Financial News from US News & World Report

  • How New ABLE Accounts Will Help Americans With Disabilities US News - 18 hours ago

    Americans with disabilities and their families often face a myriad of financial challenges, but they will soon have a new financial vehicle allowing them to save for expenses and enjoy tax-free growth similar to 529 college savings accounts. Congress passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act on the final hour of the final day of Congress in December, creating a new type of tax-advantaged account called an ABLE account or a 529A. The National Down Syndrome Society estimates that the accounts will benefit roughly 5.8 million individuals and families. "As a country, we've basically said that we value saving for higher education using a 529 plan, but we don't value saving for the basic needs that are connected to a disability," says Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., who sponsored the Senate version of the bill.

  • 10 Ways Millennials Are Changing Homebuying US News - 18 hours ago

    As the millennial generation, also known as Generation Y, takes a greater role in the housing market, young people's preferences are starting to shape the way real estate business is done. The real estate portal Zillow predicts that millennials will overtake baby boomers as the generation purchasing the largest number of homes this year, making their preferences even more important. Here's a look at 10 ways millennials are changing the homebuying process. For decades, the telephone has been the real estate agent's tool of the trade.

  • 7 Ways to Live Long and Prosper While Job Searching US News - 19 hours ago

    You don't need to be a hardcore Star Trek fan to be familiar with the "live long, and prosper" blessing, ever associated with Leonard Nimoy's character, Spock. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.

  • Must-Do Money Tips for Millennials in the Military US News - 19 hours ago

    Millennials tend to be more advanced financially than their non-military peers, according to a survey released last week by Navy Federal Credit Union. The survey, which sampled 300 millennials in the military and 1,011 in the general population, found that active-duty adults were more likely to have started planning their financial futures compared to their civilian counterparts (66 percent versus 49 percent ). "When you're in the military and you join between ages 18 and 21, you get put on a track where you don't have a choice but to mature in many different ways, and one of them is financially," says Randy Hopper, vice president of credit cards and business optimization for Navy Federal Credit Union. At the recent webinar to unveil this data, Maritza DiSciullo, Navy Federal Credit Union's vice president of member research, intelligence and development, told reporters that: "This is a sign that millennials are becoming much more financially confident and prepared.

  • How to Solve Your Work-Life Imbalance US News - 19 hours ago

    Prior to a keynote address from former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Alcorn and her fellow panelists tackled the difficult topic of "life balance survival strategies" during their dynamic breakout session. "We need to fight for our right to lean out," Alcorn told the crowd.

  • 9 Tax Mistakes You Should Never Make US News - 19 hours ago

    Since tax rules change slightly every year, as deductions expire or income thresholds for tax credits adjust, staying on top of all the updates can be, well, taxing. Be sure to check for any updates.

  • 6 Steps to Get the Best Mortgage Rates This Spring US News - 19 hours ago

    If you've got the itch to ditch your landlord and take the leap to homeownership, mortgage rates are still low by historical standards. Rents have been rising and rising," says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. The NAR expects 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages to average 3.80 percent in the first quarter. "The Federal Reserve is likely to raise short-term interest rates in the summer, which will be a signal for the rest of the market for rates to go higher," Yun says.

  • The Cost of Retirement in Ireland Versus Arizona US News - 19 hours ago

    When Donna Deeks and her husband decided to move from Arizona to Ireland for retirement, they were concerned about the cost of living. They wanted to buy a place of their own for their retirement overseas and worried that property prices in Ireland would make that dream impossible.

  • How Sudden Windfalls Can Impact Your Taxes US News - 20 hours ago

    How you'll have to declare it, and the rate of taxes on it, will depend on two key factors: the type of windfall, and the state where it occurs. An inheritance tax in Iowa will be different from an estate tax in Rhode Island. Amy Wang, an accountant and technical manager at the American Institute of CPAs, tells people who come into sudden money to consult a tax professional before the first penny is spent.

  • How to Maximize Your Social Security Benefit US News - 20 hours ago

    Social Security took a cut out of every paycheck we ever earned. The rules for collecting Social Security are incredibly complicated. Social Security calculates your benefit by figuring "your average indexed monthly earnings during the 35 years in which you earned the most." So, obviously, one way to maximize your benefit is to work for at least 35 years. Social Security sets a maximum amount of salary that is subject to the payroll tax, currently $118,500 per year, which is the same amount of earnings it will credit toward your benefit.

  • How to Break Free From a Financial Slump US News - 20 hours ago

    You would think that things like getting up, getting dressed and putting on clean clothes would be a no-brainer, but for someone who is an online entrepreneur and a stay-at-home mom, my appearance always takes last place. You owe it to yourself to be happy and productive, and sometimes all it takes is a little bit of mascara to ignite the change to make it happen.

  • Supreme Court May Level the 401(k) Playing Field US News - 20 hours ago

    They tend to be rife with conflicts of interest and geared to benefit the securities industry at the expense of hardworking Americans. The statute governing the conduct of plan sponsors and advisors to 401(k) plans is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). It is a complex and convoluted law, filled with loopholes that the securities industry is adept at exploiting. On Feb. 24, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Tibble v. Edison International .

  • 9 Items That Will Last for Life US News - 21 hours ago
    9 Items That Will Last for Life

    In terms of a long-lasting cooking pot, the enameled cast iron pots with lids from Lodge (about $70) or Le Creuset (which can cost hundreds of dollars, but offer a lifetime warranty) will last awhile without even showing a dent. You can cook almost anything in enameled cast iron and move it straight from stovetop to oven to dinner table with ease.

  • Strategies for Investing in the World's Fastest-Growing Economies US News - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 3:41 AM AEDT

    Let's say you've decided your portfolio would benefit from some type of international diversification. After all, with roughly half the world's market capitalization residing outside the U.S., there must be opportunity somewhere. Many people instinctively look for stocks, bonds, mutual funds or exchange-traded funds that have been performing well. Jeff Papp, principal at Oberweis Asset Management in Lisle, Illinois, says investors should have exposure to areas of the world where stocks appear likely to rally in the foreseeable future.

  • 10 Retirement Rites of Passage US News - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 2:33 AM AEDT

    Retirement is the beginning of a new phase of life that includes a number of milestones. Here are some of the new experiences retirees can look forward to.

  • 5 Signs You're About to Make a Bad Financial Decision US News - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 2:30 AM AEDT

    Ashley Feinstein, a money coach based in New York City, recalls when several years ago, a colleague was bragging about a hot new stock he'd invested in. "I didn't want to miss out on the fun and upside, so I jumped in and bought some shares," Feinstein says. Looking back, Feinstein realizes she made a critical error. "I was acting on emotion or not wanting to miss out on an exciting opportunity," Feinstein says.

  • Are You Too Good at Your Job? US News - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 1:43 AM AEDT

    Just how companies that have been leading their industries for years can be blindsided by a startup with a new approach, your career can get derailed by the very thing you do best. You can fall into the ...

  • Retirement Milestones to Look Forward To US News - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 1:34 AM AEDT
    Retirement Milestones to Look Forward To

    Retirement is a transition into a new stage of life. Retirees get the freedom to choose how to spend their time, but they also walk away from the comfort of a steady paycheck and need to make important financial decisions. Here are some retirement rites of passage. "Once you reach that inflection point, you can leave this job or negotiate part-time work, and you know things are going to be OK," says Maura Griffin, CEO and principal for Blue Spark Capital Advisors in New York.

  • What to Buy and What to Skip in March US News - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 1:16 AM AEDT

    Descendents of the Emerald Isle will have recovered from St. Patrick's Day celebrations, and frugal shoppers will have scored serious savings by buying the right things at the right time. March brings a unique opportunity to save when grocery shopping.

  • How to Score End-of-Winter Bargains US News - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 1:12 AM AEDT

    The winter winds are still blowing strong, the average temperature for the 48 contiguous states has dropped below freezing and snow now officially covers nearly 1.5 million miles of our country, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Your back could probably use a break now, don't you think?

  • Real Estate Notes: A Smart Investment Alternative US News - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 12:55 AM AEDT

    After three decades of working in different areas of the real estate business, including owning a number of rental properties, the three T's of landlording, tenants, toilets and trash, were wearing thin on Don DeMarco. The Silver Spring, Maryland-based real estate entrepreneur has seen a lot, making a lot of money and then losing it due to economic downturns. After years in the home improvement, real estate development and then mortgage business, in January 2014, DeMarco decided to retool his real estate career once again and looked for another viable option to make money based on the current state of the market. He found that option with investing in real estate paper.

  • 5 Things to Consider Doing When Your Credit Score Hits 740 US News - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 12:35 AM AEDT
    5 Things to Consider Doing When Your Credit Score Hits 740

    1. Apply for a better credit card. If you've been drooling over one of the hot new credit cards on the market, especially the ones offering primo rewards, now might be the time to apply. Usually, credit card issuers reserve their best products for folks with excellent credit. Each credit card application will cause your FICO score to temporarily drop by a few points, and getting too many cards in a short period of time will do further damage.

  • 5 Alternative Sources for College Financial Aid US News - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 12:30 AM AEDT

    The average cost for a year of in-state public college tuition and fees for 2014-2015 is $22,410, according to the College Board. When you see those numbers, it's not surprising the national student loan debt balance has reached $1.32 trillion. Filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the first step most families take to help pay for higher education through government loans, but for students and parents looking for additional funds to offset college costs (and graduate with as little student loan debt as possible), efforts shouldn't stop there. Scholarships are a great (and free) way to be awarded for your achievements and get extra money for college, but with scholarship websites and organizations boasting a seemingly endless supply of awards, applying can easily become a daunting and discouraging task.

  • Do 4 Things If Your FAFSA Is Selected for Verification US News - Tue, Mar 3, 2015 12:30 AM AEDT

    As families file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid -- making sure to get it in before state and institutional deadlines in February and March -- they shouldn't forget about one important, final step. About one-third of FAFSAs are selected for verification, says Nancy Coolidge, associate director of student financial support at the president's office of the University of California system. The process requires submitting additional documents to the financial aid office in order to support information entered on the form. Neglect to complete the verification, and students will find themselves without federal financial aid.

  • 5 Tips for a Cheap Kid's Birthday Party US News - Mon, Mar 2, 2015 1:00 AM AEDT

    It seems like birthday parties for kids have gotten out of control these days. So what if you want to give kids great birthday party memories -- without dipping into your 401(k) to foot the bill? The two-and-up crowd is likely to have at least some ideas for the birthday party. Conversations with older kids can be tougher, especially if they've participated in friends' over-the-top parties.

  • How Millennials are Transforming the Homebuying Process US News - Sat, Feb 28, 2015 3:47 AM AEDT

    For decades, the telephone has been the real estate agent's tool of the trade. Millennials, those born between 1980 and the late '90s don't want to talk. "We're on our phones all the time, and this generation does not like to pick up the phone," says Player Murray, managing broker at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices York Simpson Underwood Realty in Raleigh, North Carolina. As the millennial generation, also known as Generation Y, takes a greater role in the housing market, young people's preferences are starting to shape the way real estate business is done.

  • Avoid These Common Mistakes New Retirees Make US News - Sat, Feb 28, 2015 2:20 AM AEDT

    Whatever the particular oversight, being blindsided by the unexpected threatens to put a damper on an otherwise smooth transition into retirement. Here are a few potential stumbling blocks to be aware of as you begin your retirement journey. It is impossible to know ahead of time exactly how your retirement journey will play out. Don't be surprised to feel a bit out of sync at the beginning of retirement.

  • When to Convert Your Traditional IRA to a Roth US News - Sat, Feb 28, 2015 1:39 AM AEDT
    When to Convert Your Traditional IRA to a Roth

    Roth individual retirement accounts are one way to reduce taxes in retirement. Here's an example: A 30-year-old man investing $5,000 in an IRA now would have $73,927 in his account at age 65. Under this scenario, with a Roth IRA, the man would pay taxes on only the $5,000 contribution and nothing on required minimum distributions he takes in retirement. Fortunately, you can convert your traditional IRA to a Roth, which financial experts say can be a smart money move at any age.

  • Great Value Stocks for a Hot Market US News - Sat, Feb 28, 2015 1:05 AM AEDT

    In today`s article, we will use the principles of value investing to search for stocks that remain undervalued, in spite of current market conditions. Value investing as an investment discipline is not a set of hard-and-fast rules. Find companies with a long-term track record of growing revenue and earnings per share. Rather than being concerned with the last quarter's earnings, value investors wish to invest in companies that have displayed a long-term (10 years or more) history of growing their businesses.

  • How to Embrace Spending in Moderation US News - Sat, Feb 28, 2015 1:00 AM AEDT

    Two years ago, I got a gift certificate to Drybar, the hair salon famous for its $40 blowouts, for my birthday. I sat on it for months.

  • 6 Ways to Lower Your Taxable Income US News - Sat, Feb 28, 2015 12:25 AM AEDT

    The IRS has already given out $125 billion in tax refunds as of Feb. 20, with an average refund of $3,120. Here are a few moves you can make to lower your taxable income (without fudging your 1040). Through April 15, 2015, you can contribute to an HSA to lower your taxable income for 2014. Working from home really can pay off: You can claim your home office expenses if the space is used to meet with vendors, clients or customers, and you don't have an office with your employer.

  • 5 Things to Consider Before Leaving Your 9 to 5 US News - Sat, Feb 28, 2015 12:20 AM AEDT

    Self-employment is the dream of many would-be entrepreneurs. Holly Johnson is the founder of personal finance website, Club Thrifty, which provides tips for frugal living, budgeting, and more.

  • 5 Ways to Build Rapport With Your Interviewer US News - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 2:55 AM AEDT

    More often that not, job interviews give people the jitters. If you present yourself honestly and you and the interviewer don't click, maybe it's not the right company for you. While you can't change who you are or whether you're going to get along well with your interviewer, there are some ways to make yourself more comfortable when you meet your interviewer. An interview is not social hour, so there shouldn't be too much nonprofessional small talk unless the interviewer initiates it.

  • Essential Branding and Networking Tips for College Seniors US News - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 2:38 AM AEDT

    The hugeness of the question can be paralyzing for college students, but "the biggest mistake is taking no action at all," says Lindsey Pollak, millennial workplace expert and spokeswoman for The Hartford Financial Services Group.

  • 6 Rules for Texting at Work US News - Fri, Feb 27, 2015 2:01 AM AEDT

    A 2011 Pew Research Center report found that Americans ages 18 to 29 send or receive an average of 88 texts per day, compared to 17 phone calls. Keep it professional.