Can I invest both pre- and post-tax dollars in the same 401(k)? If so, how do I know what taxes I owe at withdrawal? — Kathy B.
Whether or not you can invest both pre-tax and after-tax dollars in the same 401(k) depends on the plan itself. It's a safe bet that your employer's 401(k) plan permits pre-tax contributions, according to Kaye Thomas, who spent two decades as a tax lawyer MOREDec 11, 2012 6:32 AM ET
I'm planning on retiring when I turn 65, which is in five months. Do I wait until I'm 65 to apply for Medicare? – Sharon V.
If you're already receiving Social Security benefits, you'll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B when you turn 65, says James Long, a licensed health insurance agent at Young's Insurance Services in Eagleville, Penn.
If you're not receiving Social Security benefits, however, consider signing MOREDec 6, 2012 6:30 AM ET
In 2006 I invested $100,000 in a self-directed IRA with three other people. Money was invested in land which could be developed into building sites. We anticipated appreciation but in 2008 the land value dropped and we haven't been able to find a buyer. The custodian is charging $460 a year. Is that fee reasonable? Any recourse or recommendations? – Doug H.
According to Tom Fisher, founder of Boston-based Fisher Financial MORENov 28, 2012 6:30 AM ET
I have a $325,000 home, a $250,000 mortgage and a student loan. I have been taking money out of my IRA since getting laid off, and paying a 10% penalty with each withdrawal. It could be several months before I land a full-time job. Am I better off continuing to tap my IRA, or should I take out an equity loan on my house, rent out my home and move MORENov 26, 2012 6:31 AM ET
How do I find a pension if my old employer has merged several times and I can't locate it? — Kent David, Hot Springs Village, Ark.
Hit the phones: Arkansas is one of 30 states in which federally funded counseling centers provide free legal help with pensions and other retirement plans, such as 401(k)s. As long as you live or work in one of those states, or your company was based in MORENov 21, 2012 6:30 AM ET
Our daughter is building a new home with an in-law suite for us. I am 72 and my wife is 68. We plan to sell our present home and contribute $300,000 of the proceeds to live in this in-law suite. Is there a tax liability for our daughter or us? Also, since we plan to live out our lives in this arrangement, would this contribution be an estate asset for MORENov 19, 2012 6:30 AM ET
I am 65, and every year I take distributions from my defined contribution plan and 403(b) account. Meanwhile, I still have long-term capital losses from the 2000 high-tech stock crash, and I deduct $3,000 a year against ordinary income. Can I take my long-term capital losses to offset any portion of the DCP and 403(b) distribution as long-term gains? – Franklin S.
The short answer is no, says Cynthia M. Jeanguenat, MORENov 16, 2012 6:30 AM ET
My husband and I are 44. We moved to this country and started to save aggressively for retirement six years ago. Each year my husband puts about $10,000 in his Oregon state government employment-based retirement fund. I put $5,000 in my Roth IRA and about $10,000 in my SEP IRA. How should I invest my retirement funds? Right now I have all of my savings in Fidelity's Freedom Funds 2040. MORENov 13, 2012 6:30 AM ET
I have an IRA worth $225,000, which is mostly in cash at a well-known brokerage firm. I know SIPC covers up to $500,000 for brokerage firms with SIPC insurance, but I think it only covers $250,000 for cash values. Can I split my IRA to another firm? — Richard P.
Your total is currently below the $250,000 coverage limit on cash, so Securities Investor Protection Corporation insurance -- which protects assets MORENov 8, 2012 6:30 AM ET
My wife elected to take her Social Security benefit at age 62. Is her benefit adjusted upwards when I start taking my full Social Security benefit at age 66? What happens to her benefit if I pass away prior to electing my social security benefit? And what if I pass away after I have elected my full retirement benefit? — Ray G.
Yes, your wife's benefits can increase when you enroll MORENov 7, 2012 6:30 AM ET
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