Personal Finance FAQs

  1. I am making after-tax contributions to an IRA. Will I get taxed again when I withdraw it (when eligible)?

  2. What is the difference between investment banks and merchant banks?

  3. What does the term "stock-for-stock" mean?

  4. Are the deferred earnings in a SIMPLE IRA subject to FICA taxes?

  5. How does the 80% rule for home insurance work, and how do capital improvements affect it?

  6. If I roll my annuity into an IRA and receive after-tax distributions, will this be considered taxable income?

  7. What will happen to my SEP IRA if I leave my current employer?

  8. What are some commonly missed deductions for business owners?

  9. I inherited a Roth IRA. What are my options for taking distributions from the account?

  10. I want to roll over a portion of my retirement plan with my employer and I have been advised to ask for separate checks to account for pre- and after-tax amounts. What does this mean?

  11. How should I estimate my income from fixed sources like bonds, CDs and stocks?

  12. I have a KSOP through my employer that I've invested 100% in company stock. I am now concerned that I'm not diversified and would like to move out of company stock and into mutual funds. Is this allowed with the funds I've contributed to the account?

  13. Is there any time I would want to have a zero-principal mortgage?

  14. I work for two companies. How much can I contribute to each company's SIMPLE IRA?

  15. What are the income limits for Roth IRA contributions?

  16. I do not want to totally get out of my retirement 401(k), but I want to take 72(t) distributions. What should I consider?

  17. I recently and accidentally established a Roth IRA for my spouse instead of myself and contributed additional monies. What should I do?

  18. Are the distribution rules for 401(k) and 403(b) plans the same as those for IRA plans?

  19. Is my husband's ex-spouse entitled to receive my spouse's retirement benefits?

  20. I've heard that workers who don't roll over their 401(k)s after retiring face some problems related to estate planning. I was told it was some type of final 2002 government regulation. Is this true?

  21. My certificate of deposit (CD) has just matured and I plan to contribute $10,000 of it to my current Roth IRA account. The person doing my taxes can't tell me why I can't make such a large contribution except for my low income - I am a disabled veteran on

  22. Can I roll over my IRA assets to a sheltered Canadian plan?

  23. Is it easier to save for retirement if you start earlier in life? Can I make up for what I don't save now by contributing more later on?

  24. What is the relationship between oil prices and inflation?

  25. What are the steps to get a company listed on the OTCBB?

  26. Can an IRA owner disclaim his widow's account but exclude one spendthrift contingent beneficiary?

  27. Do I have to continue SEPPs for an inherited IRA?

  28. I hold a professional degree. Am I eligible to sit for the Certified Financial Planner (CFP)certification examination?

  29. If I already hold a professional certification am I eligible for any exemptions from CFA Program requirements?

  30. How can I find out if my employer is a member of FINRA?

  31. How can I budget for both short-term expenses and long-term goals?

  32. My spouse has little/no income. Can I contribute to my spouse's IRA?

  33. How does the American Housing Rescue and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 affect first-time home buyers?

  34. When am I considered "married" for tax purposes?

  35. What is the difference between term and universal life insurance?

  36. I am in my mid thirties and have nothing invested for retirement. Is it too late to start contributing for a retirement plan?

  37. If I am no longer employed, can I roll over a 403(b) plan into an IRA?

  38. I will be receiving monies from a QDRO executed pursuant to my divorce. I would like to take a portion of the money as a distribution to pay for a new home. What are the tax implications of doing this?

  39. I know there is a form of deposit insurance where a portion of my bank account deposits is protected. Is there anything like this for my investments?

  40. Can a person who is retired continue to fund an IRA?

  41. My husband has a 401(k) account which is 100% vested with an $8,000 balance. We are in foreclosure and need a hardship withdrawal. The investment management company which handles my husband's account says we can't withdraw anything because we have not con

  42. My husband has become eligible for a 401(k) plan (with no matching contribution) at work. How do we get back the $9,000 that we already contributed to our IRA for 2005 without a penalty? My husband earns $144,000/year and we're both over 50 years old.

  43. Can I fund a Traditional IRA, a 403(b) or a Roth IRA using pension money? I'm 56 years old. What limits apply if I can?

  44. I didn't record my Traditional IRA contributions. Is there a website that lists IRA contribution limits for past years?

  45. What are the rules and reporting requirements for a rollover of a required minimum distribution (RMD)?

  46. Why won't my broker allow me to sell one stock and buy another on the same day?

  47. Why would my stock's value decline despite good news being released?

  48. What is the purpose of a "repatriated tax break", and why is it so controversial?

  49. Can my spouse and I use our IRAs to purchase our first home?

  50. I'm 70.5 and still working for my own company. Can I defer starting my required minimum distributions?

  51. I am interested in pursing the CFA charter, but I do not have a degree in business and have not worked within the financial or investment environment. Do I still have a chance of successfully completing the course?

  52. Am I qualified once I complete my FINRA certification exam?

  53. Why should I bother creating a budget?

  54. My husband left his ex-wife as his retirement plan beneficiary. Can this be changed?

  55. If I take a severance package from my employer, how will it be taxed?

  56. What is the difference between a non-recourse loan and a recourse loan?

  57. If I pass away, will my retirement plan go to my spouse tax free?

  58. What are the "certain requirements" that must be met for substantially equal periodic payments (SEPPs)? Is it taxed at 20%? Is there any downside to the SEPP?

  59. If I am entitled according to my divorce decree to a percentage of my ex-husband's IRA, how can I receive the assets due to me into my own IRA without being taxed? Will he be taxed when he makes the transfer? Will the money he may have to pay in taxes the

  60. What are unrealized gains and losses?

  61. I'm having trouble getting my former employer to distribute my 401(k) plan balance to a rollover. Can you tell me the reasons why an employer might delay distributions and if there is a government agency I could contact to encourage the distribution?

  62. I converted a Traditional IRA to a Roth. The conversion was a stock equity with a cost basis of $19,000 in the Traditional IRA. The day of conversion, the value was $34,000. Which amount should the brokerage house use for the 1099-R?

  63. I am retiree, drawing from my 403(b) annuity. I am the sole employee of my own business. Do I qualify for a SIMPLE IRA account? I want to defer some of my income from taxes.

  64. What is the five-year waiting rule for Roth IRAs?

  65. Where can I find information on how to distribute my deceased parent's assets?

  66. I am a non-U.S. citizen living outside the U.S. and trading stocks through a U.S. internet broker. Do I have to pay taxes on the money I earn?

  67. What does the diluted share price reveal about a company's financial strength?

  68. What are the advantages and disadvantages for a company going public?

  69. Where can I find information on multiple annual additions for someone employed by more than one unaffiliated company?

  70. How can I use a child tax credit?

  71. I have two Roth IRAs, one of which has a balance that is much less than the total contributions I have made to the account. Can I write off the losses for that account?

  72. What is the difference between Series 9/10 and Series 24 qualification exams?

  73. What is the best way to budget for holiday and special event spending?

  74. Can I roll my SEP IRA into a Traditional IRA or should I convert to a Roth?

  75. I want to close my IRA account. What percentage will I lose to tax?

  76. I have several CDs in my IRA with different maturities. Can I roll them over to another institution with a better rate as they mature?

  77. Why should investors pick less risky investments as they approach retirement?

  78. Will credit card inactivity affect my credit score?

  79. Can I roll a Traditional IRA into a 529 college account for my grandchild?

  80. What is earnings management?

  81. Can I roll my 401(k) and/or IRA funds into a more liquid investment fund without penalty?

  82. Why are P/E ratios generally higher during times of low inflation?

  83. The company I am working for said that 401(k) contribution can be based on only straight time pay! The company I previously worked for allowed me to contribute on gross earnings. Has the law changed, or is the current employer wrong?

  84. Does the five-year rule apply if a non-spouse inherits an IRA after the required beginning date and the required minimum distribution is not satisfied in the year of death?

  85. I've heard some "market gurus" claim returns of up to 400% annually. Is this possible?

  86. What is the best way to save for private school expenses? A 529 plan, a Coverdell ESA or a mutual fund?

  87. My uncle died recently. He designated my mother and father as his beneficiaries in 1997, after his divorce, and did not make any changes after he remarried in 2000. My uncle's current spouse is now fighting for money from the plan. Does she have a leg t

  88. How can I make sure that past IRS errors have been corrected?

  89. I am starting a limited liability company (LLC). I will be the sole member. Can I open an SEP IRA? How much tax-deferred money would I be able to contribute each year?

  90. If a trust is named as the beneficiary of an IRA, can the trustee of that trust become the beneficiary without the IRA owner signing the Change of Beneficiary form?

  91. If I pay for a course to learn about trading can I write some of it off?

  92. What happens if a company doesn't think it will collect on some of its receivables?

  93. Why do brokers ask for personal information before they make any trades?

  94. How can unethical executives use options backdating to evade taxes?

  95. How can I tell if I'm eligible for an EITC?

  96. Are any special forms or documents required when transferring an IRA/SEP/SIMPLE to a Traditional IRA?

  97. Which popular professional certification exams do not require sponsorship?

  98. How does online banking assist with budgeting?

  99. Health problems caused me to take my RMD after the deadline. Can I appeal my case to the IRS?

  100. What is estate planning?

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