Ask Kim

Spending Down Your 2014 Flexible Spending Account

Did the law change so I don't need to worry about spending down my flexible spending account by the end of the year?Last year, the Treasury Department changed the rules so companies could allow employees to carry...

Certificates of Deposit for IRAs

I have some of my IRA in cash with my brokerage firm. Can I get a higher rate with an IRA CD at a bank without extending the maturity for more than a year? --B.P., Philadelphia Not all online banks offer CDs for...

How Much Life Insurance to Buy

My wife and I have a baby on the way. How much life insurance should we buy? My wife plans to work half-time while our child is young. --B.K., Washington, D.C. To calculate how much life insurance you need, use...

Change Your Medicare Coverage During Open...

I've had a Medicare Advantage plan for quite a while, but one of my favorite doctors just left the plan. I'd like to switch plans or go back to traditional Medicare and get a medigap policy. When can I switch? ...

Calculating Required Distributions From Your...

I'm 71 and need to take my required minimum distribution from my former employer's 401(k) by the December 31 deadline. Do I have to calculate how much to withdraw, or will the plan do it automatically and send me...

Retirement Plans for Small Businesses

I read your Retirement Plans for Self-Employed Workers column about SEPs and solo 401(k)s. Who should consider a SIMPLE, and what are the contribution limits? A SIMPLE (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees...

When to Start Making Catch-Up Retirement...

I turn 50 in January. Can I make a catch-up contribution to my IRA for 2014, after my birthday, because I'll be 50 before the April 15 deadline? Or do I have to wait until 2015 to start catch-up contributions? ...

Why It Pays to Join the Company Wellness Program

My employer just announced a new wellness program and says it will charge me more for my health insurance if I don't participate. Why? The Kaiser Family Foundation's study of 2014 health benefits found that...

What Roth Owners Should Do if They Exceed the...

I contribute monthly to a Roth IRA. My wife and I just realized that our joint income will exceed the $191,000 limit for Roths this year. What should we do? --L.R., Simi Valley, Calif. You can avoid the 6%...

The Best Loans to Pay Down First

I've just started graduate school, and my grandmother plans to give me money to help with my expenses. Should I use the money to pay down my undergraduate student loans or put it toward my car loan? I'm paying 5...

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Stories & Features

Investing

How Overpaid CEOs Hurt Investors

Years ago, when I started writing articles critical of exorbitant executive pay, some readers accused...

Spending Wisely

Secrets to Saving at the Supermarket

So you don't like to clip coupons or keep a close eye on grocery store sales, because it takes too...