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 Year-End Moves to Lower Your 2021 Tax Bill
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taxes

10 Year-End Moves to Lower Your 2021 Tax Bill

What you do between now and the end of the year can have a significant impact on how much tax you have to pay next April.
October 19, 2021
The Pros and Cons of Target Date Funds with Tony Drake
photo of a piggy bank with a target on its side and arrows
Financial Planning

The Pros and Cons of Target Date Funds with Tony Drake

The simplicity of target date funds has made them popular, particularly among 401(k) savers. But investors may be paying a price.
October 19, 2021
9 States with No Income Tax
picture of a barn door with Texas flag painted on it
Tax Breaks

9 States with No Income Tax

If you choose to live in these states, every penny you earn is safe from state income tax (although one state taxes some dividends and interest). But …
October 19, 2021
18 States With Scary Death Taxes
Grim Reaper in a fog-covered cemetery
inheritance

18 States With Scary Death Taxes

Federal estate taxes are no longer a problem for all but the extremely wealthy, but several states have their own estate taxes and inheritance taxes t…
October 6, 2021
Oh Unlucky Heirs with Tim Steffen
Photo of grieving family at graveside
Financial Planning

Oh Unlucky Heirs with Tim Steffen

Just because you’re in the will doesn’t mean you’re sitting pretty. Also: Does October deserve its scary reputation for stocks?
October 5, 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…
October 4, 2021
33 States with No Estate Taxes or Inheritance Taxes
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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.
October 4, 2021
Trading Options for Your 401(k)
Illustration of a kayaker going over a waterfall with a gold next egg
Employee Benefits

Trading Options for Your 401(k)

About 40% of companies offer self-directed brokerage accounts in their 401(k) plans, giving participants more investing options.
September 30, 2021
Nontraditional Options Let IRA Investors Crank Up the Risk
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Financial Planning

Nontraditional Options Let IRA Investors Crank Up the Risk

You can invest your retirement savings in everything from cryptocurrency to penny stocks. But that doesn’t mean you should.
September 30, 2021
Extending Broadband to More Americans
photo of Blair Levin
Technology

Extending Broadband to More Americans

The infrastructure bill would provide billions to improve internet access to rural and low-income households.
September 29, 2021
ETFs and Mutual Funds with Todd Rosenbluth
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Index Funds

ETFs and Mutual Funds with Todd Rosenbluth

Which is better: ETFs or mutual funds? And how do you decide where to put your investments? CFRA fund expert Todd Rosenbluth has some answers. Also, h…
September 22, 2021
How to Complain (and Get Results), with Emma Patch
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Basics

How to Complain (and Get Results), with Emma Patch

In today's customer-service environment, getting through and getting results takes determination — and skill. We'll talk about techniques to help you …
September 7, 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.
August 31, 2021
Spend Without Worry in Retirement
illustration of couple enjoying wine in retirement
Financial Planning

Spend Without Worry in Retirement

Fears of running out of money prevent many retirees from tapping the nest egg they’ve worked a lifetime to save. With these strategies, you can genera…
August 30, 2021
Cash-Rich States Lower Taxes
Illustration of states with tax surpluses
Tax Breaks

Cash-Rich States Lower Taxes

The economic turnaround sparked a wave of cuts in state tax rates. But some say the efforts could backfire.
August 27, 2021
The Ins and Outs of IRAs with Ed Slott, CPA
Piggy bank with Roth IRA written on it
Roth IRA Conversions

The Ins and Outs of IRAs with Ed Slott, CPA

Are you saving for retirement? Good start. But almost everyone has something to learn about optimizing their individual retirement account from IRA st…
August 23, 2021
Long-Term Rates Will Edge Higher
Illustration of rate chart that looks like skyscrapers in a cityscape
Economic Forecasts

Long-Term Rates Will Edge Higher

Yields on bank savings accounts will stay low. Home mortgage rates will remain affordable.
July 30, 2021
COVID Sparked a Surge of Generosity
Photo of Pamela Norley, president of Fidelity Charitable
Coronavirus and Your Money

COVID Sparked a Surge of Generosity

One big focus among donors: charities that address food insecurity.
July 29, 2021
Investing in Space: The Sky Is Not the Limit, with Andrew Chanin
Photo from space of earth
Technology

Investing in Space: The Sky Is Not the Limit, with Andrew Chanin

We talk to a pioneering fund manager about investing opportunities are in space. Also: Inflation is here — how should you adjust your investments?
July 27, 2021
Get the Most from the Expanded Child Tax Credit
photo illustration of a happy family
Tax Breaks

Get the Most from the Expanded Child Tax Credit

The latest government stimulus is a much-more generous child tax credit, with a new twist: The IRS is going to send you money each month, if you're el…
July 15, 2021
States Boost 529 Plan Incentives
529 Plans

States Boost 529 Plan Incentives

Many states provide a tax break for residents, and now they're offering matching contributions and other perks.
July 9, 2021
How to Get a Car Deal in a Crazy Market with Karl Brauer
photo illustration of car buying
Buying & Leasing a Car

How to Get a Car Deal in a Crazy Market with Karl Brauer

As used car values soar, the old rules of how to get the best price still hold. Also, in the stock market, value stocks pull a rotation move on growth…
July 2, 2021
Smart Ways to Handle an Inheritance
picture of a piece of paper with "inheritance" written on it laying of fanned out one-hundred dollar bills
inheritance

Smart Ways to Handle an Inheritance

A bequest could change your life, but don’t quit your day job.
June 30, 2021
IRS Plans to Track Down Tax Cheats
drawing of Uncle Sam with a flashlight looking for a tax cheat hiding behind money
taxes

IRS Plans to Track Down Tax Cheats

The proposal targets high-income taxpayers, but enforcement wouldn’t be limited to the top 1%.
June 24, 2021
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.
June 23, 2021
The Inflation Spike Probably Won't Last
photo illustration of Jim Paulsen
Economic Forecasts

The Inflation Spike Probably Won't Last

Long-term demographic and economic trends will keep a lid on future price hikes.
June 22, 2021
Rates on Student Loans Will Go Up
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Paying for College

Rates on Student Loans Will Go Up

You could refinance with a private student loan, but consider waiting until the pause on federal loan payments expires.
June 22, 2021