Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Kiplinger's Personal Finance January 2020

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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).

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12 Numéros

dans ce numéro

3 min.
100 years of advice

Every January, we gaze into our crystal ball and try to predict what’s ahead for your money in the coming year. On page 18, executive editor Anne Smith tackles the markets and your investments. And on page 47, contributing editor Lisa Gerstner has compiled a month-by-month financial to-do list designed to improve your bottom line. We make a nod toward the new decade, too, with a roundup of the 10 best-performing stocks in Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index over the past 10 years (see page 25), as well as a list of 10 promising stocks for the coming 10 years (on page 28). Celebrating our roots. The year 2020 is also a significant anniversary for the Kiplinger Washington Editors: our centennial. One hundred years is a long time for a media…

3 min.
affordable health care

The unique character of the U.S. insurance-based payment system would be hard to dismantle and replace without enormous social and economic disruption (“From the Editor,” Nov.). The partially for-profit system in the U.S. generates a lot of progress, jobs and economic wealth for this country (while also distorting international comparisons). Pricing regulation is not the answer. Better to take small bites at resolving the cost issues. Perhaps private industry should be asked for its solutions for various subsets of problems, especially for those who develop serious costly illnesses, whether insured or not. It will be interesting to see what develops from the JP Morgan, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway consortium trying to address these issues. FRANCIS LEDWIDGE WESTHAMPTON BEACH, N.Y. Our doctors and other health care professionals are trapped in a system that puts them…

4 min.
estate taxes could hit the not-so-wealthy

DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have unveiled ambitious plans to fund universal health care and other programs by hiking taxes on the wealthiest Americans. But lurking beneath proposed tax hikes on the super rich are measures that could affect a broader swath of taxpayers. Both Warren and Sanders want to lower the amount of assets exempt from federal estate taxes—$11.58 million per person in 2020—to $3.5 million. Sanders has also proposed increasing the estate tax rate, which now tops out at 40%, to 45% to 77%, depending on the size of the estate. If either candidate is elected president, “there will be a pretty strong push to increase estate taxes by raising rates or lowering exemptions or both,” says Howard Gleckman, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. Democratic…

1 min.
teaching kids to manage their money

THE AVERAGE WEEKLY allowance is now $30, according to a recent survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. If they saved it, kids would have enough cash to buy a used car within a few years. But kids aren’t banking most of their allowance. They’re spending most of it on outings with friends, digital devices and downloads, and toys, AICPA says. Whether your child’s allowance is above or below the average, the lessons delivered with the money are more important than the amount. If you require your kids to perform chores to collect an allowance, they will understand that they must put forth an effort to earn a paycheck, says David Almonte, a member of the AICPA Financial Literacy Commission. If you increase your child’s allowance each year, you…

1 min.
here come the drones

Drones aren’t just for hobbyists anymore. Companies are racing to be among the first to use these lightweight, unmanned aircraft to deliver everything from medical supplies to food and electronics. In the fall, United Parcel Service was the first to receive broad approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate a fleet of drones to deliver packages. UPS is using drones to deliver medical supplies within two hospital campuses—in Raleigh and Salt Lake City—and the company has partnered with CVS Health to develop a drone delivery service, recently running tests in Cary, N.C. Walgreens, which partnered with Alphabet’s Wing Aviation, is testing drone delivery for food, beverages and some medical supplies in Christiansburg, Va. Amazon, DHL, FedEx and Uber, as well as delivery companies like Flytrex and Zipline, are also working…

2 min.
schwab is bullish on 0% commissions

Charles Schwab’s latest book, Invested, is part memoir and part ode to the brokerage firm he founded that in many ways changed how Americans invest. He chronicled the firm’s beginnings for Schwab employees, he says, so they would never “lose their compass” for the company’s mission: To come up with new ways to make investing easier and cheaper. We recently interviewed Schwab at the Kiplinger offices in Washington, D.C. Most Americans don’t have a pension and must figure out how to pay themselves in retirement. What can firms like Schwab do to help? First, we need to get people to save. They need to know how to invest it, too. It can’t go into a sleepy savings account. The best place for growth is stocks, but you need to be diversified. We…