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Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Kiplinger's Personal Finance June 2021

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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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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Kiplinger
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
get more advice from kiplinger kiplinger.com

INFRASTRUCTURE STOCKS The multi-trillion-dollar price tag on President Biden’s infrastructure plan means loads of growth potential for these stocks. kiplinger.com/kpf/infrastructure EXTRA CASH Updated for 2021, our diverse list of legit side hustles is packed with resources and pointers to get you started. kiplinger.com/kpf/extracash CHILD TAX CREDIT Calculate how much money you’ll receive from the enhanced 2021 child tax credit. kiplinger.com/kpf/childtaxcredit Kiplinger Today Profit from the best of Kiplinger delivered to your e-mail inbox every day. Sign up for our Kiplinger Today e-newsletter at kiplinger.com/links/ktoday. FACEBOOK: KiplingerPersonalFinance TWITTER: @Kiplinger INSTAGRAM: @KiplingerFinance…

3 min.
energy savers

I take the standard deduction on my taxes, and I didn’t give much thought to the home-energy improvements I completed about a year ago (I installed a new HVAC system and new water heater in early 2020). After reading “Save Energy (and Money, Too)” (April), I went back to my tax return, which I was getting ready to submit, added in the costs of the improvements, and got a $200 tax credit. WILLIAM BREHM HENDERSON, NEV. Thanks for the great article and tips on trimming your energy bill. As an engineer, I struggled with the solarsystem decision. But I now have five years with my system. A few comments that may be of help: First, while you note a system size of 8 kilowatts is common, if you’re energy conscious, a smaller system may…

3 min.
rebuilding america

As the Biden administration promotes its $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan, I think about the breach of the Edenville Dam, in central Michigan, last spring. On the night of May 18, 2020, my wife and I sat in our house in Leelanau County, Mich., listening to the wind roaring off of Lake Michigan and the horizontal rain pounding our windows. The storm was moving east, drenching large areas of Michigan over two days of downpours. In Midland County, the home of Dow Chemical, residents worried about the integrity of the dam. Midland is on the Tittabawassee River, downstream from the dam. The privately owned hydroelectric power producer had not been adequately maintained and had been a source of hand-wringing for years. On May 19, part of the dam collapsed, unleashing a…

4 min.
the stimulus offers more than checks

WHEN PRESIDENT BIDEN SIGNED the American Rescue Plan Act into law in March, much of the focus was on the stimulus payments, and with good reason: $1,400 is nothing to sneeze at, particularly if multiple people in your household are eligible to receive a check. But depending on your circumstances, other provisions in the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill could be worth even more than $1,400—particularly if you need health insurance. Health insurance for early retirees. Working longer is one of the most effective ways to make your retirement nest egg last (see “The Benefits of Working Longer,” on page 60), but not everyone has that option. And if you leave your job before age 65, you’ll probably need to buy a health insurance policy that will cover you until you’re eligible…

3 min.
economic outlook: uneven

Peter Atwater is founder of Financial Insyghts, a research firm, and adjunct lecturer in economics for the College of William and Mary and the University of Delaware. You have popularized the term “K-shaped recovery” to describe the impact of the pandemic on the U.S. economy. What is a K-shaped recovery? It’s the term I use to describe the clear economic divide that has been exacerbated by the pandemic. What I saw as early as the end of March last year was that for people who were able to pivot to working from home, their confidence immediately began to rebound. For everyone else, it was not getting better, and in many cases—particularly for those in the hospitality and travel industry—it was getting worse. Confidence is critical because it drives consumer spending, which accounts for…

2 min.
home upgrades that pay off

THE PANDEMIC HAS LED TO a surge in home improvements, as homebound HGTV fans have been inspired to spruce up their surroundings. In 2020, homeowners spent $271 billion on home improvements, according to a recent study from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. With stimulus checks and tax refunds landing in your bank account, this may be the ideal time to get some projects done. But before you head for Home Depot or Lowe’s—or contact a contractor—consider which projects will deliver the largest return on your investment. A good place to start is Remodeling magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report (http://remodeling.hw.net). The report details the average cost of about two dozen home remodeling projects and the estimated value each project retains if the property is sold. Some of the…