Question: I’m 58 years old and twice widowed. Can I collect Social Security benefits on behalf of my first wife? If so, at what age can I start?
Question: I was recently laid off, and I have a loan from my 401(k). Do I have to pay penalties on this since I lost my job through no fault of my own?
Question: I’m retired and earning $6,000 annually by working part-time. If I convert a traditional IRA to a Roth, can I open a separate Roth in the same calendar year? The rollover amount, by the way, is less than what I’m earning at my job.
Question: My wife and I are retired and in our mid-60s, and I want to consolidate all of our investments—my 401(k) and two IRAs—under one roof. Are we putting ourselves at risk if everything is at one firm?
Question: I have an IRA with my spouse’s employer, and I pay no fees as long as I trade only select funds. But my profits have only been 2 percent in the past 18 months. Should I make a switch or stick with no-fee funds?
– David Hippensteel, Milwaukee
Question: I contribute to a 401(k) and a 403(b). How do I calculate the maximum limit I’m allowed to contribute? Is it per account or per individual? My 401(k) contribution could also be made to a Roth account within the plan.
– Lisa Simmons, Lincoln, Neb.
Question: Is it better to collect now—when I’m 62 and working part-time—or to wait? I don’t need the money for living expenses, but I’d be able to invest it.
Question: What are the tax implications for a home sale by a retired couple, both over 65? Is there a $500,000 capital gains tax exclusion if they buy another home of equal or greater value? Or are there new rules? What if they do not buy another home, but buy into a retirement community, apartment or condo?
– Tom, Marin County, Calif.
Question: We plan to give a portion of this year’s Required Minimum Distribution directly to our church to fulfill our 2012 pledge. If we receive the money by check in 2011, when do we need to make the donation for the maximum tax advantage?
–Reader in Monument, CO.
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