Questions tagged [united-states]

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

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7
votes
1answer
502 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 ...
64
votes
14answers
13k 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
15k 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
571 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
390 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
531 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
1k 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
1k 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
2k 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
771 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
263 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
569 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
16k 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
278 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
309 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
365 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 ...
13
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 ...
9
votes
4answers
741 views

Where to park money while saving for a car

I am in the process of saving money for a different car. I already have $5000.00 saved and am planning to save at least $5000.00 per year until I buy the car. So obviously some of this money will be ...
15
votes
2answers
633 views

Pros, cons, & differences in investing in 401k vs. IRA?

What are some of the pros, cons, and differences of investing in a 401k vs. investing in an IRA (either Roth IRA or regular)?
19
votes
4answers
23k views

Can I roll over a 401(k) with my current employer into an IRA?

My wife has a 401(k) with her employer that she has been contributing to for years. They recently switched administrators for the 401k, and the new outfit is simply terrible - bad fund choices and ...
4
votes
2answers
116 views

“Back Paying” Income Taxes [U.S.]?

When I was young and stupid a few years ago, I took a job that I thought was salary originally with properly handled taxes (W-2) and whatnot and it ended up being a 1099 contracting gig that wasn't ...
8
votes
4answers
979 views

Looking to buy a house in 1-2 years. Does starting a Roth IRA now make sense?

My wife & I are 28 years old and are looking to purchase our first home in the next 1-3 years. Our financial situation looks something like this: 24% combined gross annual income in low interest ...
12
votes
5answers
8k views

Combining 401(k)'s from different past employers?

I have multiple 401(k)s from past employers. I know I can roll each of these over into new IRA accounts at my brokerage, but do the 401(k) rules allow me to combine these 401(k)'s into one IRA ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Should I wait to sell a stock (at a loss) that I have held for less than a year?

I currently hold some shares of a stock that I don't expect to regain much value. I bought this (at a higher price) about 8 months ago. My limited understanding of the way capital gains taxes work ...
6
votes
1answer
114 views

How long should I retain my income tax information?

How long should I retain my income tax information in the US? Should I retain all my deduction evidences as long as I keep my W-2 and return paperwork?
9
votes
5answers
7k views

How can I check my credit score?

I've seen the commercials for freecreditreport.com, but commercials with singing pirates make me uneasy; maybe they'll steal all my booty (personal information). What are the different ways to check ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

What types of receipts do I need to keep for itemized tax deductions?

Do I need to keep all of my receipts or only receipts of a certain type or amount for itemized deductions? I've also only taken the standard deduction, but this year I plan to itemize. I keep almost ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Is taking a lump sum from a lottery or other prize always preferable to taking the payment plan?

Every time a big money contest or lottery is advertised, their big "jackpot" prize is always really a payment plan - something like $50,000 a year for the next twenty years. Is it ever preferable to ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a typical investment portfolio made up of?

I understand the idea behind an investment portfolio (investing one's money in diverse ways), but I'm not sure where to begin. I have a 401k with my current employer and a savings account at a bank, ...
19
votes
5answers
62k views

How do “allowances” work on the W-4?

When you start a job, you give your employer the W-4 form which figures out your allowances (or deductions). It's just a number. How does that translate into how much they withhold from your ...
14
votes
4answers
519 views

Does the US produce a gold coin?

And if so, are there reputable places to obtain the coins (i.e. a local bank, US mint website, etc.)?
10
votes
1answer
232 views

Investment fund for your child's education?

I have two young children that I am hoping will follow in my footsteps and choose to go to college some day. How do I go about setting up some type of an investment fund for them? I've heard there are ...
7
votes
2answers
140 views

Do tax-exempt bond fund earnings need to be reported on taxes?

I'm deathly afraid of having to report bond/stock earnings to Uncle Sam. I feel like my tax returns are complex enough and I don't want to deal with any additional complexity. I'm looking for a way to ...
4
votes
3answers
410 views

Home loan refinancing woes about costs and paybacks

My wife and I bought our house about 4 and half years ago, just a little before the housing market crashed. We didn't have a lot of money, so we played it safe and got into a house that most would ...
7
votes
3answers
548 views

Freelancers in the US: pay estimated quarterly taxes or pay when you file?

My wife is currently freelancing, and the IRS would want us to file and pay estimated taxes every quarter, which is a pain. I could take extra deductions out of my paycheck, but figuring out the ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Are factory outlet stores really cheaper these days?

I am not much of a comparison shopper without being on the Internet, and recently the family was near one of those new outlet malls. The stuff they bought didn't seem (to me) to be any cheaper than ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

What threshold to move from SEP to Solo401k?

I'm self employed. Currently planning to fund a SEP for 2010. At what threshold do I need to switch to a Solo401k? (I'm in the SEP because (a) it's easy and (b) it's cheap -- no fees. Solo401k looked ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Should I pay points on my mortgage?

We're looking into refinancing from a 30 year mortgage at 5.5% (currently 23 years left) to a 20 year mortgage at 4.5%. Paying points will reduce the rate somewhat, but since we don't have extra ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

How much should I contribute to my 401(k)?

My employer allows me to contribute a certain percentage of my salary to my 401(k). My employer will also match a certain portion of my percentage. How much should I invest in my 401(k)? Should I ...
4
votes
6answers
6k views

The best credit card for people who pay their balance off every month

What are the best credit cards if you pay off your bill every month? Which ones do you get the best benefits on? I currently have a Charles Schwab Visa where I get 2% cash back on everything. I ...
2
votes
3answers
7k views

Is a Canadian TFSA similar to an American Roth IRA?

Canada never used to have a "pay tax now, but don't pay tax later" investment option, until 2009 when the TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account) was created. Is this fundamentally the same as a US Roth IRA? ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

What is the most beneficial aspect of being an AARP member?

What is the biggest benefit of being an AARP member?