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Questions tagged [united-states]

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

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6
votes
1answer
138 views

What investment strategy would you deduce from the latest article from Charles Munger?

One of the most interesting article I read in the last months was from Charles Munger (vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway). Here is a link: http://www.slate.com/id/2245328/pagenum/all/ I would be ...
5
votes
3answers
811 views

Is there any site to compare the security of (online) banking services?

I work in the computer industry, and I know a few things about security, like the fact that those "security questions" that you're asked for are pretty much completely bogus and not useful as security....
7
votes
1answer
215 views

Is there any site you can find out about the 'bonus features' of credit cards?

I'm doing fairly well financially, and pay my credit cards off monthly, so to me they are less useful for financing and more useful as a matter of convenience. As such, I'd like to know more about the ...
2
votes
1answer
160 views

What are good strategies to maximize cross border shopping benefits? [Canada]

Depending the length of one's visit to the US from Canada there are different limits and different exemptions. This also assumes that the price discount is worth it. What strategies have people ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the benefits and downsides to an LLC vs. Sole Proprietorship vs. Individiual?

As a followup to my previous question, what benefits are there for an LLC vs. a Sole Proprietorship? What are advantages and disadvantages to both and also vs. just being paid as a person?
8
votes
2answers
17k views

How do you calculate pretax deduction savings?

I am trying to determine how much money I will save by participating in the TransitChek program. The way the program works is I can set aside a certain amount of money from my pay check before taxes ...
3
votes
3answers
165 views

For what dates are the NYSE and U.S. stock exchanges typically closed?

I just noticed the NYSE is closed today for the President's Day (Washington's Birthday) holiday. Is there a comprehensive list of all dates the NYSE would be typically closed for? Would the dates be ...
4
votes
3answers
680 views

Is there a legal deadline for when your bank/brokerage has to send your tax forms to you?

It is mid February and I still haven't received my 1099-div forms from my stock broker. Should I be concerned yet? Is there any regulatory requirement for them to send tax forms out to account holders ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Where can I get a list of ticker symbols that have stock options?

I would like to examine the option chains of almost every stock that has options. Is there some sort of stock screener or application that can give me a list of the ticker symbols that have options?
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Bank of the Sierra: Are they legit? How can the checking interest APY be so high?

As of February 8th, 2009, Bank Of The Sierra offers a free checking account which earns a 4.09% APY. It looks like the catch is that you pretty much have to use them as your main bank. You need to ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

Can you have a Roth IRA and a traditional IRA? What about two separate IRA accounts of the same type?

I'm interested in starting a new brokerage account somewhere. I would like to "test the waters" before transferring my entire IRA to them. Is there any law against having a completely separate IRA ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Offered a job: Should I go as consultant / independent contractor, or employee?

Two partners started a business, and it's grown pretty big (comparatively). Now they've asked me to be the CTO, and I've determined it's a good position for me to take. I'll be getting 90% of my ...
9
votes
3answers
496 views

Stability of a Broker: What if your broker goes bankrupt? Could you lose equity in your account?

What exactly happens if a broker runs out of funds? Could you actually lose equity in your account? If so, what should you be examining when looking at the financial report of your broker?
7
votes
1answer
228 views

When an in-the-money stock option expires does the broker always execute it or does its value become worthless if the owner doesn't execute it?

When an in-the-money stock option expires does the broker always execute it or does its value become worthless if the owner doesn't execute it?
6
votes
1answer
55 views

Fee structure when Opening Two Accounts with One Broker

I have a traditional IRA account that I want to move to a Interactive Brokers. I would also like to invest some non-IRA money with that same broker. However, there's a minimum balance and minimum ...
6
votes
2answers
192 views

How do I find a tax advisor or “tax man”?

Since I graduated college a few years ago, I've been giving a lot of thought to getting a "tax man" instead of doing taxes myself through TaxCut or TaxAct.com. I'm not so much interested in having ...
9
votes
2answers
537 views

Are defined benefit (DB) pension plans guaranteed in the U.S.? What happens if the sponsor company goes bankrupt?

Are defined benefit (DB) pension plans guaranteed in the U.S.? What happens to a DB pension plan and plan benefits if the sponsor company goes bankrupt? Where can somebody find more information on ...
11
votes
2answers
29k views

US Bank placing a hold on funds from my paycheck deposit: Why does that make sense?

I've just received my first paycheck in four months (yay!). In the meantime, my bank account went about $150 negative. That's one of the reasons I deposited my paycheck into that bank account - I ...
27
votes
5answers
2k views

Are credit card rewards taxable?

There have been several questions about reward point/loyalty programs offered by credit cards Best Travel Point Credit Cards Best Reward Benefit Credit Cards Easy Comparison of Reward Benefit Cards ...
32
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?
29
votes
4answers
7k 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.
10
votes
2answers
527 views

What is Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and how does AMT get calculated? [U.S.]

What is Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) in the U.S.? How does Alternative Minimum Tax get calculated? What conditions are likely to trigger an AMT assessment versus a regular tax assessment? Are ...
10
votes
4answers
685 views

When will Canada convert to the U.S. Dollar as an official currency?

(note I really don't want this to sound argumentative, I'm genuinely interested. The title is simply a follow up to this question and my answer. To the Canadian users of this site, would you agree ...
5
votes
2answers
564 views

U.S. income tax & charitable donations: How much is income tax reduced by donations?

In the U.S., how much is income tax reduced by charitable donations? When filing, are there any special requirements to qualify for the deduction or credit?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How are 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) tax-advantaged retirement plans different? How are they alike?

How are 401(k), 403(b), and 457(b) tax-deferred retirement plans different? How are they alike?
6
votes
3answers
21k views

Can I use funds in my 403(b) retirement plan for a first-time home purchase?

Can I withdraw funds from my 403(b) retirement plan without penalty, for the purposes of purchasing a first-time home? If not, are there other retirement plans from which I could withdraw without ...
10
votes
5answers
898 views

How can I increase my hourly pay as a software developer?

I am a PHP developer with 3 yrs experience and got exposure in Joomla, CodeIgniter. What should be my hourly pay in U.S. and what should I do to increase it with a steady curve? Thanks.
14
votes
3answers
815 views

Should I “hedge” my IRA portfolio with a life cycle / target date mutual fund?

I'm fully contributing to my Roth IRA every year into a brokerage account that is 100% in mutual funds. I've done basic mutual fund research and picked about 5 different funds that match what would ...
12
votes
5answers
386 views

Which U.S. online discount broker is the best value for money?

Which U.S. online discount broker is the best value for money? Lower prices preferred, but I also like to be able to reach somebody by phone when help is needed. 24 hours not required, but after ...
12
votes
3answers
804 views

How can I minimize losses on an upside down mortgage for a condo I no longer live in?

I have made a good faith effort to keep up my mortgage payments on a condo that I no longer live in since Oct 2005. In 2005 I had to move out of state for my job and I listed the property for about ...
12
votes
2answers
933 views

Has anyone found U.S. Savings Bonds to be effective investing?

Since I was a small child, my grandparents have given all of their grandchildren savings bonds on our birthdays. I'm not sure if it makes a difference, but they are always "EE" series. I had to use ...
4
votes
1answer
193 views

What kind of traditional IRA should I use to hold funds from old employer 401K plans?

Further to another question I asked , if I am going to open a traditional IRA to hold funds consolidated from old 401K plans, what should I be looking at for the most flexibility? There are lots of ...
8
votes
3answers
388 views

What's the best way to manage all the 401K accounts I've accumulated from my past jobs?

I should be managing my retirement money better and one problem is the number of accounts I have (4). Would it be better for me to consolidate and what's involved in doing so?
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 ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

What does Chapter 11 Bankruptcy mean to an investor holding shares of a Chapter 11 Company?

If I currently have shares in a company that has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection what impact does this have on me? Does this mean the shares stop trading? If the company successfully ...
6
votes
1answer
586 views

How can we use up our Flex Spending Account (FSA) before the end of the year?

My husband and I signed up for a Flex Spending Account for the first time this past year. We've got about $100 left over now, in mid-November, and I've been told that money will disappear if we don't ...
8
votes
2answers
275 views

How much is college / university projected to cost in the U.S. in 18 years?

[Moderator note: A similar question was recently asked with respect to Canada. This is an important enough question warranting treatment for the U.S. as well.] How much is college / university ...
5
votes
1answer
470 views

We get receipts from our child care provider. Can we still claim a tax benefit even though they're not licensed?

We get receipts from our child care provider. Can we still claim a tax benefit even though they're not licensed? [Note: This is my paraphrased version of a similar question I answered at moms4mom.com....
6
votes
2answers
339 views

How can a 529 plan help me save for my child's college education?

How can a 529 plan help me save for my kid's college education? Who offers 529 plans? Are there any special restrictions or conditions on these plans that I should know about?
12
votes
3answers
955 views

Can I withdraw from my Roth IRA retirement account to fund a startup?

I'm 24 years old and have $10k in my retirement accounts (Roth IRA) after about a year with a real job. I'm considering withdrawing the entire balance to support myself for a few months while I ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a W-8 form, and how should I fill it in?

I've been looking at some online ad revenue providers. The US-based sites seem to want me to complete a W-8 form. What is the W-8 form and how should I go about completing it?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How is the Advance Earned Income Tax Credit (Advance EITC) supposed to work? Help!

As a working mom of four and a full time college student I am broke. I looked into Advanced EIC and filled out the form to get an Advance EIC added to my paycheck. I picked up my check today and had ...
8
votes
3answers
383 views

What bank deposits are insured in the U.S.?

What kind of bank deposits in the U.S. are insured against banks going under? What do I need to look out for to make sure my money is safe?
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Should I take Social Security earlier than full retirement age, or wait for more?

Should I take Social Security earlier than the full retirement age shown on my statement? I'm concerned they'll change the rules and I'll lose out if I wait. :-/ What is the likelihood the rules ...
7
votes
2answers
938 views

What is the current US-Canadian agreement on withholding taxes for US Investment income?

Withholding tax credits have changed over the past few years. What is the agreement between Canada and USA related to how much can be claimed and how much must be applied for as a reimbursement?
10
votes
2answers
629 views

What are the 401(k) and IRA limits for next year?

Are 401(k) and IRA contribution limits increasing next year? If so, what are the new limits?
30
votes
1answer
974 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? ...