College Savings Plans for Your Kiddos | ESA vs 529 Benefits

I don't claim to be a financial guru with the answer to every question about financial topics.  Instead, I'm a guy who reads and processes information.  This week, I had someone ask about college saving plans.  Today, I don't want to talk about the best way to save for college, but instead I want to tell you why we do what we do with college savings.  If the facts that support our decision are … [Read more...]

Should You Have Money in a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA?

Recently, I’ve had several email questions about saving in a Roth IRA vs. a Traditional IRA. The questions came from people who had most of their retirement savings in a Traditional IRA and were wondering if they should (1) start saving in a Roth, or (2) roll over the money in a Traditional IRA. In my replies to those questions, I’ve said that if most of your retirement saving is in a one … [Read more...]

Contribution Limits 2011 – IRA, 401(k), 403(b)

Not, much breaking news here, but just an informative update. The IRS announced (October 28, 2010) cost-of-living adjustments applicable to dollar limitations for pension plans and other items for tax year 2011. 2011 Contribution Limits – IRA, 401(k), 403(b) The contribution limits for 2011 are unchanged from the limits in 2010. 2010 2011 IRA Contribution … [Read more...]

Why We Converted Our Traditional IRA To A Roth IRA

As you probably already know, 2010 is a great time to convert your Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA.  The year is now more than half over, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the Roth IRA Conversion. In 2010, you can convert a Traditional IRA to a Roth IRA even if you make over $100,000.  Also, you will pay taxes over a two year period and the first payment (1/2) isn’t due until April 2012 and … [Read more...]

Kid’s Roth IRA | Can Teens and Kids Open A Roth?

In my post on using a Roth IRA to fund kids college, I noticed that a lot of my search traffic was actually wanting to know if the kids could open a Roth IRA - not the parents opening a Roth IRA for kids’ college.  To set things straight, I want to have a post that actually answers the question many folks seem to be asking. On Thursdays I usually answer a reader’s questions (if you have a … [Read more...]

Roth IRA and Traditional IRA Tax Implications in Plain English

When deciding between a Roth IRA and a Traditional IRA and the tax implications, you just need to remember one little fact.  You will pay taxes on that money.  The only questions are: when and how. There are other differences, like the IRA withdrawal rules, contribution limits, and income limits, but that is another post for another time.  In this article, we are going to focus on clearly … [Read more...]

How To Start Investing | A Step By Step Investing Guide For New Investors

On Friday’s I answer a readers question.  If you want to ask a question you can contact me.  Recently a reader asked a very important and broad question – how do I start investing? For many, the investing world is a maze of complexity.  But it does not need to be so intimidating. In this post, I’m going to try and track back about 15 years ago to when I first invested in a mutual fund.  … [Read more...]

5 Steps To Retirement Planning For Young Adults

“Will I have enough for retirement?” is a very difficult question to answer.  Last week I left on a low note by introducing you to the 7 retirement factors you cannot control.  I guess it was probably a little discouraging.  However, I am not advocating you simply throw up your hands and ignore retirement planning.  I am suggesting that the process should be simplified and your time commitment to … [Read more...]

Important Mutual Fund Tax and Capital Gains Facts Every Investor Must Know

“If I exchange mutual funds do i still have to pay taxes?” Understanding the tax implications of your investments will help you appropriately structure your personal investing strategy in order to maximize your returns. This post focuses on non-tax sheltered investments so it includes any regular (non categorized) investments. What Are Capital Gains? A capital gain is money you make from the … [Read more...]