Financial News from US News & World Report

  • The Joy of Part-Time Retirement US News - 7 hours ago

    Retirement for most of us is about getting away from the working world and refocusing our efforts on doing what we really want. Since this will be our first time at it, I am sure there will be adjustments along the way.

  • This Is What the Best Companies Do to Keep Their Employees Happy US News - 7 hours ago

    Most people's definition of "a cushy job" involves a high salary, but ultimately other forms of compensation -- such as a flexible schedule, comprehensive health coverage and solid retirement benefits -- might mean more. Studies indicate that there's a reciprocal relationship between benefits and job satisfaction. "In the 12 years we've been doing this study, employees consistently indicate that their benefits offering is an important reason why they choose an employer," says Michael Fradkin, senior vice president of markets and growth strategies with MetLife. Established companies provide health insurance, paid time off work for vacation, illness and holidays, disability insurance and an option to contribute to a 401(k) or other retirement plan.

  • 7 Companies With Perks That Will Totally Make You Jealous US News - 7 hours ago

    "Employees can take the time they need to feel refreshed and balanced," says Pinterest spokeswoman Jamie Favazza. It makes sense that an organic food company would promote physical well-being for its staff. At the corporate headquarters in Emeryville, California, employees have access to an on-site dance studio, gym and rock climbing wall. The management consulting firm Bain & Company understands that effective workers need time to recharge.

  • How to Find Legal Help When You Can't Afford a Lawyer US News - 7 hours ago

    Usually when you hire an attorney, it's to avoid being soaked financially by an ex-spouse, former business partner or adversary who wants to sue you for all you have. Legal aid societies are nonprofit organizations found in almost every corner of the country that provide free legal services to low-income people. Even if you have a low income, it doesn't guarantee assistance through a legal aid society. In fact, according to a 2009 study by the Legal Services Corporation, a nonprofit established by Congress to ensure equal access to justice for all Americans, for every person who gets help through an LSC-funded program, another is turned away.

  • How Many Versions of My Résumé Do I Need? US News - 8 hours ago

    It may be time to take a step back and understand what tailoring a résumé to each job means and how to do it better, which will save you precious time. Create a master résumé. You need one solid version with everything from your background that could reasonably be used in a résumé. The master résumé is not a dumping ground for every piece of job-related history.

  • 10 Common Investing Rules That Don't Apply Anymore US News - 8 hours ago

    Financial advisors say that moment comes when clichés become counterproductive. New rule: Try for $2 million to breathe easier.

  • 5 Smart Credit Habits to Start in Your 20s US News - 9 hours ago

    Keeping an eye on your credit reports and scores could help you in two ways. How: There are many great paid and free services that allow you to monitor your credit reports and scores. According to a February Bankrate survey, 21 percent of 18 to 29 year olds have more credit card debt than they have in their emergency fund.

  • 9 Basic Pieces of Money-Saving Advice No One Follows -- But Should US News - 9 hours ago

    Saving money doesn't always come naturally. Successful savers usually fail a few times (or more) before they figure out what works best for them.

  • A Wealth Building Plan for You: Growing Family Edition US News - 9 hours ago

    College tuition, retirement and caring for a parent head the list of things you need to set money aside for. Although nothing is technically "free," this is a great benefit to have included in your compensation package, as your retirement contribution is essentially doubling. An individual retirement account, or IRA, is a great way to save for retirement if you are either self-employed, or want to simply bolster your savings. Traditional IRA: With a traditional IRA, you contribute pretax dollars, then pay taxes when you withdraw the money later, like a traditional 401(k).

  • Frugal Ways to Celebrate Easter US News - 9 hours ago

    If you celebrate Easter, you might be surprised that the holiday is only a little over a week away. Easter is early this year, but don't panic: With a little thought and preparation, you can enjoy the holiday without stressing about spending too much money. There are so many hardly-worn Easter outfits for kids of all ages and sizes, so why waste them? As a bonus, head back online after the holiday is over and sell your own Easter outfits that are outgrown.

  • How Lower Back Pain Relates to Retiring Comfortably US News - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 2:21 AM AEDT
    How Lower Back Pain Relates to Retiring Comfortably

    I broke my back last Thursday. I'll feel fine in a week or two, but I'm currently on bed rest. The good news is that being in pain reminded me of so many nuggets of wisdom on the road to retiring comfortably ...

  • 7 Signs of a Leader in the Making US News - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 1:46 AM AEDT

    Football coach Vince Lombardi once said, "Leaders are made, they are not born. You have to do the hard work to prepare yourself and gain recognition within your organization, which is often easier said than done. Organizations are increasingly concerned about succession planning and holding on to good employees. Korn Ferry, a talent management organization, conducted a global succession planning survey that assessed how companies identified and developed future leaders.

  • How Much Cash Is Too Much Cash for Your Portfolio? US News - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 12:27 AM AEDT

    The debate reignited earlier this month when Charles Schwab launched Intelligent Portfolios, an algorithm-based platform that builds and rebalances portfolios automatically, similar to the asset-management services of robo-advisors. Charles Schwab's treatment of cash in the platform raised eyebrows immediately, attracting criticism of its allocation to cash, anywhere from 6 percent to 30 percent based on an investor's risk profile. "There's no right or wrong answer to how much cash an investor should hold as an investment, it is a strategic decision," Charles Schwab responded. Determining whether you, as an investor, have too much, given your tolerance for risk, investment goals and horizon, is an important part of your overall investment strategy.

  • Can You Really Save Money on Eggs by Raising Chickens at Home? US News - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 12:13 AM AEDT

    In California, egg producers are now required to provide each hen a cage big enough to allow her to spread her wings -- about twice as much room as the industry standard -- which makes eggs destined for the California market 35 to 70 percent pricier than elsewhere, Ronald Fong, CEO of the California Grocers Association, told NPR. In addition to a strong work ethic, children given the responsibility of raising hens have to learn to make decisions, set goals and perhaps even experiment with different tools, techniques and practices.

  • 12 Ways to Save More in the Springtime US News - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 12:00 AM AEDT

    Jon Lal, CEO of BeFrugal.com, suggests first taking inventory of your wardrobe, then selecting some outfits for a fun clothing swap party with friends. Visit the library.

  • 12 Tech Stocks Investors Should Watch US News - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 12:00 AM AEDT

    The tech revolution continues to create new businesses and expand others while bringing innovative products to the marketplace. Although some companies have obvious tech roots in semiconductors and medical technology, others are better known for their jogging pants and pregnancy advice. "Clearly this indicates a commitment to its future as a tech company," says Erik Zambrano, marketing manager for Applico, a New York-based app development company. Many consumers hate PayPal, as it takes 2.9 percent, plus 30 cents, for each transaction when someone receives money for goods or services.

  • Take 4 Steps to Understand Student Loan Interest Rates US News - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 12:00 AM AEDT

    Megan Murray graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2005 with a relatively reasonable $13,000 in undergraduate loan debt. But after spending several years teaching in China -- and deferring her loan payments -- she came home to find that her high-interest private loans had swelled to around $30,000. And while her experience is extreme, the fact is that interest is a major -- and often overlooked -- cost of borrowing student loans. Even ignoring interest while in school can cause it to escalate, says Scott Morrison, director of financial aid at Bridgewater College in Virginia.

  • 4 Tips for Apartment Hunting in Los Angeles US News - Thu, Mar 26, 2015 12:00 AM AEDT

    Los Angeles is a sprawling city full of diverse topography, nearly perfect year-round weather and distinct neighborhoods. Whether you prefer the glitz and glam of Beverly Hills or the laid back vibe of Venice, nearly every LA neighborhood has something special to offer its residents. While Santa Monica is beautiful and one of the more walkable areas in Los Angeles, it's also less affordable than nearby Mar Vista. Your rent should be no more than roughly 30 percent of that income, which can be challenging in an expensive city like Los Angeles.

  • How to Avoid a Real Estate Scam US News - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 4:52 AM AEDT

    You'd be foolish to think you couldn't be fooled in a real estate transaction. While the majority of sellers, buyers and renters are presumably honest, there can be additional players with skin in the game, from landlords and real estate agents to title agency workers and bankers. As Sacramento real estate broker Alexis Moore observes: "The crooks don't always have on orange jump suits. Joe Rand, managing partner for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, which sells and rents home in New York and New Jersey, says that about once a week, he hears of a renter who saw a house but didn't actually go inside.

  • This Top Caribbean Spot is Now Expat-Ready US News - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 2:08 AM AEDT

    Stretches of the Dominican Republic's sandy coast, including in Puerto Plata and Punta Cana, for example, have been catering to tourists for a decade and longer, and it shows. It's less known, less visited and offers a very appealing Caribbean retirement option in the small beachside town of Las Terrenas. Cruise lines discovered this part of the Dominican Republic around 2006, when ships began calling at the small harbor town of Samana at the tip of the Samana Peninsula. The development that followed spread gradually inward from the coast, eventually reaching Las Terrenas.

  • The Homeowner's Guide to Vacation Rentals US News - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 1:39 AM AEDT

    As the summer travel season approaches, homeowners with a spare room or a vacant beach home may be considering cashing in on the popularity of vacation rental websites. Other options include HomeAway.com, which also runs a site called VRBO.com (short for vacation rental by owner). "Rentals are treated like hotels in most geographies now, and owners need their properties to comply to local rules," says Andrew McConnell, co-founder and CEO of VacationFutures, a platform that pairs homeowners with vacation rental managers. For instance, Napa and Sonoma, California require permits for short-term rentals of less than 30 days, but Napa issues a very limited number of permits.

  • What Your CPA Wishes You Knew About Taxes US News - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 1:26 AM AEDT

    Since tax preparers can't magically send people back in time to make better financial planning decisions, we asked three certified public accountants what they wish clients knew about paying taxes -- in April and year-round.

  • 5 Ways to Score March Madness Points at the Office US News - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 1:14 AM AEDT

    If you have an interview scheduled during March Madness, do your homework! It doesn't take long to peruse the box scores and see who's still in the tournament and who was recently upset. Vicki Salemi is the author of Big Career in the Big City and creator, producer and host of Score That Job.

  • 8 Easy Ways to Save More Money Today US News - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 12:39 AM AEDT

    In fact, there are plenty of ways to save money without making too many sacrifices. For mutual fund investors, stick with funds that have low expense ratios.

  • Thinking of Buying a Home? Start Saving Now US News - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 12:29 AM AEDT

    People 34 and younger are the largest group of homebuyers, according to a recent National Association of Realtors study that looked at 6,572 responses from a survey of homebuyers in 2014. "The No. 1 reason they want to buy is just to own a home of their own," says Jessica Lautz, director of survey research and communications at the National Association of Realtors.

  • 5 Tips for Recruiting a Headhunter US News - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 12:23 AM AEDT

    "We are now in a job-rich, applicant-poor environment," according to David Schueneman, senior partner at CPS Inc., an Illinois-based recruiting company. Below, Schueneman offered insights about how recruiters find the candidates they want to work with, as well as advice for getting on a recruiter's radar and partnering with him or her. Work with recruiters who specialize in your role, industry and skill set. Most often, a recruiter will work only in a single discipline, such as human resources, finance, engineering and so on.

  • Your Brain Is Rigged to Panic in the Next Correction US News - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 12:10 AM AEDT

    By now, you're no doubt familiar with the claim by author Michael Lewis in his book, "Flash Boys." Lewis believes high-frequency traders have rigged the stock market, causing harm to Main Street investors. Personally, I do not believe high-frequency trading rigs the market against average investors. They do so by skewing financial news toward negative information. The impact of negative financial news disposes your brain to panic when the market declines.

  • Affordable Ways to Eat Healthier When You're on the Go US News - Wed, Mar 25, 2015 12:04 AM AEDT

    Laura Fuentes, Food Network star and owner of MOMables, recommends washing produce when you bring it home from the store. "When fruits and veggies are prepped, they are more convenient to be devoured as a snack and it also makes meal prep a breeze," she says.

  • I Now Pronounce You, In Debt US News - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 11:05 PM AEDT

    A wedding should be a joyous occasion filled with love, laughter and maybe some anxiety about everything going according to plan. It's no surprise then that the Pew Research Center reports only 26 percent of the millennial generation between ages 18 and 32 got hitched in 2013 -- 10 percent lower than when Generation X was in the same age range and 22 percent less than baby boomers.

  • Learn the Do's and Don'ts of Choosing an Out-of-State College Savings Plan US News - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 11:00 PM AEDT

    After socking away college savings in a Virginia-based 529 account for five years, John Seelke and his wife recently switched to Maryland's plan, Maryland College Investment Plan. Navigating the world of 529 plans, tax-advantaged education accounts, can be daunting. Investors aren't limited to choosing a plan in their home state, and nearly every state has at least one 529 plan available. Seelke said he originally invested in Virginia's plan, Virginia529 inVEST, because he liked its high rate of investment return and age-based investment options.

  • How to Start a Simple Container Garden US News - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 10:56 PM AEDT

    It's called a container garden, and here's how it works. I suggest visiting your local library and picking up a copy of "The Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible" by Edward Smith to get started.

  • Physician Assistants Graduate to a Healthy Job Market US News - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 10:30 PM AEDT

    Working as a high school athletic trainer in rural Illinois, Timothy Mangold often teamed up with a local physician assistant specializing in orthopedics. Physician assistants examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses and provide treatment under the supervision of a physician or surgeon. As a first step, he had to take some undergraduate prerequisites -- including organic chemistry and microbiology -- that his 2004 bachelor's in athletic training from North Dakota State University did not require. He then entered the University of Iowa's Master of Physician Assistant Studies program, which runs 28 months, often sharing classes with medical students.

  • 5 Things My Dad Taught Me About Investing US News - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 2:11 AM AEDT
    5 Things My Dad Taught Me About Investing

    My dad was not a banker or financial analyst. He was one of those old-fashioned "country" lawyers who could see past the con job that someone was trying to pull, cut to the heart of the matter ...

  • How to Turn Down Requests to Meet, Network or 'Pick Your Brain' US News - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 1:30 AM AEDT

    For instance, you might say, "My schedule is really packed this month, but if you circle back to me in six weeks, it might be easier to set something up." Many people will never follow back up, either because they forget, or because they get the information they're seeking somewhere else.

  • Portfolio Analysis: A $381,601 Portfolio Weighed Down by Cost US News - Tue, Mar 24, 2015 12:23 AM AEDT

    What kind of investment results would we get if we just tackled the things we can control? This week's portfolio report card is for Z.K., a 55-year-old real estate broker in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Z.K.'s combined portfolios consist of two individual retirement accounts and a SEP IRA valued at $381,601. One of his traditional IRAs is invested with American Funds and the other IRA and SEP are invested in variable annuities with AIG and Pacific Life insurance companies.