Ask Kim

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

September 22, 2017

Making Charitable Donations From Your Retirement Accounts

You can't give your required minimum distribution from a 401(k) to charity without triggering a tax, but you can donate your 401(k) RMD tax-free if you roll the money over to an IRA.

See More On: Leisure Spending

September 20, 2017

How Much Will You Spend on Health Care in Retirement?

Medicare covers fewer health care expenses in retirement than many people realize, but our strategies will help you save money as you fill in the gaps.

See More On: Medicare

September 15, 2017

Helping Victims of Hurricane Irma

Irma is gone, but those who were in her path will need assistance for many months to come to rebuild their lives. Charities have set up funds and organized relief efforts for those who want to donate time or money.

See More On: Family Finances

September 8, 2017

After a Hurricane, Beware Flooded Cars for Sale

If you're buying a used vehicle in an area recently hit by a hurricane, check to make sure it doesn't have any flood damage.

See More On: Used Cars | Auto Insurance | Buying & Leasing a Car

September 6, 2017

Give Your 401(k) a Midyear Checkup

Now is a good time to review your 401(k) contributions to make sure you're getting your employer's full match.

See More On: 401(k)s

From Kiplinger's Personal Finance, October 2017

How to Find a Home's Claims History

Ask for the seller’s disclosure report to uncover problems that could affect your homeowners premiums.

See More On: Home Insurance | Buying & Selling a Home

September 1, 2017

What to Do After Inheriting an IRA

Heirs must begin taking withdrawals once they inherit an IRA, but how they choose to make those distributions can have a big impact on their account balance over time.

See More On: IRAs

August 31, 2017

Donating to Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

Plenty of organizations are raising money to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Check out these groups before you donate to be sure your gift goes to those who need it -- and not to scam artists.

See More On: Family Finances

August 25, 2017

Marriage and Roth IRA Contributions

Newlyweds can suddenly become ineligible for Roth IRAs once their incomes are combined, although couples may still invest in them indirectly.

See More On: Roth IRAs

August 22, 2017

Using Flexible Spending Account Dollars at the Drugstore

The rules changed a few years ago to limit use of tax-free FSA money for nonprescription drugs, but there are plenty of items you can still buy without a prescription.

See More On: Health Care & Insurance

August 18, 2017

Transferring IRA Money to a Health Savings Account

Rolling money from a traditional IRA into an HSA turns tax-deferred dollars into tax-free withdrawals for medical bills. But you’ll maximize the tax breaks if you contribute new money to the HSA.

See More On: IRAs | Health Care & Insurance | Healthy Living on a Budget

August 16, 2017

What You Need to Know About Homeowners Insurance in Hurricane-Prone States

Policies can be prohibitively expensive in areas susceptible to hurricanes, but home buyers can take steps to make sure they’re not overwhelmed by the premiums.

See More On: Home Insurance | Buying & Selling a Home | Home Remodeling & Maintenance

August 11, 2017

Claiming the Saver’s Credit on Your Tax Return

Workers with modest incomes are rewarded with a tax credit of up to $1,000 for saving for retirement.

See More On: Saving for Retirement | 401(k)s | IRAs

August 9, 2017

Deducting Mortgage Interest on a Vacation Home

You may be able to write off all mortgage interest on a second home if you’re not renting it out for extended periods.

See More On: Mortgages & Refinancing | Best Cities, States & Places | Home Insurance

August 1, 2017

Tax Breaks When Moving to Take Your First Job

The cost of hiring movers and traveling to a new home are tax-deductible if you meet the distance test.

See More On: Tax Breaks | Careers | Home Remodeling & Maintenance

From Kiplinger's Personal Finance, September 2017

Protect Your Assets With an Umbrella Insurance Policy

A $1 million policy can cost as little as $150 per year.

See More On: Home Insurance | Auto Insurance

July 28, 2017

How to Ensure Your IRA Donation to Charity Is Tax-Free

Donating IRA money directly to a charity can satisfy your required minimum distribution and lower taxes, but IRA administrators vary on how to deliver your gift.

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

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