Financial News from US News & World Report

  • 13 Tips for Sniffing Out the Best Deals on Hotel Rooms US News - Sat, Apr 19, 2014 12:55 AM AEST

    What everyone wants to hear is that there are one or two apps or websites that will always find you the best deal on hotel rooms. The reason for this lack of consistency is hotels are always in flux. The price of hotel rooms changes daily, often times hourly, based on demand. "This drives techo-babble people crazy," says Tim Leffel, author of "Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune" and editor of Hotel Scoop, a lodging review website.

  • 5 Mistakes You're Making on Video Interviews -- And How to Fix Them US News - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 11:30 PM AEST

    Now that more than half of hiring managers are using video to interview potential job candidates -- according to a 2012 Office Team survey -- there's a good chance you'll end up being interviewed virtually for your next job. Not taking it as seriously as a traditional interview. After all, you don't have the benefit of that face-to-face, in-person contact that can really help you build rapport with an interviewer. It's more necessary to wow the interviewer virtually.

  • How to Protect Your Home From Pests US News - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 11:20 PM AEST

    When Pablo Solomon, an artist and sculptor in Austin, Texas, and his wife moved into their home, which was built in 1856, they knew they would need to fix it up. They ate through the siding, giving them access to the home.

  • How Much Are You Paying to Procrastinate? US News - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 11:14 PM AEST

    When you wait until the last minute to run an errand or plan a purchase, you give up your power as a savvy shopper. Without the luxury of time to mull over purchases, search for discounts and comparison ...

  • Have You Saved Enough to Retire? US News - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 10:43 PM AEST

    According to Fidelity, you will need to put aside eight times your ending salary if you hope to fund your lifestyle for a 25-year retirement. More than one-third (36 percent) of people over age 55 haven't saved more than $10,000 for their second act, according to a 2013 report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. What retirement will look like varies depending on individual preferences. If you are 55 and have $10,000 saved for retirement, chances are you will not come close to saving eight times your ending salary unless you win the lottery.

  • 4 Credit Card Perks That Protect Your Purchases US News - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 10:35 PM AEST

    Credit cards may be called out for causing overspending and large amounts of debt, especially during the holiday and summer seasons when gift shopping and travel are at their peaks. But some complimentary credit card benefits can actually end up saving you money. Extended warranties promise to cover a purchase beyond its standard manufacturer warranty. Unfortunately, extended warranties tend to be extremely costly -- the more expensive the item, the more expensive the extended warranty.

  • A Guide to Reverse Mortgages US News - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 3:55 AM AEST

    In recent years, questions about reverse mortgages, and whether or not they are a practical way to supplement retirement income, have become more frequent. What is a reverse mortgage? There are three kinds of reverse mortgages. For example, money from a single purpose reverse mortgage could only be used to cover property expenses, including repairs, energy efficient improvements, taxes and insurance.

  • Petra Nemcova's Tips for Building a Successful Professional Life US News - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 12:50 AM AEST

    Petra Nemcova, model, host and philanthropist, is a master of transformation, both professionally and personally. She was recently honored at the LinkedIn Discussion Series in New York City, where she shared many powerful tips for reinvention, and discussed topics such as building your professional brand, motivation, mentorship and change. By wearing various professional hats, Nemcova is now able to offer career advice that's applicable to nearly any career stage and industry. Nemcova was on vacation in Thailand in December 2004 when the tsunami hit.

  • The Psychology of Being Fired US News - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 12:25 AM AEST

    Sherrie Bourg Carter, psychologist and author of "High-Octane Women: How Superachievers Can Avoid Burnout, " says people truss their occupations to their identity. Because of this, common emotions that surround losing a job -- either from being fired or laid off -- mirror the grief experienced when losing a loved one. "Most people report feeling a whirlwind of emotions, but the most typical are denial, shock, sadness, anxiety and anger," she says. Feeling embarrassed is also normal, but it's usually tied with those who were terminated for performance reasons, says Jaime Klein, founder of Inspire Human Resources, a New York City-based outsourced HR department.

  • The Secret to a Successful Interview: Great Storytelling US News - Fri, Apr 18, 2014 12:05 AM AEST

    To succeed at this, you need to be knowledgeable about the company, the boss' challenges and the desired profile for the ideal candidate -- before you walk in the door. In a TED Talk, Andrew Stanton, a filmmaker who cowrote the "Toy Story" movies, says that a great story comes from using what you know, capturing a truth from experiencing it and from expressing values you feel deeply. Here's how you can apply his five tips for storytelling to improve your interviewing skills.

  • How to Make Tried-and-True Networking Tactics Work for You US News - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 11:35 PM AEST

    Networking is a dirty word to most people, but it's so important to your job search. Nowadays, many people think exclusively about online networking, but traditional, face-to-face networking is still the most effective way to land a new job.

  • Why Your Vacation Home May Not Be Your Retirement Home US News - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 11:35 PM AEST

    It's called retirement, and if you buy a house right here, right now, this charmed moment will last forever. Not quite, seasoned real estate agents say. Take off the vacation goggles before you start seriously pursuing a home purchase in a locale you love to visit, advises Sheelah Clarkson, a partner with the Sheelah Clarkson Asheville Real Estate Agency in Asheville, N.C. "Enjoy the vacation, but do the research when you plan to be there permanently," she says. The National Association of Realtors' latest figures indicate that vacation home sales rocketed 29.7 percent last year over 2012, to 717,000 purchases.

  • How to Go to Prom on a Budget US News - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 11:21 PM AEST

    Why pay for your own dress when you can wear one for free? Though the prices will likely be a bit higher than thrift shops, dresses at consignment stores will be lower in price than those at department stores. Prom-goers should find a dress they love without the prom price tag. Renting a dress can be done through a service such as Rent the Runway.

  • 7 Ways to Minimize Income Tax in Retirement US News - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 11:11 PM AEST

    Another tax day is over. Hopefully everyone filed their taxes on time and sent in what they owe to the Internal Revenue Service. Taxes are a fact of life when you have a full-time job, but your tax liability ...

  • 5 Ways to Improve Your Financial Knowledge US News - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 10:35 PM AEST

    But you don't have to be a certified financial planner to understand the basics of personal finance. Your local library is a hub of all kinds of information, including educational personal finance workshops. Some of the most famous personal finance experts have achieved success only after experiencing a financial low.

  • The Biggest Financial Issues for Same-Sex Couples US News - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 6:25 AM AEST

    John Brady, 41, and his husband, the Rev. Trent Williams, 36, married almost a year ago in Massachusetts, one month before the United States v. Windsor recognized the validity of same-sex marriage under federal law. Brady, an entrepreneur and executive director and principal at consulting firm Protem Partners, and Williams, a minister in the United Church of Christ, keep their marriage certificate and other important documents close -- on their smartphones and in a cloud computing system. Brady and Williams want to make sure they are prepared if their marriage's legitimacy is challenged, and they have consulted an attorney and financial advisor to understand their options and protect themselves financially. As the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision of United States v. Windsor nears, celebration has shifted to caution as some couples try to figure out if marriage is worth the additional financial and legal complexities or decide if the benefits of moving to another state without those protections are worth the drawbacks.

  • 5 Health Insurance Mistakes to Avoid US News - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 5:15 AM AEST

    The Affordable Care Act brought health insurance to the forefront of the public's collective consciousness, but that doesn't mean we're necessarily any smarter about how we use our policies. Everyone who has health insurance, whether it's from a private or government marketplace, should take care to avoid these common missteps. "The most common mistake people make when buying health plans is only looking at premiums and deductibles," says Abir Sen, co-founder and CEO of Gravie, a free service that helps individuals and employers comparison shop for health insurance.

  • The Real Reason Women Opt Out US News - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 12:50 AM AEST

    The term "opting out" typically refers to moms who decide to leave the workforce to take care of children. A ?recent paper by Elizabeth Wilhoit, a Ph.D. student in organizational communication at Purdue University, finds that women without children are also often eager to leave the traditional workplace in order to pursue other personal and professional goals. To explore this less-discussed aspect of opting out, Wilhoit studied three popular biographies by women without children who chose to leave high-paying, successful careers in favor of "alternative work," including farming and baking. Indeed, women often gravitate toward career choices that are motivated less by money than meaning, Wilhoit says.

  • Avoid the Online Job Search Vortex While Still Landing a Job US News - Thu, Apr 17, 2014 12:25 AM AEST

    Companies use different strategies to source new employees, and job boards play a small part in hiring. One way to learn where companies have had luck sourcing new employees is SilkRoad's annual survey. This report analyzed data from companies using SilkRoad's OpenHire applicant tracking system. It sheds some light on successful sourcing methods with data from 1,140 companies ranging in size from as few as 100 employees to ones with a much larger staff.

  • 5 Ways to Run Out of Money in Retirement US News - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 11:59 PM AEST

    Retirement is a balancing act. So what throws people off balance in retirement? If you approach retirement income this way, you can get yourself in trouble. Your retirement income gas gauge isn't only there to tell you when to slow down -- it can also tell you when there is room to step on the gas.

  • The World's 9 Most Affordable Places to Retire US News - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 11:27 PM AEST
    The World's 9 Most Affordable Places to Retire

    All things considered, Nha Trang, Vietnam, has one of the lowest costs of living of any city in Southeast Asia or the world.

  • 6 Eco-Friendly Habits That Will Save You Money US News - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 11:20 PM AEST

    Kermit the Frog may have been mistaken when he said, "It's not easy being green." Just like getting into the habit of sorting your recycling or turning off the lights when you leave a room, there ...

  • How to Use Social Media to Land a Job US News - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 11:10 PM AEST

    Are you discounting social media as a way to land a job? Or are you relying 100 percent on LinkedIn to help you create your digital footprint? Research shows employers benefit from using social media to attract candidates. The Society for Human Resource Management's 2013 survey, Social Networking Websites and Recruiting/Selection, found 77 percent of organizations use social networking sites to recruit potential job candidates.

  • 6 Retirement Concerns Couples Need to Address US News - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 10:55 PM AEST

    Being married is wonderful, as the pair of you can help support one another through the good and bad times. Marriage also helps on the financial side too, because life together is often less expensive ...

  • How to Protect Kids from Powerful Advertising US News - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 10:50 PM AEST

    Kids today are bombarded with a constant barrage of advertising, often camouflaged as entertainment, and not even the top researchers in the field know exactly how it might be influencing them. That's because there's scant research on how many of the newer types of ads, such as online games created by companies or viral marketing, might be affecting young minds. "No one knows what impact these new media platforms will have, and there's clear evidence that media and screen time can affect kids' brain development," says James Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that provides education and advocacy around media issues affecting kids. He adds that research shows teen girls can suffer from body image issues and eating disorders related to media and advertising messages.

  • The 5 Worst New Car-Buying Mistakes US News - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 10:40 PM AEST

    If you really want to get the best price on your vehicle purchase and drive away with a reliable set of wheels, take some time to separate your emotions from the buying decision and set a realistic budget.

  • 3 Money Mistakes to Avoid on Your Honeymoon US News - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 2:20 AM AEST

    Before the big day, couples are often consumed with wedding planning and might not be thinking too deeply about the details surrounding the honeymoon, which should include contingency planning. Dan Sondhelm, a partner and senior vice president at a marketing and public relations firm in Alexandria, Va., spent his honeymoon with his wife in Tahiti seven years ago. "Most stores at the time didn't accept American Express, my primary credit card," Sondhelm says. His backup credit card charged an international transaction fee of 3 percent, and as it turned out, there were very few ATMs in Tahiti.

  • 4 Tax Tips Your Accountant Will Never Tell You US News - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 1:34 AM AEST

    Former U.S. congressman John Hostettler once said, "The Internal Revenue Code and regulations add up to 1 million words and is nearly seven times the length of the Bible." According to a 2008 Vanguard publication, "Tax-Efficient Equity Investing: Solutions for Maximizing After-Tax Returns," taxes have the potential to take the "biggest bite" out of total returns. According to research by Joe Dickson and John Shoven, "Taxes and Mutual Funds: An Investor Perspective," taxes can reduce the returns of a mutual fund by as much as a whopping 25 percent. However, tax-loss harvesting permits you to sell investments at a loss and use those losses to offset gains on other investments.

  • When Homeowners Are Better Off Than Renters US News - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 12:50 AM AEST

    Homebuying has earned a bad rap in recent years: The subprime mortgage crisis and ensuing economic meltdown left many homeowners underwater, unable to pay their mortgage and even facing foreclosure. Homeownership rates fell throughout the recession and got down to about 65 percent, compared with almost 70 percent before the recession, according to the Census Bureau. While record low interest rates helped entice homebuyers, the bureau reports that the homeownership rate remains relatively low, at 65.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. If you're among those struggling to decide whether to buy versus rent, consider these 10 reasons to take the plunge into homeownership:

  • The Retirement Reality Gap US News - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 12:47 AM AEST

    The new post-Great Recession economy has taken its toll on retirees, as well as those of us looking forward to retirement in the near future. Unfortunately, there's something of a reality gap between what today's workers think about retirement and what actually happens in retirement. According to a 2013 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute of 1,000 individuals age 25 and older, some 22 percent of workers said the age at which they expect to retire has increased. Respondents cited a poor economy and the inability to afford retirement as their main reasons for the delay.

  • How to Lease a Car for Less US News - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 12:35 AM AEST

    If you're in the market to lease a brand new car, you're probably dreading the day-long negotiations, the feeling of uncertainty and dealing with smooth-talking salespeople. For the last month, my husband ...

  • How to Save Money Around the House US News - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 12:25 AM AEST

    Having recently moved, a big topic of conversation has been our household expenses. Saving a few dollars on each of your household expenses may seem minute now, but it will add up in the long run.

  • 7 Excuses People Use to Avoid Financial Responsibility US News - Wed, Apr 16, 2014 12:01 AM AEST

    The recipe for finding financial success is an easy one. If you do that over and over, you will see financial success.

  • Thriving or Surviving? Work-Life Balance Tips from Arianna Huffington US News - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 11:45 PM AEST

    Arianna Huffington has a message for you: There's more to life than work. Huffington shared insights on how to do this at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on March 27, in conjunction with the release of her book "Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder." Huffington found out the hard way just how damaging overwork can be. After collapsing from work-related exhaustion and lack of sleep in 2007, she fell, broke her cheekbone and injured her eye.

  • 3 Ways to Avoid Résumé Buzzword Banality US News - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 11:00 PM AEST

    Which of these words have you used to describe yourself on your LinkedIn profile or résumé? A recent LinkedIn study identified these as 13 of the most overused buzzwords worldwide in members' profiles for 2012 and 2013. When used correctly, they can add substance to your claim of being an effective communicator.