Posts by Jeanie Ahn

  • The most important money conversation you’re not having

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 1 day ago

    When Rosemary Flanagan died two years ago at the age of 84, her family was stunned. She led an active lifestyle and showed no signs of slowing down before passing away in her sleep.

    Although she was a mother to seven sons, none of them knew what to do with her estate. “I was planning on having this conversation with my mother about her estate planning, making sure that the lawyer was on board and that all of her accounts were up to date, but she died suddenly,” said one of her sons, Thomas Flanagan, 50, who lives in Chicago, Illinois where his mother also lived.

    After discovering that their mother’s lawyer was no longer practicing and her will had not been updated in six years, the Flanagan family had no idea where to begin. While mourning their mother, Thomas and his siblings scrambled to find any documents that could shed light on her financial situation. It took a week to find her wallet, months to track down all of her IRAs, and more than a year to close all her bank accounts.

    While death and estate planning can be a sensitive topic for families to broach, not having a plan in place can become an even bigger regret.

    An updated will or trust

    Durable power of attorney for property

  • 5 ways to save at Starbucks

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 7 days ago

    Despite the criticism that Starbucks coffee is overpriced, record sales this quarter indicate that people are willing to pay the price. But for those of you looking to save on your coffee habit, we tested five tried-and-true Starbucks hacks that’ll give you the caffeine fix you need, for less.   1) ICED LATTE HACK Instead of ordering a “grande iced latte" priced at $3.95*, ask the barista for a double shot of espresso (a.k.a. “doppio”) over ice in a grande (medium) cup. At the condiment bar, add your own milk for free.   We tried this at two different Starbucks locations and the baristas seemed to know exactly what we were up to, but didn’t seem to care. We were only charged $2.45, saving a total of $1.50, and there was no difference in taste.   *Tax not included. Menu prices vary by location.   2) ICED TEA HACK The iced tea blends are one of the more affordable beverages on the menu, but there is still a way to save big. For example, instead of ordering a tall passion tea for $1.95, you can ask for a passion tea bag with a cup of iced water and they’ll charge you just 30 cents for the teabag – saving you $1.65. Give it five to 10 minutes for the tea bag to do its work, and it tastes exactly the same as the pre-made blend in their pitchers. 3) CHAI TEA LATTE HACK Instead of ordering a “tall chai tea latte” priced at $3.45, ask for a tall hot tea with an Oprah Chai Tea bag for $2.75. Again, add free milk, sugar, and honey from the condiment bar. This hack will save you 71 cents and is ideal for those who love the taste of chai, but like to control the sweetness.   4) HOT LATTE HACK Lattes are made with espresso shots and steamed milk. An affordable alternative not listed on the menu is the “caffe misto” which is made from fresh brewed coffee and steamed milk.  We were charged $3.25 for a tall latte, while a tall cafe misto was 70 cents cheaper at $2.55.   5) HACK THE CUP Order a smaller size of your favorite blend in the next size up. For example, order a tall (small) Americano in a grande (medium) cup. The baristas will often pour a little more into the grande, giving you more bang for your buck. And when you go to add milk, you won’t need to dump coffee out of your cup. Once you’ve added milk, you’ll have a drink that’s closer to the next size up – and you’ll save about 70 cents.   What’s your Starbucks hack?

  • 5 reasons all dads should take paternity leave

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 14 days ago

    Most fathers in this country feel they don’t have a choice when it comes to taking an extended amount of time off for the birth of their child. According to a recent paternity leave study from the Boston College Center for Work and Family, only 13% of fathers took more than 4 weeks off, while the average amount of time was two weeks after the birth of their child before returning to work.

    With another mouth to feed, the added pressure to provide can prevent many news dads from taking any unpaid leave. But research shows that there are long-term benefits, both financial and emotional, for fathers who use the time if they have it, and find the time if they don’t. Only 14% of U.S. employers offer paid time off for new dads.

    Here are five reasons why it’s in a family’s best interest for the father to take paternity leave.

    Pregnant with their second child, both Paul and Heather will each take about 12 weeks of leave. “You don’t get that time back. It only happens once – those first few months,” says Heather.

  • 12 celebrities making frugal choices

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 15 days ago

    With all their fame and fortune, these top-earning celebrities are the last ones you’d think would make frugal choices. But here’s how these 12 celebs are living like the rest of us.

    Celebs who stock up on hotel toiletries

    Jackie Chan and Tyra Banks have been known to stock up on hotel soaps, shampoos, and even shower caps. Chan said he never had soap growing up, so it’s tough for him to see it go to waste. Chan told the Los Angeles Times, “I take the shower cap and wrap the soap in it and travel with it. As for Banks, she’s not afraid to tell the world she’s cheap. “I’m frugal. I’ve always been this way,” said Banks.

    Celebs who drive modest cars

    Billionaire Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg prefers driving his eco-friendly Volkswagen GTI with manual transmission to his office each day. Valued at an estimated $23,000 to $30,000, the GTI is a budget and eco-friendly ride that won the honors for 2015 Yahoo Autos Car of the year.

    Celebrities obsessed with fast food

    Celeb couples who spent less than $200 to tie the knot

    Celebs who still live at home

    More from Yahoo Finance

  • 4 daily money traps to avoid

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 17 days ago

    Faced with financial temptations at every turn, your daily habits could be keeping you from reaching the money goals you’ve set to accomplish this year.

    “There are six to 10 financial decisions that you have to make a day and there are so many traps we fall into,” says Alexa von Tobel, founder and CEO of LearnVest.com .

    The key to making better money decisions starts with identifying the most common overspending traps, says von Tobel. Here are four to watch out for.

    Money Trap #1: Skipping your morning gym class

    Signing up for an unlimited gym membership may sound like a good deal – even if it costs $70 a month on average. But if your three-times-a-week routine turns into 4.3 times per month , as it does for the average consumer, that’s about $17 per visit – not the most efficient way of maximizing your gym dollars.

    Money Trap #2: Data overages

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    Money Trap #3: Flash sale spending

    Money Trap #4: New home syndrome

    More from Yahoo Finance

  • New scams to watch out for this holiday season

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 1 mth 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.

  • Holiday tipping: How not to be cheap

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 1 mth ago

    Who to tip and how much to give is a common head-scratcher this time of year. And with all the spending you need to do over the holidays, being generous to the people who make your life easier can be an added financial strain. How do you tip on a budget without being cheap?

    No matter what your financial situation is, Lizzie Post, etiquette expert from The Emily Post Institute, says everyone has the opportunity to express gratitude with a thoughtful gesture. Whether it’s a handwritten card, a small gift or an envelope with cash, the most important thing is that you take the time to say thank you in any way, shape or form.

    “Always look at your budget and think about what you can accommodate this season. Remember that this is really about holiday thanking, so don’t let it overly stress you out,” says Post.

    The musts vs. the maybes

    Cashless tipping

    How much is too much? Or too little?

    As for too little, Post says anything under $10 to $15 in cash may come across as a hollow gesture. Instead, a small D.I.Y. gift with a handwritten card is a nice alternative, says Post.

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

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 1 mth 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 2 mths 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 2 mths 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