Personal Finance FAQs

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

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

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

  4. What is earnings management?

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

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

  7. 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?

  8. 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?

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

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

  11. 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

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

  13. 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?

  14. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

  20. 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?

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

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

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

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

  25. 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?

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

  27. Will credit card inactivity affect my credit score?

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

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

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

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

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

  33. What is a Ginnie Mae security?

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

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

  36. Can IRAs be held jointly by spouses?

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

  38. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  46. How does online banking assist with budgeting?

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

  48. What is estate planning?

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

  50. Can private corporations issue convertible bonds?

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

  52. What does investment grade mean?

  53. When you buy a stock in a company, does it necessarily mean that one of the shareholders is selling it to you?

  54. What's the difference between pre-money and post-money?

  55. I have conservative views on investing. How should I go about investing in a Roth IRA?

  56. Can a simplified employee pension (SEP) IRA be converted to a Roth IRA in the same manner that a Traditional IRA can?

  57. When must a company announce earnings?

  58. Can a spouse who is not named as a beneficiary receive assets from an IRA?

  59. How do I sign up for the saver's tax credit?

  60. I have a small business, and I'm considering setting up an SEP IRA. What are leased employees? Does this term refer to outside contractors who receive 1099-Rs? If so, how would the 5305-SEP need to be worded to make it acceptable to the IRS?

  61. I earn more than the income limit for both a Roth and Traditional IRA deduction. Should I contribute anyway?

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

  63. What is the difference between amortization and depreciation?

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

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

  66. 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?

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

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

  69. If there are two plans and one is terminated, creating a distributable event, can loans in the terminated plan be rolled over?

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

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

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

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

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

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

  76. How do I "vest" something?

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