Veteran Services: Finance Questions

Finances

You're working, and you've got a family that depends on you - both now and down the road. Where do you invest your money? Do you borrow against the equity in your house? Through a preferred provider relationship with USAA, The American Legion can provide expert financial advice to just about any question.

Questions & Answers

Take advantage of advice provided by dedicated USAA certified financial planners

Debt - Education - Estate Planning - General - Investing
Real Estate - Retirement - Small Business - Taxes

Investing

I have around $43,000 in a traditional IRA. I am almost 65 years old. Where can I put this money so it grows more than it is now but also is “safe?” -Charles

See the answer »

I just read your article in the March 2012 American Legion Magazine regarding Roth TSP. I am very interested in this, but I am a little concerned since I have a traditional TSP account. I have been retired since 2007, and can no longer make contributions to it. Now I am worried that if I wait until I’m 70 1/2 years old to roll it over or withdraw my funds, I might suffer a huge tax “haircut” as you say. Do you have suggestions? Am I eligible for the TSP Roth? I am currently 60 years old, and I want to make sure I am doing the best thing! -Keyser

See the answer »

I am a member of The American Legion but not presently a member of the government or military. Can I join the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) in April 2012? -Richard

See the answer »

I’m a retired postal worker and have money in a TSP. Can I roll that into a Roth IRA? I do have another Roth IRA investment somewhere else. Also, what would the tax implications be? Thank you for your time. -James

See the answer »

If my grandson in the Navy overseas made a $5000 contribution to a Roth for 2012 in a mutual fund, can he also participate in the Roth TSP during 2012? I’m referencing the article in my current issue in American Legion Magazine in the “Rapid Fire” section about the new Roth TSP arriving in April. I received American Legion Magazine as a Marine during World War II. -Anthony

See the answer »

Is the Roth TSP available to inactive veterans? -Richard

See the answer »

What is the best way to invest $5,000 with the best interest rate and with who or what bank? – Dee

See the answer »

Just finished reading Twelve for 12 by J.J. Montanaro and in the month of February he said that “a mere $100 a month growing at 8 percent will result in about $60,000 in 20 years.” Where do I find something/someone that is giving 8 percent? – Marion

See the answer »

I am interested in purchasing a home in the next 12 months. I have recently raised my credit score to a 656, and my median score is a 705. Should I wait for my median score to go over 740 before attempting to get pre-approved? Or is it the same money out of pocket and interest rate if I do it now through the VA loan program? – Francisco

See the answer »

I have a little less than $500,000 in a fixed-rate plan with a company and with a no surrender charge. It is not in an annuity. Should I, or can I, put my money in an annuity? If I can, will I pay federal taxes on the monthly allotment? And when I die, can the annuity be transferred to my beneficiary – primary, my wife, secondary, my daughter? – Al

See the answer »

I was wondering if anyone had advice about withdrawing funds from the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). I have tried three different times to transfer and withdraw my TSP account but have been told first that there was a date issue when I was trying to transfer to another account, which was never fully explained to me. Then I had the wrong form to withdraw my funds. I just sent in the correct form, but I am now being told that I have submitted more than one request so it cannot be processed. –Juan

See the answer »

What is Net Unrealized Appreciation (NUA)? I have some company stock in a qualified plan that has not been distributed. What tax strategy should I look at? – Jerry

See the answer »

Inside my IRA I have a three-year $100,000 U.S. treasury bills that just matured. My banker recommends I purchase a variable annuity. The insurance company is Allianz, and it was sued by over 250,000 people from 2006-2007 according to my research. – John

See the answer »

We are octogenarians looking for a safe place to put 40 percent of our life savings, pending the possible need for senior-assisted living. We invested $450,000 with tax-free municipal bonds and are considering additional funds. Any thoughts? – Leo

See the answer »

My job has a targeted stock option grant of 250 options per quarter, vesting at 25 percent annually. What is the best way to take these grants –all options, 100 percent Restricted Shares or 50 percent Option/50 percent RSU)? – Gary

See the answer »

I’m interested in “Income Annuities.” I am currently 63. How much monthly income can/should I expect if I were to convert my existing 401(k) investment fund (around $40k) into an income annuity? – Don

See the answer »

I am 75 years old and converted a SEP IRA I had since 1987 to a Roth IRA in Feb 2010. Do I have to wait 5 years before I can take tax free disbursements? If not, where do the instructions explain this situation? – Vernon

See the answer »

I would like information about the benefit of transferring my IRA from a bank certificate of deposit (CD) to a USAA Retirement Fund. The amount is approximately $100,000 and I am presently 77 years of age. – James

See the answer »

When I retired, I invested my pension and 401K dollars into a major financial corporation. I do have a financial advisor who works at this corporation. Do I need an external, unbiased financial advisor who is not part of this corporation? – Nick

See the answer »

Three years ago, due to economic conditions, my employer stopped contributing to their 403B plan. Can I roll this 403B into a ROTH without paying taxes or penalties? Is there a way to do this without the 20 percent/10 percent for early withdrawal? – Karen

See the answer »

We currently have an Individual Flexible Premium Deferred Annuity Contract with Indexed Interest Accounts. The current accumulation value minus the surrender value would be offset by the original premium bonus. Would a surrender be beneficial now? – Jim

See the answer »

How can the Roth IRA be used to incorporate an investment in gold or silver into the 2010 version of the Roth? – Don

See the answer »

I wish to reduce my estate, and I want to gift a ROTH or IRA to my children and great-grandchildren. Is there something about gifting to a skipped generation? And would it have to be a Roth, or could it be the traditional IRA? – George

See the answer »

I am 79 years old, still working in civil service and have more than $100,000 in the Thrift Savings Plan G fund. Should I transfer to the F fund? – Joseph

See the answer »

Is it feasible, and would it be costly, to take an IRA Certificate and have it moved into a Roth IRA Certificate? This would be in excess of $100,000.– Warren

See the answer »

A couple of years ago our financial advisor put $45,000 of our money in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred stock. Within a week, our stock was worth $1,000. If we never get our money back, do we have any recourse toward our ex-financial advisor? – Larry

See the answer »

My wife has a 401K at work, and we would like to use IRAs or Roth IRAs this year when doing our taxes. Can we both take a $6,000 IRA when doing our taxes? – Robert

See the answer »

Do you suggest a post like ours invest in the stock market with any surplus monies we might have? Interest rates in banks are so low, and some stocks are paying 5.5 percent and more. – Burton-Koppang

See the answer »

I am retired and have a nest egg that I will need later on in life. How can I grow this sum to keep up with inflation and realize little or no risk? – Dave

See the answer »

I am in my 80s, and two-thirds of my investments are in Vanguard’s Inflation Protected Bond and Long Term Treasury funds. Do you have any better suggestions for SAFE funds? – Lee

See the answer »

If one were to pay the normal tax burden associated with 401k withdrawals, what would offer an effective hedge against the declining U.S. dollar? – Dan

See the answer »

I’m concerned about the U.S. dollar. Other than gold and silver, where is a good place to put my money, in an investment, in the event of the dollar collapse? Where can I put my investment so the government is not able to seize it? – Bernie

See the answer »

We recently sold our home, deposited the proceeds in a low-interest paying savings account and, for the time being, are renting. Are there other ways we can put our nest egg to work to achieve a better yield? Assisted-living places aren’t cheap. – Henry

See the answer »

I have a little cash in the bank that is growing so slowly I will die before it gets anything substantial, and I am only 56. I would like to know what I can do with the dough. – Spencer

See the answer »

I have a little cash in the bank that is growing so slowly I will die before it gets anything substantial, and I am only 56. I would like to know what I can do with the dough. – Spencer

See the answer »

What investment vehicles would you recommend when saving for a down payment on a house? With saving rates being so low, including CDs, where can you keep money being saved within a two-year time frame? – Teri

See the answer »

My husband and I have been discussing investing money for our children’s college. As a military family, would a 529 college fund be appropriate for us? Isn’t that a state-run fund? Would a Coverdell account be any better for us? – Jennifer

See the answer »