Columnist | Your Money

Chris Farrell is economics editor for American Public Media's weekly "Marketplace Money" show and author of "The New Frugality." He answers reader questions on most Sundays. Send questions to and put "Your Money" in the subject line.

Why this is a good time to shore up your household finances

The initial hope that the pandemic would be contained within a short period of time is giving way to the sober realization that combating the virus will take time.

Planning to work beyond retirement age? You may have to call an audible

One practical response for near-retirees to consider is whether to join the ranks of entrepreneurs, including self-employment.

You can have fun in the stock market, but keep sums small

What is going on with the stock market? Despite some nerve-racking plunges, investors seem remarkably cheery. If you only paid attention to the stock market…

Why you should be wary of private equity getting a shot at your 401(k)

Private-equity performance is too opaque, and private-equity fees too onerous and too complicated for the 401(k) saver.

Don't listen to the markets. Embrace 4 basics of personal finance

When we give our money away and volunteer our time, we ask the right question: How can we make a difference?

Think of this pandemic era as a retirement test drive

Many near-retirees now know odds are they'll need to plan on working well into the traditional retirement years, while saving more and focusing on eliminating debts

It's going to be different from now on, so think through a personal plan

One trick is to keep a diary. The notes are there to help you think through your likes, strengths, weaknesses and goals.

Socially responsible investing shows relative strength in pandemic economy

Making money and embracing sustainability may well be two sides of the same coin.

Make frugality a key part of your financial crisis recovery plan

Savings protects against downside risks and allows for taking advantage of opportunities.

Mentoring in an economy rocked by pandemic can pay off for everybody

The best investment the older generation can make is in the younger generation.