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Financial News from Consumer Reports

  • 8 steps to keeping your cell phone working in a blizzard Consumer Reports - Mon, Jan 26, 2015 1:32 PM EST

    Today's smart phones can do just about everything, but when a blizzard, hurricane, or other disruptive weather condition threatens to trap you without power, the device's most important job is to...

  • It's not too late to score Super Bowl XLIX tickets Consumer Reports - Mon, Jan 26, 2015 9:49 AM EST
    A boy climbs on top of the Super Bowl lettering outside of the University of Phoenix Stadium before the NFL Football Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

    For most fans looking for Super Bowl XLIX tickets, this year’s game in Glendale, Arizona, between the the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks might as well be played on the moon. It’s that ...

  • Less than three weeks after Sling TV was announced and a few weeks before public availability, we got an invitation to try out Dish Network's new $20-per-month, Internet-based streaming-TV servic...

  • 5 tips for deciding whether to shop online or in the store Consumer Reports - Sat, Jan 24, 2015 10:00 AM EST

    When it comes to getting the best price when you go shopping, don't assume that a retailer charges the same prices in the store as it does online. Shop online, then check the prices in the store....

  • Expanding access to community college could be a game changer Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 23, 2015 2:15 PM EST

    The high cost of higher education is a huge burden for students and their families. And at a time when more jobs in today’s economy require at least some college experience, the rising prices of ...

  • When it comes to the Super Bowl, Americans throw a few penalty flags Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 23, 2015 12:30 PM EST

    What’s not to like about the Super Bowl, that annual early-February football fiesta? Apparently a lot, according to a recent nationally representative survey of 1,015 Americans conducted by the C...

  • Do you need the Walmart Direct2Cash tax-refund service? Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 23, 2015 8:30 AM EST

    Walmart's announcement earlier this week that it would offer a faster, less expensive way for taxpayers to get their state and IRS tax refund in cash sounds promising, particularly for those who ...

  • $25 TurboTax rebate might not satisfy irate users Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 23, 2015 8:00 AM EST

    Intuit, the maker of tax software giant TurboTax, has announced it will provide certain buyers of its desktop tax software a $25 rebate. The news comes about two weeks after consumer outrage over...

  • Mobile carriers have a habit of advertising deals for which only customers with stellar credit scores to qualify. Want get a $650 iPhone 6 in your pocket with no money down? Better bring a credit...

  • To make more money, avoid popular stocks Consumer Reports - Thu, Jan 22, 2015 1:00 PM EST

    Can we interest you in an Unpopular Stocks mutual fund?  There's no such thing (yet, anyway). But if you're looking for new investing ideas, you may want to skip the most actively traded list. It...

  • It's not too late to sign up for Obamacare Consumer Reports - Wed, Jan 21, 2015 6:30 PM EST

    It’s still not too late to sign up for insurance in your state’s marketplace. Open enrollment for Obamacare continues until Feb. 15. Meet that deadline, and you will be insured on March 1, with n...

  • Top 10 TV bargains for Super Bowl XLIX Consumer Reports - Wed, Jan 21, 2015 5:00 PM EST

    In our list of the top 10 TVs for Super Bowl XLIX, most of the sets were pretty pricey, some extravagantly so. But even if your budget can't accommodate one of those expensive TVs, you don't have...

  • What will Windows 10 do for you? Consumer Reports - Wed, Jan 21, 2015 4:50 PM EST

    With its Windows 10 announcement today, Microsoft showed it’s finally ready to catch up to Android and iOS by integrating mobile features across devices from PCs to tablets to phones. But it also...

  • Today during its Windows 10 event, Microsoft introduced HoloLens, which it calls “the world’s most powerful holographic computer.” Alex Kipman of the company's Operating Systems group said that W...

  • You can stream Super Bowl XLIX for free Consumer Reports - Wed, Jan 21, 2015 1:20 PM EST

    If you're a cord cutter without access to free broadcast TV, here's some good news about Super Bowl XLIX. You won't have to head to a local bar or wheedle an invite to a friend's house to watch t...

  • Starting a second career to sail through retirement Consumer Reports - Wed, Jan 21, 2015 10:45 AM EST
    job interview

    After working for a few decades, and as retirement approaches, many of us begin to think about a second career. What else we could we do that would be more enjoyable yet still help pay the bills?...

  • 5 ways to declutter your desk Consumer Reports - Wed, Jan 21, 2015 10:00 AM EST

    Time to wrestle your wires, corral your cables, and master the mess on and around your desk. There are good do-it-yourself options (like bundling up power cords with garbage-bag ties or a roll of...

  • Consumer Reports' top 10 TVs for Super Bowl XLIX Consumer Reports - Tue, Jan 20, 2015 4:45 PM EST

    If you're not heading to Glendale, Arizona, to catch Super Bowl XLIX between the Patriots and the Seahawks in person, then the next best way to watch the big game is on a big-screen TV. And now's...

  • Is medical marijuana tax-deductible? Consumer Reports - Mon, Jan 19, 2015 6:00 AM EST

    Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, but its users still can't deduct it as a medical expense on their federal income tax returns.  Marijuana is stil...

  • Tax preparation: Save time, get your refund faster Consumer Reports - Sun, Jan 18, 2015 6:00 AM EST

    Tax preparation. Ugh. If only you could wave a wand and complete your return instantly. Or better yet, just skip all that and go straight for the refund.  Alas, those options aren't available qui...

  • 10 steps to fight identity theft Consumer Reports - Sat, Jan 17, 2015 9:00 AM EST

    Data hacking is so common that your reaction to news of the latest big bank or retailer caught in a compromised position might be to shrug. But now is no time to be complacent. Victims of a data ...

  • E-file your taxes for free Consumer Reports - Sat, Jan 17, 2015 6:00 AM EST

    IRS Free File is now officially open, enabling some 70 percent of Americans to begin preparing their federal tax returns online for free. The IRS will begin accepting mailed and e-filed returns o...

  • Groups call for strong consumer rights agenda Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 16, 2015 7:15 PM EST

    A brand-new session of Congress is underway in Washington, D.C., while President Obama is rolling out a series of policy proposals in advance of his State of the Union address later this month. ...

  • How to shop for and install a TV on game day Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 16, 2015 5:30 PM EST

    January has been pigskin heaven for football fanatics. The College Football Playoff went off with a big bang—congratulations to the Ohio State Buckeyes—and several of the NFL playoff games have d...

  • Exercise caution before joining a health club Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 16, 2015 3:15 PM EST

    Working out a health club can help you get in shape and keep a New Year's resolution, but it can also cause headaches. How's that? Health clubs generate lots of complaints. Better Businesses Bure...

  • 3 important UHD TV developments to watch in 2015 Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 16, 2015 10:00 AM EST

    Did you buy an Ultra HD TV last year? Are you enjoying it? Will you still be able to enjoy it knowing that it probably lacks three features that are being included on many new UHD TVs this year—w...

  • Protect yourself from a tax audit Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 16, 2015 8:59 AM EST
    Tax audit

    Tax audits are rare. The average taxpayer has a 1-in-100 probability of being formally audited by the IRS in a given year. The odds of a tax audit rise if, among other things, you itemize deducti...

  • Home office tax deductions made simple Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 16, 2015 6:00 AM EST

    Small-business owners bedeviled by expense calculations for their home office tax deductions can now take advantage of a relatively new IRS rule that offers a potentially less time-consuming way ...

  • Do's and don'ts of itemized deductions Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 16, 2015 6:00 AM EST

    Itemized deductions can come and go like the weather: Each year Congress changes something, the Internal Revenue Service issues opinions, and tax courts make new rulings. If you like a challenge,...

  • What to do if you're affected by TurboTax changes Consumer Reports - Thu, Jan 15, 2015 4:00 PM EST

    TurboTax has changed the features on its downloadable software and CD-Roms, effectively boosting the price significantly to complete certain IRS schedules, and causing a small firestorm among cus...

  • A 'smart' watch that's more than a decade old Consumer Reports - Thu, Jan 15, 2015 3:45 PM EST

    We've been hearing a lot about smart watches in the past couple years, and we saw some new models at CES 2015 last week. But here's a smart watch you may not have heard about. Its sleek titanium ...

  • 4 things to know about medical billing Consumer Reports - Thu, Jan 15, 2015 1:00 PM EST

    Because of the economic pressures of the past several years, a host of bus­inesses, such as banks and airlines, have begun tacking on fees for services that were once free. Now medical practices,...

  • GoPro camera integration spreads to cars and trucks Consumer Reports - Thu, Jan 15, 2015 11:30 AM EST

    Everybody wants to see what you’re doing, and increasingly, consumers are seeking ways to share their experiences. Furthering this trend, at least three new cars at the Detroit auto show boasted ...

  • 5 bags that charge your smart phone Consumer Reports - Thu, Jan 15, 2015 10:15 AM EST

    How did we ever survive without our mobile gadgets? In a recent Consumer Reports survey, respondents who owned mobile devices brought at least one with them on their most recent vacations, and ma...

  • How to get the best deal on practically anything Consumer Reports - Thu, Jan 15, 2015 9:39 AM EST
    Shopping

    There’s little more infuriating than going to a store, buying a product and then seeing it on sale the next day or learning that you could have bought the same thing cheaper elsewhere. Unfortunat...

  • Luggage: What to look for when you shop Consumer Reports - Wed, Jan 14, 2015 5:45 PM EST

    In an iconic early-1970s TV ad, a gorilla in a zoo hurls, kicks, and stomps on a suitcase (video). The point, of course, was to demonstrate that if the luggage could survive a few rounds with a p...

  • 7 ways to save money on a gym membership Consumer Reports - Wed, Jan 14, 2015 10:30 AM EST

    Joining a gym is an investment in your health, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to trim the cost. Our annual New Year’s resolve to get in shape means that gyms sign up more new members e...

  • Protect yourself from tax-preparation fraud Consumer Reports - Wed, Jan 14, 2015 9:44 AM EST
    taxes

    The IRS estimates that about 60 percent of individual returns are filled out with the help of a paid tax professional. If you plan to use a paid preparer for your taxes, there are several types o...

  • Federal tax return: How to prepare for the preparer Consumer Reports - Tue, Jan 13, 2015 3:00 PM EST

    If you’re among the 60 percent of Americans who hire a tax pro to prepare your federal and state tax returns, take these steps to limit fees, save on taxes, and speed your refund: Schedule your ...

  • 5 fascinating trends in 3D printing Consumer Reports - Tue, Jan 13, 2015 12:15 PM EST

    We may not be that close to "one in every home" yet, but 3D printing made an impressive showing at CES 2015. What we saw were new products and services that have evolved past a "maker" ...

  • 5 new trends in 3D printing Consumer Reports - Tue, Jan 13, 2015 10:23 AM EST

    It may not be that close to "one in every living room" yet, but 3D printing made an impressive showing at CES 2015. And chances are that even if you don't buy your own, you'll come across a produ......

  • President proposes new privacy laws to protect consumers, students Consumer Reports - Mon, Jan 12, 2015 3:20 PM EST

    Americans have faced one data breach after another in the past year, from Home Depot to Target to Sony. In light of that, President Obama today announced that he would promote legislation to prot...

  • 5 TVs from CES 2015 that Consumer Reports wants to review Consumer Reports - Mon, Jan 12, 2015 2:00 PM EST

    As in past years, TVs—especially 4K UHD TVs—commanded a lion's share of the attention at CES 2015, thanks to promised improvements in TV performance beyond pure resolution. Among the highlights w...

  • Best digital-imaging products at CES 2015 Consumer Reports - Sun, Jan 11, 2015 1:00 PM EST

    Manufacturers unveiled fewer cameras and camcorders at CES 2015 than in previous years—more substantial introductions are planned for the CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show next month in Japan. Bu...

  • FCC wants to hear your gripes about cable, phone, or Internet service Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 9, 2015 6:20 PM EST

    If you’ve got a problem with your cable company, Internet provider, or phone service—say mysterious charges on your wireless bil or annoying robocalls—it can be hard to know where to turn for hel...

  • Three surprising—and unexpected—gadgets Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 9, 2015 5:00 PM EST

    In my four days at CES 2015, I expected to see lots of laptops, tons of tablets, and many, many TVs. And I wasn't disappointed. But there were also some things I did not expect to come across at ...

  • The rise of the camera drones Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 9, 2015 4:05 PM EST

    On the CES show floor, if you came upon a crowded booth, often it was because a company was demonstrating a flying drone. Part of the allure—aside from the love or fear of Terminator movies—was t...

  • CES 2015 wrap up: Our favorite things from the show Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 9, 2015 4:00 PM EST

    Honestly, we could have spent another week in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show and still not seen all of the ingenious, inventive, and sometimes mystifying devices on display there. The...

  • Hottest smart phones and accessories for 2015 Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 9, 2015 2:00 PM EST

    At CES 2015, smart phones found their way into just about every product, from vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, and baby rockers to cameras, TVs, and cars. The phones themselves were impressive, to...

  • How far would you go to fix an old appliance? Consumer Reports - Fri, Jan 9, 2015 1:45 PM EST

    Back in 1973, Richard Nixon was president, Vietnam divided the nation, and I was in high school. It also was around the time I developed a serious interest in baking, and convinced my parents to ...

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