Business & Finance
Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Kiplinger's Personal Finance 2019

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

in this issue

2 min.
boosting confidence

How confident are you that you will be able to retire when you want—and have enough income to live comfortably throughout retirement? According to a recent national poll by Kiplinger and the financial firm Personal Capital, 65% of workers who are actively saving for retirement are at least somewhat confident that they have saved enough or will save enough to retire comfortably. That’s a pretty encouraging number. But if you dig a little deeper, you discover that only 26% of respondents are very confident that they are on track. Most Americans still have doubts about their retirement security. Confidence is about more than having a large nest egg or guaranteed income from Social Security or a pension. It’s also about having a sound plan and information you can act on. This…

1 min.

RETIREE TAX MAP Our state-by-state guide helps you choose the right home for you and your nest egg. See how states tax various forms of retirement income, which ones offer property tax breaks for retirees and how states ultimately ding your estate. ▪ kiplinger.com/links/retireetaxmap PODCAST Listen to our Your Money’s Worth podcast every week for insights on saving for retirement, investing for income, cutting your tax bill, and much more. ▪ kiplinger.com/links/podcasts TOOLS Retirement Savings Calculator Determine how much you need to save each month to meet your goals. ▪ kiplinger.com/links/retirementcalculator Social Security Retirement Age Determine when you’re eligible to collect full Social Security benefits. ▪ kiplinger.com/links/age RMD Calculator Compute your required minimum distributions from a traditional IRA. ▪ kiplinger.com/links/rmd When Your First RMD Is Due Pinpoint when you must take your first IRA required minimum distribution. ▪ kiplinger.com/links/firstrmd STAY CONNECTED! ▪ TWITTER: @KiplingerRetire ▪ FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/KiplingersRetirementReport MORE HELP FOR YOUR RETIREMENT Boost…

15 min.
ready, set, retire

For most of your life, retirement may seem so far off that you give it only a passing thought when glancing at your 401(k) statement. Your twenties, thirties and forties are likely preoccupied with more-pressing life events—building a career, getting married, buying a house, raising children and saving for college. But once you enter your fifties and retirement is no longer a fuzzy concept looming on the horizon, it’s important to make sure you’ll be prepared for the day when you wrap up your career and move on to the next phase of your life. As retirement comes into focus, use this list of financial steps to follow 10 years, five years and one year before retirement to prepare for the transition. For each time frame, we’ve also listed key…

2 min.
portfolio checkup

10 years out. If you haven’t changed your mix of stocks, bonds and cash for many years, your portfolio is likely overloaded with stocks. You’ll still need stocks to keep up with inflation over time. But you’ll also need to think about how much risk you can take with your portfolio without upending your retirement plans. For a moderate-risk portfolio, consider holding up to 65% in diversified stock funds. About two-thirds of that should be in U.S. stocks and one-third in foreign stocks. For the rest of the portfolio, invest in diversified short- and intermediate-term bond funds. Besides stocks and bonds, you should have up to six months’ worth of living expenses in an emergency fund in case, say, you lose your job or experience a health crisis and need money to…

1 min.
talk to human resources

Your HR department can help you avoid leaving money on the table when you walk out the door for the last time. For example, you may need to work until a specific date to qualify for your annual bonus, profit-sharing payout or 401(k) match. You should also ask whether you’ll be paid for unused vacation days (if not, start planning that vacation now). Health benefits. Get the lowdown on any retiree health benefits the company provides, particularly if you plan to retire before you’re eligible for Medicare. 401(k) or IRA? If you’d like to leave your savings in your 401(k) instead of rolling the money into an IRA, find out whether you can take distributions when you need them. Some companies will allow withdrawals from a plan on a monthly, quarterly or…

8 min.
make sure you’re saving enough

No matter how many years away from retirement you are, you should have at least some idea of how much income you’ll need in order to maintain your standard of living once you’re out of the workforce. Not surprisingly, researchers, financial institutions and financial planners offer to help you figure the amount you need in savings, from multiples of final salary to percentages pegged to your preretirement income. But no one formula fits every person or life stage. The worksheet on page 19 lets you personalize the numbers. 1 How much income will you need in retirement? Start with your current income (and your spouse’s, if you’re married), and apply a growth factor from Table 1. Assume, for example, that inflation will average 3% a year between now and the time…