Our kids are 10 and 16. We expect to inherit $200,000, which we need for retirement. Can we still get financial aid for college? — Name withheld
Yes — but it'll be iffy the year after you receive the windfall. You'll have to list the money as income on the FAFSA aid form (even though it's not counted as income on your taxes). And since the aid formulas weigh income far more MOREJun 22, 2012 5:05 PM ET
We were buying a home, but the builder didn't disclose the limits on renting. Can we get our deposit back? —L.Y., Allen, Texas
Yes, if time and paperwork are on your side. A rental limit set by a builder or homeowners association is material information that a seller is obligated to disclose, says San Antonio attorney Bryan Woods. If you never got the applicable covenants, conditions, and restrictions, you should be able MOREJun 20, 2012 9:00 AM ET
How do I go about refinancing my car loan at a rate lower than I pay now? —Laura E., Bismarck, N.D.
First, check for obstacles. Does your loan have a prepayment penalty? Do you owe more than your car is worth? (Estimate its value at kbb.com; if your loan balance is bigger, prepare to pay the difference in cash when refinancing.) Then, for a sense of the rate you might obtain, get MOREJun 19, 2012 5:05 AM ET
Citibank offers a 5.85% six-month term deposit ...in Australia. How do I get that? — Warren Glaser, East Greenbush, N.Y.
Move to Australia. That introductory deal and other juicy rates touted by Australian banks like Citibank's subsidiary are for locals only. One U.S. bank, EverBank, makes it easy to invest in foreign certificates of deposit, but its rates are a lot lower than Citibank's offer— 2.25% for a one-year Aussie CD, for example. MOREJun 15, 2012 4:20 PM ET
My wife and I did a partial Roth IRA conversion in 2010. Half of the taxes were paid on our 2011 return. If need be, can we withdraw that portion tax- and penalty-free? -- Greg, Mission Viejo, Calif.
First, a small clarification: individual retirement accounts (IRA's) can't be jointly owned, so the distribution rules apply either to you or your spouse — whoever's name is on the account.
Now, the answer: Should you MOREJun 13, 2012 5:05 AM ET
I have retired after 31 years in a relatively good-paying field. I do not plan on taking Social Security for a number of years. If I take a low-paying, part-time job, will that affect my future Social Security payments? -- J.D., Woodbridge, N.J.
It will likely increase your payments by at least a bit. Social security payments are calculated based on one's top 35 years of work. Because you've worked for MOREJun 11, 2012 5:05 AM ET
They say gold, silver, or diamond jewelry is a good investment because its value will appreciate over time. But how can that be true if you can only sell jewelry to stores or pawnshops for a very bargain price? -- Lala, Astoria, Ore. /
Much like a spiffy new car driven off a dealer's lot, most new jewelry purchases significantly depreciate as soon as you walk out of the store, says independent jewelry MOREJun 8, 2012 5:05 AM ET
Can I contribute $5,000 each to both a Roth and a non-deductible IRA in the same year, or am I limited to $5,000 total? I am also maximizing my 401(k) contribution ($17,000) through my employer, if that makes a difference. -- Name withheld
Unfortunately, no, you cannot contribute $5,000 to both IRAs in the same calendar year. "You are limited to $5,000 in total contributions to Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs as MOREJun 6, 2012 5:05 AM ET
My husband and I own a house, but we've been living outside the country and renting it out. Now we have moved back to the U.S., and we are splitting up. He will live in the house for the next two years so we can qualify for the capital gains tax exemption. If I don't live in the house, and we divorce before it gets sold, will I have to MOREJun 5, 2012 5:05 AM ET
My wife and I are in our late 50s with a $265,000 mortgage and a house worth $365,000. We plan to retire at 65. Should we concentrate our resources on paying off the mortgage by retirement? We are not going to live here forever. -- Name withheld
The simple answer is that the closer you get to retirement, the less debt you should have. "A client who comes into retirement with a MOREJun 4, 2012 5:05 AM ET
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