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Financial News from US News & World Report

  • 5 Obstacles to Early Retirement US News - 8 hours ago

    Early retirement is a dream for many employees toiling away at dissatisfactory jobs. The 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that half of all workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement.

  • Cheap, productive and a breeze to understand: It's easy to see why index funds are so popular. Financial advisors say index funds are like protein: They're the building blocks of your portfolio, but it's important to indulge your appetite for other flavors of investments, too. The most important thing to understand is …

  • Passive investing has become wildly popular ever since Vanguard founder, John Bogle, launched the first index strategy in 1975. Today, low-cost indexing using exchange-traded funds is so mainstream that even Warren Buffett recommends the approach for individuals who don't have the time or discipline to pick individual …

  • When you imagine saving money on groceries, do you automatically picture hours spent clipping coupons from the newspaper and painstakingly writing out your shopping list? If you're looking for an easier way to cut costs at the grocery store, there are many helpful new tools and online resources (for free or little cost) …

  • The interviewers may focus on one style or engage you in a combination of several interview types. The best thing you can do to prepare is to understand each kind and its intention from the interviewer's perspective. The interviewer may also ask you to tell him or her about yourself.

  • Did you know there could be errors on your credit report that are damaging your score? Lenders may also use soft inquiries to preapprove you for a credit card or loan.

  • Why a Movie About Money Stress Went Viral US News - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 12:25 PM EDT

    Melissa and Alex Kimmell, parents with two boys, turn to a payday loan when Alex's health forces him to stop working. Those stories and others are what drew over 9 million viewers (and counting) to watch the 40-minute film for free on YouTube since it was released by American Express in June. Yes, that's right -- it was …

  • 4 Ways to Better Organize Your Bills US News - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 11:28 AM EDT

    You may also find that a few of your regular expenses can't be paid with credit cards, such as babysitting or your child's piano lessons. If you drop to a dangerously low bank balance or a bill is coming due, it'll let you know.

  • How Giving Up Cable TV Could Save Your Retirement US News - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 11:23 AM EDT

    An inflated lifestyle also requires a bigger retirement stash if you want to continue to fund those higher expenses in retirement. Those who cut the cord won't need to save nearly as much for retirement to live comfortably.

  • 12 habits of phenomenally frugal families US News - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 10:38 AM EDT
    Family

    Surviving the lean years.

  • Avoid Turning Into a Scary Student Loan Stat US News - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 9:30 AM EDT

    The numbers look downright frightening when it comes to student loan debt. Here are five student loan statistics that may scare you into making the right decisions about paying for school. American borrowers have racked up about $1.2 trillion in outstanding federal student debt, according to the Consumer Financial Protection …

  • How to Coupon in Just One Hour a Week US News - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 9:12 AM EDT

    At least that's what couponing is like for Cindy Livesey, website owner at LivingRichWithCoupons.com. Livesey started couponing back in 2009, when she was forced to cut back as a result of unemployment. It was a difficult time but couponing saved her and her family $11,000 the very first year and enabled her family to …

  • 11 Ways to Save Money at the Bar US News - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 8:52 AM EDT

    Go to happy hour -- even if it's late. Most of us know going to a bar during happy hour -- when drinks are discounted -- can save money.

  • 5 Things to Look for in a Studio Apartment US News - Wed, Jul 23, 2014 8:35 AM EDT

    Moving into a studio apartment can be a great way to save money on rent without getting a roommate or settling for a less-than-desirable neighborhood. While saving money on rent is appealing to almost any renter, living in a studio apartment can be an adjustment for anyone who hasn't done it before -- but it's possible …

  • 12 Baby Boomer Retirement Trends US News - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 11:05 AM EDT

    It is not news that baby boomers, people born between 1946 and 1964, are starting to turn 65 and beginning to retire in droves. A new Census Bureau report details how quickly the baby boomers are retiring and how they are supporting themselves in retirement. There are just over 40 million Americans age 65 and older, and …

  • 7 Costly Car Rental Mistakes to Avoid US News - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 10:52 AM EDT
    How to save on car rentals

    As Americans hit the road this summer, many will drive rental cars in other parts of the country or the world. While rental cars can be convenient, the associated costs are often confusing. Here's a look at car rental mistakes that could cost you money -- and how to avoid them. If you have your own auto insurance policy, …

  • How to Prepare Financially for Summer Power Outages US News - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 10:18 AM EDT

    With summer storms already causing thousands of power outages across the country from Texas to Philadelphia, now is a good time to review your plans in case the power goes out in your neighborhood. According to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, any type of thawing meat, poultry or fish should be discarded, …

  • The Best Time to Ace Work-Life Balance? On Vacation US News - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 9:37 AM EDT

    In 2013, the American Psychological Association reported that close to half of American workers check work messages at least once a day while on vacation, when they are supposedly off the grid.

  • My latest portfolio report card is for Mary in Santee, California. She self-manages a 401(k) retirement plan with $353,000 scattered across seven mutual funds and company stock. Before I assign her investment portfolio a final grade, let's examine Mary's portfolio. Still, her retirement plan misses exposure to other …

  • The 5 Things You Must Know About Yourself as an Employee US News - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 9:21 AM EDT

    You might be inclined to relate Gertrude Stein's famous quote, "A rose is a rose is a rose" to the world of employment: A company is a company is a company ... and a job is a job is a job. Companies come in many different flavors, and have widely different employment practices. Beyond the obvious -- big versus small, …

  • Where to Buy Affordable Plus-Size Clothing US News - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 9:17 AM EDT

    Earlier this year, however, Eloquii re-opened its doors (and severed its ties with The Limited), and it is again one of the best places to find stylish plus-size clothing that won't break the bank. Some Sears stores also have Lands' End collections available inside the stores, and I have found that those Lands' End collections …

  • How to Save Money with Price Comparison Tools US News - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 9:16 AM EDT

    In order to save time and ultimately money, I've relied on price comparison search tools to help me get what I want for the lowest price. It's seems that consumers these days want to be able to log onto one trusted search tool, type in what they want and within seconds find what they're looking for and make the purchase. …

  • A Disturbing Look at the New Retirement US News - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 9:04 AM EDT

    For an increasing number of American workers, traditional retirement no longer exists. In the August issue of Harper's magazine, journalist Jessica Bruder delves into the hidden world of these older, struggling American workers, many of whom live in RVs, frequently moving to the location of their next job opportunity. …

  • 8 Resources for Finding Free Things to Do in Your Area US News - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 9:00 AM EDT

    You just have to put in a bit of legwork to find them because those free activities generally don't have a budget for marketing themselves to you. If you scour all of these places, you'll likely find far more free activities and free places to visit than your free time will allow. Your city's parks and recreation department …

  • 3 Ways Consumers Fall Victim to Identity Theft US News - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 11:30 AM EDT

    Of course you don't want to leave credit card statements lying around in public places, and when you discard your financial paperwork, it's smart to run it through a shredder. You hand your credit card to a waiter, who disappears for a while with it. Sarah Dugo, co-founder of College Savings Dolls, a Schaumburg, Illinois-based …

  • Investors who take early withdrawals also miss out on the tax-deferred growth their savings would have accumulated if they had left the money in the 401(k) plan or rolled it over to an individual retirement account. Regular income tax is due on each withdrawal from your traditional 401(k) plan. A worker in the 25 percent …

  • The Powerful Psychology Undermining Your Returns US News - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 10:17 AM EDT
    A woman scratching her head looks at an electronic board showing the graph of the recent fluctuations of Japan's Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo

    My colleague at the BAM Alliance, Carl Richards, used Morningstar data to note this disturbing fact: The average U.S. stock mutual fund had a 10-year average return of 8.18 percent at the end of 2013. Although it's sad the average investor can't achieve returns equal to the returns of the average mutual fund, the reality …

  • Date Night Ideas That Don't Break the Bank US News - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 9:00 AM EDT

    Check out the loyalty programs at all your favorite spots. If you decide to have a date during the week, happy hours can cut your bill in half. Happy hours can include discounted drinks, appetizers and even meals. Reverse happy hours are becoming more and more popular.

  • 5 Lesser-Known Email Etiquette Rules You Might Be Breaking US News - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 8:37 AM EDT
    Good Business Email Etiquette

    But there are finer points of email etiquette that aren't as universally acknowledged but can make you a far more effective emailer. Here are five lesser-known email etiquette breaches that you might still make.

  • Will Debit Card Rewards Become a Perk of the Past? US News - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 8:33 AM EDT

    The Durbin amendment, passed with the Dodd-Frank Act, that took effect in 2011 has drastically lowered "swipe fees" -- the revenue banks collect on purchases made with plastic. Consumers are paying more for banking and seeing the elimination of free checking accounts and debit card rewards programs, says Sam Fabens, spokesman …

  • 3 Financial Aid Questions to Ask Before Applying to College US News - Mon, Jul 21, 2014 8:30 AM EDT

    Student loan debt is a top concern for parents of aspiring college students. But that concern often doesn't translate into planning, a recent survey finds. In fact, while 85 percent of parents are worried ...

  • 5 Ways to Save on Meal Delivery Services US News - Sun, Jul 20, 2014 9:20 AM EDT

    In recent years, however, a slew of meal delivery services have cropped up nationwide to fill this very niche. With names like Munchery, Blue Apron, Plated, HelloFresh and Home Chef and taglines like "Reinventing Weeknight Dinners," the relatively new food delivery services specialize in delivering healthy, well-balanced …

  • Air conditioning units of the hotel that Reuters photographers are staying in are pictured in Salvador

    Install a programmable thermostat. The warmer you let your home get, the less work your air conditioner needs to put in. Instead, install a programmable thermostat. Only use ceiling fans when you're under them.

  • 7 habits of highly successful retirement savers US News - Fri, Jul 18, 2014 3:44 PM EDT
    saving

    Some people seem to manage their finances with ease and build up a sizeable nest egg for retirement.

  • Top 7 retirement milestones you need to know US News - Fri, Jul 18, 2014 3:16 PM EDT
    Retirement

    Retirement planning is a process that actually continues throughout your retirement years, with tweaks and changes to ensure that you stay on track. In order to help illustrate these points, we'll use the example a fictional 49 year old named Claire, who was born in 1965. Claire is still putting in hours at the office, …

  • Sizing Up Your 401(k) Match US News - Fri, Jul 18, 2014 2:02 PM EDT

    It's obviously best for employees to get company contributions as soon as possible so that the money can start accumulating in their account.

  • 5 Ways to Stay Active as You Age US News - Fri, Jul 18, 2014 12:54 PM EDT

    While earlier generations may have dragged themselves across the finish line into retirement, burnt out and tired after years of strenuous activity, the baby boomer generation is different. Since we were forced to get up earlier than we wanted to commence our work day, it is natural to want to spend some additional time …

  • 13 Ways to Save on Your Bathroom Renovation US News - Fri, Jul 18, 2014 11:03 AM EDT
    The 15 Point Checklist Before Starting a Bathroom Renovation remodeling

    "One little thing creates that luxury instead of worrying about everything else," says Laura Redd, an interior designer in Greensboro, North Carolina. The easiest way to cut costs on a bathroom renovation is to keep the old bathroom footprint. You should also avoid adding a $100,000 bathroom to a $200,000 house, Redd …

  • The Challenge of Taking Out Life Insurance US News - Fri, Jul 18, 2014 9:14 AM EDT

    My sister, a doctor living in San Francisco who is about to have her first baby, recently sent me a list of questions about what she should do to prepare financially for becoming a parent . Did she need ...

  • What Your Spending Habits Really Cost You US News - Fri, Jul 18, 2014 9:04 AM EDT

    Several years ago, author David Bach shed light on this kind of daily purchase by coining the term "the latte factor." According to Bach's website, the latte factor is a concept aimed at getting people to take a closer look at how their daily purchases impact their bottom line. In order to illustrate what your spending …

  • How to Save When Hosting a Party US News - Fri, Jul 18, 2014 9:02 AM EDT

    The pre-dinner snacks can be a surprisingly costly part of your celebration. Use a free service like Spotify or Pandora to stream a party playlist from your smartphone or laptop for a little background mood music and maybe keep a deck of cards or some pen and paper on hand should an impromptu game night break out.

  • Decipher the True Cost of Your Online Degree US News - Fri, Jul 18, 2014 9:00 AM EDT

    Deciding what to study is challenging enough for many online students. Online students are generally confused by the cost of their program, according to a recent study by Aslanian Market Research and the Learning House, a company that helps colleges and universities develop and deliver online degree programs. "It's hard …

  • The 10 Things You Do That Turn an Interviewer Off US News - Thu, Jul 17, 2014 11:35 AM EDT

    We asked hiring managers and career experts what behaviors could potentially sway them against a candidate during a job interview. I don't have that to give -- you're secure when you do the job well and clients or metrics are happy.

  • 4 ways to ruin your retirement plan US News - Thu, Jul 17, 2014 10:34 AM EDT
    Piggy bank

    Saving for retirement is a journey that can easily span a few decades. Here are four retirement planning errors to avoid: Determining the highest safe withdrawal rate. It's difficult to come up with a withdrawal rate that is safe enough to last a lifetime.

  • Combating the 'My-Boss-Is-a-Jerk' Blues US News - Thu, Jul 17, 2014 10:26 AM EDT

    Two common mantras in our culture today are: "I hate my job" and "My boss is a jerk." While both statements may be true, hating your job because your boss is a jerk isn't going to lead anywhere good.

  • The 7 Ingredients of a Well-Written Entry-Level Résumé US News - Thu, Jul 17, 2014 10:07 AM EDT

    Writing a résumé is rarely fun -- but having a good résumé ready to go is critical to job-seeking success. Obviously, it displays pertinent contact information and an overview of your skills and experience. Here are seven ways to make more of your entry-level résumé. Other selections are fine, but make sure your choice …

  • 5 Words to Avoid Saying During a Job Interview US News - Thu, Jul 17, 2014 9:45 AM EDT

    Picture it: You're on a job interview meeting the hiring manager and upper management. It couldn't go any better.

  • How to Set Boundaries at Work (So You Can Have a Life) US News - Thu, Jul 17, 2014 9:32 AM EDT

    If your work is finished, don't think you have to wait for your co-workers or boss to leave. This doesn't mean you need to do it constantly, but inserting tidbits during conversations over time will tell your boss that family is important to you.

  • Why You Need to Prepare for Retirement in Your 20s US News - Thu, Jul 17, 2014 9:18 AM EDT

    Retirement may seem far off, but the reality is that the earlier you start taking simple steps to saving, the better prepared you'll be to reach your retirement goals. One of the easiest ways today's workers have to save for their future is through an employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b). It's …

  • How to Decode Your Financial Advisor's Jargon US News - Thu, Jul 17, 2014 9:11 AM EDT
    If you’re in your 50s, it’s time to make some smart moves

    Susan B. Weiner reads a lot of bad writing. As a writing coach who specializes in helping financial advisors communicate in plain English, she brings a weed wacker to thickets of jargon, clumps of confusion and tangled thoughts. It's your financial advisor's job to translate those ideas and terms into language that is …

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