Kiplinger's Personal Finance October 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
9,38 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
46,87 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
12 Numéros

dans ce numéro

3 min
great retirement spots

I smiled to myself as you noted that you may not want to withstand Michigan winters in retirement (“From the Editor,” Aug.). Rethinking is good. I’m 82 and have been retired for almost 20 years. Having relocated several times, we stayed in my last community, New Rochelle, N.Y. We bought a ranch house built on a slab, with no steps to enter and an ability to live entirely on the first floor. Look for something similar, or a condo with a couple of elevators. Walking and climbing steps will become a concern. Also, you’ve likely spent many years building friendships; moving to a single-family home in a new community will not replace those friendships or easily let you make others. It’s better to find a retirement community where people have…

3 min
complain and be heard

Nearly everyone has a story about a defective product, disappointing service or a financial transaction gone awry. How to resolve those issues—which may involve hundreds or even thousands of dollars—is the subject of our article on page 68, by staff writer Emma Patch. I have my own tales of complaining and employing the strategies recommended in the article—and getting results. I shared some details in my June 2019 column about my struggle with a car dealership that sold a used SUV to my daughter. I had helped her search for the vehicle and negotiate the price, but because she lived 900 miles away, in Wisconsin, she went to the dealer without me. All went smoothly until she hit the F&I (finance and insurance) office. My daughter made a hefty down payment and…

4 min
cash-rich states lower taxes

DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE pandemic in early 2020, the economic downturn forced states to furlough employees and cut services. Faced with the prospect of a prolonged recession, state officials braced for steep declines in revenue from sales and income taxes. But the past year and a half now looks like a horror movie that abruptly turned into a musical. Ten states are so awash in cash that they’ve cut individual income taxes, with some of the tax cuts taking effect in 2021 and others scheduled to phase in over the next few years, according to the Tax Foundation, a tax policy research organization. Some people won’t have to wait for tax relief: Idaho is sending every resident a tax rebate check for $50 or 9% of their 2019 tax bill,…

3 min
october is a spooky month for stocks

James Stack is a market historian, investment adviser and president of InvesTech Research, an investment newsletter with its home on the shores of Whitefish Lake, Mont., a world away from Wall Street. After October stock market crashes in 1929 and 1987 and the October 2008 meltdown during the financial crisis, Wall Street gets the jitters this time of year. Why do past “Shock-tobers” still cause fear? I also recall 1978 and 1979 having October mini-crashettes. But it was Black Monday in 1987 [when the Dow Jones industrial average fell 23%] that cemented October’s reputation as a bad month for investors. Ever since then, whenever October nears, it brings back fears. Can fear make things worse? Psychology plays a big role in sudden and more-severe corrections. It goes back to the saying from…

3 min
don’t lose track of your retirement savings

AT A TIME WHEN MANY AMERICANS ARE worried that they won’t have enough money to retire comfortably, thousands have lost track of billions of dollars in savings. There are more than 24 million “forgotten” 401(k) accounts containing some $1.35 trillion in assets, according to a report from Capitalize, which helps workers roll over their retirement plans when they change jobs. Companies are also holding on to billions in unpaid pension payments earned by former employees. The problem is so widespread that Congress is considering legislation to address it. “SECURE Act 2.0,” which includes a wide range of benefits and protections for retirement savers (see “You May Get More Time to Tap Retirement Accounts,” Aug.), would create a national online lost-and-found database to help people track down these orphaned plans. Brian Stivers, owner of…

1 min
new perks at work, for a price

WHEN EMPLOYEES SIGN UP FOR OPEN enrollment this fall, many will see an expanded menu of benefits, ranging from pet insurance to legal services. A survey by consulting firm Willis Towers Watson found that 94% of employers believe that voluntary benefits—which typically aren’t subsidized but are offered to workers at a group rate discount—are important to their employees, up from 36% in 2018. Lydia Jilek, senior director of voluntary benefits solutions at Willis Towers Watson, says the pandemic and an increasingly diverse workforce have accelerated calls for benefits that meet employees’ differing needs. And faced with a labor shortage, employers are feeling pressure to offer benefits that will attract and retain employees. Voluntary benefits appeal to employers because “they’re able to give their employees significantly more choice than they may have otherwise…