy ownership in gold like you buy a stock. and it's called an etf, an exchange-traded fund, which sounds complicated, but it's not. and you pay a company to buy gold for you. they store it for you in a vault. and then when you choose to sell it, you can sell it right away at whatever market price is. it's really, really easy to do. and it saves you a fortune. and you have the same thing owning gold. >> one of the most difficult transitions for military personnel is reassignment to a new duty location. well, there are lot of money issues that come up with that. and i visited with one couple that had a lot of questions for me. >> hi, i'm captain john burns and this is my beautiful wife
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may. >> hi. >> i've been in the army for about three years now, 3 1/2 years and i've had one deployment to baghdad, iraq for 15 months during the surge in 2007-2008. >> we're trying to buy a house in the near future. maybe a year or two, two years. >> and are going to be deployed where in america? >> maybe stationed in fort bragg in about the next six months after i get done here at benning. >> what questions do you have about buying a house? >> should we wait maybe a year, rent for a while and put a decent-sized savings away that we can put a down payment on the home? >> there is no right answer to that. if you buy a home pretty quickly under a va loan, the advantage to that side of it is that the housing market won't have recovered by six months from now. let's say you waited 18 months, 24 months to have substantial downpayment.
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there may have started to be a meaningful recovery to the housing market. even though i love people to pay substantial down payment, in your circumstance, when you get to bragg, i would like at buying a home there before the market recovers. but especially if you find one that's a real deal. next on "clark howard" -- >> nobody knows how to get a bargain at sam's club, are you serious? >> i mean you can actually ask for a bargain? >> no, there's something you look for.
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around the country, people want know how you can be of help to the victims of the fort hood shootings. if you go to my website at, you can see how this weekend you can make a difference in the aftermath of this attack. sergeant first class kevin simpson, if you don't mind standing up here. really this must be a good time for him to ask this question, yeah. >> how you doing, clark? >> great, thank you. >> the question i have is, i'm thinking about buying a house, i'm retiring in about seven years and the question about buying a house is either buying a house or building a house. and i'm thinking about buying land. trying to figure out what's the
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best way to invest in buying in land. >> i would prefer if you will consider buying a house instead of buying land. and here's why -- in the real estate slump, what's happened is that houses are selling for less than replacement cost. which means that what you pay to buy a house right now is cheaper than it costs sticks-up to build. so it might get a real deal on the land. but then you decide to build your own house now or later, if you were to build the house now, at least you'd get good prices from builders and better prices on materials, because the market's not in great shape. but your best deal is buying a house that somebody has just got to sell, because you can buy it at a fraction of what it would cost to make. >> marie brooks might be your favorite person here today. she said what's the best way to be debt-free before retiring.
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when are you going to be retiring? >> two years from the army reserve and two to five years from civil service. >> so the question is what kind of debts do you have that you're trying to get your arms around? >> i want to get around to paying off the house and having just house and utilities by the time i retire. >> well, paying off your home mortgage is not always a priority. the big priority is paying off any unsecured debt. personal loans, credit cards, then next would be car loans. but home mortgage debt is not a high priority with me. it's more important that you beef up your savings than it is to be mortgage debt-free. it's psychological for people to want to be mortgage debt-free on the day they retire. i'm not that much into that because your house isn't going to feed you money. you're going to feed yourself from the money that you have saved. >> clark, what about i've heard other financial analysts who aren't half as good as you, may
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i just add. when they say, yeah, that you're paying off your mortgage should be a priority because that way you're never homeless. >> well that is a good point. but i'm more concerned about people who retire, don't have enough money, don't have enough cash to pay for everyday things and they, it's an empty victory that they own their house free and clear. >> this is how much this guy loves saving money. and he's going to share a little bit of that with you. he uses one razor every six months. i'm not joking. and he is has figured out how you make that razor last. so maybe in the field this will help you. >> the secret to making a blade last that long is yours for free if you buy robin meade's new "new york times" bestselling book. no, the secret is believe it or not, whether you use a mach iii, a turbo, whatever, whatever
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blade you use, dry it after you use it. a blade does not deteriorate from shaving you. it does not deteriorate from a guy's beard or shaving a woman's leg. it only deteriorates from the moisture. so if you dry a blade, you're fine. now just before i found out about this, i had gone to a warehouse club and they had 35 packs of razors on clearance. i have 70 of these things i bought, now, i used two blades a year. so that means i have a 35-year supply of razors. i got to make it to 89 years old before i need to buy my next one. >> now that's saving money. >> anybody know the secret pricing codes at sam's club? >> really? does it have to do with what level card you are? >> no. nobody knows how to get a bargain at sam's club?
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are you serious? >> you mean you can actually ask for a bargain? >> no, there's something you look for. when you're walking around sam's, anything that ends in one cent has been marked down. they don't do sales because they don't want anybody to wait for things to be reduced in price. so for internal use, if you see something that ends in $52.31. that means before it may have been $89.99. when i walk around sam's. i was in sam's yesterday. and i walked the floor. and i go aisle to aisle, looking at the merchandise. i look to see what's ending in one penny. and then i look to see if i want it. and that's how i shop there. >> how did you learn that? how did you find that out? >> it's my job to know stuff like that. everybody been in a costco wholesale? >> yeah. >> nobody's been in a costco?
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>> oh, honey, i live there. >> costco, anybody know the system at costco? they have a similar thing. 97 cents. anything that ends in 97 cents has been marked down below so those are the times you're getting something that's a real, real deal. >> i have with me officer candidate neil shubert and his wife, laura. who do you have in your arms here? >> this is aubrey. >> which's in your arms? >> bela. >> bela. how are you honey? how old are you? >> 4. >> i understand that you might be going to harvard some day. that's expensive? that is what you want to know about? how do you pay for these two in college. tell us what you've been thinking. what you've been trying to process what you're going to do
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here. pretty expensive for two of them in college? >> absolutely. just kind of looking at just saving as much as we can. we're trying to figure out what options are out there to save more to get the most bang for our buck. >> the big thing is i always want to make sure that the two of you are saving for yourselves first. >> okay. >> the first step is to put up to $5,000 for each of you in to a roth this year. if you still have more money to save, you can open one of the college 529 plans, the 529 seayings plans. but you start by saving for yourself. because the roth has the double flexibility if they end up getting scholarships, whatever it is, you don't need any of the money for college. but you still need it for retirement. >> perfect. >> okay. >> thank you. >> does that make sense? >> absolutely. that's fantastic. thank you so much.
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>> sure. next on clark howard. you want the car that your neighbors and your friends are laughing at you about. because then some day, you're going to be saying, am i going to play golf over there or over there? and they're gelling in their car and going to work.
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