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September 21, 1999 | DIANE SEO, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Enticed by the 1990s bull stock market, Austin Dunn has tried to get rich fast by trading volatile technology and Internet stocks. To build his $93,000 portfolio that includes such companies as, Yahoo and Microsoft, he has upped the ante by borrowing more than $20,000 on margin from his Charles Schwab brokerage accounts. His wife, Katherine, is concerned because Austin, 49 and a part-owner of a machine tool repair firm, doesn't have a penny in a qualified retirement plan.
January 29, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. - He has taken to saying he has a pen and a phone that he can use to work around Republicans in Congress, but President Obama also has a jet and a helicopter. He used them both Wednesday as he set off on a two-day traveling sales tour to promote his State of the Union agenda to increase economic mobility for American workers, stopping first at a Costco store in Lanham, Md., just outside the Beltway, and then at a U.S. Steel plant here. "Wherever I can take steps to expand opportunity for more families, regardless of what Congress does, that's what I'm going to do," Obama told steelworkers gathered on a factory floor.
January 12, 1999 | Bloomberg News
Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth Jr. (R-Del.) on Monday called on President Clinton to have the government create personal retirement accounts for taxpayers as part of his fiscal 2000 budget. Roth, originator of the Roth IRA and a longtime champion of individual retirement accounts, is pushing his own plan that would finance a new type of retirement account with projected budget surpluses.
October 13, 2013 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: Recently my mother passed away. My brother and I were fortunate enough to inherit a substantial amount of money from her life insurance. My brother and I do not want to spend this money and have placed the funds in brokerage accounts. My question is this: Because of the often-volatile market, is there a better way to invest this money? Should we take this money out of the market and save some of it in a bank? Answer: Your first task with a windfall is to determine your goal (or goals)
With the fading of the savings and loan crisis amid the economic boom of the mid-1990s, few people worry about losing a big chunk of their savings through a bank failure. But as international financial crises grind along, with reports from other countries about the potential insolvency of banks, the deposit insurance that U.S. bank customers enjoy is pleasantly reassuring. The "full faith and credit" of the U.S.
Malcolm and Trisha Marcy first met in cyberspace three years ago, trading casual conversation via America Online. After marrying last November, the couple arranged their desktop computers side by side in the spare bedroom of their Huntington Beach apartment. Equipped with financial software, the Marcys are now tracking their household income, expenses and taxes in an effort to reduce debt.
Genell Dean is saving money for a house. That simple statement would have been unthinkable 18 months ago when, pregnant and with two young children in tow, Dean fled Atlanta and her husband, ending up in a Salvation Army shelter here. And it still is unthinkable for nearly everyone who spent most of the last year on welfare, as Dean did in order to feed her family. In most of the United States, anyone who has $1,000 in assets is no longer eligible for payments.
Judy Orlanski would seem to have little cause for financial anxiety. A dozen years from retirement, she owns a portfolio worth $450,000 and adds about $35,000 to it each year. But rather than enjoy a sense of security, she frets that she doesn't have enough money nor any overall financial strategy. "I don't feel like I have a clear direction or any rhyme or reason to my portfolio," she said. Her worries even crimp her lifestyle.
March 24, 1997
Re "A Nest Egg Squashed," Commentary, March 19: Was anyone surprised by S.J. Diamond's account of Home Savings transferring her mother's untouched savings to the state without notifying her? These days we pay more money than ever for less service. Have you ever noticed that most branches of a bank list the same phone number in the phone book? It's almost impossible to get through to your actual branch. And except for my credit union, I see not much encouragement out there in the banking community for those of us trying to save money but who don't yet have much to save.
October 12, 1988
Perhaps if Bush spent less time wrapping himself in the flag he would be better informed about savings opportunities for the average American. I was astounded by his recent proposal for an independent savings account, not only because it does so little, but because there is already a program which accomplishes what he suggests and much more. The existing program allows anyone to save as little as $25 and as much as $15,000 per year and defer the income tax on the interest until withdrawal.
October 1, 2013 | By David Lazarus
As pre-enrollment begins for Obamacare, Albert is exploring his options. He wants to know more about health savings accounts. Good idea. Health savings accounts, or HSAs, can be a good fit for some, but not for all. Basically, a health savings account is like an IRA for healthcare. Money you put into it isn't subject to federal taxes. It can also roll over from one year to the next if unspent. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions If you withdraw money from an HSA for non-medical purposes, there are penalties.
July 23, 2013 | By E. Scott Reckard
In a blockbuster L.A. financial merger, Pacific Western Bank plans to acquire CapitalSource Bank, creating a robust regional bank with a national commercial lending arm - but wiping out a source of high-yield savings accounts for Southern Californians. CapitalSource had specialized in providing savings options for conservative investors, offering among the best rates in the country at a time when many institutions are paying virtually zero interest. The banks' parent firms, PacWest Bancorp and CapitalSource Inc., said late Monday that PacWest would pay CapitalSource shareholders about $2.3 billion in cash and stock.
November 28, 2012 | Kathy M. Kristof, Personal Finance
When Andre Soto heard about a new program that could turn $500 of college savings into $2,000 almost overnight, the Lincoln Heights father of two assumed it was a Ponzi scheme. "There are so many scams going on, and this was clearly too good to be true," he said. But the account he stumbled across, called Triple Boost, is no Ponzi scheme. It's part of an anti-poverty program offered by San Francisco nonprofit Earn. Launched in 2001, Earn is one of hundreds of purveyors of so-called Individual Development Accounts, which are matched savings accounts aimed at helping low-income Americans build economic stability through savings.
March 1, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Thursday began taking complaints about bank checking and savings accounts as it continues to expand its operations. “Deposit accounts play a critical role in the lives of most Americans, but these products and the laws governing them are complicated,” said the bureau's director, Richard Cordray.  “Consumers need someone on their side to keep banks and credit unions accountable - that is our job at the consumer bureau.” The agency said it expects to hear a variety of complaints, including problems related to opening and closing accounts, dealing with low account balances and using debit or ATM cards.
January 24, 2012 | David Lazarus
Frequent-flier miles clearly have value — why else would people want them? But do they also represent taxable income? Citibank seems to think so. It's sending tax forms to people who received thousands of miles as a reward for opening a checking or savings account. Those forms value each mile at about 2.5 cents and list the total dollar amount as miscellaneous income. This is news to tax pros. "I've been practicing for 25 years and I've never had an instance where miles have been treated as taxable," said Gregg Wind, a West Los Angeles certified public accountant.
October 30, 2011 | By Kenneth R. Harney
When you apply for a mortgage to buy a house, how often does the lender ask detailed questions about monthly energy costs or tell the appraiser to factor in the energy-efficiency features of the house when coming up with a value? Hardly ever. That's because the big three mortgage players — Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration, which together account for more than 90% of all loan volume — typically don't consider energy costs in underwriting. Yet utility bills can be larger annual cash drains than property taxes or insurance — key factors in standard underwriting — and can seriously affect a family's ability to afford a house.
August 14, 2011 | By Scott Wilson, Los Angeles Times
College savings 529 plans, which allow individuals to save money for higher education in tax-free investment accounts, have proved so popular that there are now about 10 million of the accounts nationwide, according to Financial Research Corp. Funds saved in the state-sponsored accounts can also be spent tax-free, but you have to follow the rules. • Anyone — parents, grandparents, friends — can set up 529 plans for prospective college students. You can even establish one for yourself.
July 25, 2011 | By Lisa Zamosky, Special to the Los Angeles Times
My aunt is in a nursing home. They tell us she isn't allowed to leave unless she gets the doctor's permission. If she does, she has to sign a statement saying she doesn't hold them liable and will lose all her healthcare coverage. She is on Medicare. Can you help? For starters, no doctor or any other healthcare provider has the authority to strip you of your health insurance benefits, including Medicare, the federal program for senior citizens. There are requirements that must be met in order for Medicare to cover some of the cost of your aunt's current stay in the skilled nursing facility, or SNF. However, it's unlikely that the care she's already received from the home would be denied because she left against the doctor's orders.
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