Sandra Block

Sandra Block

Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Block joined Kiplinger in June 2012 from USA Today, where she was a reporter and personal finance columnist for more than 15 years. Prior to that, she worked for the Akron Beacon-Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. In 1993, she was a Knight-Bagehot fellow in economics and business journalism at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has a BA in communications from Bethany College in Bethany, W.Va.

10 States With the Highest Sales Taxes
Counting money.
Tax Breaks

10 States With the Highest Sales Taxes

Before you embark on a shopping spree in any of the 10 worst states for sales taxes, make extra room in your budget.
May 6, 2021
33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes
A view of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado with the mountains reflected in a small lake
retirement

33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes

Even with the federal exemption from death taxes raised, retirees should pay more attention to estate taxes and inheritance taxes levied by states.
May 6, 2021
Estate-Planning Your Stuff with T. Eric Reich
photo of old china service
Empty Nesters

Estate-Planning Your Stuff with T. Eric Reich

What to do with the house, the vacation house and the china? We talk with a financial adviser who's got some wise counsel. Also, who makes up the so-c…
May 2, 2021
The Benefits of Working Longer
John Rouse feeding penguin at the Aquarium of the Pacific
Empty Nesters

The Benefits of Working Longer

Delaying retirement for a couple of years—or even a few months—is the most effective way to improve your retirement security.
April 29, 2021
Stimulus Plan Has Health Insurance Benefits, Too
Image of the Capitol Dome being removed and a man takes cash from it
Coronavirus and Your Money

Stimulus Plan Has Health Insurance Benefits, Too

The plan’s health care provisions could deliver big savings for early retirees and laid-off workers.
April 29, 2021
Our "K-Shaped," Uneven Economic Recovery
Peter Atwater, founder of research firm Financial Insyghts.
Economic Forecasts

Our "K-Shaped," Uneven Economic Recovery

Confidence is key to the recovery, but the sentiment depends on consumers’ financial circumstances.
April 29, 2021
How to Invest Green in a White-Hot Market, with Anne Kates Smith
Kiplinger's Investing Outlook

How to Invest Green in a White-Hot Market, with Anne Kates Smith

Sustainable stocks are going gangbusters. In an era of triple-digit gains for many market favorites (it's not just Tesla), we look for value options. …
April 15, 2021
11 Surprising Things That Are Taxable
picture of man at computer with shocked look on his face
Tax Breaks

11 Surprising Things That Are Taxable

If you picked up any of the income or property on our list, make sure you declare it on your next tax return.
April 12, 2021
Bitcoin: Should You Invest? With Tyrone Ross
Becoming an Investor

Bitcoin: Should You Invest? With Tyrone Ross

Pretending it’s a fad that will go away didn't work for the internet, and it won’t work for cryptocurrency, either. But there are still so many questi…
April 6, 2021
This Hot Housing Market with Daniel Bortz
person touring home for sale
Becoming a Homeowner

This Hot Housing Market with Daniel Bortz

Home sales and prices have been on a tear and are forecast to continue to rise in 2021. Whether you're hoping to sell, buy or refi, contributing write…
March 31, 2021
Talking with the Taxpayer Advocate: The IRS Is Under Stress
photo of IRS taxpayer advocate Erin Collins
Financial Planning

Talking with the Taxpayer Advocate: The IRS Is Under Stress

The pandemic and new stimulus-driven responsibilities are straining IRS resources.
March 24, 2021
States Eye Higher Taxes for Top Earners
hand holding hundred-dollar bill
Tax Breaks

States Eye Higher Taxes for Top Earners

The tax revenue could close budget gaps, but the measures could drive away mobile workers.
March 24, 2021
How the Gig Economy Is Faring, with Kathy Kristof
Photo of rideshare driver and passenger in car.
Employee Benefits

How the Gig Economy Is Faring, with Kathy Kristof

As with so many things, the pandemic has had a big effect on side hustles and contract work. We talk with an expert in the field on finding a good gig…
March 24, 2021
13 States That Tax Social Security Benefits
Map of U.S. with U.S. flag design
social security

13 States That Tax Social Security Benefits

You may have dreamed of a tax-free retirement, but if you live in these 13 states, your Social Security benefits are subject to a state tax. That's on…
March 22, 2021
6 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Third Stimulus Check
picture of person putting coins in jars with plants growing in them
Coronavirus and Your Money

6 Money-Smart Ways to Spend Your Third Stimulus Check

If you don't have to use your third stimulus check for basic necessities, consider putting the money to work for you. You'll thank yourself later.
March 20, 2021
Fund Your IRA, Cut Your Taxes
picture of egg with IRA written on it in a bird's nest
Tax Breaks

Fund Your IRA, Cut Your Taxes

Now that the tax return filing deadline has been extended, there's even more time to make a 2020 IRA contribution and lower your tax bill.
March 19, 2021
Max Out Your Stimulus Check with Rocky Mengle
Photo of stimulus check in front of U.S. currency
Tax Breaks

Max Out Your Stimulus Check with Rocky Mengle

You probably know you're getting a stimulus check, but did you know you can have an impact on its amount? Senior tax editor Rocky Mengle talks about t…
March 17, 2021
The 10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Military Retirees
picture of dog tags and military patches
retirement

The 10 Least Tax-Friendly States for Military Retirees

Unfortunately, some states aren't very generous when it comes to helping retired veterans at tax time.
March 15, 2021
New Financial Challenges for Women with Marguerita Cheng
photo of woman sitting at home on floor
Women & Money

New Financial Challenges for Women with Marguerita Cheng

The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying recession have been particularly hard on women, who've lost millions of jobs. Financial planner Marguerita Chen…
March 8, 2021
Having the Money Talk with Your Parents, with Cameron Huddleston
Photograph of Cameron Huddleston
Financial Planning for Alzheimer's

Having the Money Talk with Your Parents, with Cameron Huddleston

Managing your parents' finances can be a difficult situation. Doing so if you haven't laid down a plan for how to do it is worse.
March 2, 2021
Love and Money with Financial Planner Mari Adam
photo illustration of $100 bill with heart
Getting Married

Love and Money with Financial Planner Mari Adam

Financial planner Mari Adam helps couples work together to have a good relationship with each other – and their finances. Also, some twists for 2020 t…
February 25, 2021
Student Loans: Pay Down or Hold Pat?
Pink piggy bank wearing college graduation cap sits atop scattered $20 bills
Paying for College

Student Loans: Pay Down or Hold Pat?

Before you tell your lender you want to resume payments, consider whether there are better uses for your money.
February 22, 2021
The Case for Indexed Annuities
annuities and rainbows pipes
Financial Planning

The Case for Indexed Annuities

These products may offer better returns than traditional fixed-income investments. But there are trade-offs.
February 19, 2021
Why Pay Money to File Your Taxes?
Tax Breaks

Why Pay Money to File Your Taxes?

Far more people could be filing their federal returns for free; maybe even their state taxes. Also, the latest from Brandon Copeland and the not-so-se…
February 17, 2021
How 10 Types of Retirement Income Get Taxed
picture of notebook with "owe taxes" written on it and next to money and a calculator
retirement

How 10 Types of Retirement Income Get Taxed

When you're planning for retirement, it's fun to contemplate all the travel and rounds of golf ahead of you, but don’t forget about taxes.
February 9, 2021
Unpacking the GameStop Blowup with Kyle Woodley
Markets

Unpacking the GameStop Blowup with Kyle Woodley

Senior investing editor Kyle Woodley breaks down the latest short squeeze and its broader implications. Also, General Motors says it’s going all-elect…
February 9, 2021
Handling Taxes and Insurance When Working from “Home”
Photo of woman working at home with dog on her lap.
Tax Breaks

Handling Taxes and Insurance When Working from “Home”

Working remotely in a new state, maybe even a new country? That can lead to complications, particularly when it comes to taxes. Also: why the IRS is s…
February 2, 2021