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category_outlined / Business & Finance
Kiplinger's Personal FinanceKiplinger's Personal Finance

Kiplinger's Personal Finance April 2018

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
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12 Issues


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(ISTOCKPHOTO.COM (2))THE MOST OVERLOOKED TAX DEDUCTIONSThe new tax law will have almost no effect on your 2017 filing—except that this could be your last chance to take advantage of many deductions. Make the most of them while you still SECURITY TIMINGShould you claim your Social Security benefits early—or wait until full retirement age or later? Financial planners reveal the factors that drive them to steer clients one way or the INDUSTRIAL STOCKSIn February, President Trump unveiled a plan that could spark $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending nationwide. We found 15 industrial stocks that stand to TodayProfit from the best of Kiplinger delivered to your e-mail in-box every weekday.Sign up for our Kiplinger Today e-newsletter at KiplingerPersonalFinanceTWITTER: @Kiplinger ■…

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my investing misstep

Back in June 2000, this magazine ran an article titled “True Confessions,” which related the tale of one editor’s foray into the dark excesses of the dot-com-era stock market. The author, who chose to remain anonymous, confessed not only to investing in a number of wildly inflated tech stocks but also to buying them— gasp—on margin. “In retrospect,” he wrote, “I admit that I succumbed to greed and hubris, betraying the principles of responsible investing by playing the market with borrowed money.”If you haven’t already guessed, the author was me. Five years earlier, I had opened a Schwab account with $10,000, invested in Microsoft and a few other solid prospects, and watched the account grow to $100,000. That’s when the greed and day-trader mentality took over. I bought into the…

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a run for your money

Your story on great ideas for ways to spend your cash includes suggestions—all terrific— on giving back (“Great Ideas for $1,000, $10,000 or $100,000,” Feb.). Especially heartening is the idea to run for public office. By identifying the dollars needed for a candidacy for municipal office or a seat in a state legislature, you’ve provided us with a lesson in campaign financing—and some of us with a draft budget for stepping forward to serve.ANGELA S. LIPTACK RIDGEFIELD, CONN.We were disappointed that you did not include donoradvised funds as one of your great ideas. If invested wisely, an initial donation of $10,000 can increase in value and enable the donor to make gifts for years to come. Our donor-advised fund enables us to be more charitable than would otherwise be possible.…

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what to make of the market’s downturn

FOLLOWING A STOCK MARKETcorrection that seemed to come and go in the blink of an eye, investors are hoping that the worst is behind them—but many aren’t convinced. Their anxiety is well founded. To be clear, with no recession on the horizon, we don’t think the bull market is over. But more scary downdrafts are likely, and some tweaking of your portfolio may be in order.Just shy of its ninth birth day, the bull market took a breather in late January and early February, sinking a little more than 10% in less than two weeks. That was the first official correction (defined as a drop of 10% to 19% from a peak) in two years. The downturn may have been exacerbated by a flash-crash-style meltdown in exchange-traded funds that had…

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how to complain and get results

Christopher Elliott is the founder of, which helps consumers resolve disputes with businesses, free of charge.What’s the most effective strategy to get a satisfying resolution? Follow what I call the three Ps. First is politeness. Take a deep breath, maybe wait 24 hours, and then contact the company. Avoid using emotionally charged language. If you say, “I’m a loyal customer, and it would make me really happy if you could address this one issue,” it’ll be much more effective than saying, “You destroyed my life, and my lawyer is preparing to file a lawsuit.”Second is patience. You’ll usually get a response that will ideally solve the problem within about a week. But if it’s an issue that requires a lot of research— say, involving an insurance claim—it could take…

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check all living costs before moving

IF YOU’RE A RETIREE LOOKINGfor a change of scenery, or you’ve been offered a job in another city, you may want to consider more than just the cost of housing. Prices for groceries, utilities, health care and other necessities can also vary significantly.For example, the average cost of a doctor’s appointment in Rockford, Ill., is $139, compared with $75 in Bloomington, Ind., according to the Council for Community and Economic Research’s cost of living index, or COLI. The general rule of thumb is that you should spend no more than 50% of your budget on necessities such as housing, food and transportation. But relocating to a high-cost area may make this guideline unworkable.The table below shows what you would pay for commonly used products and services in four cities that…