Questions tagged [united-states]

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

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2
votes
2answers
186 views

What is a good credit or debit card that offers a reward with each transaction in the US?

I am looking for a rewards card (credit or debit) where you can earn some number of cents (I've seen 10 or 20) per purchase that you charge to the card regardless of the amount. Something similar to ...
9
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2answers
248 views

Are the AARP benefits and discounts worth the yearly membership cost?

When considering organizations like AARP, what are the factors that makes these types of organizations valuable to members? Our main interests is to obtain term life insurance. I am sure there are ...
9
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3answers
541 views

How to find a good third-party, 401k management/advice service?

I have a 401k with my employer that offers a pretty good contribution matching benefit. I am young and I've had the plan for about 5 years and my money is starting to grow into a pool that is big ...
6
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1answer
759 views

What are the potential penalties for filing an erroneous tax return, if I amend the return immediately?

In prior years, my school partnered with a certain accounting firm to provide us with 1098-Ts. Up until November of 2011, I was receiving emails from them mentioning this service. In January, their ...
9
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1answer
2k views

Protecting an elderly parent's assets / medicaid look-back

I've been asked by a senior to investigate: What are the things one needs to keep in mind with the issue of an elderly parent with some assets (house + some savings) who may need to enter into a ...
4
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1answer
4k views

MICR and self-printed check acceptance requirements at Federal Credit Unions?

I read that you can print your own checks, but many banks will not accept or place fines on checks which don't have the routing and account number not written in magnetic ink. My related questions ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Primary residence converted to a rental property & tax implications

In June this past year, we moved out of our condo in the Seattle, WA area that we initially purchased in December 2005 for $240K. We were able to purchase a new home and decided that we'd rent out ...
2
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1answer
88 views

Recharacterizing a Roth IRA contribution made in 2010?

In 2010 I rollovered money from a 401(k) to a Roth IRA. At the time, I chose to defer the taxable income to 2011 and 2012. However, I am now just learning about recharacterization. Is it too late for ...
3
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1answer
59 views

What method of income tax filing is recommended for a first-time father?

My wife and I had our first child last year, and my question is, what is the preferred method of filing taxes since I have this addition to our family? Is it recommended to go to a paid tax ...
2
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4answers
275 views

What more can I do to improve my credit score?

The earliest history of any credit lines for me is roughly 5 years back. I have 1 credit card, and when I graduated from college I had 7 college loans. I rent my apartment, and pay for utilities/...
4
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1answer
351 views

High Student Debt - Will Mortgage Lenders Take Into Account Repayment Assistance Program?

I am a few years out of professional school, and am starting to think about buying a home. Based on my credit, income, and available down payment, I would be easily eligible for a good-size mortgage. ...
6
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3answers
802 views

Do ETF managers charge management fees on top of transaction fees?

I see that ETFs do work very similar to diversification of individual stocks following either an industry or an index. I am thinking of changing my strategy to reduce my cost of investing which at ...
0
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1answer
374 views

Can I get a tax deduction for PMI?

My yearly income is less than $80000 but my joint income goes 150000+. If i file married filing separately, will i be able to claim PMI? I think there is income limit to claim it but i am not sure of ...
5
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2answers
154 views

What's the best option if you can't deduct contributions to a traditional IRA?

Can't put in Roth and it seems wasteful to put it in a traditional after taxes if we can't deduct since it will be taxed again when we take it out. I've heard you can convert the traditional to a Roth....
2
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1answer
171 views

How do I fill out my FAFSA form if my mom has two jobs?

My mom gets two separate W-2 forms from two separate jobs. How do I take this into account when filling out my FAFSA form?
2
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1answer
82 views

How do IRA conversions actually work?

I understand what IRA conversions are and how they work in theory, but I would like someone who has actually done one (or a few) to explain how it works in practice. What is the process for the ...
7
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3answers
483 views

How should I be contributing to my 401(k), traditional or Roth?

My company just started offering an 401k plan in place of a Simple IRA. I am able to contribute into my 401k two different ways, traditional or roth. From the way I understand it, traditional ...
1
vote
1answer
490 views

What is the average cost of a portfolio on a trading site?

I will like to know the average cost of trading services for a portfolio of my size. Currently I am using Folio Financial and they have provided great service. However every year I end up paying ...
4
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3answers
258 views

Financing a vehicle a few months before I expect to apply for a mortgage?

My wife and I are planning to buy our first home together sometime around June/July time this year so we're mainly in 'piling up cash' mode and are trying to avoid any unnecessary expenses and ...
0
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2answers
3k views

Do I have to pay a bank to release funds to my account or should they deduct what they need from the amount?

My girlfriend wants to transfer her inheritance of 1,000,000.00 from her bank in the United Kingdom to my account in the United States. Her bank says I need to send $9,600.00 to them; they said that ...
8
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2answers
722 views

How to treat blog income for tax purposes & report PayPal income to the IRS?

I made a small amount of money for a blog I write, and I'm wondering how to enter it into my tax form. I was paid via PayPal so I have no W-2. (And not reporting it to the IRS is not a viable option.) ...
7
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2answers
331 views

Company buyout & I don't qualify for the new company's 401k (too young!). What are my options?

I participated in my company's 401K plan for my length of employment as they offered a match program. Now, with the company being bought out, I no longer qualify for the new company's 401K plan due to ...
2
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1answer
126 views

Are adoption expenses for an international adoption considered tax-deductible from income?

I am in the process of an international adoption. I do not qualify for the federal adoption credit because of my families income. However I am having a difficult time discovering whether or not I ...
3
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1answer
336 views

What are some good next steps for the HENRY?

HENRY (High Earning Not Rich Yet) I'm 37, single, and only in the last two years have I really gotten serious about saving. Current 401k balance is $28,000 I'll probably make about $125,000 Gross ...
5
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5answers
5k views

Can signing up at optoutprescreen.com improve my credit score?

I recently discovered optoutprescreen.com, the "official Credit Reporting Industry website" for consumers to opt-out of credit offers. A lot of people recommend signing up there, simply to reduce ...
1
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3answers
139 views

How to reconcile performance with dividends?

I have a Vanguard fund that returned -1.34% for the year, yet I earned dividends on the same investment of $106 for the same year. How do I reconcile negative performance with positive dividends? Is ...
2
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2answers
699 views

Cashing in stocks for house downpayment

I've got a handful of stocks that I'm planning on cashing in for a house down payment. I'm wondering if anyone knows if I will get hit with capital gains tax, if I'm immediately reinvesting the money ...
7
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2answers
288 views

Is building a corporation a good option?

In Robert Kiyosaki's "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" he talks about building a corporation and doing transaction through it instead of doing them yourself, directly. There seems to be a lot of advantages in ...
8
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2answers
753 views

How do 401(k) mutual fund expense ratios work?

Simple question - how do expense ratios work? Is there a fee that is calculated regularly, and the amount is taken out of my account? Is it subtracted from the funds earnings? Context: My work has ...
1
vote
2answers
579 views

Which brokers offer the largest selection of mutual funds?

I use Morningstar for mutual fund picks, but my broker (Merril Lynch) does not offer many of them. It's a pain because sometimes they don't offer good fund alternatives. Is my only option to move to ...
1
vote
1answer
839 views

Can a single-member LLC have a fiscal year not as the calendar year?

Well, the title pretty much is the question. I'm in California, and its a disregarded entity. It matters for the LLC tax, and a positive answer will save me $800 cash. With references please, though:-)...
12
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5answers
3k views

What strategies can I use to minimize international money transfer fees?

I would like my younger brother to start studying in a school here, and this requires frequent international money transfers: The primary source (sponsor) would be family funds that would be wired ...
8
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6answers
1k views

When should I start saving/investing for my retirement?

I just started out with my first job and I was curious, what is a good time when I should start with my long term saving plans? Update: Thanks for the advice and I was expecting that answer. So my ...
5
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1answer
302 views

What are the tax results of a 401k to Roth IRA rollover?

In 2011 I rolled over my (Traditional) 401(k) into a Roth IRA. I realize that I will need to pay taxes on the rollover, but I had a few questions. Do I pay taxes on the full amount, or only the ...
5
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2answers
4k views

What is the significance of the Home Address on the 1040 US tax form?

I lived in two places last year, one inside the US and one outside the US (where I live now), but I wouldn't use either as a permanent mailing address. I've been looking for clarification about what ...
7
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1answer
85 views

FTSE exposure in US Exchanges

Is there a FTSE 100 index futures contract that trades on the US exchanges? Thanks I think there is an ETF but I am looking for futures, mainly for charting purposes.
3
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3answers
2k views

Cashing a joint check

My girlfriend (over 18) is estranged from her parents, but recently discovered money in her name in the form of stocks. She sold the stocks, but the company that handled the transaction sent a check ...
4
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2answers
185 views

How to deal with VAT when traveling from US to Europe?

I am going to be traveling to Europe (Paris, London, and Rome) for the first time. I have only heard of VAT and I am not sure I truly understand it. What do I need to know about it and how do I keep ...
6
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2answers
235 views

Maximum stay in US for ex-pats

My girlfriend a United States national living and working in China and she wants to come back to the US for the summer. What's the maximum amount of time she can come back for before she has to worry ...
5
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1answer
73k views

Given a MCIR routing number, how does one find the “fractional routing number”?

I'm trying to order checks for the first time, and the check provider is asking for me to provide a routing number and checking account number, both provided by my bank. However, they're also asking ...
1
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2answers
101 views

Are there any indicators as to whether an ACH debit is automatically scheduled?

If I have a bank account from which money is automatically withdrawn via "automatic withdrawals" is it possible to identify which payments are automatic vs manually initiated ACH debits? Examples: ...
8
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2answers
14k views

When leaving job, is there a time limit to rollover a 401k into a Roth IRA?

My wife is leaving her job in the next month and going to a new one. She currently has a 401k that we would like to rollover into a Roth IRA ASAP. However we might be moving in a few months and ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

What are good places to look for information/listings when trying to buy land?

I am looking at purchasing land both as an investment and as a place to live, farm, camp, and retreat in the future. What are things from an investment standpoint that I should keep an eye on when ...
5
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2answers
406 views

Taking out a loan to pay down a mortgage

I realize this sounds bad, but hear me out. I currently own two properties (A and B) which I rent out. I do not own my primary residence. Property A has a 15 year mortgage at 3.25%. I'm happy with ...
4
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4answers
47k views

Do property taxes get deducted 100% from the Annual Tax Return or only a fraction of them?

Hi Personal Finance and Money, My question comes from hearing people say that you should buy a house rather than rent because you can deduct all of your property taxes on you tax return. Question Do ...
5
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1answer
100 views

Should I have be worrying about selling a mutual fund before keeping it 1 year in an IRA account?

I am considering selling a mutual fund in a Roth account that I have had for less than a year. Since Roth and traditional IRA accounts are tax sheltered and capital gains only apply when distribution ...
1
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2answers
794 views

Most profitable choice? ($25,000 Cash) or ($30,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds + $10,000 Cash)

This may be a basic question but I don't know anything about U.S. Savings Bonds. I don't know how long it takes until you can cash a U.S. Savings Bond, nor do I know their average rate of return. If ...
6
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4answers
64k views

USA salaries: before/after taxes

I keep reading about software industry salaries in the US. 100k / year, 130k / year, etc. Are these numbers before or after taxes ? What is an estimate of the salary after taxes ? EDIT: I would ...
22
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3answers
821 views

Why is there such disparity of max contribution limits between 401K accounts and regular IRA accounts?

In 2011, regular IRA accounts allowed only $5,000 maximum contribution, while 401K accounts allowed up to $16,500. Why is there such a disparity? Why do tax advantages favor employees of large ...
5
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5answers
10k views

Better to rent with or without utilities?

By the end of the year, I will be renting a small apartment with one other person and we will be splitting the costs. I am a college student so I've only lived either at home or in dorms. In general, ...

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