IRA Maximum Contribution Limits – Roth and Traditional

Roth IRA Contribution Limits 2011

An IRA can be a great tool to help you save for retirement and the traditional and Roth both have interesting tax advantages. But the amount you can contribute every year is limited.  The Federal government imposes limits as to how much money can be contributed to both the Roth IRA and the traditional IRA accounts.  An account holder’s age (and income) is also a factor in how much s/he can contribute per year.

The investors who are 49 years old or younger have had maximum limits that are $1,000 less that those investors who are 50 years old or older since the 2006-2007 investment year.

The nature of this investment fund demands that an investor contributes the maximum amount of contribution allowed every year in order to enjoy maximum yield.  For example, the contribution amount for a person 49 years of age or younger in 2010 was $5,000.  If he only invests $3,000 in 2010 he can’t add the $2,000 deficit to the $5,000 contribution allowed in 2011.  The IRA is a “use it or lose it” investment fund which means any money not invested into an IRA is lost forever.Continue Reading

What First Time Home Buyers Need to Know About Their Credit Card Balances

Many people who feel they are prepared to enter the real estate market by purchasing their first home have experienced a roadblock to good mortgage rates – their credit cards. Credit cards can play a positive, but also a negative role in the process of purchasing a home.

There is not a doubt that having a credit card can work highly in your favor when it comes time to shop around for your first home.  If you have a consistent history of timely credit card payments this builds a strong credit rating.  Having a high credit score not only will secure you a mortgage quickly, but one with very competitive rates.

Your credit card can be very influential when determining what mortgage you are seeking because the credit card payments are added to what the payments ‘would be’ on a possible mortgage to determine how much can be afforded.
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Credit Cards for Excellent Credit

Having excellent credit (usually 750 or higher) is good for more than mortgage and car loan rates.

An excellent credit score can also yield you a credit card that offers better benefits such as longer balance transfer periods, low introductory APR interest rates, cash back bonuses, better rewards, and better general benefits.

Below I’m going to highlight some of the best credit cards for excellent credit.  If you are looking for a new credit card, and you have excellent credit, see if any of the following cards fit your spending needs.

To keep things simple, I’ve left out specialized cards like airline miles cards, travel rewards cards, small business cards, or hotel rewards cards.Continue Reading

Betterment $25 Signup Bonus – Start Investing Smart and Simple

In my Betterment review I talked about how they make investing easy for someone who wants to start investing but doesn’t know where to start. Now they are adding a cool incentive to their program:

Get a $25 account bonus when a user opens up a Betterment account!

In order to qualify for the bonus you need to make an initial deposit of $250 when you open your account.

Why Betterment?

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When is a Good Time to Consider Refinancing Your Mortgage?

For many of us who are mortgage holders from time-to-time we find ourselves asking, “When is a good time to refinance my mortgage?” Hardly a day goes by without noticing many lenders advertising tempting deals to entice you to refinance your mortgage.  That temptation to refinance can be huge because depending on your situation, refinancing your mortgage can be beneficial in areas such as reducing the interest rate, shortening or extending the mortgage loan, and even by getting some extra cash flow happening by lowering the monthly mortgage payments.  A word to the wise though, refinancing must be done with great caution because not every situation can have the desired benefits.
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American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card – Review

When you think of a gold card the first thing that comes to mind is American Express®.

They are the one who put an exclusive card on the map. 

I’m going to show you what makes the American Express(R) Premier Rewards Gold Card special.

First off, don’t make the mistake of thinking this is a credit card, it’s not.

This is a CHARGE card.  That means that the purchases you make are expected to be paid off IN FULL when you get your statement.  There are some exceptions but for the most part this is a card for people who will be able to pay everything off every month (you should really aim to do that anyway).

Being a charge card means there is no pre-set spending limit for the card.  Not that you can go out and spend to your heart’s content though.  Your purchasing power will adjust to your spending habits, your payment habits, your income, and other factors that American Express takes into account.Continue Reading