Should I Use a Roth to Buy a House?

With mortgage interest rates at historic lows and the uncertain performance of the stock market over the past few years some of you may be pondering using your Roth IRA fund to buy a house. Let's take a look to see if you are even allowed to do this, and if so, if it is a good idea.

Can I Use My Roth to Buy a Home?

The bottom line is yes, you can use funds in a Roth IRA to purchase a home. However, there are two different ways of going about it.

Why You Should Ignore Your Roth IRA

It is hard to ignore your money while it is working towards one of your long-term goals of retirement, but that is exactly what you need to do with the funds that are invested in your Roth IRA accounts. You need to ignore that money that you have set aside for retirement. Once you know and understand the true reason why you own a Roth IRA in the first place, that will help you appreciate exactly why you should ignore your Roth IRA. Roth IRAs are a long-term investment for retirement that should be ignored in order to earn a good rate of return over the long-term.

Should You Count on Social Security For Your Retirement?

How often do you repeat the sentence, “Social Security won’t be there by the time I retire”, or something along the same line? I know that it’s popular to say such a thing—after all, the media is almost saturated with the prospect of a program failure here—but the better and more constructive way to approach the question is to consider if an out-and-out failure is even possible. I think it isn’t. That isn’t to say that Social Security won’t undergo significant changes, and we’ll get to that in a bit, but the complete disappearance of the program is extremely unlikely.

6 Ways Start Retirement Investing Right Now

A new year—and a chance to start out fresh—but only if you seize the day and take advantage of the retirement opportunities that are available to you now.

Make 2012 the Year You Save for Retirement and Personal Finance Links

It's too late to make a significant impact on your financial situation in 2011. (However, you can still contribute to a Roth IRA for 2011 up until April 15, 2012.) Today is the start of a new year. Will it be the year you change your situation for good?

Why Chasing Investment Returns Will Burn You

Aren't you looking for higher returns right now?

Why a Roth IRA is Better Than a 401k

For many investors, a Roth IRA is a better investment than contributing to your employer’s 401k retirement plan. A Roth IRA is cut from much of the same cloth as a 401k retirement plan, but there are several characteristics that make a Roth IRA a better investment option for many Americans. While this is obviously not true in all circumstances, the tax advantages of a Roth IRA often make it an incredible investment vehicle for to help you accomplish your financial goals for retirement.

Factoring Pensions Into Your Retirement Plans

If you have a traditional pension plan at work, you have nothing to worry about—you’re retirement is covered, right? Maybe not. The world is changing and like a lot of other things, they’re just not making pensions the way they used to. And even if you do have a pension plan…well, again, the world is changing. Moral of the story: don’t take anything for granted, least of which a pension.

Last Minute Gift Rush and Personal Finance Links

By my calculations you have less than 24 hours to run out to the mall or your favorite discount retailer to grab that gift, wrap it up quickly, and get it under the tree. Don't worry, you aren't alone; there will be many other people out doing the same thing as you. Hopefully you've been smart and got all your shopping done long ago.

Can how you handle the Christmas season be an indicator of how well you handle your finances? Did you plan everything out, knew where you were shopping and how much you were spending, and finished early?

Last Minute Tax-Saving Charity Donation Checklist

As you are wrapping up your financial year, you want to make sure to maximize any tax savings you can. That means harvesting your tax losses in your portfolio, paying your mortgage for January of next year in December to get the interest deduction, and donating to charity. You normally have until December 31st to donate to your favorite charities and non-profits for a tax deduction, but be sure to check with your specific charities first.

Three Alternate Uses for a Roth IRA Other Than Retirement

While a Roth IRA was designed primarily as a retirement plan for American citizens, the account’s flexibility allows it to be used for other financial goals besides retirement. The United States government has set up Roth IRAs to allow individuals to withdrawal funds from the account early and allow the proceeds to be used to pay for other things besides retirement. Typically investors cannot withdrawal their earnings, interest, and income from a Roth IRA until you reach 59 ½ years-old.

How Much Can ETFs Save You?

Can you really save money by investing in exchange traded funds (ETFs) rather than stocks or mutual funds? Yes—at least a little—and that can make a huge difference if you’re investing for the long-term such as you would for retirement accounts. Though the difference in expenses between ETFs and stocks can be expected to remain for the foreseeable future, the advantage over mutual funds may become less significant as time passes.

Payroll Tax Cut Extended 2 Months and Personal Finance Links

Congress has been unable to decide on whether or not to extend the payroll tax cuts that have been in place for quite some time. With the government still trillions of dollars in the red you would think they would let the cuts expire to recoup some of that loss revenue. But allowing previously enacted tax cuts to expire is politically unpopular. Instead of truly addressing the problem Congress decided to kick the can down the road a little bit further. Not too far, just enough to get us into 2012.

Planning for Next Year's Taxes

We're in the last month of the year which means you only have a few weeks to save on your taxes. Hopefully you took our advice from October and went ahead with changes that would cut your tax bill. With the new year just around the corner it is wise to spend some time thinking about and planning for next year's taxes.

Are You Too Old to Open a Roth IRA?

The number one asset that young investors have on their side is time. They have a lot of it, and they have enough time to both weather the stock market’s ups and downs and also to benefit from compounding interest in their retirement accounts. But, have older investors missed out if they have waiting to start investing until later in life?

How Large of an Emergency Fund Do You Need in Retirement?

Will you still need an emergency fund when you retire? The answer, surprisingly, is YES, but it won’t necessarily function the way an emergency fund does during the working years.

HP Takes webOS Open Source and Personal Finance Links

HP spent $1.2 billion purchasing Palm in order to get webOS in April 2010. They sunk additional resources, developed a tablet, launched the tablet, and promptly decided to kill off webOS. A $3 billion adventure has now taken an interesting turn: webOS will go open source, and HP may provide additional hardware at some point in the future. On the whole it looks like a great investment gone bad due to poor leadership from HP, but it may end up working out okay for webOS enthusiasts.

Not many of us have made $3 billion mistakes, thankfully.

Do You Need a Financial Advisor?

Financial advisors are certified professionals that help their clients tackle some of the tough questions of personal finance. They can put together a retirement savings plan with goals and milestones or simply answer a question about life insurance.

Comparing a Roth IRA to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

There are many options for members of the United States military and federal government civilian employees to save for retirement. Not only do they have a generous pension plan, but the federal Thrift Savings Plan offers government workers a chance to save even more with a retirement plan that is similar to a 401k. But, how does the Thrift Savings Plan compare with a Roth IRA? Which retirement plan is the best option for people saving for retirement?

10 Common Retirement Investment Mistakes

One of the fundamental limitations of investing is that gains and losses are unequal in terms of impact. A 50% loss over just one or two years will require five years of 15% to 20% returns just to get back to where you were when you started! Translation: investment mistakes need to be avoided! This is especially true when it comes to retirement investing.