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10
votes
1answer
228 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
13k views

Should I pay off HELOC or save?

I've heard the principle of "Pay yourself first", implying that saving some money each month should be a priority. However, I've also heard that being debt free is important, and it would be good not ...
4
votes
3answers
405 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 ...
11
votes
8answers
2k views

Is Bogleheadism (index fund investing) dead?

I've always been a believer in index funds, and lately have been reading books such as The Coffee House Investor and The Lazy Person's Guide to Investing. It all makes sense to me except that the S&...
5
votes
2answers
869 views

Where should I be investing my money?

I ask this question in earnest, because I've been worrying about it for at least a year now. Here is my situation... I'm sitting on about $30k in my savings, but I'm unsure where I should be ...
7
votes
3answers
539 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
356 views

What is a bond fund?

This answer suggested to invest in a Bond Fund and stated that it has been working well for that person. What is a bond fund? What are it's pros and cons?
4
votes
2answers
836 views

How do insurance funds work?

On my wife's 403(b) (like a 401(k)), she has an option to invest in a couple insurance funds. How do these work? Some seem to be low-risk, while others are moderate-risk. I'm just not quite sure how ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I pay off my student loan before putting money into Roth IRA?

I have about $7K in student loans remaining at 6.25% I also haven't made a contribution to my Roth IRA for 2010. I'm thinking off paying off my loan at the end of the year, but that'll not really ...
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
650 views

Disadvantages of getting a mortgage from a mortgage broker?

Are there any disadvantages to getting a mortgage from a mortgage broker? It seems like they would be in your best interest because they save time by shopping around for you. Does it typically cost ...
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 ...
17
votes
2answers
13k views

What are points on a mortgage?

What are points on a mortgage?
20
votes
4answers
21k views

What headaches will I have switching from Quicken to GnuCash?

I'm interested in switching to an open source checkbook program. I currently use Quicken and I'm interested in switching to GnuCash but I have usability concerns. Does GnuCash have all the features ...
18
votes
3answers
589 views

Are peer-to-peer loans viable options for savings/investing?

Now that peer-to-peer sites like Lending Club and Prosper have matured are they viable options to add to my savings/investment portfolio or should I only use them with extra cash?
3
votes
2answers
398 views

Is there a limit on how many times I can transfer my Individual Savings Account (ISA) in a given year? [UK]

The United Kingdom Individual Savings Account (ISA) provides a tax-efficient saving mechanism. It is possible to transfer your ISA from one bank to another, but is there any limit on how many times ...
20
votes
9answers
29k views

How much is a typical food budget per person?

In planning out a budget, what is a realistic amount to budget per person for food expenses per month? EDIT: Thanks to Ether's answer, here's a clarification: What guidelines or warning signs are ...
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
326 views

What is the difference in payments and ratios between High-ratio and Conventional mortgages?

On bank's site it says: Conventional mortgage: means your downpayment is at least 20% of the purchase price. High-ratio mortgage: means your downpayment is less than 20% of the purchase price. ...
11
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
23k views

What impact does overpaying credit card bill have on credit score?

Lets say I got monthly credit card bill for $100 but when I go to bank account online to pay I see that my current credit card spendings are already $150. Should I pay $100 or $150?
7
votes
3answers
412 views

What is the best way to determine if you should refinance a mortgage?

What is the best way to determine if you should refinance a mortgage? Is there a general rule of them as far as difference in interest rates? I know closing costs are also a factor. Is there a good ...
19
votes
5answers
5k views

What is CD laddering and what are its pros and cons?

I've seen the term "CD Laddering". What is this and what are the benefits and risks of doing it?
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Can I retroactively contribute to an RRSP for a previous tax year?

I missed the RRSP contribution deadline (March 2010) for the 2009 tax year. Consequently, my tax owing was much higher than it could have been. Is it possible to contribute to an RRSP and apply that ...
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
6k 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? ...
3
votes
3answers
262 views

Understanding Interest Rate Risk: What is it, and what techniques do I use to minimize it?

I'm looking to develop a fixed-income account of bonds and dividend-paying equities. I've heard that bonds are susceptible to interest rate risk, but I don't really understand what that means. What ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

401(k) Management

I have a 401k through my employer and I am wondering what good practices are for managing it. I know a lot of people set it and forget it for years and years. Is this a terrible thing to do? How do ...
7
votes
2answers
441 views

Who would need a Umbrella Coverage (insurance)?

An estate planning attorney passed me this article on New York Times. For people who know about this stuff, how do I know if I really need this coverage before I am talked into it by a salesperson? I'...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

What's the difference between Term and Whole Life insurance?

How would one decide which is most appropriate? Are there tax or benefits differences that one offers over the other?
2
votes
1answer
82 views

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

What is the biggest benefit of being an AARP member?
21
votes
1answer
3k views

How to invest after 401k and Roth IRA are maxed?

I'm in my 20's. I'm a big saver and I think I've covered the basics, including: Paying off all high interest (>3%) debt. Getting the full company match out of my 401k. Maxing out my Roth IRA for the ...
3
votes
1answer
160 views

When I pay off my mortgage loan, what would really happen?

Correct me if I'm wrong. I understand that when I open a mortgage loan, some underlying bond is issued and purchased by some investors. When the rate is much lower and I refinance and close my ...
5
votes
4answers
13k views

Can I move my 401k to another country without paying tax penalty?

I might want to move the money in my 401k from US to Canada. I do not work with my previous employer anymore, but now I am self-employed. Can I do this without incurring penalties?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How is an inheritance taxed in the United States?

My wife will be receiving an inheritance from her Uncle's estate. What are the federal tax implications?
51
votes
15answers
6k views

What are the best software tools for personal finance?

What are the best software tools for personal finance? Please list what you like about the software you use.
20
votes
4answers
13k views

When is Cash Value Life Insurance a good or bad idea?

What makes CVLI either good or bad? If you get it while young (~23 years old) and have a respectable starting salary then what are some benefits or detriments to having it? The specific policy I'm ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Should I put money in both a ROTH and Traditional IRA?

I'm 31. I put 11% of my $$ into a 401k. I put about $600 a month into a high interest savings account. I max out my ROTH IRA. I'm wondering if I should max out a traditional IRA as well or if ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Settlement Loan

I was in a car accident 4 years ago. I had gone to a settlement lender for a small amount after my income benefits were cut off. I guess I missunderstood how the interest was calculated and found ...
7
votes
2answers
363 views

Options for giving an amount greater than the annual gift tax exclusion

Gifting up to $13,000/year (as of 2009) to someone is not subject to gift tax. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gift_tax_in_the_United_States Assuming that the individual receiving the money is older ...
52
votes
7answers
9k views

What is the best asset allocation for a retirement portfolio, and why?

Based on financial conversations I've had with trusted family members, I believe that asset allocation is one of the more critical things to "get right" during retirement savings. Based on an ...
1
vote
1answer
377 views

Home office deduction with a line of credit mortgage (e.g. Manulife One)? [Canada]

I've been looking at mortgage products such as Manulife One - which work like a line of credit based on the equity in your home. The monthly payment is the interest on the amount left owing every ...
1
vote
1answer
6k views

Ontario HST: How to calculate new homebuyer's HST housing rebate?

I'm buying a home from a develpoer, and I qualify for the first time homebuyer rebate. I'm wondering how Ontario's HST rebate for first time homebuyers is calculated. The paragraph below is taken ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Where can I find the latest and best US CD rates online?

Where can I find the latest and best US CD rates online? I'm looking for a clean site that provides updated rates, and can also notify me when CD rates change.
5
votes
1answer
374 views

How to sell jewelery without getting ripped off?

Related to this question: If I have some old gold jewellery, is it worth it to sell it for its melt value? What is some good advice for getting a piece appraised? Who is a typically trustworthy ...
9
votes
4answers
26k views

Is the warranty on an engagement ring worth it

Many jewelery stores around here offer a warranty on ring purchases. For example a $2000 ring might cost $250. The deals offer free repair, cleaning, maintenance and sometimes replacement and vary ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

I'm 13. Can I buy supplies at a pet store without a parent/adult present?

Can I (a 13 year old) buy supplies for a cat by myself with no parent there? Or do I have to bring my older sister (an 18 year old) with me to get them? Or do my parents have to go with me?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the difference between the different types of bank in Canada?

In Canada banks are referred to as tier 1 and tier 2. What are the differences between them? What services are they allowed to offer and not offer? Are all covered by the CDIC?
4
votes
6answers
300 views

Super-generic mutual fund type

I have 20k in my emergency fund, which is about twice what I planned having in there. I think I can safely invest half of that in something better than the ING savings account it's currently in. I ...

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