Kiplinger

  • Does the 4 percent retirement rule make sense?

    Does the 4 percent retirement rule make sense?

    How do you tap a nest egg without depleting it too soon? To help new retirees navigate withdrawals, advisers often recommend the “4 percent rule” as a starting point. This strategy is designed to make a portfolio last 30 years, through bear markets and bouts of high inflation. The rule is simple....

  • Rodent exclusion? It pays to read insurance fine print

    Rodent exclusion? It pays to read insurance fine print

    I love animals. I also love cars. But a recent event reminded me that in the real world, vehicles and animals don’t get along so well, and that the consequences of their interactions can be pricey. No, I didn’t hit a deer. That’s the usual story, especially this time of year. During mating season,...

  • Real-life retirees offer their best money tips

    Real-life retirees offer their best money tips

    I retired! Thanks to Kiplinger's help!" So exclaims an email from Jim Rowland of Vernon Hills, Ill. Rowland, an actuary, retired recently just shy of age 58. He followed a "pretty vanilla" strategy, investing in low-cost index funds and maximizing his 401(k) and health savings accounts. "I've been...

  • Controlling Medicare costs

    Controlling Medicare costs

    Most people spend $134 per month for Medicare Part B medical insurance in 2018, but some higher-income beneficiaries pay a surcharge for this coverage. If your adjusted gross income (plus tax-exempt interest income) is more than $85,000 if you’re single or $170,000 if you’re married filing jointly,...

  • Maximizing Social Security survivor benefits

    Maximizing Social Security survivor benefits

    Many retirees know that spouses can coordinate their claims to boost their total benefit payout from Social Security. But many may not realize that if they are widowed before claiming benefits, they may also have options to maximize Social Security by coordinating the timing of claims for their...

  • Extending your life insurance coverage

    Extending your life insurance coverage

    Ideally, you buy life insurance when your kids are young or you’ve purchased your first home, and you need the coverage only for about 20 years. By the time your policy nears the end of its term, your kids are on their own, your house is mostly paid off, and you've accumulated enough money in retirement...

  • Diversification efforts can backfire

    Diversification efforts can backfire

    Having a variety of investments has always been considered a sound portfolio practice because it ensures that when one investment declines, you’ve at least got a chance of having something else that gains. But blindly following even a good rule of thumb can do more harm than good. That’s what behavioral...

  • Ready to do some good in retirement? Consider the Peace Corps

    Ready to do some good in retirement? Consider the Peace Corps

    Looking for a way to give back and experience a life-changing adventure in your second act? Joining the Peace Corps may fit the bill. “Retired Americans can use the life skills and professional experience they gained during their careers to make a lasting impact in communities around the world,”...

  • Travel insurance can pay off for big trips

    Travel insurance can pay off for big trips

    If you’re getting ready to go on a big trip, consider adding travel insurance to your checklist. You can usually skip a travel insurance policy for an inexpensive domestic trip. If something goes awry, the financial hit will likely be minimal. But for longer and more expensive trips, which may...

  • 5 easy ways to boost retirement savings

    5 easy ways to boost retirement savings

    Not all retirement planning is time-intensive. Here are five steps you can take — even during a busy day — that will help with saving for retirement. 1. Open a Roth IRA You contribute after-tax money, which grows tax-free, and withdrawals in retirement are tax-free, too. A Roth is a great idea...

  • How to save when you have a side hustle

    How to save when you have a side hustle

    Q: I have a regular full-time job, but I also earn a few thousand dollars in freelance income every summer by writing travel articles. Can I make tax-deductible contributions to a solo 401(k) or an SEP? A: If you have any self-employment income -- from running your own business or freelancing on...

  • Storm damage? Deducting your losses may not be possible

    Storm damage? Deducting your losses may not be possible

    In past years, one small comfort for people who suffered the wrath of Mother Nature was that the tax code allowed deductions for losses from a flood, hurricane, tornado, fire or earthquake that weren't reimbursed by insurance, including your deductible. But if your home is damaged by a natural...

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