how to: invest your money

Saving money and learning about investing is always a smart plan. Even if you’re newly hitched, it’s never too soon to start planning for those golden years. Think about it: Do you imagine yourselves lying on a beach or working behind a desk? If you picked the beach (or travel, or golf, or anything other than the 9-to-5 grind), you’ve come to the right place. We have all kinds of investment advice, including the basics of how to invest wisely and what all those financial terms really mean. Not sure where to begin? Start with our five easy steps to invest your money. We also have investing advice and Q&A on all kinds of financial basics about investing -- learn the difference between a 401(k) and an IRA, how to invest your savings, and your options if you can only invest a small amount. Our basic investing advice will help you get ready. But before you invest your money, you should be sure you’re out of debt: Use our debt calculator to help plan your payments, and follow our simple steps to go from credit card misery to debt free. And if your problem is a lack of cash, we’ve got tips for you, too. Learn the habits of spending-savvy couples, and find easy ways to save more of each month’s paycheck and stick to your budget. Don’t want to go it alone? Check out our local pages to find a financial planner in your area for some in-person investment advice.

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Q.

The Nest Q&A

We're a bit nervous about what to do with our savings account with a national bank. Will all our money be insured if our bank goes under?

A.

Unless you have more than $100,000 in an account, you're safe if your bank goes, well, bankrupt. Any FDIC-insured bank will cover up to that amount, plus an extra $100,000 for a joint account and up to $250,000 for retirement accounts. If your bank folds, call or make an appointment to find out how it plans to proceed. In most cases, another bank will buy it, so you can decide to close your account (you'd have to withdraw your funds in person) or let the new bank take on your account. For the latter, you probably won't have to do much other than sign an agreement and wait for your new ATM card to come in the mail.