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Questions tagged [united-states]

For questions that relate to the laws, practices, and products of the United States.

115
votes
8answers
19k views

Oversimplify it for me: the correct order of investing

I have been reading the top posts here, and the recommendations for what to invest in are often similar. What I'd like to know, in as simply of terms as possible, is what the consensus is on priority ...
27
votes
4answers
6k views

How much does credit score matter?

The higher your credit score, the better. If you ever had the choice of two different credit scores, you are always better off preferring the higher one. However, while the utility of a higher score ...
46
votes
4answers
5k views

Recent graduate with new job: Choose Roth 401(k), or traditional 401(k)?

I just graduated, and I'm starting a new job soon. My employer has pretty good policy for matching 401(k) contributions, so I want to invest as much as possible, especially during this first year. My ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Why would you not want to rollover a previous employer's 401(k) when changing jobs?

Are there any valid reasons to not rollover a former 401(k) when changing jobs? I have several little ones that I never quite got around to rolling together - with an upcoming job change, should they ...
29
votes
4answers
3k views

Started new job. Rollover previous employer 401k to new 401k, IRA or Roth IRA?

I recently started a new job and have a 401k from my previous employer that I don't know what to do with. Should I roll it into my new employer's 401k, a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA?
47
votes
12answers
9k views

Is it ever a good idea to close credit cards?

I have a bunch of credit cards with no balance, while others have fairly high balances. I'd like to close the 0 balance cards, but I know that will reduce my overall balance and hurt my credit rating, ...
61
votes
3answers
10k views

Saving for retirement: How much is enough?

How to save I'm in my late twenties and am trying to get started off on the right foot saving for retirement. I have learned that retirement savings should usually be placed in retirement accounts in ...
7
votes
1answer
444 views

What is the HSA contribution limit when you are only enrolled in HDHP for part of the year?

What is the HSA contribution cap for a person that is only enrolled in a HDHP for part of the year? For example, consider a single participant that was not previously enrolled in any other health ...
32
votes
6answers
4k views

Strategies for putting away money for a child's future (college, etc.)?

So my wife and I will be having our first child at the end of the year, and I'm trying to devise a strategy for things like putting money away for the little person now, while I have the time and ...
15
votes
2answers
27k views

How do I correct an HSA distribution when I was refunded by a health provider?

At work I'm covered by an HDHP with an HSA. My dentist has the policy of estimating the amount that my insurance will cover and asking for the remainder at the time of service. On my most recent ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Are multiple hard inquiries for a specific loan type okay?

I'm researching mortgage options for my first home purchase, and I recently had a long call with a loan officer where he encouraged me to get pre-qualified (requiring a hard credit inquiry) as soon as ...
8
votes
1answer
7k views

Withdrawing HSA excess contributions?

I just got married a couple of weeks ago. I have a self-coverage only HDHP through my employer, with an HSA funded by my employer ($3000 per year). My husband has a family-coverage HDHP through his ...
63
votes
3answers
14k views

How did this day trader lose so much?

I recently read this article about a day trader that lost $100,000: A trader started a GoFundMe page to pay back $100,000 to E-Trade after a disastrous short Please explain this, because I can not ...
12
votes
3answers
5k views

How to avoid having my father's down payment assistance get taxed as a gift

My father has offered to pay up to $70k towards a down payment on a condo for my wife and me. I understand that gifts of over $13k get taxed pretty heavily. Is there a way to avoid this when it comes ...
6
votes
1answer
7k views

Received W-2 but was never paid

I just now received a W-2 from a company that I worked for 3 days as a contractor. I had to leave country for 2 months due to a family emergency. Since the employment duration was very short, I was ...
93
votes
7answers
18k views

Why is stock dilution legal?

What I always heard, since I was a child, was that if you own a stock share, you actually own a small share of a company. That seems to be the general consensus of what a stock share is. Well, that ...
30
votes
6answers
122k views

Can I open a US bank account even if I don't live in the country?

I'm Swedish, but living in Switzerland at the moment. Can I open a US bank account? Either when in the US on vacation or through the internet/phone? Lots of situations when I find myself in need of ...
25
votes
5answers
2k views

Where should I park my rainy-day / emergency fund?

This is the US companion of the same question for Canadians Where can I park my rainy-day/ emergency fund?. Basically I want to know what options I have for my emergency fund?
14
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I freeze my credit?

If freezing your credit is a better way to protect your identity and the associated credit that goes along with it, how do I freeze my credit?
4
votes
1answer
270 views

Tax on money withdrawn from Roth 401(k) and Roth IRA when living outside the United States and over 59.5-year-old

I am over 59.5 year-old and live in the United States. I contributed to Roth 401(k) as well as Roth IRA. Money withdrawn from Roth 401(k) or Roth IRA is not taxed in the United States as I am over 59....
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What is a reasonable salary for the owner and sole member of a small S-Corp?

I am the owner and sole member of a small s-corp. I am a litte confused regarding the reasonable salary the IRS requires. The S-Corp is fairly small and requires very little work to maintain. Would ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How bad would maxing out my credit card once a year affect my score

I just got approved for a $1500 cash secured credit card from Wells Fargo. This means I have no credit history whatsoever, and am going to use this card to establish one. With fall semester at ...
2
votes
1answer
268 views

Transferring Money from India

I am living in US for 17 years and became US citizen October 2015. My brother who is living in India gifted me the property in India, July 2015. He registered that property in my name in 2014, that ...
28
votes
4answers
6k views

When should I start an LLC for my side work?

I am doing quite a bit of sidework this year and wondering at what point would it be a good idea to "start a business" and bill through that.
46
votes
5answers
21k views

Why is transferring money online to someone else's bank account so difficult in the U.S.?

I used to live in a poor, third world country (India) where I freely transferred money between my bank account (a savings account) to accounts held by my friends in different banks, and different ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Penalty to withdraw from a new Roth IRA for first time home buyers?

My wife & I are 28 and plan on purchasing our first home in the next 1-3 years. Right now our assets are in two places: 403-b that I will not touch for the next 30+ years FDIC-insured savings ...
19
votes
3answers
42k views

Would depositing large cash amounts cause problems?

I saw an article recently where a man withdrew $600,000 USD in cash from his bank. I'm sure many folks here would advise against this move for obvious (and perhaps not-so-obvious) reasons. My ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Can I get a rebate after using my HSA?

I used an HSA to buy some contact lenses. They came with a rebate form that I can send in to get a refund of about 1/5 of the purchase price. Is it okay to send away for the refund after using the ...
87
votes
11answers
61k views

15 year mortgage vs 30 year paid off in 15

I've found similar questions, but they all seem to focus on a preexisting 30 year mortgage and whether or not it makes sense to refinance to a 15. My question is a bit different. I have not yet ...
31
votes
2answers
45k views

How are long-term capital gains taxed if the gain pushes income into a new tax bracket?

First, my understanding is that the long-term capital gains tax rate is 0% for those whose marginal rate on ordinary income is 10% or 15%, and (ignoring the highest 39.6% bracket) the rate is 15% for ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Comparing IRA vs 401K's rate-of-return with dollar cost averaging

I have both an IRA in Vanguard and an old employer's 401k with Fidelity management. I would like to compare the performance between the two accounts over time, in order to determine if I should ...
40
votes
3answers
59k views

My credit card company is asking for my current income citing “Federal Regulations”

So I received an e-mail today from a bank from whom I have an existing credit card as follows: To consider you for a future credit line increase, federal regulations require us to have your ...
32
votes
4answers
19k views

After hitting 80% LTV, my mortgage lender refuses to remove PMI. Any recourse?

I recently refinanced my home. At the time based on the appraisal vs. amortization I found I would be stuck with PMI (private mortgage insurance) for about 9 months. I've paid extra on the mortgage ...
12
votes
3answers
16k views

Comparing HDHP vs PPO Plans: Am I missing something?

It's that time of year at work that we're needing to renew our insurance carrier. HR decided to continue the two PPO plans we previously had available, while adding an HDHP + HSA plan. I've compared ...
70
votes
4answers
23k views

Received an unexpected cashiers check for over $2K from another state - is this some scam?

This is actually about my sister-in-law who lives in Georgia. She just received a "cashiers check" for $2395 from a company in Indiana. It looks like this: She said that she has been doing "mystery ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Need advice about my financial situation

Here is my living situation in a nutshell Live in California 2 kids (7 and 11) Ex-wife I am almost 40. I rent Financial situation: Make about $170k (includes regular job + moonlighting) before ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Best starting options to invest for retirement without a 401k

I'm trying to avoid asking a duplicate question, but I feel my situation is more specific than general beginner's saving or investing. I am a university student with a part time job that does not ...
7
votes
2answers
64k views

Money transfer from India to USA

My daughter is a US Citizen. We (parents)are also planning to permanently settle in US. We will go their as Permanent Resident,as per US Law. We have a house here in India worth Rs.2 Crores. We want ...
16
votes
5answers
7k views

Which is better: Employer-sponsored HSA or opening an HSA individually?

So I know that: Employer-sponsored HSA's allow you to deduct contributions directly from your paycheck, pre-tax With individual HSAs, you must contribute using post-tax dollars, then deduct those ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the history of credit utilization affect FICO score?

Most people are aware that the debt to credit limit ratio is a vital part of the FICO score. The FICO score is updated every time new information is received by the credit bureaus. However, is it ...
10
votes
2answers
12k views

Do personal checks expire? [US]

Do personal checks expire in the US? Also, if I stamp the following on it: VOID if not claimed within 60 days. Will that be honored by most banks? Related Do personal cheques expire? [Canada]
7
votes
2answers
7k views

Are tax federal or state tax refunds taxable in the next tax year?

If I get a refund from IRS and or from a state tax agency, will that refund be considered taxable income for the next year's federal or state income taxes?
6
votes
1answer
687 views

Can I deduct a contribution to an IRA if I also contribute to a 401(k) in the same tax year?

Can I deduct a contribution to a traditional IRA if I am also contributing to a 401(k) in the same tax year?
-3
votes
1answer
2k views

F1 student, as a non-resident, filing married separate tax return with US Citizen wife [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: F1 student, as a non-resident, filing a joint tax return with US Citizen wife My income through CPT, as a F1 student for 2012 was $42k, of which I have paid $1300 in state and ...
46
votes
7answers
2k views

How can one get their FICO/credit scores for free? (really free)

TV and the web are filled with ads promising to give you a free copy of your credit report. Unfortunately, instead of being wholly free, they are actually free trials, which means: You only get them ...
74
votes
9answers
14k views

Should I sign the back of my credit card?

When getting a new credit card, what is the policy in regards to signing the strip on the back? Should I sign it? Should I write "See ID"? Should I leave it blank? Should I sign it AND write "See ID"? ...
44
votes
2answers
7k views

When is employer 401(k) match not worth it?

I have always read to take full advantage of your employer 401(k) match. But what if the match is lower than most? My employer will match 10% of my contributions, up to the legal contribution limit. ...
40
votes
13answers
7k views

When buying a property without using a realtor as a buyers agent, can you build a discount of the buyer's agent commission into the contract?

I want to buy a home, but I'm not interested in using a realtor as a buyer's agent. I know that in MLS systems, when a realtor lists a house they specify what commission a buyer's agent will be paid. ...
29
votes
1answer
915 views

What are the differences between a “traditional” IRA and a Roth IRA?

I hear that a traditional IRA offers a tax deduction whereas a Roth IRA doesn't, but there's got to be more to it than that: What makes a Roth IRA any good, if it doesn't provide a tax deduction? ...
22
votes
2answers
3k views

Mutual fund value went down, shares went up, no action taken by me

I have no prior experience with stocks so please forgive me if this is a dumb question but I don't even know what to try googling. Two days ago I signed up with scottrade. I put $1000 into ICENX ...