Posts by Jeanie Ahn

  • New scams to watch out for this holiday season

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 5 days ago

    With holiday shopping season in full swing, not only are retailers after your dollars, but so are scammers.

    Last year alone, there were over two million fraud complaints reported, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network, with consumers paying over $1.6 billion. To better protect yourself, Amy Nofziger of AARP’s Fraud Watch Network says it’s important to be on high alert.

    Here are some of the latest scams she says you need to know:

    1. Parcel delivery scam

    A new scheme to beware of is fake parcel pick-up notices that are either taped to your door or sent as an email notification. The message on the notice will state there was an unsuccessful attempt to deliver a package to your home and prompts you to call a number or visit a website for more information. Nofziger says this is a likely method of collecting your personal information, putting you at risk for identity theft.

    2. Fake online shopping sites

    3. Draining gift cards

    What are some new scams you know of? Tell us in the comments below or email us at YFmoneymailbag@yahoo.com.

  • Former NBA star Antoine Walker: Life after losing $110 million

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 12 days ago

    Former NBA player, Antoine Walker, 38, earned over $110 million throughout his NBA career, more than four times the average player in the league. All that money, though, didn’t stop this All-Star from going broke.

    Walker’s financial problems began his first year in the league as a 19-year-old rookie with the Boston Celtics in 1996. Although he had a financial advisor help him establish a plan for his long-term finances, Walker had other ideas about what he wanted to do with his newfound wealth.

    “Through my young arrogance, being ignorant to a degree and being stubborn and wanting to do my own thing with my money, I went against a lot of his wishes,” Walker told Yahoo Finance.

    Dunking into debt

    Growing up as the oldest of six, Walker helped his mother raise his siblings as she struggled to provide for her family. Once Walker made it to the league, he was set on providing for his family and it didn’t take long before he blew through his rookie salary.

    “I never really thought about the severity that I put myself through after just the first year of the league, but I didn’t really worry about it because the money was constantly coming in,” said Walker. “

    Bouncing back from bankruptcy

  • Black Friday's Deepest Discounts

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 21 days ago

    Consumers are constantly flooded with Black Friday deals this time of year – and while the sales are aplenty, it’s hard to know which ones to pay attention to.

    For the deepest discounts, Yahoo Finance has teamed up with Deal News and RetailMeNot to highlight the best of the best.

    Best Black Friday TV Deals:

    1) This Panasonic TC-50A400U LED HDTVis one of the top doorbuster deals of the season, with a price drop from $549 to $199 in-store only at Best Buy. The specs include a 1080p display as well as a 60Hz refresh rate. The deals start at 5 PM on Thanksgiving Day.

    4) A top tech pick for Smart TV Deals includes this Samsung 55-inch 2160p Smart 4K Ultra HDTV for $900 – down from $1,399.99. Look for this offer at Best Buy both in-store and online on Thanksgiving Day.

    Best Black Friday Laptop Deals:

    Best Black Friday Smartphone Deals:

    Old Navy - 50% off through 11/28 in-store

  • We saved $120K by stretching an IRA inheritance

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 1 mth ago

    Two years ago, when Robert Garfield’s mother passed away, he and his two siblings inherited an IRA worth $300,000 through a trust. Completely unaware of the steep tax that could have come to 40% upon the transfer of funds, each planned to cash out their share in a lump sum.

    When Garfield, 57, a retired doctor in Asheville, NC, consulted his financial advisor, he was shocked to learn that he could be handing over $40,000 of the $100,000 of his inheritance to the government in taxes.

    “I had no clue, in any way shape or form, that I could lose that kind of money,” said Garfield.

    Garfield’s financial advisor, Glen Pier of Infinity Wealth Management Inc. , told him that because his mother listed her trust as the beneficiary of the IRA, her beneficiaries would be taxed at the maximum rate of 39.6%, for any amount over $12,150.  

    All too often, most non-spouse beneficiaries make the mistake of accepting lump sum inheritances without realizing that it often pushes you into a higher tax bracket.

    How to stretch

  • 3 ways to boost your Social Security benefits

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 1 mth ago

    Two-thirds of those receiving Social Security benefits rely on it for more than half of their income. The average monthly benefit is $1,294 – and many beneficiaries don’t know that some careful planning can increase the amount they get (for them or their spouses).   “The decision to claim your benefits will stick with you for the rest of your life and there are endless, complicated ‘quirks' about the Social Security program that stump the best of us,” says Jean Setzfand, VP of Financial Security at AARP .   What many Americans don’t realize is that some of these quirks can help you boost your benefits – even after you’ve started collecting. But you need to understand the nuances of the various strategies to make sure it’s the best option for you.   Here are three questions Setzfand is asked most often by people planning for their retirement.   Question #1: If I start collecting benefits, is there a way I can cancel that decision so it’s like I never claimed before?   If you’re suffering from claimer’s remorse, there is a way you can halt your benefits and actually increase your amount, says Setzfand. You are allowed to withdraw your application once...

  • Parents pay the price for children’s student debt

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 1 mth ago

    When Steven and Paula Bonney took out $115,000 in loans a decade ago to put their two daughters through school, it was more than they ever thought they’d have to borrow. But they expected to be debt-free at this point in their lives.

    Now, in their early 60s, any dreams they had of retirement are buried deep under a mound of debt.

    Like the Bonneys, 21% of parents took out college loans for their kids in 2011, a sharp increase from 13% in 1999, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. With middle-income families shouldering more student debt than low and high-income households, parents all over the country are making plans to work longer than ever before.

    The Bonneys, who live in Mattapoisset, Ma, worked long hours at their own small businesses to stay ahead of their debt obligations. Steven had a general contracting company while Paula was building a growing bookkeeping business. But all the work came to an abrupt halt six years ago when Steven fell from a 25-foot scaffold and broke his neck, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

    Help with tackling student debt

  • How to convince your reluctant spouse to save for retirement

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 2 mths ago

    After a few decades with your spouse, you’d hope to be on the same page on most matters. But when it comes to retirement, it turns out that one in three couples disagree about what their next chapter will look like, according to a recent couples study from Fidelity Investments.

    The reality is many partners don’t talk about what they want in retirement, so when the time comes, they’re often not on the same page, says Chris Hogan, a financial expert with Ramsey Solutions. And when plans do get made, they often reflect the desires of the spouse who leads the household finances.

    “Don’t let the one who is savvy with numbers do all the work because both sides have a part in that dream. Don’t make it about economics. This is a heart issue now,” says Hogan. Couples who share a vision are more likely to plan and save to successfully reach their goals as a team. 

    Where to live

    How often to travel

    Your dream job in your second chapter

  • Four steps to a debt-free college degree

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 2 mths ago

    After the high of tossing your graduation cap into the air, having to pay off your student loan debt can bring you back down to reality in a hurry. Seven in 10 college seniors graduate with an average of $29,400 in student loan debt, according to the Institute for College Access & Success. Paying down this debt can be overwhelming for recent grads who are juggling a limited budget on a starting salary.

    To optimize your chances for a debt-free college degree, Rachel Cruze, author of “Smart Money Smart Kids,” says making a concerted effort to plan out your finances in high school and throughout college will pay off in big ways.

    Choose a college you can afford

    Racking up student debt now and worrying about costs later will be a huge setback for adulthood, says Cruze. “It’s not worth it in the long-run. It doesn’t matter where you go to college, it just matters that you graduate debt-free,” she says. 

    Seek out all opportunities for financial aid

    Work your way through school

    Ask your parents for help

  • Store Brands vs. Name Brands

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 3 mths ago

    Buying store-brand products can save money, but how do store brands compare to the quality of famous name brands? For years, Tod Marks, senior editor at Consumer Reports , has been putting hundreds of brands to the test. What he found was that many store-brand items cannot only compete, but beat leading name-brand products. And consumers are starting to take notice. “Over the years we’ve seen a steady increase in that quality perception [of store brands]. Most people, in fact, think that store brands are as at least as good as national brands,” says Marks. Toilet paper Testing 19 different brands of toilet paper, Marks was surprised to find that Walmart’s White Cloud Toilet Paper was given a score of 88 on the Consumer Reports rating scale, 17 points higher and nearly half the price of Charmin’s Ultra Strong which scored 71. Other strong performing store brands included Up & Up toilet paper from Target and Great Value Ultra Strong from Walmart, both scoring 68, three points higher than Charmin’s Ultra Soft. At the bottom of the list was Scott’s 1000-sheet rolls, with thin, less durable sheets that are not as soft. Paper towels For this popular household item, Marks says you get...

  • The 53-year-old intern: how to get back in the workforce

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 3 mths ago

    At 53, Sue Dodick is a bit older than your average intern. But she’s embracing her internship opportunity as her way to get into the workforce -- again. Twelve years earlier, Dodick left her job at the height of her career as a successful portfolio manager to spend time with her children. With 18 years of experience under her belt, it was a difficult decision to make, but she felt her children needed a parent at home. When she started looking for work again, Dodick found the job search intimidating after being on the sidelines for so long. But a new internship program offered by JPMorgan Chase helped smooth her transition to full-time work again. “I liked the idea that JPMorgan Chase was welcoming people back. I definitely wanted to get back into finance and I thought a program like this would be a good fit,” said Dodick. Companies like Goldman Sachs were among the first to pioneer new “Returnship” programs, specifically geared toward tapping into the talent of professionals wanting to get back in the workforce. Within the last year, big financial services firms like JPMorgan Chase , MetLife , Morgan Stanley , Credit Suisse and others have followed suit, launching their own highly ...