Ask Kim

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

June 22, 2018

What to Do With a 529 Plan When a Child Doesn't Go to College

Families can avoid taxes and a penalty on a 529 college-savings plan when a child develops a disability and likely won’t be using the money for college.

See More On: 529 Plans | Family Finances | Health Care & Insurance

June 20, 2018

Your New Flood Insurance Options

Most homeowners with flood insurance still get it from the federal government. But private insurers are starting to offer policies with higher coverage – and sometimes even lower premiums.

See More On: Home Insurance

June 15, 2018

How Couples Can Share Long-Term-Care Benefits

Spouses can choose a long-term-care policy with “shared” coverage, giving them a pool of benefits that they can split.

See More On: Long-Term Care Insurance | Family Finances | Financial Planning

June 12, 2018

Tax Credits for College Costs

Paying for college will be a little easier if you qualify for one of these two tax credits.

See More On: Tax Breaks | Paying for College | Tax Planning

June 8, 2018

Help with Tracking IRA Contributions

Your investment firm will send you a form to verify any contribution you make to an IRA. This can come in handy later if you’re trying to figure taxes on withdrawals.

See More On: IRAs | Family Finances | Financial Planning

June 6, 2018

Don't Sweat Small Changes in Your Credit Scores

Credit scores typically fluctuate a little from month to month, often because of changes in credit card balances. Here’s what to do when fluctuations in your scores are more dramatic.

See More On: Credit Reports & Scores | Credit Cards | Economic Forecasts

June 4, 2018

Health Insurance for College Students

Young adults can stay on the family health policy until age 26. But if they go away to college and are outside the insurer's network of doctors, families need to reconsider their insurance options.

See More On: Health Care & Insurance

May 25, 2018

Creating a Memorial Through a Scholarship

With the help of a college or community foundation, you can establish a scholarship in the name of a loved one that will help students in perpetuity.

See More On: Paying for College | Estate Planning

May 25, 2018

Free Credit Report Freezes

A new federal law will soon allow everyone to freeze -- and thaw -- their credit report free. A freeze can deter identity theft.

See More On: Credit Cards

May 16, 2018

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 benefits.

See More On: Social Security

May 11, 2018

Taxes When Using the Back Door Into a Roth IRA

The new tax law still allows high earners to contribute indirectly to a Roth IRA. But the tax bill for doing so will depend partly on whether they have other money in a traditional IRA.

See More On: Roth IRAs | IRAs | Saving for Retirement

May 9, 2018

How a Grandparent's 529 Account Affects College Financial Aid

Distributions from a grandparent-owned 529 savings plan could reduce a grandchild's financial aid. But using one of these strategies can limit the impact.

See More On: 529 Plans | Paying for College | Student Loans

May 9, 2018

Should You File a Small Auto Insurance Claim?

You could pay more in extra premiums than you receive from your insurer for the claim.

See More On: Auto Insurance | Family Finances

May 9, 2018

How to Bequeath a Health Savings Account

It's important to name a beneficiary on the account.

See More On: Estate Planning | Health Care & Insurance

May 9, 2018

Can My Teen Contribute to a Roth IRA?

Why it's never too early to start saving for retirement.

See More On: Roth IRAs | IRAs

May 4, 2018

How to Calculate Tax-Free and Taxable IRA Withdrawals

If you haven't filed Form 8606 with the IRS to track your nondeductible IRA contributions over the years, it will take a bit of detective work.

See More On: IRAs | Saving for Retirement | Tax Planning

May 1, 2018

How to Search for Old Savings Bonds

If you lost track of U.S. savings bonds purchased decades ago for you when you were a child, the Treasury Department can help you find them.

See More On: Saving Money | Banking | Family Finances

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