Q: How much money can I contribute to my Roth IRA? My W-2 income is zero. My taxable income comes from required minimum distributions from rollover and contributory IRAs (I am over 70.5 years old), interest, dividends, capital gains from investments and royalties from mineral rights. B.L.
A: In order to be eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA, traditional IRA or other retirement plan you must have earned income, meaning income from either employment or self-employment. You can contribute 100 percent of earnings up to
Q: I have a 21-month-old grandson for whom I would like to start a 529 college plan. I have looked into the options. The
I have two concerns. The first is that the plan charges a 0.25 (percent) annual program management fee.
The second is that I am not the record owner of the shares. Are either of these of any importance? Are there other state plans that would be better, even if I would lose the state tax deduction?
A: The one-quarter of 1 percent goes to help pay for the expenses to run the program by the state of
When you sign up for the
Reader comment: Your column on Obamacare was excellent. It was balanced in that you pointed out the positives of the act. You did miss a couple of potential issues. The insurance industry may be in confusion for several years, which could further affect rates. If it gets to catastrophic problems, the government is likely to bail out insurers, just as it did the banking industry. The cost of the act has been conservatively estimated at a trillion dollars over 10 years. If it is more than that and our leaders can’t make progress on reducing the deficit, we could be faced with severe economic problems. You are right that it is the most sweeping social program in a generation and we don’t know the full cost or its impact. All the more reason to be careful with your income and investments. J.E.
My response: You are exactly right. I ran out of space in my column to fully discuss the ideas that you mention. Most people don’t know the Obamacare law already provides that the government will bail out the insurance companies for any losses for the first two years. If it goes badly, expect the insurance companies to lobby for an extension of the bailouts.
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