If you were faced with an emergency, would you have the funds to cover it? Emergencies may vary from needing a new roof for the house to unemployment. An emergency fund with cash and cash equivalents in low-risk investments provide easy access to money should you need it. For more information on how much you should have in your emergency reserve, read this Financial Strategy.
Your credit score is usually based on the FICO model that weighs reported credit activity in five categories, which consist of payment history, debt-to-credit ratio, length of credit history, new credit applications and types of credit used. For more information on how your credit score is used and how your credit activity is ranked, read this Financial Strategy.
A living Will and a Healthcare Power of Attorney can be used to make your wishes known if you become incapacitated and can cannot make decisions regarding your medical care. You can make your wishes know in advance regarding resuscitation, and the administration of food and water. For more information on planning health care decisions in advance, read this Financial Strategy.
Both SEP-IRAs and Safe Harbor 401(k) plans allow small-business owners to provide a qualified retirement saving option to their employees while saving a significant amount for their own retirement. These plans have different funding rules, and should be looked at closely by a business owner. For more information on the differences between SEP-IRAs and Safe Harbor 401(k)s, read this Financial Strategy.
Investors who are seeking income producing investments during a time when interest rates are low may turn to master limited partnerships. It is important to remember master limited partnerships are businesses first, and they expose the investor to more than investment or market risk. For a detailed explanation of master limited partnerships, read this Investment Whys.
When discussing the initial mandatory IRA withdrawal, one can easily become confused by the rules and regulations on when the withdrawal should occur. Assets such as qualified retirement plans, 403(b) Plans, IRAs, SEPs, SIMPLE IRAs and section 457 Plans are all included in calculating a mandatory withdrawal. For more information about your first mandatory IRA withdrawal and to learn how your withdrawal is calculated, read this Financial Strategy.
Section 529 College Savings Plans offer families an effective way to save for college costs including tuition, books and room and board. The advantages to 529 Plans include portability, tax advantages, age-based asset allocation and professionally managed portfolios. However, there are some disadvantages as well. For more information on these drawbacks and who should consider a 529 Plan, read this Financial Strategy.
When moving to a new state, you should take a few key steps to change your state of residency other than completing a change of address form at the post office. You should notify any social or religious organizations, creditors, the department of motor vehicles and the Clerk of the Circuit Court to name a few. For more places where you should make changes to your state of residency, read this Financial Strategy.
When developing an estate plan, one must know what type of property is owned and the type of ownership interests held. Real and Personal are the two basic types of property, and they can be owned in different forms. For more on property and ownership interests and how it affects you, read this Financial Strategy.
In a little over 40 days, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 takes full effect. This act alters how credit card issuers market, advertise and manage consumer credit cards. For more information on the changes and what your options are as a consumer, read this Financial Strategy.