Kiplinger's Personal Finance November 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
9,31 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
46,59 $ CA(TVA Incluse)
12 Numéros

dans ce numéro

3 min
esg investing takes off

A few years ago, I wrote a column about investing in companies that are compatible with your values. I had sold my shares of Facebook after it came to light that during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica collected information from tens of millions of Facebook users without their permission—and Facebook wasn’t doing much to police such breaches. But I admitted that I wasn’t all-in on severing my ties to the social media company. I was reluctant to delete my Facebook account because it was (and still is) a wonderful way to stay in touch with family and friends. If investing in companies that do an outstanding job helping people and the planet is important to you, you face some challenges. In addition to the…

4 min
is inflation back?

I, too, went to high school and college in the ’70s and had similar experiences (“From the Editor,” Sept.). But I am still trying to understand whether this time is really different. Replace the oil shortage with a semiconductor shortage and see the impact it is having on the auto industry and new computers. Everything runs on a chip these days, and hoarding is taking place, further extending the shortage. Instead of waiting in line at the gas station, we wait six months for a new refrigerator or settle for what is left on the showroom floor. DOUGLAS SWISHER PRESCOTT, ARIZ. The inflation rate in the early 1980s was lowered by raising interest rates to tighten the money supply, plus tax cuts and less government intervention. The easy-money polices of the ’70s are…

4 min
social security still lags inflation

RETIREES WILL LIKELY RECEIVE a cost-of-living increase of about 6% in their Social Security benefits next year, the biggest jump since 1982. But if you expect to see seniors dancing in the street, you’ll have a long wait because many retirees have seen costs for everything from prescription drugs to groceries rise at a much higher rate. A new study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College confirms what many seniors have long believed: The annual increase in Social Security benefits (when there is one) often falls short of their actual costs—particularly when it comes to health care. A major factor is the cost of Medicare Part B premiums, which have historically increased at a higher rate than Social Security benefits, the CRR analysis found. Between 2000 and 2020,…

1 min
running out of time

In its annual report released in August, the Social Security Board of Trustees reported that the pandemic led to further deterioration in Social Security’s finances, as a spike in unemployment reduced payroll taxes paid into the program. If nothing is done to shore up the program, the trust fund will be depleted by 2033—a year sooner than had previously been projected—and Social Security will be able to pay out only 76% of promised benefits, the board said. If there’s a glimmer of good news, it’s that the damage to Social Security’s finances wasn’t as dramatic as some analysts had previously feared. The sharp economic turnaround, combined with the fact that many high-income workers kept their jobs, reduced the loss of payroll tax revenue, says Shai Akabas, director of economic policy for…

3 min
extending broadband to more americans

Blair Levin is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. From 2009 to 2010, he oversaw the development of the U.S. National Broadband Plan at the Federal Communications Commission. In August, Kiplinger’s spoke with Levin about the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, which allocates $65 billion to expand high-speed internet access in the U.S. The Senate approved the bill in August; at press time, it was pending in the House. Recent data from Pew Research shows that although rural areas are more wired than in the past, many rural areas continue to lack dependable broadband service—a problem that became glaringly apparent during the pandemic. How does the infrastructure bill address this? There were two significant problems Congress sought to address in the bill. The first is the access problem—whether communities have access…

2 min
your salary may be bigger next year

AS THEY RECOVER FROM THE ECONOMIC fallout from the pandemic and seek to attract and retain employees, 97% of large companies are planning to boost salaries. The average raise is expected to be 3% next year, up from 2.7% in 2021, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson, a human resources consulting company. Executives, management and professional employees should expect to see an average salary increase of 3%, and the average increase for a production and manual labor employee is expected to be 2.8%. Pay hikes will also vary by industry. While salary increases in the oil and gas industry are expected to be significantly lower next year, increases will be higher in media, health care and financial services. Employees at high-tech, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and semiconductor companies will see the…