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Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Kiplinger's Personal Finance

December 2020

Written to help you do a better job of managing your personal and family financial affairs and to help you get more for your money. You get ideas on saving, investing, cutting taxes, making major purchases, advancing your career, buying a home, paying for education, health care and travel, plus much, much more. Special issues cover the latest information about car buying (December) and Mutual Funds (March and September).

Pays:
United States
Langue:
English
Éditeur:
Kiplinger
Fréquence:
Monthly
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1 min.
kiplinger.com

ONLINE SHOPPING DISCOUNTS Save every time you shop online with coupon codes, free-shipping deals and price comparisons from these 16 deal sites and browser extensions. kiplinger.com/kpf/dealsites TAX TIPS FOR SNOWBIRDS The goal for folks who spend their winters in Florida is to be taxed as a Florida resident and pay no state income tax. Here are 17 ways to make your case. kiplinger.com/kpf/snowbirds MEDICARE MISTAKES TO AVOID Missing Medicare sign-up deadlines and selecting the wrong coverage can lead to penalties and higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs. kiplinger.com/kpf/mistakes Profit from the best of Kiplinger delivered to your e-mail inbox every weekday. Sign up for our Kiplinger Today e-newsletter at kiplinger.com/links/ktoday. FACEBOOK: KiplingerPersonalFinance TWITTER: @Kiplinger…

3 min.
getting good service

While we were in Michigan over the summer, our Washington, D.C., house was undergoing a serious makeover. When we embarked on this project, friends and family warned us about the delays and disappointments we were likely to face with the contractor. It wouldn’t matter who, they said. It’s just the nature of the business. After we negotiated and signed the contract, I steeled myself for uncomfortable interactions and veiled threats to keep the work flowing and the quality high—from 800 miles away. But our contractor turned out to be a different, perhaps old-fashioned, breed. We chose Randy because unlike the other contractors we interviewed, he runs a family operation, with two sons working alongside him, and his wife in charge of the bookkeeping and billing. He would be there every day…

4 min.
briefing

ELECTION TURMOIL COULD RATTLE STOCKS The stock market shrugged off President Trump’s bout with coronavirus. Whether it can shrug off a contested election—if it comes to that—remains to be seen. “The uncertainty has the potential to create some churn,” says Phil Orlando, chief stock strategist at investment firm Federated Hermes. “We could see a 10% to 15% decline in the last couple of months of the year.” That’s what happened in 2000, when Al Gore and George Bush fought it out. Although the stock market had already peaked in March of that year, the S&P 500 fell 6% from election night through the day following Gore’s concession, losing a total of nearly 9% through late December. Moreover, says David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds, “The election drama of 2000 does appear to…

14 min.
how to invest for a weaker dollar

We rarely worry about whether the dollar is strong or weak relative to other foreign currencies, unless we have plans to travel abroad and need euros, yen or pesos (although we’re not doing much of that lately). Even so, moves in the dollar can affect your portfolio in surprising ways. // After a decade of nearly uninterrupted gains, the dollar sank precipitously all summer against a basket of foreign currencies. The greenback stabilized in September, however. Overall, since the start of the year, the dollar is lower by only 3%. // But many strategists expect the U.S. currency to fall into a more persistent decline over the medium-to-long term, thanks in part to low interest rates that the Federal Reserve has signaled will stay low for at least three years.…

11 min.
our favorite dividend stocks

THE PAST YEAR WASN’T A GREAT ONE FOR dividends, but in the end, it wasn’t horrible, either. Early on, when the pandemic shut down the economy and uncertainty reigned, a slew of companies suspended or trimmed their dividends. So far this year, 42 firms in the S&P 500 index have suspended dividends and 25 have trimmed payouts. As the economy reopened, albeit in fits and starts, some companies reinstated their dividends—either in part or level with previous payout amounts—including Foot Locker and La-Z-Boy. “I’m not losing sleep about something terrible happening to dividends,” says John Buckingham, editor of the investment newsletter The Prudent Speculator. In fact, Buckingham predicts that the total dividend payout in 2020 for the S&P 500 will come in at $58.78, slightly ahead of the benchmark’s payout of…

6 min.
investing in uncertain times

At last, 2020—a year of horrifying events and wild markets—is coming to an end. Mainly because of COVID-19, the worst epidemic to hit the United States in 101 years, gross domestic product in the second quarter fell by an incredible 31.4%, and unemployment soared 10 percentage points in April, to 14.7%. That’s the highest rate since official records began. In the stock market, the Dow Jones industrial average, which reached a record of 29,551 on February 12, fell nearly 11,000 points in just 40 days. By September, however, the Dow had regained nearly all its losses, and both the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 hit new highs, creating the fastest rebound from a bear market in history. The lesson of 2020 is that we live in an era characterized by…