Back to top

Resources

Maxing out a 401(k) is an article of faith for many higher-income workers. Unlike IRAs, where income limits may curb contributions, employees can generally contribute the maximum allowable amount to their 401(k)s regardless of how much they earn. In 2014, people under age 50 are able to contribute $17,500, and those over age 50 can make a $23,000 contribution. That's a significant amount that…

Key to understanding financial aid eligibility is learning how financial aid formulas work. They're rather complex and vary from school to school, but they basically use answers to questions about family income, assets, and size to help arrive at a special number known as the expected family contribution, or EFC. The EFC represents the amount of tuition, fees, and other college costs the…

There’s a reason that investors tend to only hear about “looming” market doom or “imminent” market growth. While many news outlets have incentive to draw viewer attention with wildly bullish or bearish predictions, these sensationalized views may be a distraction to a sound investment approach. When tempted to make a radical change to your investment portfolio based on these headlines, it is…

Mutual fund investors' tax bills have been on the rise again recently. The average capital gains distribution (a payment to shareholders of profits realized on the sale of a fund’s securities) for U.S. equity funds based on data as of April 2014 is 19.3% of assets, compared with, for example, 6.9% back in 2007. These recent distributions are among the largest seen since the start of the…

Letting money sit tight in an old 401(k) plan is the path of least resistance, which is why many participants let their assets sit in the plans of former employers. This, of course, may be better than cashing the money out and spending it. Investors younger than 55 pay ordinary income taxes and a penalty on any premature distributions, which can diminish a 401(k) balance considerably. But…

With Treasury yields still relatively low and worry about the eventuality of rising rates ever present, many investors have been moving away from Treasuries and into other fixed-income sectors in their quest for income. Two fixed-income segments seeing activity from this migration are corporate and emerging-markets bonds.

Corporate bonds: Many investors have bumped up their…

Even if you're already convinced that saving in an IRA is a sensible thing to do, there's still a little bit of research to conduct. There are two main types of IRA accounts, and selecting the one that's best for you can be a daunting process. You can figure this out in relatively short order by following these three steps.

1) Know the Basics: Understanding the difference between the…

Since interest rates are still relatively low right now, many investors looking for income and yield have begun to assess switching a portion of their investment allocation from bonds into dividend-paying stocks. However, it is important to remember that the interest payment of a bond is a contractual obligation of the company, whereas dividend payments are not. If a bond issuer does not pay…

The sooner you start putting aside money for retirement, the more you might have once that highly anticipated day arrives. Saving for college tuition, purchasing a new home, unforeseen medical expenses, or life’s other necessities, surprises, or even enjoyments can cause investors to postpone saving. Starting the retirement planning process late in one’s life can be daunting, but it is by no…

Income Tax (Photo credit: LendingMemo)

It's that time of year again. While many people cannot say they enjoy preparing their income-tax returns, you'll like it even less if you make mistakes and pay more tax, penalties, and interest than you need to. Here are some things to watch out for as you prepare this year's return or ready your tax documents for your accountant.

Qualified…