The Latest from Clark Howard.

Mentioned in Clark's Videos and TV/Radio Consumer Minutes:


Mentioned on the Clark Howard Show:

Wednesday May 4
Google & Chrysler to create self-driving minivan
Discounter Norwegian Air stifled by DC and the Big 3
Court ruling on Amazon in-app purchases. 
First American cruise to Cuba in half century
Largest recall in US history adds 40 million more airbags 

On the Calls: 
IRS phone scam - Tax Identity TheftCredit Freeze
Investment Guide – Roth IRA target retirement fund - GarrettPlanningNetwork -
CruisingCostcoTravelTravel Insurance Guide
529 Plans are only for eligible college expenses.  The  Coverdell can be used for private school K-12 OR college
Resources: Education / Student Loans / Financial Aid
Best dollar value for HD 4K TVs  – 55” screens   $329-400 for off brands.
ClarkDeals
Cut the cord - SlingTV &  Digital antenna for local channels
Partial move – less than a full household - Uship.com – Auction site. Check bidder reviews.
Pay off highest interest debt first.
Roth vs Traditional 401K
 

Tuesday May 3 
Airport security delays - prepare
$5M lawsuit claims Starbucks iced coffee has too much ice
Hulu streaming
Manufacturing and job training
Metlife penalized on variable annuities

On the Calls:
The fake check scam now targeting small non-profit charitable organizations. Beware!
Investment Guide
529 Plan Guide
Creditkarma register for free – track your score  -  How to fix errors on your credit report
Is gap insurance worth it when buying a car? | Clark Howard\
Car accidents
Student Loan Guide
DuoLingo – free online language learning  
Cutting the TV cord and DVR -   The Channel Master DVR  -  Tablo  -   TIVO requires a monthly subscription
Replacement protection plans are generally not needed. The devil is in the details of the small print.
Solar power
Capital One sends over-tipping and bill alerts
 

Monday May 2
PSAP (Personal sound amplification products) hearing devices 
Starbucks arbitration
Return to simpler pre-smart phones
Hospital refunds
2016 employment & pay trends 

On the Calls: 
Nurse practitioners help save money on medical care
Landlord info
Mountain & lake 2nd home deals. Avoid buying raw land.
Teen drivers
Avoid a pre-paid vacation presentation. If you’ve really won something, you don’t have to hear a sales pitch.   
Cruise deals
Selling a car on Craigslist – Scammers want to deal sight unseen. A real buyer is often local. Buyer pays seller at their bank
                     with a real cashier’s check.  Generate 2 copies of a Bill of Sale. You sign over title.  A wire can be legit as well.
CreditKarma
 

Friday April 29
Microworkouts can work
Overdraft "protection" is a rip off
Device addiction solutions
Clark Stinks
Computer coding courses

On the Calls:
HELOC  & home contractor advice
NOTE: BOLT app for free international calling - is changing.  
Inheriting an IRA has arcane rules. Seek tax advice before the transfer.  
Buying a used car: Manufacturer’s warranty preferred, if any. If you could afford a big repair, skip the warranty.
Only take out a Federal loans – Student Loan Guide
Some Ransom sites have moved overseas. Don’t pay
Merchant (Credit card bank) initiated monthly credit inquiry does NOT affect your score.
Overseas travel – Make sure you have a credit card without foreign currency transaction fees. Determine fee free ATMs
International Travel Tips: Money, Mobile, Booking
Using cells outside the U.S.
 

Thursday April 28
Discount fares to Europe
Tax burden
Fueleconomy.gov  a recommended app when car buying
Self-cleaning laundry
T-Mobile and Metro PCS offers 

On the Calls: 
EPA on air duct cleaning  -  Consumer Reports recommends air duct cleaning in the presence of mold.  
Index Universal Life (IUL) policy or Annuities – NOT recommended. Fueled by massive commissions.
   A simple balanced index fund will outperform this, no commissions.  Term life covers the insurance part best.
Years behind on filing taxes: Best to come forward having reconstructed your info with an enrolled agent or tax CPA. 
SquareUp and Paypal payment devices offer no customer service. A new player will.
GetHuman.com – Help with customer service 
How to sell old toys: Consult specialty dealers at antiques malls. Research price points on EBay. 
HELOCs and home equity loans
Student Loan Guide
Buying eyeglasses -  For quality, purchase from a private optometrist or Costco. For price, go online.
Don’t be fooled by fake emails

EMPOWERMENT ZONE – HARRISON’s impressive path to his dream career.
         Strategies: A willingness to leave a chosen field to gain experience, put quality of life over pay,
    and particularly – to seek informational interviews and continuously cultivate contacts. Make and keep connections. 

 

Wednesday April 27
Cheapest and easiest ways to do a will
Sizzling Deals - Deals.ClarkHoward.com
Apple's stock plunge - Individual stocks 
This app will help curb spending
96-year-old becomes body builder and runner

On the Calls: 
AnnualCreditReport.com
Credit Freeze and Thaw Guide
Investment Guide
529 Plan Guide
Insuring non-refundable airfare: Airlines offer limited coverage. Can go wider at insuremytrip.com
AM Best database rates insurers
Airbnb
Solar Power
April in Paris? May or September is even better.  Set up a fare alert at Kayak. Use TripAdvisor to build itinerary.
Travel Planning and Booking Guide - How to score the best deals 
International Travel Tips: Exchanging Money, Overseas Mobile Connections & Booking
Travel Insurance Guide
 

Tuesday April 26
Food companies reformulate
Detergent pod warning (it's gotten worse) and a recommendation
Chip card update. Where NOT to use a debit card
Charter/Time-Warmer cable merge - consumer outlook
Crowdfunding sites - Warning

On the Calls: 
For sale by owner – pros and cons
Vacation Club pitched on cruise is no better than a timeshare. They should offer an unconditional $ back guarantee.
Extended car warranty  
​Work from home guide  -  Mystery shopping programs are often fraudulent 
Investment Guide
Car repair or replace
Unload a timeshare through an LLC ? NO unless you spend 3 years trying to rent it out.
Homeowners insurance
 

Monday April 25
VW's U.S. diesel buy-back
Big bank savings accounts
Employment outlook
RIP OFF ALERT- Life insurance
Prom Spending

On the Calls:
Early Retirement
Opt out of junk mailDMAChoice.org
Rebuilding credit – CreditKarma
Medical Alert systems  – Assistive Technology Services
Invest in oil? High risk. Look at energy industry ETFs to be well diversified in that sector.
Tip overage: Photocopy receipt with smartphone. Discuss mistake with owner.
                      If no resolution, dispute charge with credit card company.
Digital antennas : 40 to 60 channels free - no monthly fee
Free international communication: Choose from WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, TextPlus
Term life and disability insurance -   PolicyGenius.com
 

Friday April 22
Best mobile price and service
Standardized testing
Chatbots for ecommerce
Clark Stinks
New recycling tech

On the Calls: 
Fee only financial planners
Timeshares
Obamacare / Affordable Health Care Act Guide
Retirement guidance  -  Social SecurityAARP.org  retirement calculators  to help determine when its best to collect SS.
Peer-to-peer investing (Prosper, Lending Club) – Divide investment into several loans to minimize risk 
IRS debt  – Consult an enrolled agent licensed as IRS tax expert to make a reasonable offer and compromise.
AnnualCreditReport.com – get free copies of reports only. Don’t buy what they’re trying to sell.
CreditKarma – free score monitoring providing the Vantage score, a  joint venture of the credit bureaus to compete with FICO
Credit Freeze and Thaw Guide
Solar Power! -  Buy rather than lease if you can. 
 

Thursday April 21
Apartment rentals - your negotiating power now
ATM Skimmer Warning 
Studen Loan Forgiveness
Self Publishing Guide
Entrepreneurial collaboration

On the Calls:
Go to CASH ONLY to keep credit cards paid down
Health Savings Accounts
AirbnbMasters Rule
Mint.com with app -  Also recommended: use an old fashioned check register.
529 Plan Guide – Prepaid plans must be backed by the full faith and credit of the state 
Life Insurance
Home SecuritySimpliSafe -  EMC’s are offering no-contract security services  -  Free installation with contract? NO  
Medical Tourism has an international accrediting body. Dental Tourism does not.
                             Research and get references to establish trust and credibility. Negotiate with dentists state side.
Mvelopes may be a good budgeting tool for spendaholics.
Car rentals under age 25 surcharged. Look into Zipcar and Relay Rides –now Turo
Hearing devices
 

Wednesday April 20
Cord cutting pay TV - new offers from Amazon and Sling
Update: contact lens price fixing coming to an end
Mobile only internet with unlimited data plans
New malware rips business accounts
Innovations in customer convenience

On the Calls: 
Email phishing scams
Co-signing is dangerous – Monitor your credit:  AnnualCreditReport.comCreditKarma
Investment warning: Company stock in retirement plan
Electric cars 
Investment Guide
Pet insurance and care – Beware exclusions.  Ask your veterinarian
Tax lien business purchasing – Warning: Only experts should attempt this.
Repair your credit  
How to buy gold funds
 

Tuesday April 19
Auto safety technology and insurance
The dirty death of coal
What it takes to retire young 
Used vehicle leasing - NO! 
Parental money mistakes - Teaching kids about money - Giftingsense.com

On the Calls: 
AirBNB & VRBO renting – Make sure the property has many pictures and reviews.
Unwanted magazines: Contact each one directly to cancel. Retailers may sign you up without permission
Cheap prescription eye glasses
Mugshot websites
Timeshares  - Pay an organization to unload it? NO. Results in ruined credit, lost money. Join the timeshare users group – tug2.net
Virus, Spyware and Malware Protection Guide  –  Mobile security:  Lookout
How to fix errors on a credit report  -  Quizzle offers free credit monitoring
Student loan forgiveness  -  A joint account is potentially risky when either party has credit issues.
ConsumerAction from TeamClark  directed listener to  ConsumerFinancialProtectionBureau  Credit card fraud PROBLEM SOLVED
 

Monday April 18
2 phone scams: Checking email on your smart phone warning! And The one ring scam
Phoney auto insurance agents 
Public Wi-Fi safety
Turtle investors win
New hotel booking strategy

On the Calls: 
Self-Employment   -  Investment Guide  -  Target Retirement Funds
Safety Tips: Scan wallet/purse contents & keep 2 copies in a safe, the cloud or on a flash drive.
                    Beware license plate theft for the purpose of  stealing gas.
                    Stay aware of your surroundings. No SITUATIONAL AWARENESS leaves you vulnerable. 
Google wallet going away – Alternative: Capitol One 360  - AMX Bluebird  - both lend themselves to parental oversight. 
Fee-only financial advisers -  Napfa.org  -  Garrett
Student loan debt  -  Sofi.com
Do a Will
TSBs – Technical Service Bulletins or “Secret recalls”  on vehicles
Faith-based organizations paying for your health care
529 Plan Guide
Credit card balance transfer
Car Rentals – use Expedia matrix – Autoslash will check for lower rates – Check again the week before you go for lower rates…  
 

Friday April 15
High employment cities - America's boomtowns
IRS PIN protection flaw
Postmates Plus Unlimited delivery option
Clark Stinks
Student loan job perks - Avoiding student loan debt

On the Calls: 
Hud.gov FHA rules  - qualifying for a mortgage after bankruptcy. Speak with an FHA loan specialist
Shop to compare cable vs. phone company for internet and TV.  Ooma  offers full telephone services
Solar Power
Home warranties
Paying off credit card debt
Credit Freeze  – No unified process for married couples. Must do it separately
Buy a 529 plan direct – NOT through a financial adviser!
Insurance/Protection plan from furniture store? NO
 

Thursday April 14
GOLD! Warning
Fake cancer charities - Charity Giving Guide 
U.S. primary care physician (PCP) shortage
End of life planning in the digital space
America's future

On the Calls: 
529 plan guide  
Elio  - Pioneers take the risk. Wise to wait and see.   
Checkout 51  savings app is legit. Couponing
Investment Guide
Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) Guide  -  Charles Schwab – a discount stock broker with their own ETF’s
Fastweb.com – clearinghouse for scholarships
 

Wednesday April 13
Clark's customer no-service experience - a moral dilemma
Bank's coin-counter found skimming from customers!
Student makes his own braces & straightens teeth with 3D printer. DIY tech disruption
We're still not safe from the big banks
AT&T + DirecTV bundle deal

On the Calls: 
Passports
Tax ID theftID Theft Guide - Credit Freeze – Do a ID theft police report
Coverdell college savings accounts can be used tax free for private school as well as for college
Summer travel planning - Tripit.comRome2Rio.com – Search travel apps on cnet.com -
Home warranties
HSA accounts – many high cost providers with the exception of Vanguard
Burglar alarm buying tips or DIY with SimpliSafe
Reverse mortgages
Timeshare scams 
Ooma for business  - 8X8.com   for affordable business phones. 
 

Tuesday April 12
Tax Day is not April 15 this year!
Starbucks Rewards
WhatsApp encryption
Eye exam & vision correction technology
John Oliver nails credit reporting absurdities

On the Calls: 
Identity Theft Guide    -  IDTheftCenter.org
New Costco credit card
Check fares to connecting cities, then to destination. Now, booking flight legs separately can be way cheaper. 
Investment Guide  -   CreditKarma.com  track your score.
Credit Score Guide
Paying off credit card debt
Credit cards far superior to debit cards  
Find low cost flip phones & androids on eBay or Expansys.com  -
Landlord  Umbrella Policy  should be with same company as primary liability
 

Monday April 11
Avoid the Netflix rate increase -  Roku's new streaming stick
New fare gouge on multi-city flights. How to 'break the fare' 
RIPOFF ALERT - A special Google search warning
YouTube marketing
Mortgage rate lows

On the Calls:
Plenti – Multi-platform reward program
Best cell plans for unlimited data: Check Boost Mobile (sub-brand of Sprint) and Metro PCS.
Don’t shut down unused bank credit card accounts. They help your score. 
Student loan guide
Business lines insurance protects equipment – consult agents for referral
AnnualCreditReport.com  - The legit site for free reports,  but note marketed services on site. Not recommended. Get free report only.
Social Security spouse benefits
Warning: Counterfeit check scam encountered on LinkedIn

 

Friday April 8
HSA Plans
Bogus product claims - Expensive 'natural' cleaners - warning
Savings apps
Clark Stinks
YMCA excercise lifestyle support

On the Calls: 
Small business financial protections
TripAdvisor for port internet café locations. Telestial.com -  renting a sat phone  
Frozen credit – don’t pay for credit monitoring. Also, free monitoring at CreditKarma
Convert timeshare week to points?  NOT recommended.\
Car loans
Determine retail car value at Kbb.comEdmunds.comnada.com
Struggling and need help for your pet? Pet food bank – Daffy’s Pet Soup Kitchen
 

Thursday - April 7
Cash only spending
Self-lacing shoes
Contract workers
HELOC warning
Young entrepreneur creates JacksStands

On the Calls: 
Student Loan Guideibrinfo.org  -  ed.gov
Credit Scores – CreditKarma.  Vantage score has almost no market value right now.
Investment Guide
Collections   -  Apps can help you record calls. 
Auto insurance
Discount hair styling at beauty schools
New box springs recommended with every other mattress purchase
Car selling scams


Wednesday - April 6
Retirement Invesing Victory
Beware fake news and reviews
Smartphone online shopping - Warning!
Navigating the hiring process
Life insurer health initiatives

On the Calls:
Investing   
Best to use credit cards when shopping online
Elder Care – Running out of funds for nursing home costing $110,000 per year - Look at non-profit or religious based Medicaid facility.
IRS.gov free file  - if you have simple taxes. 
AnnualCreditReport.com -  free to use.  CreditKarma – free score monitoring
Collections
Tax ID Theft  - IRS ID theft tool  -  IRS.gov Identity Protection  -   Freeze your credit
 

Tuesday - April 5
Minimum wage, income inequaltiy, and the job skills gap
Wells Fargo made to pay for overdraft abuse
NFL streaming via Twitter
Posted calorie counts 
New broadband service disclosures borrow from nutrition labels

On the Calls: 
SCORE.org - Guidance for entrepreneurs.  
Costco Visa card
VW Diesels
Nfcc.org for credit card debt and budget counseling
 

Monday - April 4
Tesla - Sedan deals
Post office boots blind broom seller after 60 years! 
Warning: Tax scams rev up to deadline - CEO email scam
Natural gas oversupply and summer power bills
Verizon prepaid service - Cheap cell phone plans  

On the Calls:
New laws that will affect Social Security benefits in 2016
How to get the maximum Social Security check
Avoid automated toll fees on car rentals – Use prepaid toll readers (E-ZPass - PlatePass )  - Apps with toll avoidance option
Variable Universal LifeEvaluateLifeInsurance.org – Provides plan analysis and recommendations.
New Costco card