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If you’re buying a home, bringing up children, advancing your career and trying to save for retirement all at the same time, there’s a good chance you’re a member of Generation X, born between 1965 and 1979 and now 35 to 49 years old.
If you’re in the Gen X age group, banking and investing accounts can help you reach your financial goals. But do you know how to use these accounts to your best advantage? Take this true-or-false quiz to find out.
Answer: False. It's important to pay off debt. But an emergency savings account, even a small one, should be a priority so you won't have to add more debt if you suffer a temporary disability, unemployment or other emergency.
Answer: True. Three months' income should be a minimum. If you're self-employed or the only wage earner in your family, try to set aside six months or more.
Answer: False. Parents often want to help their kids pay for college. But you should put your own financial security first. Encourage your children to consider an affordable college, part-time employment and scholarships and grants to help finance their studies.
Answer: False. Many banks offer junior accounts designed to help teenagers learn how to make a deposit or payment and perform other banking transactions. Young people should also know how to balance a checkbook and avoid fees.
Answer: False. If you don't opt in to overdraft protection, your bank will decline payment for debit card and ATM transactions if you don't have enough money in your account. But the new rules do not cover checks or automatic bill payments.
Answer: True. Your credit score is a measure of whether you pay your bills on time. If your score has been impaired by unpaid debts or late payments, you can boost it over time by being responsible about credit.
Answer: False. CDs protect you from loss of principal. But they don't protect you from inflation, which reduces the purchasing power of your money over time.
Answer: False. Penny stocks are highly speculative. These stocks aren't an appropriate investment for most people.
Answer: False. Most ratings are based in part or in whole on a fund's past performance, which is no guarantee of how well that fund will perform in the future. Smart investors look beyond the stars.
Answer: False. Most bank checking accounts involve fees, but some banks will waive them if you maintain a minimum balance or sign up for direct deposit. Some credit unions offer free or low-cost checking accounts.