Questions tagged [united-states]

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

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14
votes
3answers
2k views

The U.S. National Debt: What is it, where did it come from, and how does it work?

I am not from USA. I read few articles about the US National debt but still can't get the sense of it. Could you explain it in simple words? I know that it is huge. I can't understand following things:...
6
votes
3answers
246 views

What economic growth rate is required to halve U.S. unemployment?

I've just completed a consulting project in South Africa looking at various economic inputs required to reduce their 25-35% level of unemployment. It is estimated that for every 1% of new jobs ...
10
votes
5answers
21k views

What is the difference between a Rollover IRA and a Roth IRA?

Previous Question. I have decided to roll my 401(k) into a Roth IRA. I use ThinkOrSwim as my broker currently, so I plan on opening an IRA with them. When opening the account I'm presented with the ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Dealing with credit cards and bank accounts when moving from US to UK

My wife and I will be moving to the UK from the US on a work visa sponsored by my employer. One of things I'm most unsure about it how to deal with our current financial accounts. We have one joint ...
32
votes
7answers
123k 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? There are lots of situations when I find myself in ...
10
votes
1answer
502 views

Should I rollover my 401(k) into a Roth IRA in 2010, or wait until 2011?

After asking my previous question and reading about the different options available, I'm looking at rolling it over to a Roth IRA to avoid paying the taxes at retirement. Is it better to do this in ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

Do I need to start a 529 plan for each child (2 separate plans), or can I just open one 529 plan and let both children use it?

I am looking at starting 529 plans for my kids. My question is whether I need to start one for each of them (2 separate plans), or can I just open 1 and both of them can use it? I would assume the ...
12
votes
5answers
22k views

Comparison between US and Canada's taxes and possibility of savings?

Given two jobs earning equivalent amounts where one is in the US and another in Canada, where would I take home more money after taxes?
15
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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?
18
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3answers
767 views

Quit my job: What can/should I do with funds in previous employer's 401(k) plan?

I recently changed jobs, and my previous employer offered a 401k. I know I can roll that money into an IRA. Before I do anything, I would like to understand what options I have, and which option is ...
9
votes
2answers
885 views

How can my dad (grandpa) transfer shares to my 2 year old son?

What different options are available? What are the pros and cons of different types of accounts? update, in response to Joel Spolsky's request for more info: I live in the U.S., the shares are GE. ...
10
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4answers
3k views

I'm moving to another country. Where should I keep my money?

I've been working in the US for a number of years, and am shortly to return to Australia. My cash is in an online bank based in the US. Would you recommend I move it to an Australian bank, or leave ...
8
votes
1answer
21k views

How do LLC losses affect personal income taxes in the US?

I know that LLCs have the benefit of pass-through taxation in the US and that any profits realized by the LLC are recorded as income by the LLC members, thus increasing their taxable income. What is ...
11
votes
3answers
336 views

What does quantitative easing 2 mean for my bank account?

My wife and I have been saving aggressively for the last year now and all of our savings are in the form of cash in the bank. About half of the money is in US dollars and half is in Canadian dollars. ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Where can I learn about the differences between the banking system in Puerto Rico and the USA?

Puerto Rico is a territory of the USA. Puerto Ricans can: not vote for president vote in presidential primaries not pay federal taxes go to work for the US army are US citizen work in any state ...
20
votes
1answer
3k views

Do I actually have to pay my daughter minimum wage for helping around the house?

I blogged about my discussion to this question. When I mentioned that I paid my almost-six-year-old daughter $2 for a job that took an hour I had a commenter say that I paid her "below minimum." (...
10
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3answers
3k views

Why can't a US state default, but a EU state can?

I'm new here so I'm not sure if this type of question is appropriate on this site. I live in the EU (Italy) and I'm quite concerned (probably not the only one now in EU) about the possibility of some ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Why does the Fed buy treasury bonds through Goldman Sachs instead of from the treasury?

These animated creatures don't like it, and think the federal reserve is just giving Goldman Sachs money: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTUY16CkS-k Quora says it is an auction through dealers: http:/...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

Rules and tax impact of rolling over my work 401(k) to a self-employed 401(k)?

Title pretty much says it all. I am trying to do some work on the side and I wanted to put my current job's 401k money (which 95% of it was rolled over from a previous 401k) into my on 401k that I ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the difference between 401(k) accounts in the U.S. and RRSPs in Canada?

What are the major differences between the two?
4
votes
1answer
318 views

How to protect myself from unethical business collecting on an invalid past due amount?

I had my car serviced by a local shop. I ultimately picked them because they were close and didn't really research their online reputation. Suffice it to say I was less than pleased. The car broke ...
8
votes
3answers
903 views

Changes in Capital Gains Tax in the US - Going to 20% in 2011?

I have made substantial gains in the stock market this year on stocks that I have held long term (> 1 year). I understand that when I sell this stock, I will pay 15% capital gains tax. I have heard ...
7
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2answers
1k views

In the U.S., what is the easiest way to buy Australian government bonds?

The NY Times says: He cited the example of buying a one-year Australian government bond, yielding 5.25 percent. He said he believed that the American dollar was going to lose value and the ...
8
votes
5answers
430 views

File bankruptcy, consolidate, or other options?

So, during the economic downturn, my parents' business was seriously struggling (as in not making enough income to cover its own expenses) and my parents made a few bad decisions while trying to save ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

Paying over minimum monthly charge of credit cards

I have a $80 minimum on my credit bill. If I pay them $100, do the additional $20 go to the card's Principal or Interest? If it goes to Interest, do I have to explicitly state that those $20 go to ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

How does tax work for an overseas contractor on a split year contract?

I am currently working as U.S. DoD contractor in Afghanistan. I arrive in Afghanistan late October 2010. I will be over here until at least October 2011. I know that when working overseas for 330 days ...
9
votes
3answers
297 views

Is there any advantage to using a FSA instead of claiming medical expense on tax returns?

Using my FSA is pretty annoying. I have to submit claims and scramble to use it or lose it. Is there any advantage (aside from perhaps cash flow) of using an FSA over just claiming my medical/...
9
votes
6answers
15k views

Are COBRA premiums deductible when self-employed?

Been Googling all day and can't find anything definitive. I left my job in January of 2010, and have been working on a 1099 basis since then (as a sole proprietor). I have been paying COBRA premiums ...
8
votes
2answers
491 views

Do I have to list a SSN to take a child exemption?

Do I have to list my child's social security number on my income taxes to take a child exemption? What if my child doesn't have a social security number?
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Lender benefits/perks comparison website or resource?

I was trying to research different lender housing loans in the US. I realize only the true rates and approved amounts would be after meeting with each lender and going through their pre-approval ...
3
votes
3answers
336 views

Under IRS rules, After what tax bracket or income range student loan interests are not effective?

Student loans generally have very low interest rates. Those interests paid work in your favor at tax time, for certain income and tax bracket group. In the US, if you make more than what amount, ...
25
votes
5answers
19k views

What does it mean to run my debit card as credit?

I've been advised to (and have been) running my normal debit card transactions as "credit" transactions. What does this mean in terms of my security, the time a charge takes to settle, and the fees ...
7
votes
1answer
596 views

Should I try to consolidate my student loans? If so, how should I do it? What traps should I watch out for?

I recently graduated with my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. I now have student loans to pay off. I've heard that something that should be done with your student loans is consolidation, but I ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Any advantage to exercising ISO's in company that is not yet public?

I have ISO's in a private company and am trying to decide whether there is any advantage in exercising them. The price is low enough and my confidence in the company is high enough that I am ...
5
votes
3answers
223 views

What debts are both partners liable for in a 'community property' state?

I've just come across this article over on the mintlife blog and noticed that I do live in one of the ten community property states. I'm not overly familiar with this particular concept (keep in mind ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

How to keep an eye on identity theft while away and out of the country?

Greetings, I have been relocated by my company to the US and lived there for a few years. Now I'm back home. Being away I'm suspecting that I'm more susceptible to identity thefts. I'm looking for a ...
7
votes
2answers
179 views

IRA conversion when part of the contributions were non-deductible. Taxes owed?

I have a traditional IRA, which has money which has been contributed three different ways: deductible IRA contributions non-deductible IRA contributions rollover from 401(k) I'm looking at ...
26
votes
5answers
40k views

Credit Card Newbie - If I pay off my balance every month, what am I actually paying?

So I have never owned a credit card in my life, and am trying to get ideas as to how they work. Sorry if this is too simple a question... Lets say I have a credit card, and in one month I charge $...
12
votes
6answers
16k views

Is it worth it to pay extra on mortgage payments if I am not planning to stay in the house for 30 years?

So my wife and I are in the process of buying our first house. It is a nice house, and we got a smoking deal on it. However, we do not plan to live out the 30-year mortgage we are getting in this ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Am I liable for ATM skimming? (Bank of America claims $0 fraud liability)

I've been reading that ATM skimming is a fast-growing and lucrative crime and consumers should be very careful. Normally I think the customer is limited to $50 liability if they report in 2 days, and ...
28
votes
14answers
2k views

Do I even need credit cards?

I'm 24, and so far I've been able to live without credit cards of any kind. My wife calls this "If we can't pay for it right now, we don't need it." Obviously this does not apply to our car and our ...
22
votes
7answers
1k views

Is a Home Warranty worth the money?

I'm a first-time homebuyer, and one of the stipulations of the down payment assistance program I have is that I have to buy a home warranty (which covers appliances, plumbing, roof, etc in case of ...
9
votes
4answers
548 views

Remote Deposit a check (By scanning) for non-business users?

Does anybody have a first hand experience with scanning a check and posting it (either by email or a bank web interface) and willing to comment about the experience ? What Banks in the US support "...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I really pay off my entire credit card balance each month or should I maintain some balance?

I've heard two conflicting things: One is that you should pay your entire credit every month, and the other that you should maintain roughly %30, %50 (it varies by who you ask) of your available ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I refinance a property in the U.S without U.S. income?

I'm Working for a big international corporation and I'm back from a few years of relocation in the U.S. while I was in the states on a US payroll (I'm not an American citizen) I bought a property (...
5
votes
4answers
150 views

Will prices really be different for cash and cards?

I heard Clark Howard on the radio this morning saying that due to a court settlement stores will be able to charge different rates for different tender types. How soon will this take effect and what ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

I'm an American in my mid 20's. Is there something I should be doing to secure myself financially?

This question comes out of complete ignorance of anything that relates to personal finance. I'm a graduate student in mathematics, and I'm on a grant from the university until the end of the year. ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

If I moved out of my house and rented it out, would I need to refinance into an investment loan?

I'm curious what I would need to do about my mortgage if I moved from my current house to a larger house in five or ten years. Would I need to refinance my residential mortgage into an investment ...
5
votes
2answers
211 views

Will anything happen to me if the AMT is not re-established before 2011?

Who will be effected if congress does not renew the limit raise on the AMT by the end of the year? Will this change how much will be owed for 2010, and due in April 2011?
4
votes
2answers
27k views

How long do you have to live somewhere to be a resident for tax purposes?

My company is paying me with large amounts of equity pay. Theoretically*, I could delay realizing some of the gains on this equity and move to a place which, unlike California, does not charge 9.3% on ...