Personal Finance FAQs

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

  2. 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?

  3. 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

  4. What are unrealized gains and losses?

  5. 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?

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

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

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

  10. 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?

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

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

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

  14. How can I use a child tax credit?

  15. 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?

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

  17. Why should I bother creating a budget?

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

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

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

  21. What is earnings management?

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

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

  24. 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?

  25. 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?

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

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

  28. 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

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

  30. 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?

  31. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

  37. 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?

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

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

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

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

  42. 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?

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

  44. Will credit card inactivity affect my credit score?

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

  46. What are the differences between chapter 7 and chapter 11 bankruptcy?

  47. Are long-term U.S. government bonds risk-free?

  48. How rapidly can expanding sales reduce a firm's earnings?

  49. How do I go about opening up a Roth IRA?

  50. What is a Ginnie Mae security?

  51. Can 529 plans be used to transfer wealth to other family members if the original beneficiary does not use the money?

  52. What is a good book on creating a trust that would qualify as the beneficiary for an IRA?

  53. Can IRAs be held jointly by spouses?

  54. What are the tax consequences of a Roth IRA distribution if the IRA holder is younger than 59.5?

  55. I want to purchase a five-year period certain single premium immediate annuity (SPIA) with my IRA account. I'm 53. Will the 10% penalty apply?

  56. What is a stock-for-stock merger and how does this corporate action affect existing shareholders?

  57. What are the advantages and disadvantages to dealing with internet-only banks?

  58. Is it possible to fund limited partnership interests with SEP contributions?

  59. I am rolling my 401(k) into an IRA. After a year, can I convert this amount to a Roth IRA tax free?

  60. I sold my house. Can I exclude the gain from my income?

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

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

  63. How does online banking assist with budgeting?

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

  65. What is estate planning?

  66. What is the difference between a ROTH, SEP and Traditional IRA?

  67. Can private corporations issue convertible bonds?

  68. How do I use the IRS Free File tax forms?

  69. How can I get information about my deceased husband's retirement account if his employer withholds it?

  70. What's the difference between a golden handshake and a golden parachute?

  71. What options do I have to save for my child's education?

  72. How do I "vest" something?

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