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Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Kiplinger's Personal Finance

October 2020

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).

Land:
United States
Språk:
English
Utgiver:
Kiplinger
Hyppighet:
Monthly
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12 Utgaver

i denne utgaven

4 min.
places to retire

I’ve lost count of all the “places to retire” articles that Kiplinger has run, but I tend to remember them. That’s because nearly every place on the lists are in the South (“Find a Great Place to Retire,” Aug.). There’s more to making a choice that may last for decades and that may not hinge on expenses and hospitals. States that tend to lean liberal, offer more outdoor options, have cities that combine the best of urban and rural, and can often be less expensive never seem to make it onto your lists. For example, Washington State may be, for the most part, the National Capital of Rain (with the exception of Wailea in Hawaii), but it has no state income tax (and there are regions of the Olympic Peninsula where…

3 min.
rethinking retirement

Our annual guide to making your nest egg last as long as you do is even more timely this year because yields from the safest place to keep your savings—the bank—are at rock-bottom. The average yield on one-year CDs is just 0.32%, according to Bankrate.com. Five-year CDs aren’t much better, at just 0.49%, on average. If you’ve saved diligently, you can still convert your savings into a reliable retirement paycheck, writes senior editor Sandy Block in our cover story (see page 50). But to reduce the risk of outliving your money, you may need to revisit some of the old rules of thumb. For example, with cash and fixed-income investments paying meager returns, retirees may have to boost their stake in stocks, forgoing the traditional mix of 60% stocks and 40%…

4 min.
how to catch a rock-bottom rate

IF YOU WANT TO BUY A HOUSE, refinance your mortgage or buy a car, record-low interest rates may have you convinced that the world of borrowing is your oyster. But this oyster is increasingly difficult to crack. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, for example, has hovered around 3% for weeks, an astonishing development for anyone who remembers double digit rates from the ’80s and early ’90s. Not surprisingly, many people are eager to take advantage of low rates to buy a home or refinance an existing mortgage. But even if you have a secure job, taking advantage of these bargain rates may prove more difficult than you anticipated. The sharp economic downturn and continued uncertainty induced by the coronavirus pandemic has made lenders extremely cautious, says Matthew Speakman,…

3 min.
even in a pandemic, some employers are hiring

Hannah Morgan is founder of CareerSherpa.net, which offers advice on searching for a job and changing careers. People are often told that networking is key to getting a good job, but how do you do that in the age of social distancing? Over the years, I’ve used social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, to forge relationships with people that I know and to reach out to people that I don’t know. I find that works well when we can’t get out there and meet face to face. I think it really helps to start with people you already know, in your immediate circle of friends and acquaintances on social media. Use them to help get introductions to people that you may want to meet. If there are companies that…

3 min.
check under the couch cushions

FIRST IT WAS TOILET PAPER, then yeast. Clorox wipes are still hard to find. But few predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic would also trigger a nationwide coin shortage. Actually, it’s not really a shortage, because there are plenty of nickels, dimes and quarters languishing in sock drawers, jelly jars and overstuffed wallets. The problem is that Americans are making fewer cash purchases, which has reduced the number of coins in circulation, says Cyndie Martini, president and chief executive officer of Member Access Processing, which processes debit card payments for credit unions. Consumers are making more purchases online, and when they do venture out to shop, many prefer using debit cards, credit cards or contactless payments with their phones. Analysts say the pandemic has accelerated a shift away from cash payments in favor…

1 min.
beware crooked contact tracers

AS THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC SPREADS TO communities throughout the U.S., the epidemic of coronavirus-related fraud continues unabated. What to watch out for: Bogus contact tracers. Contact tracers, who are employed by state health departments, are an important tool in controlling the spread of COVID-19. Legitimate tracers may contact you via phone, e-mail, text or in person to find out names of people you’ve been in contact with and places you’ve visited. But if someone claiming to be a contact tracer asks you for money, or requests your Social Security number or financial information, the individual is a con artist, the Federal Trade Commission says. Fraudulent contact tracers are also lurking online, says the FTC. Don’t click on a link or download a file sent by someone purporting to be a tracer. Legitimate…