Questions tagged [united-states]

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

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4
votes
1answer
239 views

How do I minimize Federal, State, and Municipal tax due from money market funds or bond mutual funds?

I was looking into money market funds and bond mutual funds for some relatively stable investments. Before I make decisions, though, can someone explain under what circumstances would I need to pay ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Source for information about Australia and U.S. real estate market rent-to-price ratios?

Would like to make a comparison between the two markets, in particular during the global financial crisis.
3
votes
1answer
454 views

Switched jobs & short on cash. Should I withdraw from 403(b) or borrow from 401(k)?

I switched employers a while back and obviously this resulted in a new place to throw my retirement money. Employer A was an academic institution so that money was in a 403(b), now I'm in your ...
3
votes
1answer
754 views

Questions about Clark Howard's “Guide for Beginner Investors” strategy

I was reading Clark Howard's Guide for Beginner Investors, and have a few questions: What kind of investment account should I put these in? Roth IRA account, regular IRA account, or regular ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What would be the impact of a fourth child on taxes?

Should I expect the tax effect of a fourth child to be similar to that of the third, or is there a point of diminishing financial benefit?
39
votes
4answers
3k views

Will my children owe taxes on my life insurance proceeds?

I had always thought that life insurance proceeds were not treated as taxable income. From IRS publication 525: Life insurance proceeds paid to you because of the death of the insured person ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

Is ING Direct Orange Savings a decent online savings account?

I'm looking for a good savings account that's 100% online and provides a good interest rate. I saw ING Direct (http://home.ingdirect.com/products/products.asp?s=OrangeSavingsAccount) and it this ...
4
votes
2answers
229 views

Should I renew the rate on my ARM to a lower one, considering the fees charged?

I have a 5-year ARM at 4.5% APR. I can renew the rate at 3.25%. However, that would cost $800. The current loan value is $156,219. Is it worth it for me to renew the rate? How long would it take to ...
5
votes
2answers
222 views

How to fully utilize my Fidelity IRA account?

Both my wife and I have Fidelity IRA accounts, but I've never fully utilized it. I'd like to seed this account throughout the year, but I have questions: How much money can I put in per year? What ...
4
votes
2answers
268 views

Are bond ETF capital gains taxed similar to stock or stock funds if held for more than 1 year?

Are gains on bond ETFs held for more than one year taxed at a lower rate, similar to stocks and funds holding stocks? I'm referring to the change in price of the fund, not dividends.
64
votes
7answers
108k views

What is the best way to accept payment when selling a used car?

I plan on selling a used car via Craigslist, and I hope to get between $4-5K for it. I don't want to take a check from a stranger, but I'm concerned that no one will be willing to show up at my house ...
7
votes
3answers
565 views

Can I write-off Visual Studio 2010 on my taxes if I want to learn it?

I doubt I can write it off, but I just figured I'd check anyway. What if I took a class in it and needed the software to take the class?
4
votes
2answers
334 views

Why are we not getting a rebate when we declare zero allowances?

Both my wife and I file zero allowances for both Federal (W-4) and State (CA). For Federal we checkbox married and for State we checkbox single/married with two or more incomes. To the best of my ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

How to invest 100k

I just sold some real estate and have $100k to invest. Where would you put it? I am in my early 30's with a house and a small child. Here are some options that I have considered: Re-cast my ...
5
votes
4answers
437 views

What happens to a tax deferred retirement account when you reach retirement age?

There always seem to be tons of articles about maximizing the amount money in your 401ks and your IRAs, but there doesn't seem to be much talk about what happens to those accounts when you get to 59.5....
7
votes
4answers
754 views

How can I estimate my income tax bill for the current year?

I am so tired of being surprised by how much I owe in taxes come Jan-April. How can I predict what I'll owe next year for this year's earnings?
24
votes
10answers
3k views

Any experience with maxing out 401(k)?

I'm 23 right now, and I'm currently contributing about 6% of my salary to a 401(k) with an employer that matches 20% of my contribution up to 6%. Based on various calculators, continuing at this rate ...
4
votes
3answers
429 views

Investment strategies for young adults with entrepreneurial leanings?

I just graduated with my Masters and I'm working at my first job (in the US). Luckily enough, I don't have much in terms of student loans (primarily because my undergrad was completed in India). As ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Can a merchant charge you more in the US if you want to use a credit card?

I'm pretty sure the answer is no for Visa/MC and basically no for Amex, and it's actually illegal in some states, but what if they just rephrase it as "We're giving you a discount if you choose to pay ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the state and county taxes for refinancing a mortgage in Virginia?

I'm in the process of refinancing a mortgage, and want to know what state and county taxes apply. I'm not talking about property tax here, but the recordation taxes and fees charged by the county and ...
15
votes
8answers
1k views

Relocated to USA. How to get credit card without existing credit history / score?

I recently relocated to USA and have no Credit Score. Is Secure Credit Card is the only option for me to start building my credit score? Also please recommend which other credit cards are available ...
7
votes
1answer
324 views

How does the FDIC in the United States work?

Issues in my head raised by the quesion about withdrawing money from a bank before it goes under If the purpose of the FDIC in the United States system is to insure deposits, how is the money the ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

What is the proper way to report additional income for taxes (specifically, Android development)?

Let's say I have a day job that contributes to the majority of my income. Now if I do some Android development (or similarly iPhone, Blackberry, or any other hobby that produces an additional income) ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Possible replacement for Quicken

I have been using quicken to track my financial life for about 10 years now and am generally happy with it. A couple of years back Intuit changed the ability to download stock quotes for 2 years ...
2
votes
2answers
308 views

How to deal with PA sales tax for item bought on behalf of my customer and resold to them?

I work for myself and at times buy a piece of software or something for someone I am working for. Like my title says, I live and work for people in PA. If I pass the product on to my customer at ...
8
votes
1answer
497 views

Most cost effective way to regularly transfer funds from the US to the UK? [closed]

I've recently moved to the US, but I still own a house and a car in the UK so I need to make regular transfers from the US to the UK in order to pay my UK mortgage. Admittedly I've left it a little ...
57
votes
14answers
10k views

Do Americans really use checks that often?

That might sound a bit silly to people from USA but is it really that common to use checks in America? I am from Austria and here (Austria, Germany, Switzerland) checks play practically no role in ...
13
votes
10answers
14k views

Should I stockpile nickels?

As the US dollar continues to be devauled the metal content value of US coins will eventually be worth more than the face value of the coins. There use to be silver in US coins but due to the ...
9
votes
2answers
5k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
7k views

Full-time work + running small side business: Best business structure for taxes?

Currently I have a full time job (IT industry) but from time to time I do a side project. Most of the times my clients agree to pay me cash as the amounts are not large. However, last year there ...
6
votes
2answers
100 views

Is there a site that compares IRAs by different companies?

I'm planning on opening a Roth IRA in the very near immediate future (by this year's end, if not sooner). Is there a place I can go to see the different pros/cons of IRAs offered by different ...
6
votes
4answers
525 views

Changing jobs: Should I cash out Roth 401(k) or move it to another account type?

I am currently looking at changing jobs from a large corporation to a smallish company. I currently have only about $4k in a Roth 401(k) though my current employer. The smaller company does not offer ...
8
votes
1answer
8k views

How to calculate mandatory withdrawals for 401k? (Required Minimum Distribution)

I understand that 401(k)s have a mandatory withdrawal that can be triggered at some point. What triggers a 401(k) mandatory withdrawal, and how is the amount of the withdrawal calculated?
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Confusion about Roth 401K: Better for me to do pre-tax or Roth post-tax contributions?

My company offers a 401K and a Roth 401K. Given the income level of my family (married filing jointly status), IRAs aren't really an option. We're past the Roth IRA limits and get no deduction for a ...
5
votes
4answers
385 views

What are some ways to save for a child's education?

My brother just asked me this question: he currently has a son that is three years old. What are some ways to save for his son's education? What are the pros and cons of each way? How much should ...
7
votes
6answers
520 views

What factors should I take into account when deciding how much of my 401(k) contribution should go into my Roth 401(k)?

My employer allows new contributions to my 401(k) to go in as Roth (post-tax) or "regular" (pre-tax). What should I consider when deciding how to distribute my contributions between the two?
14
votes
8answers
994 views

Put idle savings to use while keeping them liquid

Since I graduated from college, I've collected ~$15K USD of savings. Currently this is sitting idle in a low interest checking account. I'd like to put it to better use, but I also need to make sure ...
9
votes
2answers
947 views

When should I switch from after-tax to pre-tax retirement savings?

I am contributing to my employer's Roth 401(k). The consensus in this question is that when you're young you should make your retirement contributions after-tax so that they grow tax free, and that ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I participate in Treasury auctions with my millions of dollars?

Note: I do not actually have millions of dollars, but seemed like a good question. Let's say you had $10 million dollars in cash in your bank account and you needed it to be a) safe b) liquid and c) ...
11
votes
6answers
751 views

Is my company 401k okay or should I be using an IRA?

My company does not have a matching 401k. Instead it is a profit sharing 401k. How should I approach this? Should I consider investing primarily in an IRA instead? How much should I be ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

My boss wants to buy me a gift. How do I account for taxes for this?

I don't believe this is related to the personal gift tax rules as this deals with businesses giving gifts to individuals. Since I'm receiving something of value, I assume I need to pay taxes on it. ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Has the likelihood of getting a lower interest rate by calling & asking been reduced by recent credit card regulations?

Have the recent CARD act made reduced the likelihood of getting a rate reduction if you call and ask the card company's service department?
4
votes
1answer
262 views

Possible to remove remaining foreclosed mortgage debt off my credit report?

A little while ago, I asked a question where the consensus was that the bank won't be coming after me for the remainder of the money after the house was foreclosed on. Seeing how they can't come ...
19
votes
6answers
5k views

If I make over 120k a year, what are my options for retirement plans?

I will be starting a job on Monday that yearly will net me in excess of 120k. I know that this income exceeds the maximum earnings for a Roth IRA and I'm sure other things. I'm a complete newbie when ...
5
votes
5answers
561 views

Are age-related funds a good idea (Fidelity Freedom, T Rowe Price retirement etc.)

Just curious what the consenus is on just dumping 100% of your 401k into one of the age related mutual funds. My 401k is through Fidelity and they have "FreedomFunds" which retirement dates. So I ...
23
votes
8answers
15k views

How do I know when I am financially stable/ready to move out on my own?

Some background information: I'm 23 and living at home. I have a good full time job as a web programmer that I've been at for over one year. It includes benefits and 401K (which after one year I ...
5
votes
2answers
276 views

What expenses do 401k funds charge?

What expenses do 401k funds charge? For example, do they charge front-end or back-end loads (commission when buying or selling funds)? Also how do I find out if the 401k administrator charges a fee?
5
votes
2answers
307 views

Foreclosure debt still on the credit report

I went through a pretty nasty divorce in which my ex-wife got to keep the house. Eventually the house was foreclosed on and she eventually got evicted. However, my name (along with hers) was still ...
2
votes
1answer
353 views

Difference between APR and APY [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between Interest Rate and APY? Can you explain to me the difference between APR and APY and which one I should care about more? I know that comparing ...
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 ...