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INDIVIDUAL RETIREMENT ACCOUNT: A savings retirement account set up with a bank, mutual fund, brokerage firm that allows people to set aside a portion of their income each year. Like other private pension plans, income diverted to an individual retirement account (or IRA) is tax deferred, that is, taxes on not paid on the income until it is withdrawn during retirement.

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MONEY FUNCTIONS: Any item used as money in an economy performs automatically takes on four basic functions: (1) medium of exchange, (2) measure of value, (3) store of value, and (4) standard of deferred payment. While "buying and selling" means that money is THE medium of exchange, by far THE most important function of money, money also performs measure of value, store of value, and standard of deferred payment functions. Measure of value, also termed unit of account, means that prices are stated in terms of money. Store of value means that value, the satisfaction of wants and needs, can be stored over time using money. Standard of deferred payment means that future payments, such as paying off a car loan, are also in terms of the monetary unit.

     See also | money | medium of exchange | measure of value | unit of account | store of value | standard of deferred payment | money characteristics | barter |


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OPPORTUNITY COST

The highest valued alternative foregone in the pursuit of an activity. Opportunity cost is a one of the most fundamental concepts used in the study of economics. An opportunity cost can be either explicit, usually involving a monetary payment, or implicit, which does not involve a transaction. Opportunity cost is also commonly termed economic cost.

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The standard "debt" notation I.O.U. does not mean "I owe you," but actually stands for "I owe unto..."
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