7.22.19 Equifax settlement reached; School lunch madness; Best payment apps


I'm so glad you're with us here on the Clark Howard Show where it's all about you and that Walla Yours wants you to learn ideas so you can unsafe Morris spin last. Don't let anyone ever rip you off coming up in just a few minutes can't believe it again. Another school. District is in the news and today's Clark rage making a big fuss about kids who didn't pay for their school lunches. Wait till you hear the angle of this one and coming up yet later. I've told you in the past how much Zell stinks is a payment platform at form Z.. E. L. L. E. Well consumer. Reports has actually done ratings on payment services. I WanNa tell you what they've said about payment services that people use like then Mo and apple pay in the rest so you know what you need to know to protect your wallet from people who might try to steal your money from you WanNa talk right now about a lot of theft that's gone on. That's identify theft in the aftermath over the last couple years of the largest most ugly data breach in the history of the modern era and that was the equifax data breach the hit roughly one hundred fifty million the American adults <hes> somewhere close to two and three adults in the United States who had their identities wholesale stolen so many people's identities stolen that it when criminals go to buy things like social security numbers and all that kind of stuff that the value of those in the marketplace has fallen to virtually zero pennies. There's so much information available on us now what used to be precious and valuable having somebody social security number having their mother's maiden name having their current and prior addresses all the things that are involved and taking over someone's identity that there's so much of it it's classic supply and demand that the value of it to crooks has gone down down down for you and me the hassle factor has gone up up up Equifax has reached a deal with federal and state regulators that is much less than a slap on the wrist. It's a joke how little consequences Equifax is going to suffer dude. It's gross negligence for you and me as consumers there will be some compensation available if you in fact have been harmed because because of the Equifax Day debris now I him and haul over that because how do you prove definitively when you've had a problem with identity theft that it is because of the Equifax spreech and there's really no easy smoking gun or clearly defined trail that leads an identity theft problem back to equifax doorstep. It's clear who were the the people whose information was breached is. I've got four young Clark Dot Com you can see whether or not you are one of the people whose identity was breached but even if you're on that list and you had a problem. How do you know it's from that man? In the aftermath of the FACS data breach. I've had a number of incidents happen with credit card numbers being compromised and other things that have occurred that are forms terms of identity theft but I don't know if any of those things that happen specifically relate to the equifax breach now there was a huge yahoo breach where people's user names and passwords were exposed for every Yahoo Mail person in the world and so some things happened to me after that became known that makes me wonder some things have happened to me is because the guy who breach so this this is it's tough to figure out the trail but if you have had problems where you've actually had to lay out money you're eligible for five hundred bucks just for the time <music>. I'm that you've spent dealing with some form of identity breach and any out-of-pocket expenses you've had you can get that in addition and there are some other elements of this that all await wait court approval and I will have for you on car dot com what you need to know. Once there is a final agreement that is blessed by the courts but the most important thing that came clear today is that one note Clark still has one note to play with the Equifax data-breach and that is there is nothing in the settlement the gets the the core of how you can better protect your identity than a tool. We've had now for free for a year and that is doing a credit freeze. Credit freeze is still the only effective strategy strategy that we possess to protect our identity and our personal information so I've got at CAR DOT COM my credit freeze guiding at Clark Dot com slash Equifax and you'll be able to see what you need to know and do but this is an ongoing tale that leads to only one conclusion you know those name your own adventure books there's only one conclusion this adventure or misadventure with Equifax and Yahoo and the other breaches and that is that American industry and banking or going to have to come up with new procedures in new ways to verify our identity because because the old strategy of verifying identity based on our social security numbers in our credit files will not work the system is permanently broken because the equifax data breach Wjr and the only way to restore trust on the part of a business that they're doing business with who they think they're doing business with is to come up with new techniques to verify a lot of those are going to have a creep out factor actor involving biometrics is scans facial scans any of a number of techniques to verify that we are who we say we are <hes> the the most rudimentary level it will be fingerprint scans. The most effective of all that I know of at least today is voice scans that are supposed to be unique to each individual as the most effective strategy moving forward forward but all of these things involve an additional breach of our personal space in return for a business being able to know or government being able to know that we are who we say we are nick is with us on the car coward show Hello Nick Clark. How are you great? Thank you nick. You got a question for me. That is always a puzzle or how I answer it all right and so the question that I have is it relates to home warranties <hes> you know whether they're worth it and <hes> when if they all worth it you know when when I go about purchasing one right I'm a relatively actively new development about two and a half almost three years old so appliances and things like that are in fairly good shape right but I don't know if these home warranties are our work the cost so here's why puzzle people with the the answer and we just had another Clark stinks from somebody who disagreed with me so much with what I'm about to say to you and cake fan of you when you sell that home offering a home warranty to a buyer. is kind of like a piece of mind thing as a psychological kind of thing for a buyer but I I would never renew that thing. If I were a buyer of your home because the home warranty companies are generally very difficult difficult to deal with require that you use only their supplied contractors require that you pay a deductible for every visit and the people who will most likely sign up to take the low reimbursements that come from a warranty company or not generally going to be <hes>. Let's say the elites of whatever skilled trade it is that someone's coming to see you see I believe that if you think about over a ten year period you're telling you about approximately five thousand six thousand dollars that you would pay four having a home warranty and think about how many repairs you can do as you would wish nice to do them with that cow exactly that's not so I see them as a marketing technique when you're selling a home but that's all I see them as so so typically when you <hes> engage one of these companies do they come out to do any kind of an inspection or you would think they would but the private margins on these are so John Enormous that they generally don't do that they just right the warranty for you and then you're in their quote unquote protection plan and they all have their own protocol about how they do what they do and they vary equality how they respond to people from company to company but I just am not excited by the idea and then I'll have some call me and say how wrong I am because they had <hes> something go out in their home that after they paid their deductible the warranty company took care of it and look how much they would have spent if they'd listen to me and not bought the warranty so that's the counter to what I say but it's one of those areas where era I believe your your best insurance company. If you take what you would put toward those premiums and you put it into a house maintenance fun to me. That's the best idea Ashley's with us on the car coward show Hi Ashley Hello. How are you I- excellent tar? You Great. Thank you and you are getting married. I am regulations. Well thank you you like your fiancee's family I do isn't that Nice. That's important thing. I always want to know that you're not GONNA have not marrying into family. Drama of any guy actually got lucky this one good well. How can I yeah Prob- I wanted to thank you first off just <hes> for being willing to share your experiences and your knowledge with others 'cause it helps us to make informed decisions and I know for me? It's played a large role in my life over the years just helping and understanding how to be a better better more competent consumer. We'll probably you. Hey So my question you know I recently got engaged and I'm actually looking for advice on non wedding days to consider so as a background my fiance and I were both step free. We have mutually decided that we wanted to Prenup and we both make good salaries <hes> and we also split the cost of living fifty fifty and we're undecided on having children. I'm actually looking for advice on stuff like how do I know whether to do taxes filed or combined and what type of life insurance to get and how to decide what spouse should get on that each other health plans and things along that line and can I asked generally the ages that you and your say I am thirty and then my fiance thirty four okay so you've been out there on your own for a while neither view coming into the marriage with kids crack so you're starting fresh Arash so the pre-nup thing you both WanNa do a prenup and it's funny. I'm not into prenups because I'm just an incurable romantic and so if you think about what a Prenup is it's like like planning before you get married for what happens if the marriage doesn't work yeah and so that that really is something I'm not generally comfortable with even if it did make financial sense okay if it's something that it feels right to both of you the you should do it and you're both of an equal mind about that then go ahead and do it. pre-nup becomes more important. If one or the other of you is coming into the marriage with a great deal of assets. Oh I see okay is that true for either of you where very equal and what we'd be coming into the marriage with so. I don't know that that as important although I do like the age you're getting married that you have each of you have your own accounts and then you have a a joint household account crap and that you agree based on what you're combined. Expenses are the money the each of you contributes each month so you make sure renner mortgage or paid. That kind of thing is for life insurance. I would like for each of you to have a life insurance policy for the benefit of the other and my general rule. Is that you by ten times each of your annual income. Okay you buy a simple level term insurance policy and at the age each of you are by a straight thirty year level term policy okay you can buy those now even without a medical exam. If you want or you you can go through a traditional thing where you buy with an exam. I've got examples companies that do the instant issue policies where they do it based on being able to check electronically. What's happened with you medically overtime I got I've got a story about that on Clark Dot com okay but the other things I'd like for the two of you to sit down and have a serious talk about what your goals are for your lifetime time? What do you how long you WanNa work which you WANNA do in retirement think through what the goals are and what you're going to do to achieve those goals I think that is core and Qui Tam and good communication moving forward okay? I can't believe that we have a third Clark rage about yet again. Another spat going on over school breakfast and lunch is the last one was when that I really trashed a school all system and then more information came out later and I set the record straight that there was more to the story than I had originally told this one doesn't seem to be anything more of the story will come out but it tried to imagine this the Wyoming Valley West School district which is in Pennsylvania sent over a thousand ladders home to various families of kids in the school district who who had unpaid money for lunches mostly and most of the bills were ten dollars or so for unpaid lunches and the school district in its letter threatened written that if the bills were not paid that the parents who are gonNA lose their children their children we're going to be taken away and put in foster care and that is according to a report from T._v.. Station W. N. e. p. the letters <music> are really creepy. Scary about telling parents are going to take away their kids and school. District's actually don't have that power part of adulthood is having to do things that you don't really WanNa do like red eye flights working late visiting in laws and getting life insurance but another part of adulthood is learning to delegate what you hate and while you can't delegate a visit to the in-laws you can definitely delegate Delegate Life Insurance Shopping policy geniuses the easy way to shop for Life Insurance Online in just two minutes you can bear quotes from top insurers to find your best price and policy genius doesn't just make life insurance easy they can also help you find the right home insurance auto insurance and disability insurance so if you need life insurance but you just don't WanNa deal with all the legwork head to policy genius dot Com. It's the easy. Easy Way to compare all the top insurers and find the best value for you policy genius delegate. Would you hate especially if you hate getting life insurance. It's my pleasure. Welcome the Clark Howard Show where it's about you learning ways to keep more of what you make Clark Dot Com is our main website Clark deals dot com is where you go to save money each and every day last into last week I had the privilege of being an Tulsa also Oklahoma for dedication of our habitat home there that I did in conjunction with a family that has cosponsored a home with me and Tulsa for years called the swindler family and so we dedicated what is my seventy eighth habitat home. That's been my privilege to build with my listeners viewers readers podcast listeners whatever ever web visitors everybody who's involved in what we do and it was a beautiful dedication and then I flew to Atlanta for day three of are seventy ninth habitat home that we are building alongside a regional supermarket chain called public's. We're splitting that one fifty fifty and I had the displeasure hanging siding. I am so bad at that job but for eight hours hung siding on the side of a house so the side of the house doesn't do well. The side that I was working on Xtra is Oregon. Two of the four sides will know why because I was doing it but it's really hard to properly hang hardy plank which is a concrete based citing that that I was hanging but I'm so grateful to all the volunteers at any of the habitat builds that I'm involved with around the country. I appreciate what you do to create affordable housing that a family can buy at a much. It's lower price than it would be otherwise if it weren't for your volunteer Labor so i WanNa talk again about something that has been a source of a lot of angst thanks for people that I've covered on TV. People who have lost money using peer to peer payment apps the best well known of all is then Mo but now there are a number of others producer Joe. I love the cash APP from square. Some people use doesn't have much market share. They use apple pay and then there's one the banks out of fear of these non-bank entities getting getting on their turf. The banks have pushed really hard an APP called Zell that either can be a standalone but usually if you go into your banks out there will be a thing for you to send money to someone and this has been the core the source of a lot of tears and heartache and lost money for people as with these peer to peer APPs. A lot of criminals on craigslist in other places are trying to get you to use payment APPs to send the money will once money goes that money is gone forever. Zell in particular has terrible terrible problems with it that you have no hope if you accidentally mistype digit and put in the wrong phone number for somebody that money's gone forever Zell didn't even put proper disclosures till recently after consumer reports gave Zell Lowest score by far of any payment APP now no this if you see the thing of sending money to someone on your bank sap no that that behind the scenes almost certainly Ezell and it's too hot to handle consumer reports gave Zell this is shocking and overall score of fifty I mean even cable companies. Get higher scores than fifty and I've trashed Zell repeatedly on the air and on Clark Dot Com and we've offered Zella chance to go on the Air I think soon we'll have someone from sell on the air with me trying to explain why I misunderstand why I'm wrong. Whatever and why Zell is the greatest thing ever but that's the way I do things is when I pick on somebody they have the opportunity to come on the air and get a opportunity to have their say of the a peer to peer payment services the only one that got what I consider to be a passing grade in the seventies still a mediocre score was apple pay? That apple pay does the best job of anybody a payment authentication does as good a job as the cash out data security and does the best job of any of them at data privacy and the best customer support of all of them tested was from then Mo but the thing is none of these are exactly doing a great job when the chips are down because there was never any anticipation dissipation in banking regulations or wall four peer to peer payment APPs so it's a bit of a wild west kind of environment. It's still the pioneer stage and you know what they say. Hey Pioneers got slaughtered. Settlers can get rich no that when you're using these APPs be very very careful and use any of them only for the purpose of paying money to family members. There's or close friends. Family members are close friends. Nobody else pete is with us on the Clark Howard Show Hello Pete Pete. You're there air yeah hello. Hey Pete so Clark. How're you doing today great? I understand that you handle your money extremely well well. I do the best I can. Yes so let's hear here how you handle your money day to day month to month. Wow we we use credit cards but we pay them off before they do. We don't finance cars and the only staff that we have is our mortgage okay so that's classic great finance and by the way you said you have a mortgage you're paying. I just saw this fantastic stat that thirty seven percent of homeowners now own their homes free and clear no mortgage wow so I would think it would be. I know I know but that's good news and that's a great trendline. So that's your next ambition. Maybe except that are higher priorities yeah. So what else goes on in your life that I could possibly help you with because sounds like you're already handling money great yeah. The question I had was the fact that we don't really have any revolving debt except for I yes the mortgage. If you call that revolving debt we'll that affect us our children getting <hes> financial aid when they go to college and around four or five years okay so good questions. First of all mortgage is not revolving debt. Your credit cards are heavily mortgage which is a different kind of debt actually isn't improving factor for your credit score because it's easier for the credit scoring models to figure out your overall risk risk profile which is what a credit score is really about by having different types of credit so as far as the situation with your kids how A. R. Twelve all in fourteen okay. Are You doing five twenty nine accounts for them. We have not been 'cause that's one thing we really haven't been able to contribute to. They have small accounts. I think they've got a total of maybe fifteen thousand and that's it and they probably won't have more because our mortgages rather high because we needed to buy an area where the schools were good for the kids all right so what happens as far as when you fill out the FAFSA again that's why I wanted to. At the age of your kids because the factors could change between now with a twelve or fourteen year old and when your kids are going to college but what the what the fastest looking for is how much much in assets you have that could be devoted to your kid's college and as a simple number not one hundred percent accurate roughly five percent of the money you have available. Oh and non retirement accounts money actual cash is expected to be used for your child's college as part of the financial aid formula so if you've got a high mortgage you're saving money is you're not running credit card debt or whatever those things don't really affect what would happen on the fast. It's really more about what you got so that's the core war and key question for you. Pete is what is your supply of cash like sorry Clark. I miss you there for a mental I said what's your supply of cash like do you have we have an emergency fund and we have been doing a little bit of investing but we don't have a lot right so the investing you should do with looking at kids being in college from four to the next ten ten years is you should look very heavily at only doing your investing in qualified retirement accounts like five twenty nine no no I'm talking about like Roth. I._R._A.'s or uh not traditional investment accounts because racial investment account money you'll be expected to use for your kids college but retirement account money not so at least under the rules is they're established today so your kids likely are going to be able to find eligibility for financial aid as long as you don't have a lot of cash sitting around and non in retirement purposes. You'll be a okay through the financial. Aid Process Jeff joins us on the Car Coward Show Hi Jeff Great. Thank you Jeff. I have a question and starting. Did you <hes> research on solar <hes> because I have a college in my air-conditioning costs quite high in the Florida something so oh I think he gets I can cut down on my boss size so yeah it'd be okay but the problem is <hes> everywhere with social media bombing me with <hes> yeah. It's all over the place. 'cause they know looking. I don't know what's do aware to turn how wall directly <hes> charge which guys just trying to me off and which which guys I can cost you help me out a little bit yeah so the first thing I want to go back to something you said upfront that I was having trouble hearing. Did you say your house leaks really badly air conditioning <hes> <hes> it's <hes> old very old forty year old manufactured home okay so the first thing before you even consider solar. Is there the ability to put in additional insulation either either blown in a I don't know if you could do batt insulation anywhere manufactured home but you could certainly use the new products that are a foam kind of product that would do a good job of sealing the air leaks in your home which would actually be the first step I would recommend before you look quite solar. How many square feet is the manufactured home nineteen ninety nine? Oh so it's a two thousand square-foot homeless pretty good size home yeah that counts <hes> the Florida Room in the back and <hes> there's a <music> small forks that they add into the square footage but mostly it's interior okay so you may have something that would support having a small solar panel system and in Florida you you bring up an interesting thing by mentioning the state of Florida because I don't know if you're aware but the monopoly power providers in the state of Florida Florida have been given wide latitude to make it very difficult for Florida homeowners to put in solar that yes and so I until the political climate it becomes less corrupt in Florida. I would say that you're playing with fire pudding solar in at your home. The legislature has pretty much established public policy in the state of Florida that solar is to be called utility scale that the power companies monopoly power companies put in the solar in huge arrays and they control the supply of solar and that if you was a homeowner you wanna put it in and generate your own power. The process in Florida is very hostile to you and the worst cases in Florida people have installed solar and then not been able to turn it on because the monopoly power company refuses to come out and do the final inspection the other nuisance state of Florida has been that the power companies have been requiring these nuisance insurance policies claiming the solar could cause great damage to the power grid and requiring you to have insurance policies as large as a million dollars to protect the power company so here I am. I'm almost helping the power companies defeat individuals putting an sewer but I would discourage you right now until the corruption that has infested the energy system in the state of Florida is dealt with <hes> either by citizen initiative or by enough light being shown on this problem that it goes away so for now I would say do the things that would make your home more efficient and if you haven't installed called computer thermostat like a nasty or something like that do that as well to reduce your bills if you haven't installed l._e._d.. Lighting do that. I would do all those things instead of doing solar because of this ridiculous ridiculous political problem corruption problem in Florida. It's ASS Clark time. That's where you post to question for me at Clark Dot com slash ask producer Joel then pops your question for me. Are you me for you. They say that this one is for Craig and he says what's the difference between a target retirement fund and Target Retirement Index Fund. You seem to use the phrases interchangeably but I think maybe one has more fees okay so this is mainly a fidelity issue fidelity which is one of the largest players in the country and 4. Plans and one of the largest financial organizations in the world fidelity offers in a lot of employer all your plans and then outside of employer plan if you're doing a Roth I._R._A.. With fidelity they offer you a choice of a target retirement plan which is an investment plan geared towards the age closest or year closest as to when you plan to retire and it's a little pricey for the management fees on the traditional fidelity target retirement plan so fidelity has a second type called a target retirement requirement index fund that also is for whatever year so you let's say for Year Twenty fifty you go in the index version or the regular. The index version has much lower costs and is actually the fidelity product. I recommend for you to be in in your employer provided 4. Or your own Roth I._R._A.. You're listening to the Clark Howard. Show thanks for joining.

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