If you’re making money on your insurance policies, let’s hope things get better.

This Week/July 23-29

SEE IF ESTATE TAXES ARE AN ISSUE. With 2017’s federal exemption at $5.49 million, few Americans need worry about federal estate taxes. State estate taxes are an issue in just a third of states, though state exemptions are often below the federal level. For most Americans, the biggest “death tax” will be the income taxes owed on inherited retirement accounts.

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Looking Bad

AS I THINK BACK over the past three decades, I have one overriding investment regret.
No, it has nothing to do with the investments I bought. For much of the past 30 years, I’ve owned a globally diversified portfolio, with 100% in stocks when I was younger and closer to 70% now that I’m in my mid-50s. Initially, I owned actively managed funds and a few individual stocks, but I substituted index funds as they became available,

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Less Green

I WAS STAYING ON THE OUTSKIRTS of Mexico City, with no internet access. But I had my satellite radio and I was listening to CNBC. The reception wasn’t good, but the news was even worse. While bad financial news had been pouring in from every corner of the globe for months, it seemed matters had suddenly got much worse. It was September 2008.
The global financial crisis affected many companies, big and small, and the commercial landscaping company that my twin brother and I owned was no exception. 

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Housing: 10 Questions to Ask

HOUSING IS THE BIGGEST EXPENSE for most American families, typically devouring a third of their budget. Are those dollars getting spent wisely? Here are 10 questions to ask yourself:

Should you buy? If you play around with the mortgage calculator at Bankrate.com, you can figure out how big a mortgage you could support with your monthly rent payments. That will give you a sense for whether homeownership is within reach. Even if it is,

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Jonathan Clements

About Jonathan

Jonathan Clements is the founder and editor of HumbleDollar. He spent almost two decades at The Wall Street Journal, where he was the personal finance columnist. His latest book: How to Think About Money.

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