Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

Identity Thieves Use Any Tactic to Steal Your Identity

We are all aware of the threat of identity theft. Those ruthless scammers will stop at nothing to get your personal information, including digging through your garbage, lying about who they are, or stealing your wallet. We know to shred all of our receipts and statements. We know to never give out our Social Security number, unless we know who we are giving it to. We know to safeguard credit card and loan information. We study...
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Where You Can Open Your IRA

Ready to open your IRA? So, you've reduced your debts to a level you can pay off every month. You've saved a few month's worth of living expenses for emergencies. You've done a little research and learned the benefits of opening your IRA as soon as possible. Okay, you're ready to open your IRA. So, now what? First of all, I want you understand that an IRA is not a type of investment; it is a...
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Roth IRA or Traditional IRA

If you are thinking about opening your IRA, you may wonder if it's better for you to go with the Traditional or Roth IRA. Both require that you earn at least as much income as the amount you contribute to an IRA. Both allow the same maximum annual contribution of $4000 for 2007, and $5000 for 2008. If you are age 50 or over, you may make an additional $1000 contribution annually to play "catch up"....
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The Young Person's Guide to Financial Independence

If you're young and just starting out, you may be anxious to become independent and move your life forward. You are in the early stages of a prosperous life, as long as you make smart decisions, starting now. It's easy to feel as if you have to accomplish all your goals immediately, but being in a hurry can backfire if you charge full speed ahead, without fully weighing the consequences of every action. The potential damage...
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Taxpayers Rescue Citigroup

Citigroup has become the next major institution troubled by bad mortgage-related investments to receive a taxpayer bailout. The New York-based mega-bank is yet another financial giant to be considered "too big to fail"; the company has its hand in so many deals around the world that its failure would be catastrophic to the global economy, according to experts. A joint announcement was made on Sunday by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve, and...
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Plan for Your Retirement ASAP

If you've thought about opening an Individual Retirement Account (IRA), good for you. The hardest thing about saving for your future is making the decision to do it and following through. Your retirement may be many years away, but it's never too early to start preparing for it. As a matter of fact, the sooner you start, the less you have to work at it; you will have the magic of compounding working for you. If...
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Update Your W-4 to Reflect Your Actual Tax Bill

W-4 forms should be updated when your tax situation changes. When you were hired at your current job, your employer had you fill out a W-4 form. This form helps the employer take the right amount of taxes out of each paycheck, based on your current filing status and number of personal allowances. It's important to fill this form out as accurately as possible. If too little is taken out for taxes, you could be hit...
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The Housing Bust and Our Country's Recession Fears

What is a recession? A recession is often defined as two consecutive quarters of slowing economic growth, as measured by the gross domestic product (GDP), but it's really a little more complicated than that. Economists must measure data regarding personal income, unemployment rates, industrial production, and sales and manufacturing volume to determine whether we are heading towards or already in a recession. Even after the pros analyze the data, they often don't agree whether we are...
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Choose the Correct Filing Status

Be sure to use the correct filing status when you file your income tax return; choosing the wrong filing status can cost you. If you fail to utilize a filing status that can lower your tax bill, you may end up paying a lot more than your fair share of the tax burden. If you intentionally or mistakenly use a beneficial filing status that you don't qualify for, an audit by the IRS can ensure that...
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Say "No" to the Tax Refund Anticipation Loan

With tax season around the corner, many Americans are anticipating an income tax refund. Some are so anxious about their refund that they are willing to take out an exorbitant loan at a cost equivalent to the APR of up to 300%, and higher. The loan will only get the money in their hands a couple of weeks sooner, but millions of taxpayers a year are somehow convinced that it is necessary to pay a huge...
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