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Analysts' 7 Top Stock Picks for 2019's Second Half
Stocks are sitting atop the clouds. All three major indexes have recently surged to surged to all-time highs amid strong signals that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates soon. Standard & Poor's 500-stock index just closed above 3,000 for the
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What Is the Social Security COLA for 2020?
Look for the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to be 1.6% for 2020, estimates The Kiplinger Letter, down from the 2.8% COLA increase retirees and other beneficiaries received at the start of 2019. For 2021, The Kiplinger Letter is fore
KiplingerLeitura de 2 minsPolitics
IRS Remodels the 1040 for 2019
As a new 1040 form tailored to seniors makes its debut, the regular 1040 is getting remodeled for 2019. After the 1040's major overhaul last year to take into account tax reform, some taxpayers told the IRS that they found the redesigned forms confus
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Beware of Kiddie Taxes When You Leave Heirs Your IRA
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has imposed a major change on how children are taxed on unearned income, which includes required minimum distributions from inherited IRAs. The result? Tax rates on these required distributions now could be a lot higher.
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How to Lower Your Retirement Tax Rate to Less Than 10%
Is it true that retirement changes everything? No, not literally. But it does significantly change many aspects of your finances, and the more you understand your new situation, the more money you will have available to spend or save. How you set u
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Interest Rate Reversal Pinches Retirement Savers
If you've shopped for recent yields on your cash lately, you may be feeling a bit of whiplash. After climbing slowly but steadily for several years, yields on certificates of deposit have headed south in recent months as the market bets that the Fede
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Take Ownership of Your Retirement Before It's Too Late
The traditional defined-benefit pension plan was a key component of many Americans' compensation packages until the 1980s. Employees could be confident that the combination of pension and Social Security benefits could adequately see them through the
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10 Ways the SECURE Act Could Impact Your Retirement Savings
With the decline of traditional pensions, most of us are now responsible for squirrelling away money for our own retirement. In today's do-it-yourself retirement savings world, we rely largely on 401(k) plans and IRAs. However, there are obviously fl
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Are Tech Stocks Nearing Another Bubble Burst?
Forgive me if today's stock market makes me feel a bit like Rip Van Winkle. Maybe, like Rip, I've been asleep since early 2000, which marked the peak of one of the biggest bull markets ever. Consider today's initial public offering (IPO) market. It's
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13 Super-Safe Dividend Stocks to Buy Now
The stock market's major indices are at or near all-time highs, and as stocks go up, dividend yields go down. As a result, many of the best dividend stocks to buy right now sport relatively modest yields. That's OK. Because your focus also should be
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Which Bucket Should Retirees Tap First, for Their Heirs' Sake?
If you have a brokerage account, you're probably familiar with the concept of cost basis (the original price you paid for an investment). But when you pass away, an investment's cost basis changes -- instead, it assumes the investment's value at the
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IRS Releases Draft Form of New 1040 Tailored for Seniors
A new Form 1040 tailored to taxpayers 65 and older is making its debut today. In mid July, the IRS released a draft form of the inaugural version of the 1040-SR, "U.S. Tax Return for Seniors." The new form was created by the 2018 Bipartisan Budget A
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Where Millionaires Live in America 2019
A million bucks in liquid assets puts a household into pretty elite company these days. Once you strip out the value of real estate like the family home, employer-sponsored retirement plans and business partnerships, only 6.2% of American households
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What to Know Before Purchasing an Annuity Income Rider
For over a decade, annuities with income riders have become a preferred choice for many retirees without pensions or in need of supplementing their Social Security. Who doesn't want a "guaranteed return" of 5% to 7% and as high as 10% for the next 10
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The Power Company Fried My Appliances: What Are My Rights?
Who is responsible, and what should you do, when a repair crew from your local power utility negligently causes a power surge and all of your appliances -- everything that has wires and plugs into the wall -- are fried? That was the question from 8
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6 Ways to Prepare for the Next Market Decline
The U.S. economy is putting up some impressive numbers in GDP, jobs and wages, but many pundits fear that a slowdown is pending. Trade-war fears with China and the European Union remain front and center in the news. And the yield curve is threatening
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5 Causes of Marital Money Stress (and How to Fix Them)
Are you and your spouse burdened by financial stress? You're not alone. According to, money fights are the second-leading cause of divorce, behind infidelity. Below are the main culprits of money tension in couples and strategies to
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Insecure About Social Security? Use a Roth IRA Now to Maximize Benefits Later
If you're getting close to retirement, your emotions probably seesaw steadily between angst and anticipation. Retirement is supposed to be exciting and/or relaxing. But with market wobbles and uncertainty about Social Security's solvency, it may be
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Don't Overlook Advantages of Making Insurance Part of Your Retirement Plan
Many people don't fully understand the value and benefits life insurance can offer as part of a retirement plan. Most view life insurance primarily as a way to protect a family from the loss of income should a breadwinner die during his or her worki
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Give the Money, Keep the Tax Break with Donor-Advised Funds
I doubt many people would say that getting a deduction on their income taxes is their main motivation for charitable giving. It's more likely they've been inspired to support a cause they believe in or an organization they respect -- a children's ho
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10 "Kings of Cash" Stocks to Buy
Free cash flow (FCF) is one of the most important financial metrics you can study - especially if you're a buy-and-hold investor. FCF is the cash remaining after a company has paid its expenses, interest on debt, taxes and long-term investments to gr
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St. Augustine, Fla.: A Smart Place to Retire
Population: 14,576 Cost of living: Not available Median home price: $343,000 College perk: Low-cost continuing-education courses on everything from digital marketing to belly dancing. St. Augustine and the surrounding St. John's County offer more th
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16 Great Small Towns for Early Retirement
Small towns can pack in big benefits for young retirees: little to no traffic, tight-knit communities, typically lower living costs and some peace and quiet. And you don't necessarily have to lose out on important big-city amenities--such as ample jo
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Are You Doing Your Financial Planning in a Vacuum?
Sir Edmund Hillary was the first to summit Mount Everest in 1953, but he didn't do it alone. Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was his partner in the climb. Climbers today continue to attempt the grueling trek, and most take experienced guides. Far too many peo
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The Social Security Mistake Risk-Averse Folks Make
It has become standard practice that risk tolerance questionnaires are completed for almost every client during a financial planning or investment planning process. Risk tolerance questionnaires serve two purposes: While I have been outspoken about
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Waterville, Me: A Smart Place to Retire
Population: 16,646 Cost of living: Not available Median home price: $147,000 College perk: Amateur musicians, including retirees, can audition for the Colby Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble. This quiet New England town on the Kennebec River is ge
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Oberlin, Ohio: A Smart Place to Retire
Population: 8,312 Cost of living: 98 Median home price: $154,000 College perk: Oberlin residents can audition to perform with Oberlin College's Arts and Sciences Orchestra. Oberlin College, one of the oldest liberal arts colleges in the U.S., prides
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Olympia, Wash.: A Smart Place to Retire
Population: 52,555 Cost of living: 106 Median home price: $345,000 College perk: Evergreen College offers free classes for retirees 60 and older. Olympia, the state capital, is only about an hour away from Seattle but significantly more affordable. T
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Claremont, Calif.: A Smart Place to Retire
Population: 36,478 Cost of living: 148 Median home price: $719,000 College perk: Claremont Avenues for Lifelong Learning allows people age 60 or older to audit college courses at seven colleges for free. Unlike much of the suburban sprawl around Los
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Flagstaff, Ariz.: A Smart Place to Retire
Population: 73,964 Cost of living: 116 Median home price: $362,000 College perk: Northern Arizona University works with retiree volunteers to partner with the city's dozens of nonprofits. At an elevation of 7,000 feet, this mountain town swaddled by
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