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Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Kiplinger's Personal Finance July 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).

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United States
R 76,57
R 306,14
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

JEOPARDY! FOR INVESTORS Kiplinger’s associate editor Ryan Ermey, a recent Jeopardy! contestant, challenges you with 10 investing questions culled from the show’s archive. kiplinger.com/links/jeopardy WILL YOU BE AUDITED? Using updated IRS data, our calculator assesses your risk of a tax audit based on a few simple facts from your most recent return. kiplinger.com/links/audit WHAT HOME BUYERS HATE Discover 15 things, all e2asily fixed, that will keep prospective buyers from bidding on your house. kiplinger.com/links/buyershate 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 kiplinger.com/links/ktoday. FACEBOOK: KiplingerPersonalFinance TWITTER: @Kiplinger…

3 min.
the debt fighter

The U.S. economy continues to chug along at a nice clip. And that’s propping up the bull market long past the time most forecasters ever imagined it would last, as executive editor Anne Smith points out in the investing outlook starting on page 44. But over the longer term, the U.S. faces headwinds—one of which is the ballooning federal debt. Alice Rivlin, one of the most influential and vocal critics of the government’s accumulating red ink, passed away on May 14. Rivlin had a six-decade career as a Washington, D.C., policy wonk and federal deficit hawk. She first gained recognition as founding director of the Congressional Budget Office, where she presided from 1975 to 1983 (and challenged the Reagan administration’s rosy assumptions about supply-side economics). Rivlin is widely credited with shaping…

3 min.
identity theft protection

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your excellent and timely article (“Special Report: ID Theft,” May). I tried everything to get my information corrected (phone numbers went nowhere, and I even sent in my info by mail). Finally, I contacted the Identity Theft Resource Center. They told me how to contact a live person, and the matter was quickly resolved. LAURA BAGNALLROY, WASH. Mark Solheim’s problems with Equifax didn’t surprise me (“From the Editor,” May). When I tried to secure credit reports for my wife and myself earlier this year, none of the online verification questions that Equifax asked resembled our financial history. After answering all the questions, I received a message saying I would have to mail in my personal information, including my Form W-2 and Social Security number. I…

2 min.
it’s not too late to get away and save

BUDGET-MINDED TRAVELERS often plan their vacations months in advance so they can find the best deals. But if you’re yearning for a last-minute summer or early fall getaway, there’s good news: Fuel prices are relatively low, and you can find good deals on airfares, as long as you know where to look. You have more options for places to stay, too. Kiplinger expects gas prices to run about the same this summer as last—fluctuating between a national average price per gallon of $2.80 and $2.85 through the summer months and declining a bit after Labor Day. Wild cards in the forecast include a hurricane disrupting refineries on the Gulf Coast, or OPEC and Russia failing to agree to maintain their current oil production quota. To plan your trip, budget for gas…

3 min.
building wealth with a higher purpose

To get the best fares, sign up for fare alerts, compare prices on the search sites, and then book directly through airlines’ websites. Be flexible on dates and destinations. Midweek flights can cost hundreds of dollars less than weekend flights. If you’re flying to Europe, you could save money by focusing on getting across the ocean as cheaply as possible—say, to London or Barcelona—then book a secondary flight on a budget regional carrier to your destination. A home with frills. Though you can find good deals on international airfares, you may get the best deals on lodging by staying closer to home. Lodging prices domestically are expected to rise by 2% to 2.5% from last year, says Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst with Atmosphere Research Group. Global Business Travel Association…

2 min.
a kinder, gentler ira

IF YOU HAVE MONEY IN A traditional IRA or 401(k), you probably already know that eventually you’ll have to take that money out and pay taxes on it. But the rules for taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) have always been confusing, especially because they require you to start tapping your accounts based on your half birthday—age 70½. On May 23, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would simplify the rules and give your savings a little more time to grow tax-deferred. The Senate is considering a similar bill. It hadn’t voted at press time but is expected to vote on it soon. The SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement) would raise the RMD age to 72 and allow people of any age who have earned income…