Ask Kim

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...

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...

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...

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...

Last-Minute Ways to Spend Down Your Flexible...

[QUESTION]My employer used to give us until March 15 to use the money in our flexible spending accounts, but my human resources department tells me that the rules changed, and now I can only roll over $500 to...

Retirees to Pay More for Medicare in 2017

What are Medicare Part B premiums going to be for 2017?Most Medicare beneficiaries will pay $109 per month or thereabouts in 2017, up from $104.90 in 2016. This group of people - about 70% of Medicare...

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Stories & Features

Investing

10 Stocks Every Retiree Should Own

When it comes to building a retirement portfolio, your first steps should be to make sure it's...

Spending Wisely

Airlines Offering New Levels of Service

Travelers don't expect much from flying coach, except a bargain fare and a free snack. But now...