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The Clark Howard Podcast

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.

697 Episodes
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The World Health Organization has declared excessive gaming a psychological disorder.  A MarketWatch survey reveals the number of people spending an hour or more a day playing video games increased 20% over the last year. Many believe they'll go pro and earn a living and become reclusive and obsessive in the endeavor, gaming constantly. For parents, it's a tug of war you want your kid to win, so game time should be strictly limited.  Who knew the pro athlete mentality would translate into gaming.  The winner of a Fortnight competition won $3M, reinforcing others to abandon all else for gaming. But, for athletes and gamers, almost no one makes the cut as a pro and those who do have a short career.   Clark answers his critics on Clark Stinks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Beware of annuity sales. Annuity sales subsided when fiduciary rules were in place - rules that have now been pushed aside, causing new sales to skyrocket. Insurance companies and banks push these because they have humongous fees and commissions. These contracts allow the insurance companies to change the terms at any time and the tax treatment is generally not favorable. When you're getting a vague investment pitch ASK if it's an annuity. If so, walk away. File an insurance claim, and the next thing you know police are accusing you of a criminal act. It's happened. When shopping insurance, make sure the company is solid. Clark routinely recommends choosing insurance  companies that get the highest ratings. Cost is secondary in this area. A Buzzfeed investigation reveals some insurers investigating big claims, will direct law enforcement against the insured. Clark had a co-worker who had just moved, suffered a fire, and was accused of torching his own house. Insurers working with police to start a criminal investigation to delay or deny a claim - this is hopefully rare but raises the stakes on how important it is to be with a company that rates high in serving customers. Don't just go with the cheapest insurance company.  The Cash app has now eclipsed Venmo as the top app for sending money to family and friends - special emphasis on family and friends only. These apps operate efficiently, making it easy to send money. When shopping online, particularly with sites like Craigslist, eBay etc - if the seller requests payment by one of these apps, consider that a red flag for a con. They vanish and your money is gone. ONLY use apps to pay someone you know because once you pay, the money is gone. Zelle is being pushed by banks but does not have any meaningful consumer protections compared to Cash app and Venmo. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Clark's family uses the Life360 app, allowing everyone to know each other's location. Teens use such apps, including Apple's Find My Friends, Google Maps location share & Snapchat -  to keep up with friends. What are these apps doing with the info? What are you permitting them to do? You can choose to wipe history clean. With any of these free services, the apps can make money with the info we're sharing. Location sharing can be very loaded and problematic in relationships and you should consider this before signing up. Also, know that teens can get around some of these location services, so you need to use it with their cooperation. The scam calls keep coming. Major cell phone carriers are starting to validate traffic with each other, but there are still many fake calls coming in. Follow this simple rule: Only answer the phone when you recognize the person calling. If caller ID says it's a business or government agency, only answer if you're expecting the call. Otherwise let it go to voicemail and you can call back if it's legit. Don't trust Caller ID. It's past broken There are moves around the country to grow food in warehouse environments. Advantages: Climate control, water conservation, no pesticides for easier organic certification. The WSJ reports a company building a 60 acre greenhouse, offering exponentially more productive than farmland - 50x over the output of traditional agriculture over the same acreage. Other countries are further along in this pursuit. Controlled agriculture lowers risks from the elements and allows us to increase our domestic food supply.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
We face many challenges with how to use technology for security. There's a race to develop screening tech to quickly assess facial images and determine threat levels. AI systems are being developed along these lines, including one called the Avatar (Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real time), a system using AI techniques to assess threat levels, funded in part by the federal government. The subject answers questions on camera during the assessment. The developers claim only 80% accuracy.              A cold call lab test scam is costing people their identities and money.  Kaiser Health News reports on an ongoing scam operating around the U.S. wherein senior citizens are contacted and told they're due for Medicare directed testing. Contacted by criminals receiving kickbacks, by phone, in person or on social media, the senior may even be driven to undergo genetic testing that Medicare is then grossly over-billed for.  Make sure your loved ones know not to agree to any test unless ordered directly by their doctor.      Save more, Spend less- Team Clark lives this. Team member Chelsea helped her Dad, a small business owner, save over $3,000 a year by cutting 3 monthly bills one Sunday afternoon. The task took 2 hours. Chelsea knew how he could save on cable, internet and cell phone. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Government attempts to rein in prescription drug prices haven't worked. We have the most expensive med prices on the planet. And the way we get and pay for meds is changing. Some doctors have dispensing machines for routine meds in their offices. GoodRx is a force for negotiating lower prices and comparison shopping. The next wave may be online sellers. Amazon has bought into the industry - not a big play yet. But there will be incentives with employer plans to fill prescriptions with online providers. The key to lowering costs is being prepared at your doctor appointments to proactively ask for cheaper Rx alternatives. Have the $4 list from walmart.com. And employ GoodRx and other discounters - while in the office, before you have to go pick up a medication. MarketWatch reported on a couple reaching out for financial guidance, unable to make ends meet on $500,000 a year. They could easily live AND be saving huge, but their expenses are crazy. Beware what economists call 'the marginal propensity to consume' - As income goes up, so go people's expenses. Control impulses and wants or you could end up in a financial hole no matter how much you make. Safety deposit boxes were not safe at all. New bank terms of service have removed their liability for theft or any other circumstance. The NYT reports how banks have washed their hands of this and regulators do nothing about the disappearances. The situation is so bad, if you have items of value, have your own fire safe box in your home.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
We’re 10 years into economic expansion and people are still struggling. Most are in debt and unprepared for any unforeseen expense or emergency costing $400 or more. Hopefully, this economic downturn won’t turn into a full-blown recession, but we’re already getting calls from people who’ve been laid off. We are in a slowing time of uncertainty, so we need to prepare as we can. Recommendations for having 3 to 6 months of pay on hand are daunting and unrealistic for most. So start smaller with Clark’s $500 challenge. Think about saving $10 a week / $40 a month until you get to $500. Many online banks have no minimum, so put $ in regularly. Micro save. Take the baby step to begin creating some space in your life. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck with no cushion in your life, make this small start. What can you do to squeeze some money into savings? Get started small and keep building.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
AAA reports deaths from red-light running collisions have hit a 10 year high. Fatalities are up 30% in the last few years. Likely distracted driving is the root cause. Clark pauses for a second when a red light turns green in case someone blows through the corresponding red light of an intersection. If you move too quickly, you could be T-boned by a red-light runner. Meanwhile, police are cracking down on device distraction, posing as construction workers and finding other ways to site hands-free violations. The consequences of distracted driving are often deadly.Many for-profit schools are student loan mills. They heavily recruit and advertise to fill their classes via student loans. But many of these schools have gone insolvent or engaged in bust-outs, leaving students with incomplete training.  The principal players of the school may have made off with millions, leaving students in debt. Under the federal regulation known as  ‘borrower’s defense’ - students received loan forgiveness when schools failed to deliver on their promises. But NEW regulations just proposed by the DOE will leave students fully exposed for such debt, with the near impossibility of forgiveness, even when defrauded by a loan mill school. Payday loans carry interest rates of 400-800%. They take advantage of desperation. A minor financial problem quickly becomes catastrophic as theses snowball on people unable to pay. Meanwhile, more than half of Americans now can’t afford an unexpected expense. What began as a small experiment 2 years ago, has spread. Now 1 in 7 employees work for companies that provide emergency loans or pay advances at around 4-10%, to reduce the number of employees in extreme financial distress. This is enlightened self-interest for participating employers. Employee Assistance Funds are another way companies are helping workers – usually a one-time-only benefit. And employee emergency funds are a way for workers to help out each other in times of need. Ask about these programs when needed.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Proposed legislation would provide US citizens access to all of our own medical records. This would require providers to send data to medical record apps – with the patient’s permission. Privacy risk concerns are valid here including data breach exposure and data abuse by insurers. The NYT reports Apple is designing their medical app to encrypt the info and confine it to your device only, not on their servers. Android needs equivalent protection. As Dorian heads up the coast, scamsters are already at it prompting a warning from Homeland Security to be aware of fake emails pretending to be from charities. You may soon see people collecting on street corners. Never respond to phone, email or text solicitations. Give directly to trustworthy organizations. See our guide. If you have first-hand knowledge of a group you trust, excellent. But don’t give to any charity organizations that you can't personally vet.LEDs were $80 when introduced. Now they’re down to as little as $1. Home Depot Sylvania LEDs – 2 dozen for $24.  Dollar Tree and Costco sell them cheaply as well. LEDs use 85% less electricity. If you buy a traditional bulb for .50 cents vs. and LED for $1 – that’s a trap. So the Energy Department is proposing new regs to eliminate standards for efficient bulbs. Lighting comprises about 25% of the power bill, so switching bulbs could save you around 20%. Buy efficient bulbs. They last much longer and save you big money. Changing bulb efficiency legislation is a joke.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Walmart and Target are offering great incentives for you to trade in your old (and likely expired) car seat. You can find out more about the Target deal here. Walmart is offering a $30 gift card if you bring in an old car seat. Find out more about eligibility here.Wells Fargo doesn't seem to learn from prior mistakes. In a case of mistaken identity, Wells Fargo had a customer who had done nothing wrong put behind bars. Now he is suing and Wells Fargo is trying to force him into arbitration. YouTube is settling with the FTC over claims that it violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act by collecting and exploiting the personal information of children that had used YouTube. This would be the largest civil penalty the FTC has ever assessed. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Members of Amazon Prime pay $119 per year for 1-2 day delivery at no minimum, Prime only merchandise, Access to Prime instant video and no-frills music service. Amazon has ways to keep you Prime(d). For Clark, it's useful as a $10 a month video subscription. Check out our quiz at Clark.com to determine is Amazon Prime is worth it for you. Non-Prime members get free shipping with the minimum order for that perk. Also, Amazon's more about convenience than low prices. You can often find lower prices elsewhere. We Americans trap ourselves by borrowing for purchases. At the top of that list is buying a car. Car notes should really be avoided if at all possible. Think about all the other things that car note money could do for you. Don't think of wheels as lifestyle, but only as transportation that you want to keep your monthly bills low and increase your ability to save and invest. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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Comments (16)

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

Nightrun007 Thank you, you're so kind! I'm just an old dummy.

Apr 7th
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R B

marginal financial advise. interesting finance related topics.

Jan 31st
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Jim Maroon

R B I like it. Can you give a specific example please?

Jun 18th
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R B

R B actually really terrible financial advise most of the time.

Feb 16th
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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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