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Should I loan my child money for a down payment on a house?

For a lot of young people today, it's difficult to purchase a home without at least some financial assistance. As a result, many young adults turn to their parents or other family members for help with a down payment.

If you plan on lending your child money for a down payment on a house, you should try to assume the role of a commercial lender. Setting the terms of the loan in writing will demonstrate to your child that you take both your responsibility as lender and your child's responsibility as borrower seriously.

While having an actual loan contract may seem too businesslike to some parents, doing so can help set expectations between you and your child. The loan contract should spell out the exact loan amount, the interest rate and a repayment schedule. To avoid the uncomfortable situation of having to remind your child that a payment is due, consider asking him or her to set up automatic monthly transfers from his or her bank account to yours.

Buffalo Bites Food Tours Attract Hungry Tourists Who Crave an Authentic Experience

Buffalo Bites Food Tours Attract Hungry Tourists Who Crave an Authentic Experience

What sets Buffalo and Western New York apart from other regions as a fun and unique travel destination? According to a recent online survey of “America’s Favorite Cities,” which ranked Buffalo at the very top of its travel list, categories such as architecture, craft breweries and public parks are hugely important to today’s trendy travelers. Restaurants and food also rank high atop the wish list of these road warriors.

How long will I have to pay for private mortgage insurance?

It depends. There are generally two ways that private mortgage insurance (PMI) can be removed from your mortgage loan. The first is if you request PMI cancellation directly from your lender. The second is through termination by your lender.

You can request PMI cancellation directly from your lender once you have reached the date when the principal balance of your mortgage is scheduled to fall to 80% of the original value of your home. You can find this date on the PMI disclosure form that was given to you when you first obtained your mortgage. The cancellation request can be made earlier if you have made additional mortgage payments that have reduced your principal balance to 80% at an earlier date. Your lender may also require you to meet certain other criteria in order to cancel your PMI, such as certification that there are no subordinate liens on the home and evidence that the property has not declined below the original value.

Rates on the Rise: Strategies for Fixed-Income Investors

A long period of low yields has been challenging for many fixed-income investors, but owning bond investments in a rising interest-rate environment could become even trickier. When interest rates go up, the prices of existing bonds typically fall. Consequently, the Federal Reserve's rate-setting decisions could affect the entire fixed-income market.

Still, bonds are a mainstay for conservative investors who prioritize the preservation of principal over returns, and for retirees in need of a predictable income stream. Although diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against investment loss, owning a diversified mix of bond types and maturities is one way to manage interest-rate and credit risk in your portfolio.

Increase Your Vehicle’s Visibility with a Free Sample From INVIEW VEHICLE TRIM®

Increase Your Vehicle’s Visibility with a Free Sample From INVIEW VEHICLE TRIM®

INVIEW VEHICLE TRIM®, an innovative product that allows your vehicle to be easily seen at night by oncoming traffic from more than 1,000 feet away, is offering several thousand free samples to the driving public.

Applied to the vehicle’s interior door frame in just minutes, INVIEW VEHICLE TRIM® is only noticeable at night — when it’s needed — when the vehicle’s door is open. Made of the same reflective material as a stop sign, INVIEW VEHICLE TRIM® cannot be completely obstructed simply by standing in front of it, unlike a single reflector or light, and never takes away from the appearance of the vehicle.

Should I delay taking my first RMD?

Your first RMD from a traditional IRA and an employer retirement plan must be taken for the calendar year in which you turn 70-1/2. However, if you're still working, you can delay RMDs from your current employer's plan until the year you retire (but only if allowed by the plan and you are not a 5% owner).

In general, you must take your RMDs no later than December 31 of each calendar year to avoid a serious tax penalty equal to 50% of the amount you failed to withdraw. However, a special rule applies to your first RMD. You have the option of delaying your first distribution until April 1 of the following calendar year.

What are required minimum distributions (RMDs)?

Traditional IRAs and employer retirement plans such as 401(k)s and 403(b)s offer several tax advantages, including the ability to defer income taxes on both contributions and earnings until they're distributed from the plan.

But, unfortunately, you can't keep your money in these retirement accounts forever. The law requires that you begin taking distributions, called "required minimum distributions" or RMDs, when you reach age 70½ (or in some cases, when you retire), whether you need the money or not. (Minimum distributions are not required from Roth IRAs during your lifetime.)