Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter
In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.
¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.
²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.
³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.
4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.
Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.
2011 is flying by, and before you know it we will be ringing in the new year. However, you still have time to save enough funds to max out your 2011 retirement savings account contributions. Here is a look at what you need to know.
Using year-end retirement contributions to lower your taxable income
If you are worried that you are going to owe Uncle Sam a hefty amount of money when it is time to file your tax return, you should know that you have options. You can lower your adjusted gross income (AGI) when you invest into a number of different retirement funds, including a 401(k), a 403(b), or a traditional IRA.
In order for your contributions to count on your 2011 income tax return, they will need to be made to your 401(k) and 403(b) accounts by December 31, 2011. You can make contributions to your IRA accounts up until April 16, 2012, for the 2011 tax year. (April 15 falls on a Sunday.)
A closer look at your 401(k) account
While investing in your 401(k) can lower your taxable income, there are limitations. In 2011, pretax contributions to your 401(k) are limited to $16,500. Note that if you are over the age of 50, you may be eligible for a catch-up contribution, which would raise your overall limit by an additional $5,500. These limits are in addition to any employer contributions. It was recently announced that 401(k) limits will increase in 2012.
A closer look at your 403(b) account
If you have a 403(b) retirement account, you will find that pretax contribution limits are similar to that of a 401(k) account. In 2011, your basic maximum tax-deferred contribution can total up to $16,500. Additionally, you may be eligible to make a catch-up contribution that would also be tax deferred.
A closer look at your traditional IRA account
The rules of the traditional IRA also allow you to make a pretax investment, although limits are lower than with other accounts. As long as you meet income requirements, your contribution if you are under the age of 50 is limited to $5,000 per calendar year. If you are over the age of 50, you are limited to $6,000 per year.
What about Roth IRAs?
If you have a Roth IRA, even though you will pay taxes on your contribution, you should still attempt to max out your allowable contribution for 2011. The amount you are allowed to contribute depends on your age and your AGI.
As long as you meet income requirements and are under the age of 50, you can contribute a total of $5,000 to your account in 2011. Those over the age of 50 and within income limits can contribute $6,000. If you have reached age 70½, you are no longer eligible to make contributions to a Roth IRA.
Like traditional IRAs, year-end contributions to Roth IRAs can be made up until April 16, 2012. It is important to note that if you have more than one IRA account, your maximum year-end contribution for all IRA accounts cannot exceed $5,000 if you are age 50 or under and $6,000 if you are over 50. Inn other words, you cannot invest $5,000 into each account—you can invest $5,000 total between all of your IRA accounts.
Expert Retirement Advice: Bud Hebeler
Retirement Planning: Most Affordable Places To Retire
Investing Advice For Selling Your Gold
Investing in Company Stock: Pros and Cons
Beginning Financial Building Blocks
Jeff Rose is an Illinois Certified Financial Planner. He blogs at Good Financial Cents and Soldier of Finance. He loves Crossfit workouts, writes about Roth IRA rules and craves In-N-Out burger. You can follow his updates on Twitter.
Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.