Kimberly Lankford

Kimberly Lankford

Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of (McGraw-Hill, 2003), (Kaplan, 2006), (Kaplan, 2007) and She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.
10 Best Financial Benefits for Military Families
Child hugging a military service member.
savings

10 Best Financial Benefits for Military Families

Service members face a range of threats – from the lethal to the financial. A wide array of generous benefits and programs are meant to offset some of…
May 19, 2021
How Long Should You Keep Tax Records?
picture of a folder containing tax returns in a filing cabinet
taxes

How Long Should You Keep Tax Records?

Keep your tax documents at least until the time limit for an audit runs out—and even longer for some records.
May 18, 2021
How to Estimate Your Social Security Benefits
A couple looks at a laptop.
social security

How to Estimate Your Social Security Benefits

There are a few tools you can use to calculate your Social Security benefits, including signing up for a my Social Security account.
April 23, 2021
How to Report an IRA Charitable Distribution on Your Tax Return
picture of Form 1040 tax form for 2020
income tax

How to Report an IRA Charitable Distribution on Your Tax Return

Your IRA administrator will send you a 1099-R, noting your entire distribution; you need to report it to Uncle Sam — and call out what portion was use…
March 23, 2021
Withholding Taxes From Social Security
picture of three Social Security cards
social security

Withholding Taxes From Social Security

Older taxpayers can avoid a big bill at tax time or a penalty for underpaying taxes by having the government withhold taxes from their Social Security…
March 23, 2021
Calculating Taxes on Social Security Benefits
picture of Social Security card and tax forms
social security

Calculating Taxes on Social Security Benefits

Uncle Sam can tax up to 85% of your Social Security benefits if you have other sources of income, such as earnings from work or withdrawals from tax-d…
March 23, 2021
How Long Should You Keep Tax Records?
picture of folder for taxes in a filing cabinet
taxes

How Long Should You Keep Tax Records?

Save your tax documents at least until the time limit for an audit runs out—and hold on to some records even longer.
July 16, 2020
How to Fund a Memorial Scholarship to Honor a Veteran
A person sitting at a desk, holding a pen, with a calculator, piggy bank and a stack of coins
Paying for College

How to Fund a Memorial Scholarship to Honor a Veteran

With the help of a college or community foundation, you can establish a scholarship in the name of a loved one to help students in perpetuity.
May 24, 2020
How to Endow a Scholarship to Honor a Veteran
college

How to Endow a Scholarship to Honor a Veteran

You may be able to set up a scholarship fund through a college or community foundation, or support educational programs through a charity that special…
May 24, 2020
10 Smart Steps to Minimize Taxes and Penalties on Your RMDs
Shot of a senior couple using a laptop together at home
taxes

10 Smart Steps to Minimize Taxes and Penalties on Your RMDs

After you turn age 70½, you need to start taking required minimum distributions from your IRAs and 401(k)s every year.
December 17, 2019
Avoid the Obstacles of Long-Term-Care Claims
insurance

Avoid the Obstacles of Long-Term-Care Claims

Filing a claim can be an ordeal, but these preventive measures will streamline the process.
October 31, 2019
Health Savings Account Limits for 2019
savings

Health Savings Account Limits for 2019

Make sure your health insurance meets deductible limits and other requirements if you want to save money in a tax-advantaged HSA in 2019.
October 1, 2019
10 Things to Know About Hurricane Insurance Claims
insurance

10 Things to Know About Hurricane Insurance Claims

Three of the costliest natural disasters in U.S.
September 3, 2019
Social Security Benefits to Increase 2.8% with 2019 COLA Adjustment
social security

Social Security Benefits to Increase 2.8% with 2019 COLA Adjustment

While recipients will get a cost-of-living adjustment, workers will have more of their income subject to the Social Security tax.
July 17, 2019
Surviving Surprise Medical Bills
A person sitting at a desk, holding a pen, with a calculator, piggy bank and a stack of coins
insurance

Surviving Surprise Medical Bills

Unexpected charges are on the rise as insurers shrink their provider networks.
July 3, 2019
New Law Could Change Rules for IRA Withdrawals
A person sitting at a desk, holding a pen, with a calculator, piggy bank and a stack of coins
IRAs

New Law Could Change Rules for IRA Withdrawals

Under the proposed legislation, you would have more time to take IRA distributions.
June 5, 2019
Credit Report Error? They All Matter
credit & debt

Credit Report Error? They All Matter

Don't dismiss a minor error. It could be the sign of something more serious.
May 9, 2019
Insurance for a Learning Driver
A person sitting at a desk, holding a pen, with a calculator, piggy bank and a stack of coins
insurance

Insurance for a Learning Driver

Adding a teen driver to your plan will raise premiums, but there are things you can do to help reduce them.
May 9, 2019
Getting Out of an RMD Penalty
A person sitting at a desk, holding a pen, with a calculator, piggy bank and a stack of coins
retirement

Getting Out of an RMD Penalty

When your brokerage firm miscalculates your required minimum distributions, you have recourse.
May 9, 2019
529 Plans Aren’t Just for Kids
college

529 Plans Aren’t Just for Kids

You don’t have to be college-age to use the money tax-free, but there are stipulations.
May 9, 2019
11 Reasons You Need Umbrella Insurance Right Now
insurance

11 Reasons You Need Umbrella Insurance Right Now

An umbrella insurance policy can protect your assets and future earnings from expensive lawsuits.
April 18, 2019
When to Transfer Ownership of a Custodial Account
A son celebrating his 18th birthday with his parents
savings

When to Transfer Ownership of a Custodial Account

Before your child turns 18, you should check with your broker about the account's age of majority and termination.
April 4, 2019
Borrowers Get More Time to Repay 401(k) Loans
A person sitting at a desk, holding a pen, with a calculator, piggy bank and a stack of coins
retirement

Borrowers Get More Time to Repay 401(k) Loans

If you leave your job while you have an outstanding 401(k) loan, Uncle Sam now gives you extra time to repay it -- thanks to the new tax law.
April 4, 2019
When It Pays to Buy Travel Insurance
A person sitting at a desk, holding a pen, with a calculator, piggy bank and a stack of coins
Travel

When It Pays to Buy Travel Insurance

Investing in travel insurance can help recover some costs when your vacation gets ruined by a natural disaster, medical emergency or other catastrophe…
April 4, 2019
It’s Not Too Late to Boost Retirement Savings for 2018
A person sitting at a desk, holding a pen, with a calculator, piggy bank and a stack of coins
retirement

It’s Not Too Late to Boost Retirement Savings for 2018

Some retirement accounts will accept contributions for 2018 up until the April tax deadline.
March 29, 2019
How Your HSA Can Reimburse You for Medicare Premiums Paid
Concept art of a piggy bank with HSA written on it next to a jar of money
Medicare

How Your HSA Can Reimburse You for Medicare Premiums Paid

Even if your Medicare premiums are automatically deducted from your Social Security check, you can take tax-free withdrawals from a health savings acc…
March 27, 2019
11 Strategies for IRA Withdrawals in Retirement
IRAs

11 Strategies for IRA Withdrawals in Retirement

When you invest in an IRA, 401(k) or other tax-deferred plan, you make a deal with Uncle Sam: You get years of tax-deferred growth, but you have to st…
March 26, 2019