Let's say I am a 60-year-old man and I get a new job that starts in September. Can I contribute the maximum annual 401(k) limit of $22,500 over the remaining four months of this year, or can I only put in 25% of the maximum because I am only working 25% of the year? – Benjamin S.
As far as federal regulations are concerned, there's nothing preventing you from maxing out MOREAug 31, 2012 6:30 AM ET
I have maxed out my Roth IRA contributions each year for five years. However, my work now offers a Roth 401(k). Do they both share the same $5,000 Roth limit? Also, I max out my 401(k) contribution rate each year. — Aubin A.
The contribution limits on Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s aren't linked, so you can continue to contribute to your Roth IRA while contributing to a Roth 401(k).
That said, MOREAug 30, 2012 6:30 AM ET
I want to deduct a capital loss of $1,000, but I don't think I owe income taxes because my income is very low. Could I still get a tax refund for a capital loss? — Aaron R.
You can deduct a capital loss on your tax return regardless of your income. A capital loss is defined as the sale of a security for less than its original purchase price that results MOREAug 29, 2012 6:30 AM ET
Could you clarify the "4% withdrawal rule"? Does it mean that if I have $100,000 invested in bond funds, income funds, and such, I can count on it to generate an income of $4,000 annually, leaving the principal intact? — Sam G.
Financial planners use the 4% withdrawal rule to estimate how big your nest egg should to be to meet your income needs in retirement. The rule as it's generally MOREAug 28, 2012 6:30 AM ET
A 61-year-old neighbor of mine in Oregon recently incurred a $45,000 hospital bill. She is unemployed and uninsured. The hospital gave her some financial assistance, but because she has some savings, including an IRA worth $220,000, the hospital argues that she has the resources to pay the balance. What should she do? Should she withdraw funds from her IRA, resort to a reverse mortgage or risk defaulting and being turned MOREAug 27, 2012 6:30 AM ET
How can I find out which tax bracket I'm in? — Joe
Go straight to the source: the Internal Revenue Service. Form 1040-ES, which you can find on irs.gov, offers a handy table on page 6 to figure out your tax bracket whether you're a single filer, married filing jointly or separately, or head of household. For example, if you are a single filer with an adjusted gross income between $35,351 MOREAug 22, 2012 6:30 AM ET
My daughter has about $25,000 in her 403(b) account. She quit her job and has no income. Can she convert her 403(b) money into a Roth IRA this year? — Name withheld
Anyone can roll a 403(b) into a traditional IRA or convert it to a Roth IRA when they leave an employer, regardless of age. A Roth conversion may be a great choice, says James Shagawat of Baron Financial Group, MOREAug 21, 2012 6:30 AM ET
I inherited an IRA worth $100,000 from my mother, who died at age 65. I transferred it to a new inherited IRA account. Do I have to begin taking minimum distributions based on the date on which my mom would have reached age 70 ½? Or can I delay taking required minimum distributions until I reach 70 ½? — Wayne W.
With an inherited IRA, you have two options, says Anthony MOREAug 20, 2012 6:29 AM ET
My 57-year-old mother will receive about $20,000 from a divorce settlement in the next few months. She has minimal emergency funds and retirement savings. Where should she invest this? A CD? A money market account? An IRA? — Kelley C.
Building an emergency fund should be your mother's top priority, says David Frisch, a financial adviser at Frisch Financial Group in New York City. He recommends she stash that cash in MOREAug 17, 2012 6:30 AM ET
Should I put money in my 401(k), despite having no employer match and fund expenses between 1.5% and 2.0%? Or am I better off making a contribution to my Roth IRA? — Carlos P.
Your 401(k) is a powerful savings tool, says Brent Beesley, director of wealth management at Austin, Tex.-based Eltekon Financial. Here's why: You can contribute a lot to a 401(k), which allows workers to save up to $17,000 MOREAug 16, 2012 6:30 AM ET
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