Ask Kim

Kim Lankford answers your questions about managing money -- specifically, insurance and taxes -- twice a week.

January 2017

Tax Deductions for Independent Contractors

Write-offs for business expenses will help offset your self-employed income.

See More On: Tax Planning

January 12, 2017

As the College Bills Approach, Ratchet Down Risk in a 529 Savings Plan

When your son or daughter enters high school, or even before, start shifting some of the money from aggressive funds into more-conservative ones.

See More On: Paying for College

January 6, 2017

8 Smart Financial Moves for the New Year

Our New Year's resolution is to help you improve your finances in 2017. Start with these strategies.

See More On: Financial Planning

From Kiplinger's Personal Finance, February 2017

How Speeding Tickets Affect Your Car Insurance Premiums

To minimize the sting of higher rates, see if you can get credit for taking a remedial driving course.

See More On: Auto Insurance

December 30, 2016

Personal-Finance Columnist Kim Lankford's Best Money-Saving Tactics of 2016

Save thousands with our practical guidance on real-life questions about saving for retirement, paying for health care, cutting taxes and more.

See More On: Saving for Retirement

December 20, 2016

Why You Should Make a Charity the Heir to Your IRA

A charity doesn't have to pay taxes on the gift. And if you leave your heirs taxable investments instead, they probably won’t owe taxes on them, either.

See More On: IRAs

December 14, 2016

Managing Medicare Part B Premium Increases

If your modified adjusted gross income in 2015 was above a certain amount, you'll face a high-income surcharge on your premium.

See More On: Medicare

December 9, 2016

Last-Minute Ways to Spend Down Your Flexible Spending Account

Many firms that used to give employees until March to spend FSA funds now allow only $500 to be carried over to the New Year.

See More On: Health Care & Insurance

From Kiplinger's Personal Finance, January 2017

Think Twice Before Declining Medicare Part D Coverage

If you decide you want it later, you'll have to pay a monthly late penalty for life.

See More On: Medicare | Health Care & Insurance

From Kiplinger's Personal Finance, January 2017

What You Should Know About Brokerage Account Fraud Protection

If you share your user name or password with a person or service, you may have a tougher time getting the brokerage firm to pay a claim.

See More On: Scams | Financial Planning

December 5, 2016

Even Retirees Working Part-Time Can Contribute to a Roth IRA

You can stash as much as you earned for the year in a Roth, up to $5,500 plus an extra $1,000 if you’re 50 or older.

See More On: Roth IRAs | Saving for Retirement

From Kiplinger's Personal Finance, January 2017

What Parents Should Know About Taxes on Custodial Accounts

If your child turns 21 and is still a full-time student, the account can still get hit with taxes.

See More On: Tax Planning | Family Finances

From Kiplinger's Personal Finance, January 2017

Should You Cancel Your Credit Card?

Beware: Your credit score could take a hit.

See More On: Credit Cards | Credit Reports & Scores

December 1, 2016

Social Security Taxes Will Nick More of Your Earnings in 2017

The maximum amount of earnings on which you pay Social Security taxes is rising to $127,200, up from $118,500 in 2016.

See More On: Social Security | Financial Planning | Tax Planning

November 23, 2016

FAQs About Required Minimum Distributions for Retirement Accounts

If you're older than 70½, the deadline for taking RMDs is New Year's Eve. Start the process now to beat the end-of-year rush—and to dodge the penalty for missing the deadline.

See More On: Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) | Financial Planning | IRAs

November 18, 2016

How to Get a Job for the Holiday Season

Many employers started hiring in October and early November, but it's not too late to apply for a seasonal job now.

See More On: Careers

November 17, 2016

Retirees to Pay More for Medicare in 2017

Most Medicare recipients who have their premiums deducted from their Social Security benefits will see a modest boost in premiums of $4 or $5 per month.

See More On: Medicare | Health Care & Insurance

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