Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Kiplinger's Personal Finance June 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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2 min.
covid-19? recession?

YOU HAVE QUESTIONS. KIPLINGER HAS ANSWERS Get the latest updates and analysis of the economic and financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, along with practical advice and guidance on prudent ways to navigate the current market turmoil. Limited-time complimentary access for Kiplinger’s readers. Visit: DISAPPEARING ACTS We reveal 11 things that will soon disappear forever—including products such as touch screens that may be vanquished by the pandemic. DIVIDEND CUTS We’re tracking dozens of dividend stocks that have cut or suspended their payouts in this recession. PRIME BENEFITS You probably signed up for Amazon Prime for the free two-day shipping. Check out 30 other valuable perks to take advantage of. Kiplinger Today Profit from the best of Kiplinger delivered to your e-mail inbox every weekday. Sign up for our Kiplinger Today e-newsletter at FACEBOOK: KiplingerPersonalFinance TWITTER: @Kiplinger HOW TO REACH US: Subscriptions. For inquiries…

8 min.
green-ish investing?

I appreciate your coverage of green investing (“Invest in the Planet,” April), but you miss the mark in several cases. Painting Dodge & Cox Stock as a “green” investment when it has more than twice as much invested in energy as the S&P 500 (per their last annual report) is a stretch. And James Glassman’s cheerleading on oil and gas stocks basically undercuts the premise of the cover story. Should these companies bring their carbon reserves into the atmosphere, we’re all in a lot of trouble. Either their share prices get cooked or we do. DAVID GOODRICHROCKVILLE, MD. It was top-notch cringe-worthy to read James Glassman’s “Don’t Give Up on Energy Stocks” as it arrived at my door with a thud louder than the drop in the energy sector (“Street Smart,” April).…

3 min.
reaching for a lifeline

Like many of you, I have discovered video chat as a way to stay connected with work colleagues as well as family and friends while we’re spending our days at home. Among my handful of weekly personal calls is a Zoom check-in with three high school friends (and sometimes their spouses) every Sunday. Each of my friends has a job that has been reshaped by the coronavirus. One is the global medical director at a large investment firm, who has been advising its employees worldwide about best practices for working safely during the pandemic. Another is vice president of a major domestic airline who is in charge of the airline’s thousands of flight attendants. He has had to manage a particularly vulnerable and anxious workforce. Both of their jobs lately have…

4 min.
is the worst over for stocks?

THE BULL MARKET WAS THE longest in history; its collapse into bear market status was accomplished in a record 23 trading sessions. Since the low on March 23 that lopped 34% off Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index, stocks have bounced back an incredible 29% in just 18 trading days, also unprecedented in modern stock market history. “Surprisingly,” notes Goldman Sachs chief strategist David Kostin, “the largest shock to the global economy in 90 years” has left the S&P 500, which closed at 2875 on April 17, just 15% shy of the record high set in mid February. Not surprisingly, investors are asking: Is that it for the bear? We’ll only know in hindsight. In mid April, the death toll from COVID-19 continued to mount, post-pandemic unemployment claims passed 26 million, and…

3 min.
how the stimulus package could help your finances

THE CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2.2 trillion package, is designed to provide relief to individuals and businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Here are answers to questions about how the stimulus package could affect your wallet. Are the stimulus checks taxable? No. A key part of the legislation will provide a stimulus check for $1,200 to millions of taxpayers, plus $500 for children age 16 and younger. The payments won’t be included in your taxable income. They are a refundable tax credit for the 2020 tax year. That means you get the money even if the amount exceeds your tax bill. I donated to my local food bank to help people who have lost their jobs. Can I deduct those contributions on my 2020 tax return?…

2 min.
new tax deadline gives you more time to save

FOR MORE THAN 60 YEARS, APRIL 15 has been a day that many taxpayers—procrastinators in particular—view with dread and resignation. This year, that has changed—and it doesn’t just affect the deadline for paying your taxes. In the wake of the economic freefall caused by the pandemic, the Treasury Department postponed the deadline for filing and paying federal taxes until July 15 (see “Ahead,” May). The delay will also help people who want to save more in their tax-advantaged accounts for 2019. Retirement plans. You have until July 15 to make contributions to your traditional or Roth IRA for 2019—up to $6,000, or $7,000 if you were 50 or older last year. If you’re not enrolled in a workplace retirement plan, you can deduct your IRA contribution. Workers who have a company…