Kiplinger4 min letti
Figure Out Your Investor DNA to Make the Best Financial Decisions for Retirement
A lot of life advice recommends people “play to their strengths.” Well, the same is true when it comes to investing for retirement. Some people are “do-it-yourself” investors, some are “delegators” and others are somewhere in between. I like to call
Kiplinger2 min lettiPolitics
Tax Tip: How to Deduct Property Damage Caused by Hurricane Zeta
If you live in Hurricane Zeta's path, your family's personal safety is your number one concern during the storm. But once the hurricane has passed, your primary concern might be dealing with property damage from high winds or flooding. If that's the
Kiplinger1 min letti
Election Turmoil Could Rattle Stocks
The stock market shrugged off President Trump’s bout with coronavirus. Whether it can shrug off a contested election—if it comes to that—remains to be seen. “The uncertainty has the potential to create some churn,” says Phil Orlando, chief stock stra
Kiplinger3 min lettiPolitics
What Are the Income Tax Brackets for 2020?
It's never too early to start thinking about your next tax return. For most Americans, that'll be your federal tax return for the 2020 tax year — which, by the way, will be due on April 15, 2021 (or October 15, 2021, if extended). The 2020 tax rates
Kiplinger2 min lettiPolitics
What's The Standard Deduction For 2020 Vs. 2021?
When filling out your federal income tax return, you have a choice between claiming the standard deduction or claiming itemized deductions. You will always want to pick whichever one is higher. As predicted, the number of American taxpayers claiming
Kiplinger2 min letti
Stock Market Today: Bearish Tone Remains as COVID Picture Worsens
The broader markets managed to at least avoid another debacle like yesterday's, but stocks still struggled Tuesday as bullish catalysts remained scarce. The U.S. logged a fresh high for seven-day average new COVID-19 cases, continuing worries that co
Kiplinger2 min lettiAmerican Government
13 Best Stocks to Buy If Joe Biden Wins the Presidency
It's still early, and a lot can happen between now and November. But over the past few months, former Vice President Joe Biden's chances of becoming the next president of the United States have vastly improved. As of late October, the betting markets
Kiplinger1 min lettiPolitics
6 Reasons You Should NOT Do a Roth Conversion
With the end of 2020 approaching, many people will turn their sights toward year-end tax planning. A hot topic for high-income individuals and couples is whether to convert a traditional individual retirement account (IRA) into a Roth IRA. While ther
Kiplinger4 min letti
Are Opportunity Zones for You? 5 Questions to Ask
Remember when markets tanked in March and April as panic spread over the coronavirus’ impact? Many investors, including savvy ones, offloaded stocks after years of strong gains, saddling themselves with hefty capital gains tax liabilities. In the sea
Kiplinger2 min letti
Stock Market Today: Stocks Retreat as COVID's Second Wave Grows
A number of COVID-related worries got the best of Wall Street on Monday, kicking off what very well could be a volatile seven-session stretch ahead of the elections. The U.S. on Friday reported 83,757 new cases of COVID-19, easily surpassing its prev
Kiplinger2 min lettiPolitics
Bad News on IRA and 401(k) Contribution Limits for 2021
There's good news and bad news from the IRS for Americans saving for retirement with IRAs, 401(k)s, and other retirement accounts in 2021. Let's start with the bad news: Contribution limits won't go up next year. And now the good news: The maximum in
Kiplinger4 min lettiAmerican Government
How Presidential Elections Affect the Stock Market
Every four years, politics and finance converge as Americans elect a president and investors try to figure out what the outcome means for their portfolios. A look back at history shows that presidential election cycles indeed correlate with stock mar
Kiplinger3 min lettiPolitics
Once You Create a Living Trust, Don’t Forget to Fund It
Far too often, when I review prospective clients’ trust documents and financial statements, I find that their accounts haven’t been titled in the name of the trust they created. Did they mistakenly believe that simply by having a trust, their assets
Kiplinger2 min letti
The 7 Best SPDR ETFs to Buy and Hold
State Street's job as an investment manager is to get you from point A to point B with as little pain as possible, and hopefully, plenty of assets in your retirement portfolio. And to its credit, many of its best SPDR ETFs do exactly that. State Stre
Kiplinger4 min lettiPolitics
5 CARES Act Benefits to Take Advantage of Before Year’s End
When you think about the actions the U.S. government has taken to help stem the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, you probably remember those that put more money in your pocket. The $1,200 stimulus payment. The extra weekly $600 you re
Kiplinger3 min letti
Know What You’re Paying for When You Buy an Annuity
Even if you’ve spent your entire career stashing away money to pay for retirement, you may still be worried the nest egg you’ve worked so hard to build will not last as long as you need it to. For one thing, American life expectancies are near record
Kiplinger5 min lettiAmerican Government
The Politics of Election-Year Financial Planning
Planning for the next presidential administration is driving the financial advisory industry to hyperbolic extremes right now. Most discussions center on the impact of an immediate rescission of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) effective retroac
Kiplinger4 min letti
Know What You’re Getting – and Giving Up – With an Annuity Income Rider
For many retirees and soon-to-be retirees, if there’s one nagging worry that tops all others, it’s that they might run out of money someday. Their fear is not unfounded. Americans are living longer. The number of employers offering pensions is dwindl
Kiplinger4 min letti
Why Are Roth Conversions So Trendy Right Now? The Case FOR and AGAINST Them
Roth IRAs are a hot topic these days.  I get multiple media inquiries every week regarding the pros and cons of Roth conversions. But while they can be a great proposition for some people, for others they just aren’t a good idea. A little background:
Kiplinger2 min letti
15 Mighty Mid-Cap Stocks to Buy for 2021
The market's best mid-cap stocks – companies between roughly $2 billion and $10 billion in market value – are fertile ground for investors who want to have their cake and eat it too. Mid-caps, often referred to as "Goldilocks" stocks, offer a 1-2 pun
Kiplinger2 min lettiSocial Science
Stock Market Today: Stimulus' Siren Song Pulls the Bulls Along
We're "just about there." Those were the words House Speaker Nancy Pelosi used Thursday to describe COVID-19 relief negotiations with the White House, helping to spark some cautious optimism in stocks. However, Pelosi was circumspect about the timeta
Kiplinger3 min lettiFinance & Money Management
How to Play Defense on Your Debt – Even in an Economic Downturn
The ongoing COVID-19 recession has made personal finance top-of-mind for many Americans. While many are facing profound financial strain from rising unemployment, others who were fortunate enough to adapt into remote work saw little, if any, reductio
Kiplinger13 min lettiFinance & Money Management
Kiplinger’s Best Firms for Customer Service: Banks, Credit Cards and More
As a personal finance publication, we spend a lot of time evaluating the numbers when we recommend financial institutions and their products. We spotlight banks that offer high interest rates and low fees on checking and savings accounts, and we note
Kiplinger10 min letti
Estate Planning During the Pandemic
Kip Rupple, 62, of Muskego, Wis., plays guitar in a classic rock band on the weekends. He and his wife, Roni Kramer, 56, ride Harleys. They know how to have a good time, but they’ve lived enough to know when to take life seriously. Last year, Rupple
Kiplinger1 min lettiPolitics
13 States That Tax Social Security Benefits
If you're wondering if Social Security benefits taxable, here's your answer: Absolutely. Uncle Sam taxes up to 85% of your benefits, depending on your income, and more than a dozens states tack on additional taxes of their own. Utah, for one, treats
Kiplinger1 min letti
How to Be Happy (Not Bored!) in Retirement – Starting Today
7,300 days. 175,200 hours. 10,512,000 minutes. That is the amount of time you can expect to have in retirement, considering the average length of retirement is approximately 20 years, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
Kiplinger4 min letti
Waiting to File for Social Security Benefits Is Hard, but Payoff Is Sweet
Imagine if, when you were a kid, your mom baked your favorite pie and made you an offer: She could slice a piece for you right then, pop it on your plate and let you eat it. But if you waited until after dinner, your slice would be bigger. And if you
Kiplinger1 min lettiInvestments & Securities
The Best Fidelity Funds for 401(k) Retirement Savers
Fidelity is all about good stock picking. The firm's culture centers on it, and it's why so many Fidelity funds remain popular among retirement savers. It stems from the company's early days, when firm founder Ned Johnson would tell his fund managers
Kiplinger4 min lettiPolitics
There’s Never Been a Better Time for Business Owners to Make a Move
The future is uncertain. COVID proves that. Not only that, this election year is filled with unpredictability, especially for owners of small and midsize businesses. We are simultaneously navigating the uncertain waters of the Paycheck Protection Pro
Kiplinger2 min letti
Stock Market Today: Snap Soars, Netflix Nosedives as Stocks Sit and Wait
Stocks largely remained in limbo Wednesday as Washington continued negotiating to pass a stimulus bill ahead of the Nov. 3 elections. The Federal Reserve kept the pressure on, insisting yet again that the economy needs another relief measure. "Apart
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