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Ask Dr. Don
Don Taylor, Ph.D., CFA, CFP

Don TaylorDr. Don Taylor, in addition to answering our readers' questions about personal finance, is an assistant professor of business administration at Penn State Brandywine in Media, Pa. He teaches courses in financial services for the university. Previously, Don was an associate professor of finance at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., where he taught course work in financial planning and investments. He is co-author of the textbook "Financial Planning: Process and Environment," now in its second edition. He has professional experience as a treasurer, consultant, financial planner and debt analyst.

Don holds a doctorate in finance and has earned both master's and bachelor's degrees in finance. A Chartered Financial Analyst since 1990, he also has earned his Chartered Financial Planner certificate and is a Chartered Financial Consultant. He is a member of the CFA Institute, the Academy of Financial Services, the Financial Planning Association and the Financial Management Association. He is on the review board of the Journal of Financial Planning and the Journal of Financial Service Professionals.

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Bank Shots
Jay MacDonald

Jay MacDonald

Jay MacDonald has managed to combine a successful and diverse career as a writer and editor with a gypsy life largely spent down roads less traveled. A professional journalist from age 16, Jay has worked at the national level in three disciplines.

As an award-winning feature writer and editor for United Press International in Chicago and Seattle, his work widely appeared in many North American newspapers. As an account executive with Hill & Knowlton Public Relations in Atlanta, his primary account was Arby's.

As a communications officer for Honeywell Commercial Aviation Systems in Phoenix, he was awarded the Gold Quill Award -- the "Oscar" of business writing -- from the International Association of Business Communicators for his work directing media relations, trade shows, marketing materials and video production for the business and commuter jet division.

Jay also has worked as a boat sitter aboard a 110-foot yacht in Seattle; harvested Christmas trees in Vermont; served as executive chef aboard a cruise ship in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and repaired and rented bicycles in Key West, Fla.

Jay graduated with honors in journalism from the University of Colorado. He and his wife, Kate, live in Austin, Texas, with their two golden retrievers. They move frequently.

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Bankruptcy Adviser
Justin Harelik

Justin HarelikJustin Harelik has been working with English- and Spanish-speaking clients in the personal finance industry for close to a decade. He has worked as a bankruptcy attorney, credit manager, debt negotiator and student loan adviser. He has applied his financial and legal skills to managing the estates of high net-worth individuals, and to helping improve the financial well-being of hundreds of people living below the poverty line. Currently he is a practicing attorney in Los Angeles.

Harelik earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his law degree from the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. He spent a year studying in South America, and speaks fluent Spanish.

He is a native of Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife, Felicia. He is also a volunteer Big Brother for the Los Angeles Division of Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

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Boomer Bucks
Barbara Whelehan
Barbara WhelehanBarbara Mlotek Whelehan has more than 20 years' experience as a journalist, focusing for the last ten years on all aspects of personal finance. As the senior editor of Mutual Funds Magazine from 1995 to 2002, she interviewed hundreds of fund managers and industry analysts as well as dozens of top-level executives at mutual fund firms across the country. She also received a certificate of specialization in financial planning after completing the CFP-board registered program at Nova Southeastern University in South Florida, where she resides.

Whelehan has won numerous writing awards over the years in national, regional and statewide contests. The boomer was born in Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in journalism.

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CollegeMoney Guru
Joseph Hurley, CPA

Joseph HurleyJoe Hurley is the founder of Savingforcollege.com LLC, and a certified public accountant. His experience in the field of finance dates back to 1978 when he graduated Williams College with degrees in economics and psychology. He began his career with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell (now KPMG), in New York City, and later became tax partner at Bonadio & Co. LLP; an upstate New York accounting firm, where he provided tax-planning services to individuals, corporations, and tax-exempt organizations. Joe retired from that firm in 2004.

Savingforcollege.com LLC began operations in the Spring of 2000 with Joe delving ever deeper into the strange and mystical world of 529 plans. Their improvements came into being with the signing of the 1997 Taxpayer Relief Act, which made major revisions to the rules surrounding 529 plans. Joe immediately recognized the new Section 529 as one of the most remarkable tax provisions in the Internal Revenue Code and worthy of a book-writing effort.

He published, in January 1999, "The Best Way to Save for College -- A Complete Guide to 529 Plans" and now spends all his time researching, writing, speaking, and consulting on the topic of 529 plans and other college-planning issues. His articles have appeared in The Journal of Accountancy and The CPA Journal, and he has appeared at hearings, in Washington D.C., to provide comments on the proposed regulations under Section 529. Joe is one of nine individuals recognized by Financial Planning magazine as 2005's "Movers and Shakers."

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Credit Card Adviser
Leslie McFadden

Leslie McFaddenLeslie McFadden has covered credit cards, credit scoring and other topics for the past three and a half years at Bankrate, and regularly contributes to the Plastic Rap blog. She has been interviewed as a credit card expert by many media outlets, including Fox Business News, NBC and PBS Nightly Business Report.

Leslie graduated from the University of Florida with dual bachelor degrees in English and psychology, along with a minor in sociology. Prior to joining Bankrate, she interned at a publishing company in Gainesville, Fla. She dabbles in fiction writing.

The Florida native resides in New York City with her husband and five credit cards.

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Debt Adviser
Steve R. Bucci

Steve BucciSteve Bucci is president of Money Management International Financial Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that operates to educate the general public on sound personal financial skills and money management principles by developing, delivering and supporting programs that teach those skills and principles. His weekly column is distributed nationally by the Scripps-Howard newspaper syndicate. Steve was formerly president of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Southern New England. He is the founder of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rhode Island, developed in the wake of the 1991 Rhode Island banking and credit union crisis. Steve also founded and was the former managing director of the University of Rhode Island Center for Personal Financial Education. The center is a joint venture with the University of Rhode Island to raise the level of financial literacy through innovative mass education programs and research.

Steve graduated from East Providence Senior High School and the University of Rhode Island at Kingston, where he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees. He and his wife, Barbara, live in the seaside community of Narragansett, R.I.

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Driving for Dollars
Terry Jackson

Steve Bucci Editor's note: Terry Jackson passed away Jan. 6, 2009, after a two-year battle with cancer.

For more than 25 years, Terry Jackson has been driving and testing each year's crop of new cars, from the latest economy sedans to exotic sports cars such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Each year he evaluates more than 100 vehicles.

He has written a syndicated column about automobiles and issues involving car buying and maintenance for some of the nation's major newspapers, from The Sacramento Bee to The Miami Herald.

A winner of several national automotive journalism awards, he has also served as editor in chief of Auto World Magazine and NOPI Street Performance Compact. His work has also appeared in Automobile Magazine, Road & Track, AutoWeek and Car and Driver.

Since 2003, he has written regularly for Bankrate.com on a wide range of automotive-related topics. He also races a vintage Mustang in SCCA competition.

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Real Estate Adviser
Steve McLinden

Steve McLindenSteve McLinden has written on virtually all aspects of the real estate world for the past 15 years. His writings have appeared in newspapers around the country on the Scripps-Howard and Knight-Ridder business wire services. A resident of Arlington, Texas, McLinden spent seven years covering real estate for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, winning multiple writing awards. At present, he is a correspondent for National Real Estate Investor, Shopping Centers Today and REO magazine. He has also written for Urban Land and Tierra Grande, a quarterly published by the Texas A & M University Real Estate Center, plus covered real estate beats for business journals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

McLinden is a native of Peoria, Ill., and a graduate of Bergan High School. He earned a bachelor's degree in communications from Western Illinois University.

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Tax Talk
George Saenz

George SaenzGeorge Saenz is a certified public accountant living in Miami. With more than 15 years of experience in income, corporate and estate taxes, George brings a real-life perspective to tax problems. He's a member of the Florida and American Institutes of CPAs and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

George earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Florida, and continued graduate studies at Florida International University, where he is a member of the university's advisory board for its Executive Masters of Science in Taxation program. George also is a licensed life insurance agent and a Series 6 Registered Representative.

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