Kiplinger

The 11 Most Valuable Personal-Finance Lessons of 2018

Editor's Note: Kim Lankford answers readers' real-life financial queries in her popular Ask Kim column on Kiplinger.com and in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. She receives hundreds of questions every month.

Thank you for your questions this past year. They let me know which topics are important to you--and most likely to other readers, too. Your questions ranged from how to reduce health care costs and make the most of tax breaks in retirement to how to protect your home from a disaster and protect yourself from scam artists. For many of you, the new tax law presented new challenges and required a different financial strategy for 2018. Here are the 11 most valuable personal finance lessons based on your questions this past year:

Adapt to Tax Law Changes

changed some traditional financial-planning strategies. Fewer people will be itemizing their income tax deductions now that the standard deduction has almost doubled, which means that they need to use a new strategy to get a tax break for their charitable gifts. See and . Also see . The new tax law also made some big changes to 529 college-savings plans, allowing you to use up to $10,000 per year tax-free to pay for private-school tuition for kindergarten through 12th grade. See . You can also transfer money from a 529 plan to an ABLE account, which can be a big help for children who have special needs. See .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Kiplinger

Kiplinger6 min read
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
Kiplinger2 min read
How to Find Buyers for Your Baseball Card Collection
[Question]I have collected nearly 8,000 baseball cards and now want to sell them. How do I find buyers? [Answer]You have a few options for locating buyers for your collection of baseball cards. You can auction them yourself on eBay, sell them to a l
Kiplinger2 min read
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