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The Clark Howard Podcast

Author: Clark Howard

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Save more and spend less is more than just a motto for money expert Clark Howard; it’s a way of life. Clark and his crew — Team Clark — are on a mission to empower people to take control of their personal finances by providing money-saving tips, consumer advice, hot deals and economic news to help everyone achieve financial freedom.

Clark is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host and a consumer reporter for television stations around the country. His podcast, The Clark Howard Show, receives more than one million downloads each month and is a hub for listeners to get valuable advice on-demand any time. Clark answers questions on the most popular business and consumer topics including; how to buy a cars, financing a home, retirement planning, shopping for insurance and getting the most out of your savings. Join the conversation and submit your question to www.clark.com/askclark .

Clark spearheads two free resources — Clark.com and ClarkDeals.com — to encourage consumers to save more, spend less and avoid ripoffs.

774 Episodes
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Vehicles are one of the largest purchases in life. To protect your finances, drive your car till the wheels fall off. Certain vehicles stand the test of time. Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a "Clark Stinks" to share you can leave it here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A senior gets a call from someone pretending to be a relative in trouble asking for money. This scam preys on seniors desire to help loved ones, resulting in millions of dollars in losses to seniors every year. Should banks and other financial firms be doing more to protect seniors? Banks are required by law to put through a lawful transaction. Lazarus suggests bank tellers simply ask the person if they’re familiar with the grandparent scam as a brief intervention to hopefully prevent loss. In some states, tellers and bank officers are trained to spot scams and ask questions. This is a reasonable responsibility to expect from banks. Make sure your aging relatives are aware of this scam and verify with relatives. If the caller refuses to let them hang up to do so, that’s a scam red flag. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has published an investigative report on how criminals are targeting retirement accounts. No federal law protects our retirement accounts from hacking but many of the providers do. Still, you can’t count of administrator protections since it’s not law. Monitor your retirement account at least in tandem with quarterly statements, and set up 2 factor authentication. Virtually every 401k provider offers this additional security step. Protect your life savings. Due to the increase in extreme weather and natural disasters, we’ll see homeowners insurance rate increases. Normally, home and auto insurers go through cycles where they’re either into market share or profit margin. But extreme weather is a third factor upending actuarial assumptions about what losses insurers will see. Insurers also depend on financial industry ratings of their strength. Thus they must maintain certain levels of financial strength, now tested by increasing claims from catastrophic weather. The greatest vulnerability is in coastal regions. Coastal residents will see a reduction in the quality of home insurance available as in less coverage and higher deductibles. Your mortgage may have limitations on the deductible you’re allowed to carry and that may force a change in who insures you. Otherwise your mortgage company will rip you off with ‘force placed insurance’ which cost from 10 to 100 times what regular insurance cost. This is a big profit center for banks. Different insurers are facing different pressures. If you’re hit with a notice of a large rate increase, take it as a signal to shop the market. Coastal dwellers may have a hard time finding robust coverage at an affordable price. Know that behind the scenes, home insurers are facing significant financial pressures. Due to the increased violence and frequency of storms the market must calculate higher risk levels. Be aware and prepared. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Many younger adults have no expectation of privacy. For others, there’s a clear expectation of privacy. Know when you download an app there’s the risk they’re packaging, selling and reselling your information. Californians now have a clear right to control what info is collected about them and what is done with it. The good news Clark shared last week is that the rest of us can use the California law to our advantage as many sites provide the same privacy rights to all to be in compliance with California and Europe. We’ve received complaints from those who, when they’ve tried to use provisions of the new CA law to delete personal info or see their digital dossiers, have had to provide more personal info including their driver’s license or state issued ID. These sites and apps must verify the identity of someone requesting their file, so ID is necessary. If you want to restrict data out there on you, use provisions of the new law and be ready to prove you’re you. The National Security Agency found a major flaw in Windows 10 – a very dominant OS. The NSA informed Microsoft who has provided a patch via the latest update. Those who receive auto updates got theirs last night. If you don’t have your computer set up for automatic updates, go to settings, update and security – check for updates, download and install right away. We spoke with 2 IT security experts who confirm this a key update you should be sure to get. Clark Deals’ Charis joins Clark to discuss her teeth straightening quest. SmileDirectClub has been controversial as the more DIY choice. Invisalign aligns with orthodontists. Now SmileDiretClub will sell both ways – directly and through dental professionals. Charis had braces as a kid but her teeth shifted from not wearing the retainer. Charis consulted a traditional orthodontist and went to a SmileDirect location to price compare, and received basically the same 3D imaging at both places. Invisalign via an orthodontist typically cost $5k+. Charis’s SmileDirect cost: $1895. Charis’s research of other users finds that those with complex concerns can have problems in the absence of regular monitoring by an orthodontist. She had some bumps in the road as well. SmileDirect has spawned Facebook groups for success stories and for bad outcomes . Some are overjoyed, other suffer loose teeth and other problems. Smile Direct is a money saver, but with risks. Charis is seeing good results so far in her 10 month program. So much in medical is moving more to self-service blends with traditional care. If you have pre existing dental issues, doing a self-serve straightening is likely not a good choice. And all users need to strictly comply with their plan for a better chance of success. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In November Clark reported on the anti-college mindset and provided stats on how much more a person makes over time with any level of post-high school education and training. The numbers were starkly in favor of further education. A counterpoint has emerged from a study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The study tracked net worth and found that college for better income wasn’t a given IF there was a large student loan burden. This further makes the case that having to borrow to go to a certain dream college is NOT worth it. Top tier college snobs snipe at others who go to ‘directional college’ (Ga Southern for example). What matters is your education and training without enormous debt upon graduation. The value of a college education remains unassailable. BUT follow Clark’s rule: Graduate with less debt than you’ll earn in your first year on the job. Make the first year’s income in your chosen field the ceiling on what you borrow. Amazon has changed its business model. They’re more about convenience than price, and starting to get nervous about comparison shoppers realizing they’re not cheap anymore. Many use browser extension Honey to comparison shop, Clark recommended along with CamelCamelCamel. Amazon is so freaked out they’re telling people that Honey is not safe to use and should be uninstalled. That is just not true. Use Honey and CamelCamelCamel to know if a purchase really is a deal or not. There’s been great interest in peer-to-peer lenders Prospers and Lending Club over the years. Borrowers can submit their loan request and members decide what % they want to finance. Clark wanted to check both out as an investor. 3 years ago Clark put $5K each in Prosper and Lending Club. Instead of picking the individual loans, he used their automated system based on risk level. With Both p2ps, 50% of Clark’s loans were going to very low-risk borrowers – those with great credit scores. The other half went to subprime borrowers presenting varying levels of risk. 3 years later, Clark’s annualized net return is 4.76 and 4.77% - a better return than with savings or CDs but with clear risks. People who don’t pay their notes have to be written off. Many use statistical analysis to invest in higher risk loans of their choice. Clark plays it bland. For borrowers, this is a potentially cheaper option than elsewhere because they cut out the banker in the middle. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
A large percent of publicly traded companies are losing money right now, even in a decade-long strong economy. But we’re moving into a feast / famine cycle of employment and what you know can help you. The general trend now is that big companies are reducing headcount by attrition. They’re not filling open positions. Meanwhile the smaller local and regional companies not involved in international trading – are generally doing well and bidding for workers. Topeka Kansas is offering incentives of up to $15 to get people to move there for work. The WSJ reports companies are offering relocation bonuses to attract new workers – a perk common 15 years ago now returning. Focus on opportunity to find real advantage in the marketplace. We creatures of habit need to look out the window. Because of rotation in the corporate environment, this is a time of big wage disparity. Your skills may be worth more to another company than you’re getting now. Take advantage of education and training, so important to finding the best opportunities. If you feel dead ended, explore further training. Boeing's CEO was fired for undermining a culture of safety that ultimately caused two crashes and cost hundreds of lives. He’s getting severance between $62M and $82M for failing. Newly released memos further expose a chaotic culture of eroding safety standards. Internally, many knew the plane was unsafe and some laughed at being able to con the FAA in approving the Max. Failure is rewarded handsomely in the executive suites of big publicly traded corporate America. Hundreds died due to gross negligence by Boeing and the CEO is scoring millions. Why is no one being charged criminally – with manslaughter at least – in this circumstance? Disputes between local network affiliates and operators about carry provisions and payment are ongoing. It’s a great idea to have an antenna for local channels. If you get a good signal, it may be all you need for NO monthly fee. If you stream content, having an antenna is great as well. AntennaWeb - Antenna Signal Prediction – Antenna Web has updated their site and revised their search tool for local channels and antenna recommendations based on address including topography. If you live in a high-rise facing broadcast towers, any antenna may due. Other residents may need heftier attic antennas, or easy TV boxes. Locast is a non-profit for streaming local channels. Verizon and the cable monsters have all pushed packages. Now, Verizon is dropping contracts. Great news for consumers! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Since the Truth in Lending Act does not apply to small business, instant loans to small businesses is a major rip off area around the country. There’s no requirement to disclose junk fees or interest rates on these loans. As a small business owner, Clark receives about 10 offers a week. Though there are ethical lenders, there are too many bad players out there taking advantage of small business cash flow needs, charging gigantic interest rates for quick money. If you’re a small business owner, do NOT bite on these loan offers until you know the fees and rates. If you can’t get a straight answer, stay away. While Congress lies about how much they care about small business, they ONLY care about their corporate contributors. Nobody’s looking out for the small business owners, with no laws governing proper disclosure of loan terms. Also, the Supreme Court ruled that states can charge sales tax to small businesses selling across state lines online. For big retailers, that’s no big deal, but for small business, compliance is a nightmare. They need a simplified tax procedure in place governing online sales below a designated threshold. Candidates should come up with real agendas for small business. Big company lobbyists feeding in cash are the only ones heard. When can we get leaders who represent the people of the U.S. in the people’s White House? Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a "Clark Stinks" to share you can leave it here. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
There's a heavy wave of discounts this January in addition to historical discount patterns for this time of year. Fitness equipment is a deal now. Buy used and check out Craigslist and Facebook neighborhood groups. CES is pushing the latest high tech TVs. But unsold Christmas TVs are deal right now both online and in-store. Housewares and bedding are a January deal. Toys: there’s a lot of unsold inventory right now – a good time to buy birthday gifts. Winter clothing is more heavily discounted this year. The grounding of the Boeing Max makes January sales less aggressive, but travel deals for spring and early summer are available now. The IRS reports that only 3 out of every 100 eligible for Free File are using it. Free tax prep and filing is there for anyone who earns $70k or less annually. Many services provide free state tax filing as well. But no one knows. Don’t get sucked into paying. Many websites and apps are afraid of California, the only state with an online privacy protection law in place. For many companies, real compliance with CA means de facto privacy protection for all 50 states. Microsoft is among this first, with many following. You’re likely seeing new privacy links from sites and apps, allowing you create privacy settings and prevent them from selling off your personal data. Most sites and apps sell off our personal info in various ways all day long. California has designed a system allowing consumers to opt-out of their data being sold. The LA Times reports on how different sites are handling this. Some come with the dire warning that IF you opt-out of the sale of your personal info, they will not be able to offer you personalized ads. OH NO! Actually that’s what you want. This should be the national standard. It’s an abject failure in Washington that this isn’t already national law. California has essentially set a standard affecting the entire country. If you’re creeped out by the microtargeting of you and selling and reselling of your personal info, pay attention to these privacy notices and set the most restrictive measures allowed to protect your privacy as much as possible. Sure seems like Congress doesn’t care about U.S. citizens, when what should be longstanding national policy has to come from one state. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
January bring a LOT of travel deals. Clark talks about how to grab them. If you get internet from cable and there’s an increase, check out what the monopoly phone company charges. Be very wary if you still get legacy cable TV. Those rates are going way up to compensate for cord cutters. While your at it, consider going to streaming to save money. The WSJ has investigated large cable companies and analyzed data filed with the FCC, and found that the cable companies are lying about internet speeds. People aren’t getting what they’re paying for.Because of the structural deficiencies created by monopolies, we pay much higher rates than other developed countries, for less internet service. That gap is about to close. Consumers will FINALLY have real choice at much lower prices. Clark guarantees it!     For over a year Clark’s been pounding the injustices of public service employees, government workers and teachers getting ripped off in their retirement plans, usually 403bs. A WSJ investigative report reveals teacher and public employee unions are taking huge kickbacks from insurance companies for favoring their plans. The NEA teachers union takes $Millions in kickbacks from the companies providing retirement plans that cost up to 100 times in fees what a low cost Roth IRA or 401k would cost. These unions are selling out their own members. The WSJ reports while the NEA is recommending ultra-expensive 403b plans to teacher members, their own employees are in low cost Vanguard plans. Rise up at your union teachers and force them to stop cheating you on your own retirement future. VISA has issued a warning about how exposed consumers are at gas stations, which remain inside a 5 year delay for implementing payment processing security rules. The danger is enhanced in the remaining year of non-compliance with current standard payment security measures. A more secure payment phase-in begins this year. In the meantime, criminals have a target on every gas station they can hack and skim. This ongoing problem gets bigger in 2020. If you pay at the pump, know it’s a roulette game with a high chance your card will be compromised. Big danger to debit users. Within minutes, criminals can empty a debit account. Credit cards offer more protections. If you must pay with a debit card, go inside to pay, reducing fraud risk. Another precaution, if app pay is available at the pump, choose that option for enhanced security. Otherwise use a credit card NOT a debit card. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Congress just passed the SECURE Act which modifies how retirement plans work. The RMD – required minimum distribution has changed the age requirement from 70.5 to 72. Also, small employers can now ban together to offer low cost 401k plans to employees. This capacity will gradually emerge over the next year, putting small employers on a more equal footing with large companies in their ability to offer retirement plans. Also, excluding part-timers from participating in 401k plans will be outlawed. Starting next year, employers will have to make 401ks available to part-timers. And employers will have more power to automatically enroll workers. Generally, Americans allow spending to rise to income levels and beyond. Mandatory enrollment will be more prevalent, with options for workers to modify contributions. Since Social Security alone is not adequate income and many will be physically unable to work their entire old age, these new rules facilitating increased retirement planning are a benefit to society. Technically the new decade starts Jan. 1, 2021, but we’re in the 20s – a new beginning. We commonly write 2 digits each for month, day and year. But now that it’s 2020, there are warnings to write the year in all 4 digits. On any document – contracts, leases, checks etc., if you only put down /20 – anyone can easily backdate it by adding 2 numbers. Write out all 4 digits for the year. Get in the habit to prevent hazard. This January and February will be the biggest post-holiday clearance months we’ve seen – and 2020 the biggest clearance year yet overall. That’s unusual in a strong economy, but this year broke pattern. Retailers are in shock over the unprecedented number of returns. Many of the items coming back have no value for theretailer. As a result, clearance sales are the real deal, especially on apparel. It’s a double whammy for clothing retailers as spring items are already on the shelves and online. Now comes overwhelming winter returns. Mark downs are off the charts. This was the first Christmas season that a big percentage of clothing was bought online, creating return rates stunning to everyone in retail. The FT reports that online purchases are being returned at 3 times the rate of in-store purchases. Retailers are forced to rent trailers and warehouse space to house the returns, overwhelming staff. Hence it will take longer to get the goods back out for sale, driving down values even more. So THIS year, we’ll continue to see clearance sales into February with significant markdowns. Next holiday season will have to be different because retailers can’t deal. Wide return rights have boomeranged on retailers into a tsunami of returns. All to the point that phenomenal bargains can be had for the next several weeks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Edmunds.com research covering the first 9 months of last year finds that 1 in 3 who traded in a car at a dealership were upside down on the trade-in car. They owed more than the trade-in was worth, averaging $5K. They rolled that debt into a new deal, and leave even more upside down on a different car. This is a disaster. A year ago a dealership F&I man - head of financing & insurance - angrily approached Clark, accusing him of killing business. He'd run into customers who'd gotten Clark's message not to roll negative equity into a new purchase. If you're tired of your car, have it cleaned & detailed. Learn to love it again, pay it off, own it free and clear and drive it debt free. Don't trap yourself by rolling old debt into new debt. This has lead to more repossessions. It doesn't end well. Edward Jones is knocking on doors to sell investments. A new trend is a real danger zone for our senior citizens. A Clark staffer's 97 year-old Mom was solicited at her door by someone trying to sell investments. Commissioned sales people are hitting neighborhood streets. Morningstar writer Christine Benz reports on finding her intellectually disabled sister being solicited at their home. The elderly are targeted. This is NOT a safe way to buy investments. Make sure the seniors in your life know not to answer the door on this!  Clark first talked about Lemonade insurance over a year ago when it was an experiment in one state. Time for an update. Lemonade is a coop for homeowners and renters insurance. That's all they sell. When you file a claim, it's not an adversarial process. They use automated claims processing. About 1/3rd of claims are simple enough for automated approval in under a minute! That's different! So far we've had no complaints. Lemonade is now available in roughly half the nation's states. Find out if your state is included at Lemonade.com. Pay potentially lower premiums and not to be treated like a criminal when you make a claim. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The CDC reports a massive decline in the smoking, down to 13% of the adult population. The same week, a dramatic decline in lung cancer was reported recently. And more people are living 5 years+ after diagnosis. In addition, the British Journal of Sports Medicine finds that if you run, even just once a week, you reduce the risk of early death from any cause by 27%, from heart disease by 30%, from cancer by 25%. Lifestyle changes make a big difference. Running twice or more a week doesn't dramatically increase the benefit! So get your weekly run on to dramatically improve your health and lifespan.  After housing, transportation is our biggest expense. So it's important to choose the most reliable vehicle. The vehicle market is way overstocked. Carmakers are suffering sluggish sales and bloated inventory. There are deals all over. But, it's not a deal if the car isn't reliable. Consumer Reports does a deep dive for their annual automobile reliability survey. Again, LEXUS emerges as the most reliable vehicle, followed by Mazda, Toyota, Porsche, Hyundai's Genesis, Hyundai, Subaru, Dodge, KIA, Mini, Nissan & Honda. There are specific models listed within these makes. Lexus, Toyota and Mazda have 3 out of 10 each, Hyundai has the last 5. Consider reliability when buying a vehicle. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
2 months ago Clark shared a Bankrate survey finding ATM charges have hit an all time high. Banks are looking for every possible way to take advantage of account holders, charging $4.75 on average for ATM use. You have alternatives. Discount broker Charles Schwab offers banking services, a pioneer in 0 fee ATMs worldwide + no foreign currency junk fees. Their checking is a straight up clean deal. The online banks offer a wide network of ATMs you can use fee free. Online bank apps can show ATMs near you to help you avoid fees. Online banks have no branch overhead, and pass the savings onto customers.  Post holiday is prime time for side hustles to get out of Christmas debt. January brings a steady stream of emails and social media posted opportunities to pick up part-time money. Be aware of solicitations for a job as a 'drop shipper'. Your home address is used as a delivery point. You're paid commission to resend packages to addresses provided. That's receiving stolen property to send overseas. Being paid makes you an accessory to a criminal ring moving stolen goods. You could do hard time! These crooks use stolen credit cards to buy merchandise, they send it to you to send further out. That leaves you holding the bag. Also next month, expect to see a push in MLM schemes. Legit multi-level-marketing are all about selling a product or service, NOT about recruiting. If the emphasis is on recruiting, the MLM is likely a pyramid scheme. But even when legit sales are involved, 2/3rds to 3/4ths of participants make 0 net dollars from the effort. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Some workplaces now have the open vending room, equipped with digital cameras. You can register a credit card via fingerprint for ongoing charges, or pay per use. Half the options available are fresh, healthy choices. Improved vending choices is a trend around the country. The industry national association has an agreement to self regulate and make 1 out of 3 choices healthy in 2020. Much of this trend is being driven by consumers. People are choosing fruit, protein bars and other healthier snacks. Also the industry is terrified of the kind regulation or prohibitions surrounding soft drinks.   Barron's published an article about how difficult it is for Uber & Lyft drivers to make money, unless they buy a used, high fuel economy vehicle. With a 4 year old Toyota Prius at $13 - 14K averaging 50 miles a gallon, it's possible to make a decent living as a gig driver. The cost of the wheels and fuel is core to being profitable as a driver. This also pertains to sales workers given driving allowances. The Tesla Effect is also in play. Tesla has been so popular with luxury drivers, it's devastated the resale value of used European and German luxury vehicles. Today you can find a 3 year old lux car priced in the mid-teens. This is a unique situation in the market. Figure in the overall slowdown in vehicles sales as well, used vehicles are a great deal now. The oversupply of new vehicles piling up on dealers lots means you may be able to buy new for the price of a 1 or 2 year old used vehicle. Use the current distortions in the market right now to your advantage. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Snow skiing is a very expensive hobby. There are many bargains available for getting to the slopes and skiing. CO and UT are the 2 biggest ski zones. Because of extreme airfare competition in the Denver hub, it's ultra inexpensive to fly to CO. Plus there's been a massive expansion of limited service interstate hotels in CO. So skip the fancy lodges to save. If you stay along a freeway in close proximity to a ski mountain - that's a big savings. For UT, there are 9 ski mountains within close proximity to the Salt Lake City airport, but as a Delta hub, airfare is pricey. But once you get there, there are many affordable hotel options in the Salt Lake Valley close to mountains. Aspen, Vail or Deer Valley lift tickets run around $200 per day, but many other mountains have affordable lift ticket prices. Liftopia.com offers lift ticket bargains. Skiing doesn't have to be so costly. In both markets locals rent ski equipment at better prices than found at the mountains. Clark has called Wells Fargo "a criminal enterprise impersonating a bank". Hopefully new leadership will end the illegal culture there, but even so, Wells Fargo is a big, traditional bank. The bigs, BOA, WF, Chase and Citi have roughly 50% of market share in the U.S. These are high cost operations under pressure to show profits to stockholders. Their business model is to see how much they can take from customers every month. As a result of how the federal government handled the banking scandals last decade, the smaller banks were hollowed out and are mostly gone, changing the equilibrium of banking. More tech sophistication from online banks allows them to offer better deals, and make a competitive impact in the marketplace. If you have money in traditional bank saving or CDs, you're cheating yourself. Because of these factors, credit unions have gone through radical transformation as well, with the smaller players merging into larger ones big enough to get their tech up to date. Younger customers are looking for great apps and online banking features - modern in every sense. The cultural difference a credit union offers remains - a co-op owned by and serving its members. The biggest credit unions offer a mix of online banking assets, branches AND a focus on service. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
If you have a need to call customer service, be aware they have a great deal of info on their callers. They may know everything you ever purchased from them, how profitable you are, complaint history etc. Your profitability index score determines how much customer service you'll get. Ultimately the big data that companies keep and buy, means we know nothing about them but they know plenty about us. If you're not a high volume customer, you may find going in person to a store gets you better results. The higher your profitability index score, the better customer service you'll receive by phone. Jobs in tech and engineering generally yield high pay. For others, the big question is whether their education will pay off. The federal government has compiled deep data on the payback on particular courses of study at specific schools. No one school emerges as best or worst value. The desired field of study is key. An interactive tool available in the WSJ adopted from the federal database allows you to pick a school and course of study, and see cost vs earnings payback. Parents and students can see if a degree from a certain school will be worth it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Historically, 1 in 5 Americans move each year. But the Census Bureau finds we are relocating at a much lower rate today, closer to 1 in 10 moving each year. People are staying put, primarily because dual incomes make it more difficult to move. This save people money over time. There's enormous cost in both selling and buying a home - generally 10% in and 10% out. One important exception: It's better for your net worth bottom line to move out of a deteriorating neighborhood. It's worth it to sell and move on because it can take decades for neighborhood home values to recover.  The Financial Times of London did a poll concerning American attitudes about healthcare. Premiums, copays and deductibles have gotten huge, so even with coverage, we're exposed to how unbelievably expensive healthcare is in the U.S. The FT survey found healthcare cost is considered the number one economic threat to our nation in many states. Healthcare consumes 20% of the nation's economy. We can not prosper as a nation in global competition with 1 of every 5 dollars of economic output being swiped by healthcare, It's one out of $10 -$12 elsewhere. That gap is devastating to us. We must address this. Hospitals are freaking over new cost disclosure rules. We should have the right to know costs in advance.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Coming next year: the electric Ford Mustang SUV - faster than any Mustang muscle car before. Electric vehicles will get steadily cheaper with longer range. The baseline Mustang SUV will cost what any average SUV costs in the U.S. - around $36K. In the next few years, hundreds of electric vehicles will be introduced. They cost almost nothing to operate and maintain, They typical electric vehicle will get the equivalent of 120 miles per gallon. In TN, VW will be introducing a large variety of electric vehicles. The cost of owning and operating a vehicle will collapse with electric cars. Warning: Electric vehicles are much faster than what we're used to driving. Tesla has developed tech to allow parents to suppress horsepower to protect young drivers. Hopefully other car makers will do the same. A decade out it will be routine to buy electric vehicles because they'll be so much cheaper. Most people could come up with an extra grand a year by taking the time to go through their expenses and make cuts, capturing the money we burn without intending to. This is easier today because we have so many tech and subscription services. Start thinking about the $1000 challenge. Many could save hundreds a year just by changing their cell phone plan. There's virtually no one who can't generate hundreds in savings by reviewing how they watch video content. Look a what you're subscribed to. Are you using it? Gyms, video streaming services - go over expenses. Grocery shopping is an area where you can save. Think through what you spend, how you spend, where you bank. Go through checking and credit card statements and look where your money is going. Create a checklist of what you can do to save $1k in 2020. You CAN do it! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
People have become comfortable subscribing to most anything. But cars is a new frontier. The first efforts at car subscription services appeared in 2017, all aimed at the luxury market. $1 - $2K a month bought a rotating fleet of vehicles as desired. Current services limit changeouts. There are now subscription services competitive with typical vehicle costs. The cost of having a vehicle all in averages around $700 a month. Now car subscription services are appearing that include insurance, maintenance and all fees with no long term commitment for $500- to $700 a month. This allows you to flex vehicle needs from sedans to trucks. At this price level, these will be typical vehicles. This could be a good choice for convenience leasers. The best answer remains buying a used car and driving it until the wheels fall off.   Clark’s has talked about Mechanical Turk (MTurk), now the subject of a NYT report, claiming it’s a waste of time paying .97cents an hour. Our own investigation found you could average making around $7 an hour. True, many surveys on the site are a waste of time. But there’s a plugin we recommend to figure out which surveys are worth your time. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
One Minnesota senior living center is renting out vacancies to nearby college students. Students in residence volunteer hours to senior citizens for discounted food and lodging. Winona State students and seniors benefit alike - Win - win! The mutual benefits of this cross generational opportunity are immeasurable. Meanwhile the predicted demand for senior housing could be exaggerated, as more seniors choose to age in place, accommodated by technology. Adult children can monitor their aging parents from across the country. Apple and Samsung watches provide the capacity for shared health alerts. New services provide a level of care through home visits at a much lower cost than residing in institutional settings.  Tech firms are going heavily into banking services. Fintechs offer new ways to handle, save and invest your money. A survey found that of the big 4 tech companies, people trust Amazon the most to handle their money. They've yet to enter that sector. But The WSJ reports Google is setting up banking operations in a joint venture with Citibank and a credit union. Google enjoys a financial trust level greater than Apple. The survey reports the least trust in Facebook, which has trashed its own reputation. Facebook has not shown respect for user privacy - a long term issue that undermines its credibility. Google is trusted 2 to 1 to handle money vs Facebook. The big news for consumers is that change comes from outside this industry. New and improved deals are coming from competitors outside traditional banking. Around 15 years ago, European ING Direct pioneered online banking options we enjoy today, offering superior rates on saving. Traditional banks are limited by legacy computer systems and mergers, leaving them with antiquated, high cost operating systems. Consumers will have more choice from innovators. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Google has the most sophisticated search tool for finding travel bargains because they acquired a key industry database. That combined with Google's data capabilities yields up-to-the-second info. They've added a feature allowing you to shop flights to adjacent airports while shopping flights between selected airports. Google.com/flights is able to shop all fares for months at a time for selected and neighboring airports. You can pull up a calendar and see day by day, month by month the cheapest fares.  Let's go back a decade + and talk analog financial crime - stolen wallets. It still happens. NEVER NEVER NOT EVER carry a checkbook unless you're on your way to a house closing. If your checks are stolen and a criminal writes checks as if they're you, when those checks pass - YOU get arrested for the bad check. You end up with a record, and having to hire a defense attorney. You have to prove innocence. It's an abuse the way the law works here. 2. Purge all the cards you really don't need. Limit the damage by scaling down your wallet. NEVER carry your social security card around.      Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Comments (20)

Mike Miles

Love the show helped me get out of debt, buy a house, and start my own retirement plan. My favorite part is when he discuss topics that are going on in the country and world. Best part is he seams like a super nice guy and he treats his own employees like there his family!!!

Oct 10th
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Pocket Glitter

I have so much respect and admiration for Clark Howard, beyond his financial advice (which I love). If you're local to the Atlanta metro area then you know his work with Habitat for Humanity, foster children and many other kind endeavors. He's really a good person. 💙💚💛💜❤

Apr 3rd
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R C

a goldmine of info!

Mar 25th
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Melissa Noakes

Background music is getting garbled the past week or so.

Mar 23rd
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Carolyn Smith

Clark, talk about Education Grants for the Incarerated. It is important to clear ones name as much as possible. *Pardon *Sealed Records *Reduction of Charges from Felony to Misdeamnor. If People are to have a Second Chance, they need to be able to qualify for License such as a Barber's License.

Feb 1st
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Carolyn Smith

Wow, 6 Children? A 10 Month Tour of Duty in Americorps offers work experience, a stipend for living expenses, healthcare insurances and leadership training. A "Grant will pay for 2 years of Community College. *C.L.E.P Examines allows credit College Credit which saves money. *AP Classes in High School *Prepping for ACT and SAT Examines plus taking the examine twice raises score 150 points in average.

Jan 16th
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R C

Watch out putting your pictures on Google photos! Don't think you have any rights to them once they are uploaded.

Jan 11th
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Melissa Noakes

The last two episodes won't play. Other shows podcasts play and Clark's prior to 12/24. Please fix - I miss the show!

Dec 26th
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Austin Peek

Thanks for your show Clark! Thanks to you, I'm on my way to becoming a millionaire now... that's why I also listen to the Millionaire Interviews Podcast 😊. Keep up the great work. 👍

Jul 11th
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Jim Maroon

Always helpful to listen to. And fun. Clark is so obviously nice.

Jun 18th
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Nightrun007

Good financial advice. Don't listen to RB who doesn't even know how to spell "advice" let alone determine what that would be. ;)

Apr 6th
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R B

marginal financial advise. interesting finance related topics.

Jan 31st
Reply (2)

Anthem Grimm

CLARK!!!!!!$$$$$%%%%%

Jan 9th
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joel larsgaard

Best podcast for anyone wanting to get a handle on their finances!

Dec 16th
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iTunes User

Clark is only on for 1 hour in my market, and at the worst time. Now I can listen to him at MY leisure!!!!

Aug 30th
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iTunes User

They have deleted the commercials, and this is an awesome podcast! Thanks, Clark!

Aug 30th
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iTunes User

Obviously some of the reviewers have not listened to the show recently. All of the commercials have been edited out (THANK YOU Clark Howard!!!). Valuable information is found on this show. Clark gives great suggestions about "spending less, saving more and avoid getting ripped off'. I don't miss an episode! Great drive time show.

Aug 30th
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