The 12 Best Ask Kims of the Year

Ask Kim

The 12 Best Ask Kims of the Year

Kimberly Lankford picks her favorite columns of 2010.

I receive more than a thousand questions from readers every year, and the range of topics is huge -- everything from taxes, insurance, retirement and health care to college savings, credit scores, ID theft and financial scams. After reviewing all of the Ask Kim columns I’ve written over the past year, I picked out my 12 favorite columns that are still timely today. I hope that some of these answers can help you with your personal finance issues, too.

And please continue to send me your questions! I look forward to hearing from many of you in the upcoming year -- you can always reach me at

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Roth IRAs for Kids
Children with earned income can start saving for retirement in a Roth IRA at any age. Find out how they can benefit from these tax-advantaged retirement accounts, and which mutual fund companies and brokerage firms offer the best deals for kid IRAs.

Some Long-Term-Care Premiums to Rise
John Hancock is one of several long-term-care insurance companies that are proposing rate increases this year. Find out what you can do if your insurer plans to raise its premiums for policyholders -- and how to minimize the impact.


Tricks ID Thieves Use
Knowing which red flags to watch out for will help you protect your identity.

8 Ways to Cut Insurance Costs for Teen Drivers
Your auto-insurance premiums are likely to skyrocket when your teenager starts driving. But a few key moves can help you cut costs significantly.

When One Spouse’s Credit Score is Lower
Even if your credit score is high, your spouse’s low score will make qualifying for a loan tougher. Here’s what you need to know before you apply for a loan together.

4 Ways to Save Money on Life Insurance
Don’t let tough economic times prompt you to go without life-insurance coverage. Life-insurance rates have been dropping for the past decade, so it may cost a lot less than expected to keep some coverage. Here are four ways to make the insurance more affordable.


Should You Convert to a Roth IRA?
Ask yourself these five questions to determine whether you should move your money from a traditional IRA to a Roth.

When Your Tree Falls in Your Neighbor’s Yard
Find out who has to pay if your tree falls in your neighbor’s yard, and whether insurance will help with any of the bills.

How to Protect Parents from Elder Investment Fraud
Your mom and dad may be at greater risk for exploitation than you think. Find out how to protect them from scam artists.

Fast Ways to Improve Your Credit Score
Learn about strategies that can help improve your credit score within just a few months.


5 Steps to Protect Your College Student’s ID
Your child can be vulnerable to identity theft when he or she heads off to school.

Give the Gift of a 529 Plan Contribution
Grandparents may be able to get a tax deduction if they fund their grandkids’ college-savings accounts. But you need to know a few key strategies to make the most of the tax break.

Got a question? Ask Kim at