Whether you’re a small business owner with employees or just do a little freelancing on the side, you can contribute more to your retirement than the $5,000 a year maximum allowed through a traditional or Roth IRA. If you’re looking to increase your total retirement savings, consider establishing a self-employed retirement plan—a SEP IRA, Simple IRA or a Solo 401(k). Each option is a little different, and the one that is best for you will depend on your income, goals and whether or not you have employees. (more…)
When it comes to taking out student loans for college, a common rule of thumb is not to borrow more than your starting salary will be after graduation. Of course, many students are not aware of this, and even for those that stay within this guideline, paying off student loans can be quite a headache. While experts often consider student loans to be good debt, owing money is stressful for many borrowers. An amount that seems reasonable to an 18 year-old college freshman doesn’t seem quite so reasonable when that person is 25, or 35, and still making a monthly payment.
Between all the different retirement accounts and investment options, saving for your golden years can seem daunting. Sometimes even finding the cash to set aside can feel like an insurmountable hurdle.
Enter the Roth IRA. It’s the retirement account that allows your contributions to grow tax-free, and gives you complete control over your money in retirement—including never having to pay taxes on it again and withdrawing the cash on your own terms. At the very least (and I do mean very least), aim to contribute the maximum each year ($5,000 in 2012).
We have conversations about money without arguing all the time. Paying the clerk at the checkout counter is one example. He says, “that’ll be $8.95” and we say, “okay.” Easy as pie.
But make that a conversation about money with a spouse, and, well, it becomes a bit more complicated. (more…)
Keeping up with the Joneses used to mean having a nice home, maybe a shiny new minivan. These days, it also means paying for your kids’ college education—which may very well exceed the value of your home and car combined. While footing the bill for higher education is a noble goal, prioritizing it over more important things, like your retirement, is a dangerous mistake. (more…)
Few things cause more anxiety than a bill coming when you don’t have the cash to pay it. No matter what kind of debt you have—student loan debt, credit card debt—if it has left you feeling like a hamster on a wheel, you are certainly not alone. Most people would sooner discuss politics or religion than honestly share their financial struggles, which makes it easy to feel like your situation is uniquely challenging. But the new initiatives announced by President Obama to help homeowners and student loan borrowers get out of debt show that many Americans are treading water with no clear sense of how to get ahead.
If you’re carrying a balance on your credit card, a zero percent interest rate balance transfer card probably sounds like a no-brainer. And in some cases, that is absolutely true. But not all credit card debt is created equal, and it’s possible that transferring your balance may actually do more damage than good. Prevent yourself a lot of financial heartache by asking these two key questions before diving head first into a balance transfer. (more…)
Labor day is bittersweet. The long weekend marks the end of summer for most of us, even though we have a few more weeks before the calendar officially transitions to fall. The carefree days of hot temperatures and vacations may be coming to an end, but returning to a routine may feel like a welcome change. Especially when it comes to your finances. (more…)
Reality television has exploded in recent years with top stars bringing in large sums for their exploits. Kate Gosselin of “Kate Plus 8” reportedly makes $250,000 per episode. Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino of the Jersey Shore will make $5 million in 2010. And Kim Kardashian makes about that much annually. (more…)
If splitting the cost of rent and utilities with your significant other sounds like a good idea, you’re not alone. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 7.5 million unmarried couples are living together, which is a 13% jump from last year. The economy may be playing a role in the increase — both partners have jobs in only 49% of cohabitating couples. (more…)