Ask Kim

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

December 15, 2017

Charitable Giving Can Begin at Home with a Donor-Advised Fund

Parents and grandparents can launch the next generation of philanthropists by allowing kids to help decide where to donate money from a donor-advised fund.

See More On: Smart Buying

December 14, 2017

How Much Are Those Old Baseball Cards Worth?

Depending on the year, condition and, of course, the player, some baseball cards could be worth thousands of dollars.

See More On: Family Finances

December 8, 2017

How Much Families Can Contribute to a Health Savings Account

You and a spouse can contribute a total of $6,900 to an HSA in 2018, plus a catch-up contribution if you’re 55 or older. And thanks to a quirk in the law, an adult child covered under the family’s high-deductible health policy may also be able to contribute $6,900 to his or her own HSA.

See More On: Saving Money | Employee Benefits | Family Finances

December 7, 2017

The Potential Tax Hit When High Earners Convert to a Roth IRA

High earners using a "backdoor" strategy to open a Roth IRA can trigger taxes if they own other IRAs.

See More On: 401(k)s | IRAs | Roth IRAs

December 1, 2017

College-Savings Plans Make It Easy to Give a Child the Gift of Tuition

Relatives can contribute to a child's 529 college-savings plan, and in many cases they can get a tax deduction on their gift.

See More On: 529 Plans

November 3, 2017

A Child-Care Tax Break for Working Parents

New parents and those with pre-teens can save on taxes (for now) when paying for child care by signing up for an employer's dependent-care flexible spending account.

See More On: Family Finances | Tax Breaks | Tax Planning

November 1, 2017

10 Things You Need to Know About Health Insurance Open Enrollment

If you're signing up for Obamacare for 2018, you'll have less time to buy coverage for next year, but here's help finding the right policy more quickly.

See More On: Health Care & Insurance

From Kiplinger's Personal Finance, December 2017

Charitable Giving Is a Family Affair

A donor-advised fund is a tax-savvy way for families to pool their charitable dollars and create the next generation of philanthropists.

See More On: Wealth Management | Estate Planning | Family Finances

October 31, 2017

Raising Cash to Make Hurricane Damage Repairs

Many hurricane victims are still waiting for payments from insurers or disaster assistance from FEMA to make home repairs. In the meantime, here are ways to raise money to get fixes under way.

See More On: Home Remodeling & Maintenance | 401(k)s | IRAs

October 25, 2017

How to Report a Tax-Free Transfer From Your IRA to Charity

The tax filing rules for qualified charitable distributions can be tricky. You must specify how much of your required minimum distribution is taxable and why part of the distribution is tax-free.

See More On: IRAs | Leisure Spending | Tax Breaks

October 20, 2017

You Can Contribute More to Your 401(k) in 2018

You'll be able to stash an extra $500 in a 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan in 2018. But the maximum annual IRA contribution will stay the same.

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

October 17, 2017

4 Ways RMDs Are Different for 401(k)s and for IRAs

For both types of retirement account, you need to take required minimum distributions after you turn age 70½. But there are differences in how and when you take the money.

See More On: Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) | 401(k)s | IRAs

October 12, 2017

6 Ways to Prevent Water Damage This Winter

If the worst happens, your homeowners insurance will cover leaks and burst pipes, or water that comes into your home through your roof and windows. But it doesn't cover flooding.

See More On: Home Remodeling & Maintenance

October 6, 2017

Medicare Part D Beneficiaries May Pay Less for Prescriptions in 2018

The infamous "doughnut hole," the coverage gap in which you pay a big portion of Part D drug costs, will shrink a bit more next year.

See More On: Health Care & Insurance

October 5, 2017

File the FAFSA Now for More Financial Aid in the 2018-19 School Year

You can file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid as early as October 1 -- and the sooner, the better.

See More On: Student Loans

September 29, 2017

How to Help Victims of Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands will be recovering for years from Hurricane Maria's destruction. If you want to help the islands and their residents, check out these charities.

See More On: Family Finances

September 27, 2017

How Working in Retirement Affects Social Security Benefits

A paycheck can temporarily reduce Social Security payments if you're drawing benefits before your full retirement age.

See More On: Social Security

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