Kiplinger's Personal Finance August 2021

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).

United States
Offre spéciale : Save 30% on your subscription!
9,38 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
46,87 $ CA32,81 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
12 Numéros

dans ce numéro

3 min
infrastructure flaws

I agree that our infrastructure needs repair, but taxing our grandchildren and great grandchildren is a terrible and wasteful way to do it (“From the Editor,” June). The main reason that Republicans and citizens such as myself are skeptical of another spending bill is that there is no entity on earth that spends money more irresponsibly than the U.S. government. We learned very quickly that a disproportionate amount of the COVID relief bill was never and will never be spent for COVID relief. We also know that the Democrats’ plan to tax only the wealthy is a pipe dream. Raising corporate taxes will force many corporations to take their operations overseas, just as they did under Obama, and thousands of Americans will lose their jobs. Politicians say they won’t raise…

3 min
retirement planning

Kiplinger’s annual selection of places to retire, starting on page 48, focuses on the fun part of retirement: freedom from the daily grind of work in a new, appealing location. The majority of retirees don’t move when they quit working, but research shows that the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to relocate (or buy a second home and do the snowbird thing). From our own informal research, we know that a significant percentage of Kiplinger’s readers do choose to move in retirement, or have second homes. We figure that even if you plan to stay put, or if you’ve already retired and didn’t move, you’ll enjoy reading about places you could go. New considerations. The pandemic has added a new twist to the calculations. Workers suddenly untethered from the…

3 min
irs plans to track down tax cheats

AT A TIME WHEN AMERICANS are deeply polarized on many issues, the need to crack down on tax scofflaws is one topic that probably won’t trigger a Thanksgiving dinner squabble. Lawmakers like the idea, too, because narrowing the tax gap—the difference between the total taxes owed and the amount that goes unpaid—could fund billions of dollars in government spending on infrastructure, child care and other initiatives. Estimates of the size of the tax gap vary, but IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig made headlines earlier this year when he estimated that it exceeds $1 trillion annually. When it comes to specifics, though, some proposals to recover outstanding taxes could give even honest taxpayers pause, particularly if they have privacy concerns. The Biden administration has proposed increasing the IRS budget by $80 billion over…

1 min
crackdown on tax preparers?

The Biden administration has renewed efforts to regulate tax preparers, something the IRS has tried unsuccessfully to do for years. Although a few states require tax preparers to register and meet minimum standards, there is no federal oversight of tax preparers. Consumer groups say that has made the business ripe for fraud. An IRS regulation that would have required tax preparers to pass a competency exam and take continuing-education courses was struck down by a federal district court in 2014. The Biden administration has called on Congress to enact legislation giving the IRS the authority to regulate tax preparers. It also wants to increase penalties for “ghost” preparers—individuals who prepare a tax return and fail to sign it.…

3 min
the inflation spike probably won’t last

Jim Paulsen is chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group, an investment research and money management firm. Prices on everything from lumber to eggs have been rising. What’s behind this recent surge in inflation? We took the economy from a depressionary bust to a wartime boom in less than a year, and when you do that, companies just can’t keep up. There really isn’t any precedent in the postwar era in which you combine an economic crisis with a health crisis. Companies cut everything to the bone to stay open. That would have been fine if you had a normal recession, but this one ended about as soon as it started. This is why we don’t have enough shipping containers, we don’t have enough homes, we don’t have enough semiconductor chips. Do…

3 min
you may get more time to tap retirement accounts

LEGISLATION THAT HAS widespread support in Congress would give retirees more time before they must start withdrawing money from their traditional IRAs and other tax-deferred retirement plans, pushing back the age to take required minimum distributions to 75 over the next decade. The Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021, nicknamed “SECURE Act 2.0,” would change the age for taking RMDs from 72 to 73 on January 1, 2022, and gradually increase the RMD age to 75 by 2032 (see the table at right). RMDs are based on the total amount of money you have in IRAs and other tax-deferred accounts at the end of the year, divided by a factor from IRS life-expectancy tables. That isn’t a problem for retirees who withdraw the equivalent of their RMD (or more)…