SEP IRA Contribution Limits for 2017

A few years ago I set up an SEP IRA, a retirement account designed for self-employed individuals and owners of small businesses. Frankly, it’s one of the best kept secrets for the self-employed. A SEP IRA works similar to a traditional IRA or 401(k). Contributions are generally 100% tax deductible, and investments grow tax deferred. Withdrawals […]


Quicken 2010 Review

I just received an e-mail today that Intuit has released Quicken 2010. Describing the new version of its popular money mangement software as the “must-have upgrade,” Quicken Home & Business 2010 offers several new features. Organizes your finances all in one place Improved, streamlined, and guaranteed easier Saves time by automatically importing your existing Quicken […]


Conforming Loan Limits for Dummies (meaning me)

As I mentioned in an earlier article, we recently undertook what turned out to be a failed attempt to refinance our home loan. In the process, we learned just what a confusing mess the mortgage industry is, including convoluted rules that include various loan limits set by Freddie and Fannie. These are the government run […]


7 Lessons Learned from a Failed Attempt to Refinance a Mortgage

With mortgage rates at historic lows, we recently (2009) tried to refinance our mortgage. The result? Well, as my son would say, FAIL. For the first time in my life, I was denied a loan. (Actually, this was the second time. I was turned down for a student credit card in college.) Why I was […]


List of No Penalty CD (Certificates of Deposit) Rates

I can still remember earning double-digit returns on high interest CDs in the early 1980s. I had saved a little money and was locking it away in 6-month CDs earning 12% or more. Of course, inflation was raging, and the interest rates on home mortgages had gone through the roof. But those were the days […]


How to Consolidate Your Debt

Debt consolidation and debt negotiation programs (DNP) are often associated with seedy companies more interested in helping themselves than helping consumers. The debt consolidation industry is largely responsible for earning this questionable reputation. The Federal Trade Commission, for example, warns consumers about the false promises many in the debt business make to consumers. And the […]