Personal Finance

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Investing in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Properties

One of the ways the federal government promotes homeownership is by providing financing through Fannie Mae (FNMA or Federal National Mortgage Association), Ginnie Mae [more…]

Avoiding Estate Taxes with an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust

One common way to get around estate taxes on your life insurance is to create an irrevocable life insurance trust. You transfer the ownership of your life insurance policy to the trust, effectively taking [more…]

Improve Your Credit Score

Providing a better financial picture to potential lenders requires improving your credit score and getting your credit report into top shape. Here’s how to boost your credit score and polish up your credit [more…]

Paying Taxes on Time to Avoid Penalties

April 15 is the deadline for filing state and federal individual income tax returns. An extension to file your tax return is not an extension to pay your taxes. Taxes are due on April 15, and the IRS begins [more…]

Using Quicken 2007 to Track PayPal Transactions

If you use PayPal, you can and should use Quicken to track the money flowing into and out of your PayPal account. Fortunately, tracking a PayPal account with Quicken is pretty dang easy. [more…]

How to Annualize Your Income to Pay Estimated Taxes

With the annualization method, taxpayers can pay more tax at the times when they are earning more money, and less tax when their receipts are down or their expenses are up. To annualize your income to [more…]

Dealing with Retirement Taxes

Everyone hates to pay taxes. Unfortunately, you do still have to pay them in retirement. Both your pensions and some of your retirement savings are taxed by the government, but exactly when, how, and if [more…]

Debt Collectors May Try to Cash In on Old Debts

Debt collectors who pursue old debts are not breaking any laws unless they violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) or your state’s debt collection laws. Beware fast-buck motives, though! [more…]

Estate Planning with Protective Trusts to Cover Your Assets

Protective trusts — spendthrift, supplemental needs and special needs, education, and minor’s trusts — let you parcel out money when you feel the time is right or specify exactly how the trust money is [more…]

Savings Bond Options: Patriot Bonds, Series HH, and Series I

Savings bonds are issued by the U.S. government. In the past, the United States Treasury Department offered three types of bonds. The Series HH bonds were discontinued in August 2004. Following the events [more…]

Value versus Growth Stocks in an Uncertain Economy

Value stocks and growth stocks react differently in an uncertain economy, and so it’s important to know the difference between them. Here’s how value and growth investors look at the value of stocks: [more…]

Focusing on Broad Financial Markets

You may think the foundation of the United States economy resides inside Fort Knox where the country holds its billions of dollars in gold, or possibly that it resides in our political center, Washington [more…]

Investing in Global Bonds

When most investment professionals look at the world of global fixed income, they see two large categories of international bonds: developed-world bonds and [more…]

Buying and Redeeming Savings Bonds

Savings bonds are quite easy to buy through a variety of means, and they require a lot less paperwork than Section 529 plans or Coverdell accounts. And, after you actually buy a bond, you don’t need to [more…]

How to Change Your Car’s Oil

Unless your car’s oil filter and/or oil drain plug is impossible to reach, you can save money by changing your oil and oil filter yourself (your car’s manual should tell you how much oil to get). Start [more…]

How to Hire an Auto Mechanic without Going Broke

Several kinds of shops repair and service cars. Save money by choosing a car-repair option other than a dealership (which costs the most). Each car pro has drawbacks, as well as advantages. [more…]

Understanding Compounding Interest on Your Investments

Over time, a modest-but-steady rate of compound interest can build into a sizable nest egg. The most powerful investments have stable, compounded returns. Regardless of what’s happening in the economy [more…]

Buying Treasury Securities in an Uncertain Economy

In a down economy, Treasury securities offer a safe place to put your money. Most of Uncle Sam’s debt is made up of marketable (tradable) securities: Treasury bills, Treasury notes, Treasury bonds, and [more…]

Investing in EE (Patriot) Bonds

EEs and Patriot bonds are one and the same. The word Patriot was added to some, but not all, EE bonds in 2001. According to the Treasury, "Patriot Bonds offer Americans one more way to express their support [more…]

What Are Grantor-Retained Trusts All About?

Grantor-retained trusts let you create a “noncharitable” trust. Instead of the property in the trust eventually going to a charitable organization, the property goes to [more…]

How to Get a Debt-Management Plan

If you’re in debt crisis or you’re concerned you may be getting close to it, a debt-management plan from a good credit-counseling agency may be just the solution. For a small monthly fee, the agency handles [more…]

How to Boost Your Household Income

When you can’t make ends meet with expense cuts, look at income. You, your partner, and any children you have can generate additional income — income that can soften the money woes that come with a dicey [more…]

Trust Fund Payment Plans: Intervivos and Testamentary

A trust that makes annual payments to a beneficiary while you’re still alive is an intervivos trust. If you set up a trust to become effective and start making payments after your death, you’ve set up [more…]

Set Up a Mutual Fund Investment Account with Quicken 2005

If you need to track a mutual fund investment in Quicken 2005, you need to know how to set up a mutual fund account and then record your investment activities. Even if you don't invest in mutual funds, [more…]

How to Manage Risks to Your Portfolio in an Uncertain Economy

In addition to volatility of individual securities, you also face risks related to your life span, market changes, and more. The following table explains how to minimize risks. [more…]


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Personal Finance