Ask Kim

8 Smart Financial Moves for the New Year

This is the perfect time of year to take advantage of opportunities to save for retirement, cut expenses, prepare for tax breaks, increase your take-home pay, improve your credit profile, review your investments...

5 Ways to Avoid Taxes on Your Social Security...

How are taxes on Social Security benefits calculated? Are there any strategies that would help me avoid paying taxes on my benefits?Take Our Quiz: How Well Do You Know Social Security? Whether your Social...

How to Estimate Your Social Security Benefit

How often should I be receiving a Social Security benefits statement in the mail, and what information does it show? Is this the best way to estimate how much I'll get from Social Security? -- M.D., San...

Personal-Finance Columnist Kim Lankford's Best...

Thank you for asking great questions again this year! I love hearing from you and learning from your experiences. Here are the top eight personal finance lessons based on your questions in 2016. 1. A few key...

What Parents Should Know About Taxes on...

My daughter is about to turn 21 and will be able to control the custodial account we established for her years ago. Will she qualify for the 0% capital-gains rate if she sells shares after she has control of the...

Should You Cancel Your Credit Card?

Is it better for my credit score to cancel a card after paying it off or to keep the account open? --M.J.D., Glouster, Ohio TAKE OUR QUIZ: Will It Sink Your Credit Score? Keep the account open. A key factor in...

Why You Should Make a Charity the Heir to Your IRA

[QUESTION]Can I make a charity the beneficiary of my IRA? Is there a benefit to doing that rather than leaving other money to the charity in my will?[ANSWER]Yes, you can make a charity the beneficiary of your IRA...

What You Should Know About Brokerage Account...

Am I protected if someone steals money from my brokerage account? With all the identity theft and data breaches now, I'm concerned. --Alan Farrar, Casselberry, Fla.Many brokerage firms, such as E-Trade, Fidelity,...

Think Twice Before Declining Medicare Part D...

Do I need to buy Medicare Part D if I am not on a lot of prescription medications? --D.S., Wilmington, N.C.SEE ALSO: 11 Common Medicare Mistakes No, but if you ever do need Part D coverage, you'll be subject to...

Managing Medicare Part B Premium Increases

[QUESTION]I have my Medicare Part B premiums paid automatically from my Social Security benefits, and until now I have been protected by the provision that keeps premium increases at the same level as the...

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Stories & Features

Investing

The Best Dividend Stocks in the Dow Averages

It's been a strange year for high-yielding stocks. In the first half of 2016, the Dow Jones utility...

Spending Wisely

Best and Worst Things to Buy at Aldi

Haven't shopped at an Aldi supermarket yet? That could change soon. The German chain, famous for its...