Personal Finance FAQs

  1. Is it true that you can sell your home and not pay capital gains tax?

  2. What is the difference between amortization and depreciation?

  3. Who bears the investment risk in 401(k) plans?

  4. Can I roll my 403(b) and 457 into other low-cost venders when I change jobs?

  5. I retired and transferred part of my pension distribution to a Roth IRA. If I am over 55, do I still qualify for the age 55 exemption?

  6. Does everyone have to file a federal tax return?

  7. Can I contribute to both a 401(k) and an IRA?

  8. What is the difference between bad credit and no credit?

  9. What types of plans allow catch-up contributions?

  10. What is the difference between a Keogh and an IRA?

  11. Where does the name "Wall Street" come from?

  12. As a temporary resident of the US, can I withdraw funds from my Traditional IRA without penalty when I leave the country?

  13. I'm about to retire. If I pay off my mortgage with after-tax money I have saved, I can save 6.5%. Should I do this?

  14. Why do companies report earnings at different times?

  15. I have several Roth IRA conversions, each with different custodians. When I spoke to an IRS representative, he maintained that the total amount of the conversions is always available. He told me that at any time I can take out what I had paid taxes on (wi

  16. What are pro forma earnings?

  17. Can the non-spouse beneficiary of an IRA name a successor beneficiary?

  18. I make over $100,000/yr and my adjusted gross income precludes standard IRA contributions. My contributions to my 401(k) plan at work are limited to about $7,000/yr. It seems I'm being penalized for my income. Are there other retirement savings options av

  19. I am only 17 years old. I don't have a job or pay taxes. Can I contribute to an IRA?

  20. I have several jobs. Can I contribute the maximum to multiple employer retirement plans?

  21. How do restricted stocks, treasury stocks and stock appreciation rights benefit employees?

  22. Does marrying someone with bad credit affect my credit score?

  23. Will I incur a tax penalty when making withdrawls from my IRA in excess of my SEPP?

  24. What financial certifications or exams do I need to complete in order to qualify for registration as an Investment Advisor Representative?

  25. Should I start taking my RMD based on the amount in my account when I turn 70.5?

  26. Can I hold non-dollar currencies in my retirement fund?

  27. What is a trailing commission?

  28. How can I improve my credit score?

  29. What effect will a prenuptial agreement have on a 401(k)?

  30. Are all bank accounts insured by the FDIC?

  31. Does it make sense to get my house and car insurance at the same place?

  32. What is a blackout period?

  33. Can I establish more than one IRA?

  34. I'm new to this. Can I sell or buy stock by myself?

  35. Can an IRA be used as security for a loan?

  36. I am over 60 years old and have a Roth IRA to which I have made contributions for more than five years. Are all distributions tax free?

  37. What does 'going public' mean?

  38. I am 52 years old and wish to make a withdrawal from my 401(k) plan. Is there any way I can avoid having to pay additional tax on the grounds of hardship - e.g. unemployment?

  39. What are some common and useful retirement planner designations? Are they expensive or difficult to obtain?

  40. Can I add my higher income spouse's name to my Roth IRA in order to raise our contribution limits?

  41. What is an assumable mortgage?

  42. How are realized profits different from unrealized or so-called "paper" profits?

  43. What methods can be used to fund a forex account?

  44. How can I make sure I'm ready to file my taxes?

  45. Is there a limit on how much I can move from my IRA to my Roth IRA?

  46. I have two jobs. Can I contribute to two SIMPLE IRA plans?

  47. Can a creditor seize my retirement savings?

  48. I just opened an IRA. What can I do to help my money grow?

  49. What's the difference between casualty insurance and disability insurance?

  50. What is the relationship between the PPI and the CPI?

  51. Can I convert non-deductible contributions made to my Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA without being taxed?

  52. Can either a SEP IRA or a SIMPLE IRA be attached in a bankruptcy or malpractice action, or are they safe from any financial judgments like these?

  53. Is it important to check the professional history of my investment advisor?

  54. Can I move my IRA to a better income-producing opportunity?

  55. Can I contribute to both a 529 plan and a Coverdell education savings account?

  56. Why did the New York Stock Exchange report prices in fractions before it switched to decimal reporting?

  57. What investments are available to someone with no earned income?

  58. Is divorce an exception to the SIMPLE IRA's two-year waiting period rule?

  59. What procedure applies to a taxpayer who made excess contributions for 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 and has neither withdrawn the excess and the earnings for 2001-2003, nor recharacterized 2004 to a Traditional IRA? How are multiple years such as this to be

  60. My spouse and I now earn more than the dual-income limit specified by our IRAs. What will happen to our previous contributions?

  61. How is my credit score calculated?

  62. I just learned that my 2004 and 2005 Roth IRA contributions are not allowed because my income exceeds the limits. Can I just withdraw the contributions plus earnings without penalty?

  63. Can a corporation deduct dividend payments to shareholders before taxes are calculated?

  64. What's the difference between a savings account and a Roth IRA?

  65. Do I need to hit my 401(k) contribution limit before I can begin making catch-up contributions?

  66. Can I still set up an SEP if one of my employees refuses to participate?

  67. Can an open-ended fund's price appreciate significantly?

  68. What is the difference between a collateralized mortgage obligation (CMO) and a collateralized bond obligation (CBO)?

  69. Which is better, a fixed or variable rate loan?

  70. Can I leave my pension to my spouse when I pass away?

  71. Who coined the term "entrepreneur"?

  72. What is variable life insurance?

  73. Why is my insurance premium so high/low?

  74. I'm a teacher. Which is better for me, a 401(k) or 403(b)? What is the difference? From whom do I get these plans?

  75. I understand that I can withdraw from a 401k the year I turn 55 without the 10% penalty (IRS 575). Can I do the same thing with an IRA without the 10% penalty?

  76. My company is the trustee of our 401k plan (which has 112 participants). What are the pros and cons of having the company instead of the plan provider/vendor as the trustee?

  77. Can I pull out most of my assets from my IRA and use the cash as long as I replace it in the IRA within a year?

  78. My 80-year-old mother used her Roth IRA assets to make an $11,000 annual gift tax exclusion. Will these still be considered Roth IRA assets?

  79. There are so many stockbrokers out there. How do I go about choosing the best one for me?

  80. I plan to retire in March 2005 at the age of 59.75. When and what percentage or dollar amount can I start withdrawing from my SIMPLE IRA account?

  81. Once substantially equal periodic payments (SEPP) of an IRA have started, is the payment fixed each year, or does it fluctuate with interest rates? Can payments be monthly?

  82. How do my siblings and I receive inherited pension benefit payments from our deceased parent?

  83. I stopped distributions from my retirement account while under Rule 72(t). Will this have any effect on future distributions that I do take? Am I subject to the 10% penalty?

  84. Is a Canadian resident allowed to participate in a direct stock purchase plan from a U.S. company such as Pfizer?

  85. I am 61 years old and would like to contribute to my employer's 401(k) plan. Is there an age limit?

  86. Can someone who is not yet of legal age open a brokerage account?

  87. What does the Pension Protection Act of 2006 say about charitable contributions?

  88. How do I avoid paying excess taxes on securities I have sold?

  89. Is my non-qualified Roth IRA distribution subject to taxes or early distribution penalties?

  90. Can I give stock as a gift?

  91. What is the difference between a 2/28 and a 3/27 ARM?

  92. What is the highest achievable FICO score?

  93. How can a trust lower federal transfer tax liability?

  94. What's the best kind of IRA for a 20-something?

  95. What is term insurance?

  96. What is multiline insurance?

  97. I overcontributed to my 401(k). What are my options?

  98. I converted my former IRA to a Roth for tax purposes in 1998, so even though the tax was paid over four years, am I correct to assume that this is now mine to withdraw, if I like, at no penalty? I am 60 years old.

  99. Does participation in a 401(k) plan prevent an individual from contributing to a Traditional IRA?

  100. My recently deceased spouse's IRA has been rolled over into mine. Does the cost basis change for me?

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