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Companies start to hire not fire

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McLEAN, Va. (11/2/09)--A new survey by the National Association for Business Economics, Washington, D.C., finds that economic recovery is slowly under way. For the first time since the recession began, more companies are planning to add staff than to cut jobs (USA Today Oct. 26). This may be good news for the future, but if you’re unemployed, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to stay afloat until your personal situation improves (Marketwatch.com Oct. 27). If you’ve experienced a job loss, the Credit Union National Association’s Center for Personal Finance gives this advice to help you get back in the job market:
* Get the word out. The most important thing to do is communicate. Let everyone know you’re looking for a job. * Network. The more people who know you’re looking for work, the better. Don’t forget former co-workers. Consider using professional online networking tools such as LinkedIn to stay in touch with former colleagues and business acquaintances. * Consider temp work--especially if you need to work now. Some income is better than none, and you never know when something temporary may turn into a permanent position. * Revamp your résumé. Focus on achievements rather than descriptions; edit, cut, and condense your information; list your successes by showing your accomplishments, committees you’ve joined, and quantifiable results. * Think about nontraditional job options. Using your talent and skills from a previous job and working from home can make freelancing or starting a small business a lucrative option.
For more help in surviving a job loss, see the “Get Back in the Game After Losing a Job” Turning Point in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

HandFF Radio guests discuss recession tactics

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WASHINGTON (10/30/09)--Sunday's H&FF Radio show will feature policy experts tackling recession issues facing families. They include: tips if you are falling behind on car payments, how to handle intergenerational wealth planning, credit score advice, and techniques to manage your personal cost of living. Home & Family Finance airs Sundays at 3 p.m. ET on the Radio America Network. The show also is carried on American Forces Radio Network. The one-hour program devoted to consumer finance issues is brought to you by America's credit unions and their 90 million members, and is presented by CO-OP Network. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and Radio America are podcasting Home & Family Finance through iTunes, Podcast Alley, Odeo, and other popular podcast library sites, as well as on Radio America and CUNA's websites. Sunday's show, which you also can hear later via the Internet, features Paul Berry, Washington, D.C., journalist and broadcaster, discussing these topics with special guests:
* "Five Tips if You Are Falling Behind on Car Payments," with Eric Hoffman, spokesman, AWARE, Washington, D.C.; * "Intergenerational Wealth Planning: New Ways to Handle an Age-Old Process," with Eric Aanes, founder and president, Titus Wealth Management, San Mateo and Larkspur, Calif.; * "Financial Fitness: More Than a Good Credit Score," with Brad Stroh, co-founder and CEO, Bills.com, San Mateo, Calif.; and * "10 Techniques to Manage Your Personal Cost of Living," with Kathy Kristof, senior writer, Los Angeles Times.
Home & Family Finance is a resource center for personal finance information at CUNA. The radio show is sponsored by CO-OP Network, the national credit union ATM network; Cabot Creamery Cooperative, maker of award-winning cheddar; Western Corporate FCU (WesCorp) and its member credit unions; and the Defense Credit Union Council and member credit unions, serving those who serve the country worldwide. For more information, read "Debt Settlement Sets a Costly Trap" and "Tough Times Series: Gas, Groceries on Credit a Slippery Slope" in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

Brace for open enrollment changes price hikes

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PHILADELPHIA (10/28/09)--No one knows for sure if health care reform will pass this year, but one thing is certain: Your 2010 health insurance premium will continue to climb. Now experts are issuing new warnings about the high cost of ignoring your open enrollment packet (Philly.com Oct. 20). If you don’t digest the details of your information packet, you may miss important changes. For example, some employers are reducing the number of health plan options offered, and yours may be eliminated; to keep the same physician, you may have to pay higher out-of-network costs. Also, many employers are increasing the co-payment on brand-name medications, while others are requiring--in lieu of co-payments--that you pay a percentage of the actual cost (The New York Times Oct. 10). If you are in an health maintenance organization (HMO) or preferred-provider organization (PPO), expect out-of-pocket costs, premiums, and co-payments to increase by about 10% in 2010. Some companies are hiking deductibles $50, $100, or more. Surveys reveal that about one of four employers offers a high-deductible health plan. More employers are pushing these plans because they cost about 20% less than an HMO or PPO. High-deductible plans may have deductibles of $2,500 or as much as $5,000, although some employers contribute $500 to $1,000 into a health savings account that you use to offset the deductible. One important benefit of health savings accounts is that the money stays in the account for next year’s expenses if you don’t use it all, unlike use-it-or-lose-it flexible spending accounts. As premiums spike, expect employers to shift those costs your way. The average health care premium will increase to $9,120 in 2010, up from $8,607 in 2009, according to human resources consulting firm Hewitt Associates, Lincolnshire, Ill. (Miami Herald Oct. 18). Out-of-pocket expenses are expected to increase to $4,023, up from $3,656 in 2009. Bottom line: Read your enrollment packet cover to cover. Don’t assume you can keep the same coverage. If you do nothing, your employer may sign you up for what you had before, which may not be the best choice given plan changes, or--worse--drop you altogether, leaving you with no coverage at all.

Medicare Part D Advantage costs rising in 2010

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WASHINGTON (10/26/09)--If you’re enrolled in Medicare Part D, expect to see a significant increase in your out-of-pocket costs. In 2010, average premiums for Medicare Part D will increase by 7% to $30 a month. The average cost for Medicare Advantage plans will increase by 22% to $39 a month (US News & World Report Oct. 13). Premiums aren’t the only items that are increasing. More stand-alone drug plans will have deductibles and more will have coverage gaps starting in 2010. Medicare Advantage plans also are increasing co-pays, and not all providers participate in the plans. Even if you’re happy with your current coverage, you should be prepared for other changes. For example, many insurers are changing formularies--the lists of medications that they’ll help you pay for--and you may have to pay more for a medication if your insurer switches your drug from preferred to non-preferred. Some tips to handle rising costs:
*Take advantage of this year’s open enrollment period. You have from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31 to examine all the prescription drug plans your state offers. *Analyze your options for Medicare Part D. Fortunately, you can get expert help making this analysis. The U.S. Department of Health and Social Services offers a Medicare prescription drug plan finder. Visit Medicare.gov and click on “Compare Drug Plans.” Type in your drugs and dosages, and see the total out-of-pocket costs for your medications throughout the year. Or, call 800-633-4227 for personalized assistance (Kiplinger’s Oct. 8). *Consider Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage (also known as Medicare health plans) is an alternative to paying for the combination of Medicare Part B, a Part D prescription-drug plan, and a medigap policy. To find out about prices and coverage for plans in your area, go to Medicare.gov and click on “Compare Health Plans.”
For more information, use the links.

HandFF Radio experts offer ideas for taxes and the holidays

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WASHINGTON (10/23/09)--Policy experts on Sunday's H&FF Radio show tackle a range of issues facing families during the coming winter: IRS minimum distributions extended, home heating tips, credit reports and money management tips for the holidays. Home & Family Finance airs Sundays at 3 p.m. EDT on the Radio America Network. The show also is carried on American Forces Radio Network. The one-hour program devoted to consumer finance issues is brought to you by America's credit unions and their 90 million members, and is presented by CO-OP Network. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and Radio America are podcasting Home & Family Finance through iTunes, Podcast Alley, Odeo, and other popular podcast library sites, as well as on Radio America and CUNA's websites. Sunday's show, which you also can hear later via the Internet, features Paul Berry, Washington, D.C., journalist and broadcaster, discussing these topics with special guests:
* “IRS Extends Deadline to Roll Over 2009 Required Minimum Distributions,” with Dennis Zuelhke, compliance manager, Ascensus IRA Services, Middleton, Wis.; * “Home Heating This Winter: Temperatures, Fuel Costs, Tips and Tax Credits,” with Ronnie Kweller, deputy director of communications, Alliance to Save Energy, Washington, D.C.; * “Your Credit Report Card: Do You Make the Grade?” with John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education, Credit.com and contributor to CNBC’s On the Money, Atlanta, Geo.; * “Tips for Happy Holidays without the Financial Headache,” with Michael Gutter, PhD, assistant professor and family financial management specialist, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.; and * Your Questions Answered: Annuities as a Retirement Funding strategy; Need Help Paying Bills--Do You Have to Give Power of Attorney; Increase Insurance Coverage When Remodeling: Paying Bills on the Web--Pay Each Company or Pay from Your Financial Institution or Consolidated Service.
Home & Family Finance is a resource center for personal finance information at CUNA. The radio show is sponsored by CO-OP Network, the national credit union ATM network; Cabot Creamery Cooperative, maker of award-winning cheddar; Western Corporate FCU (WesCorp) and its member credit unions; and the Defense Credit Union Council and member credit unions, serving those who serve our country worldwide. For more information, read "IRS extends deadline to roll over 2009 RMDs" and "Act quickly to correct credit report errors" in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

Hidden costs add to holiday travel budget

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ATLANTA (10/21/09)--Airlines are tacking on fees at every opportunity, according to Associated Press airlines writer Harry R. Weber. That means your holiday travel may end up costing a lot more than you thought (Associated Press Oct. 8). While you may not be one of those paying $100 to check a fragile item--like antlers on Frontier Airlines--you could get socked with unexpected fees. Airline policies vary, so check the rules for your carrier.
* Boogie boards, skate boards, and even bowling balls may cost extra for handling and packaging. It may cost less to rent the item at your destination, and you avoid having it damaged or lost by the airline. * It can cost $100 or more one way to travel with your pet. Boarding and professional pet sitters are options. Or, consider trading pet care duties with a neighbor. * Size and weight matters to the airlines. Measure the height, width, and depth of carry-on and checked bags, and make sure they are within airline requirements. Oversized bags can incur an extra fee regardless of how much they weigh. Even an ounce over the baggage weight limit can cost $50 or more. To avoid having to pay the fee, or the embarrassment of removing a few items at the counter, weigh your bag before you leave home. * If you’re booked on the red eye or just want to catch a few ZZZs, be prepared to pay for a blanket and pillow. * Most airlines add a fee ranging from $25 to $100 to send a child younger than age 12 on a flight alone. Weber notes that parents usually can walk children to the gate where they are left in the company of a crew member.
Charges for checking baggage, in-flight snacks, and window or aisle seating also boost the total cost of your ticket. With all those extra fees, over the river and through the woods by horse and sleigh may be the cheapest way to visit grandma for the holidays. For more information, read “Find Good Travel Deals Even in a Bum Economy” in the Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

Fees pile up for cell phone users

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WASHINGTON (10/19/09)--Looking for extra cash? Adjusting your cell phone habits may be your best bet. While $50 is the average monthly bill for the more than 255 million cell phone users, according to the U.S. Census Bureau (reuters.com Oct. 12) many pay more than they bargained for. How you use your cell phone may affect the total cost each month. Depending on a user’s service contract, accessing the Internet from a Web-enabled phone, using text messages, and even calling directory assistance can mean additional costs beyond the agreed-upon monthly service fee (cbsnews.com Oct. 8). Here are three ways to save on your monthly cell phone bill:
* Call online.Limit cell phone use by making calls through a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. You must have access to the Web through a digital subscriber line (DSL) or a cable modem, but the costs per call are typically much less expensive. Some providers even offer free service. Costs, call quality, and technical requirements vary depending on the provider. * Shop around.Looking for a cell phone plan? Go online to compare devices, contracts and services. Be sure to understand how making changes to your service will affect the contract. Visit with sales personnel for the carriers you’ve identified to ask specific questions and test phones to narrow your choices. This will help you find the best service and cell phone for your needs. * Track usage.Check your cell phone provider online and review your account often. Typically you can view minutes used during the current billing cycle and plan accordingly to avoid additional fees. Many cell phones also have settings that allow users to see how many minutes they have used, and even alert users when they reach a certain amount.

HandFF Radio experts offer money management ideas

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WASHINGTON (10/16/09)--Policy experts on Sunday's H&FF Radio show tackle a range of issues facing families during these tough times: retirement saving, financial empowerment for domestic violence survivors, identity theft, and overdrafts. Home & Family Finance airs Sundays at 3 p.m. EDT on the Radio America Network. The show also is carried on American Forces Radio Network. The one-hour program devoted to consumer finance issues is brought to you by America's credit unions and their 90 million members, and is presented by CO-OP Network. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and Radio America are podcasting Home & Family Finance through iTunes, Podcast Alley, Odeo, and other popular podcast library sites, as well as on Radio America and CUNA's websites. Sunday's show, which you also can hear later via the Internet, features Paul Berry, Washington, D.C., journalist and broadcaster, discussing these topics with special guests:
* “Five Rules to Retirement Saving,” with Bill Losey, certified financial planner and author; Bill Losey Retirement Solutions, Wilton, New York; * “Financial Empowerment for Domestic Violence Survivors,” with Sue Else, president, National Network to End Domestic Violence, Washington, D.C.; * “Why We’re Losing the War Against Identity Theft,” with Robert Siciliano, television news correspondent, author and security expert, Boston, Mass.; * “Spending Money You Don’t Have? Overdrafts Are Telling You Something,” with Susan Tiffany, director, consumer periodicals, Center for Personal Finance, CUNA, Madison, Wis.; and * Your Questions Answered: Financially Savvy Disaster Planning; Freezing Your Credit Report; New Benefits in 529 College Savings Plans; Book Flights Now to Avoid Holiday Headaches and Higher Prices.
Home & Family Finance is a resource center for personal finance information at CUNA. The radio show is sponsored by CO-OP Network, the national credit union ATM network; Cabot Creamery Cooperative, maker of award-winning cheddar; Western Corporate FCU (WesCorp) and its member credit unions; and the Defense Credit Union Council and member credit unions, serving those who serve the country worldwide. For more information, read "Expert Answers for Your 401 (k) Questions" and "Keep Passwords Strong, Secret, and Safe" in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

Holiday spending gives parents a chance to teach

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MADISON (10/14/9)--Entertainment is an important item for the family budget, even (and perhaps especially) in hard economic times. Holidays popular with children can be a good opportunity for you to model sound money management while rewarding and renewing family bonds. This holiday season, besides having a good time with your children, treat them to some painless budgeting lessons. Here are some ideas that also can work for other special events such as vacations from Philip Heckman, of the Center for Personal Finance at the Credit Union National Association.
* Include your children in spending decisions. Decide the total amount you can afford to spend on the event. Then ask your children to help you decide how much can go for presents, food, souvenirs and so on. Make it clear that you have the final vote, but by giving them a voice, they’ll be more likely to accept spending limits. * Include your kids when shopping for supplies. Shopping consists of many tasks that are appropriate for children of different ages. For example, older children can help calculate what’s needed for homemade decorations, search for coupons and compare prices. Younger children can help locate items in the store, hunting by picture if they can’t read labels. This teaches what things cost and how to find cheaper alternatives. * Offer financial incentives. Allow your children to “go over budget” by spending their own savings for event extras. This teaches them to plan ahead and use limited resources wisely. It also gives them practice in making financial decisions that affect them directly. And if your kids help you come in under budget, split the surplus with them. * Include some free or low-cost activity. Telling stories around a candle or baking cookies demonstrates that it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money to have fun. And when you repeat inexpensive activities year after year, they can become family traditions as well as some of your family’s best lasting memories.

Are there any deals left on new cars

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. (10/12/09)--Although the “Cash for Clunkers” program depleted inventory on some models this summer and prices are up, there are still deals, tax deductions, and hybrid credits available (Edmunds.com Sept. 21). Deals will be dependent on local inventory, especially for 2009 models. Dealers are making way for 2010 models. If it’s a Saturn you’re looking for, move quickly. While dealers have until October 2010 to close, many of these cars may be gone by January. Some Saturn models are selling below invoice, according to TrueCar.com, and General Motors (GM) will honor the warranty on new Saturn purchases. If you live in California, you could consider buying a new car on eBay. GM is testing the selling of new cars on the auction site. This may be a less stressful way to negotiate a deal and help you turn down dealer add-ons. Wherever you live, look into the federal government’s special tax deduction on state and local sales tax paid on a new car purchase up to $49,500. Taxpayers can take the deduction whether or not they itemize when filing 2009 federal income tax returns. The deduction is available to single filers with adjusted incomes of less than $135,000 and joint filers with incomes of less than $260,000. Federal tax credits are still available for some models of hybrids and vehicles powered by alternative energy fuels such as natural gas and diesel. The credits were originally offered to encourage people to buy fuel-efficient and alternative fuel cars, offsetting some of the extra cost. Consult the Internal Revenue Service rules before you shop. If you do find a deal this fall, your experience will be much smoother if you make purchasing a vehicle, financing a vehicle, and trading a vehicle three separate transactions. Talk first to a credit union loan officer for a pre-approved vehicle loan and you can shop with confidence.

HandFF Radio experts offer tips for tough times (10/08/2009)

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WASHINGTON (10/9/09)--Policy experts on Sunday's H&FF Radio show tackle a range of issues facing families during these tough times: helping military families get--and stay in--their homes; helping lower-income families save for homes, education, or small business ventures; and helping survivors cope when a spouse dies. Home & Family Finance airs Sundays at 3 p.m. EDT on the Radio America Network. The show also is carried on American Forces Radio Network. The one-hour program devoted to consumer finance issues is brought to you by America's credit unions and their 90 million members, and is presented by CO-OP Network. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and Radio America are podcasting Home & Family Finance through iTunes, Podcast Alley, Odeo, and other popular podcast library sites, as well as on Radio America and CUNA's websites. Sunday's show, which you also can hear later via the Internet, features Paul Berry, Washington, D.C., journalist and broadcaster, discussing these topics with special guests:
* "Military Homeowner's Assistance Program," with Katie Savant, deputy director, government relations, National Military Families Association, Alexandria, Va.; * "Fueling Fair Practices: A Road Map to Improved Public Policy for Used-Car Sales and Financing," with John Van Alst, attorney, National Consumer Law Center, Boston; * "Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)--A Savings Account for You?" with Leigh Tivol, senior program manager, CFED-Expanding Economic Opportunity, Washington, D.C.; * "Coping With Change When Your Spouse Dies," with Susan Tiffany, director, consumer periodicals, Center for Personal Finance, CUNA, Madison, Wis.; and * Your Questions Answered: Money Smart Things to Do With Your Income Tax Refund; Identity Theft; Three Ways to Waste Money on a Car.
Home & Family Finance is a resource center for personal finance information at CUNA. The radio show is sponsored by CO-OP Network, the national credit union ATM network; Cabot Creamery Cooperative, maker of award-winning cheddar; Western Corporate FCU (WesCorp) and its member credit unions; and the Defense Credit Union Council and member credit unions, serving those who serve the country worldwide. For more information, read "Turning Points: Rebuild Your Life After a Life Partner Dies" and "Tough Times Series: Services, Sites Help Veterans Navigate Benefits Maze" in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.

Halloween Save dough while having a scary good time

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WASHINGTON (10/7/09)--As consumers cut back on everything from groceries to gas, it’s not surprising that they’ll also cut back on celebrating Halloween. Nearly one of three (29.6%) consumers say a down economy will affect their Halloween spending plans. Consumers are expected to spend an estimated $4.75 billion on Halloween this year, with the average person planning to spend about $56--down about $10 per person from last year (National Retail Federation Sept. 29). Though money may be tight this year, it doesn’t mean that you still can’t have some “spook”tacular fun. Here are a few ideas:
* Decorate your home using standard household items. You may be surprised to find that you probably have tons of items already on hand that would make fantastic decorations. You easily can paint black bats on cardboard, cut them out, and dangle from fishing line; use yarn to create giant spider webs for windows and staircases; recycle old clothes and costumes, stuff them with newspaper, and set them out on your front doorstep or bench (wikihow.com). * Check out Halloween websites. Many sites have clearance sections displaying last year’s favorite costumes. Chances are your three-year-old is too young to know the difference between the “new” Spider-Man and the “old” one--unless he has an older brother suite101.com. * Shop around. Steer away from Halloween specialty stores, where prices usually skyrocket. These stores generally are temporary and many are not set up to do returns or exchanges, or to offer merchandise credits. Also consider shopping closer to Halloween, when prices often fall to 50% to 75% off the original prices at most retailers. * Make your own. Sometimes the best costumes aren’t purchased in stores. Gaudy clothes, a hat, map, and camera make a tourist; spiked hair, makeup, and torn clothing make a rock star; and a sweat suit, tennis shoes, ponytail or headband, and iPod make a great runner or fitness trainer.

Act now to lower your 09 tax bill

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WASHINGTON (10/5/09)--The government has tweaked the tax laws to give you more opportunity to save on your 2009 taxes. Don’t wait until you file in 2010--act now or you’ll miss the full advantage of some of these tax savings (Kiplinger.com Sept. 21).
* Make or increase your 401(k) contributions. Your 401(k) contributions come off your paycheck before taxes are withheld and reduce your taxable income immediately. Many employers match a percentage of your contribution. Take advantage of this opportunity for “free money.” You can make regular contributions or a one-time contribution up to $16,500 (plus an extra $5,500 if you're 50 or older) in 2009. In addition to the immediate payoff, within certain income limits you can take advantage of the Saver's Credit to trim your 2009 tax bill up to $1,000 (single filer) or $2,000 (joint filers). The Saver’s Credit is available in addition to any other tax savings that apply. * Buy a house. If you or your spouse haven’t owned a home in the past three years, you can qualify for a tax credit of 10% of the purchase price, up to $8,000. You don’t have to repay this credit unless you sell the home within 36 months. You must complete your home purchase on or before Nov. 30 (The Leaf Chronicle Sept. 25). * Buy a new car. If you buy a new car between Feb. 16 and Dec. 31 this year, you may be eligible for special state and local tax deductions. This is true whether or not you itemize deductions on your return. The amount of the deduction phases out if your modified adjusted gross income is between $125,000 and $135,000 (individual filers) or between $250,000 and $260,000 (joint filers). * Pay college bills. If you pay at least $4,000 in tuition, fees, and course materials in 2009--from a source other than a 529 or Coverdell--you can qualify for the American Opportunity Credit of up to $2,500. The new credit modifies the existing Hope Credit, making it available to more taxpayers than in 2008--those with higher modified adjusted gross incomes (up to $80,000 single filer and $160,000 joint filers) and those who owe no tax. The credit phases out if your income is above these levels. * Give to a charity. If you itemize deductions, write off your 2009 cash and non-cash donations to charity. You can also deduct transportation and other out-of-pocket costs, such as the costs of ingredients for a dish you make for a nonprofit's soup kitchen.

Financial Planning Week can jump-start family finances

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WASHINGTON (10/2/09)--Balance your checkbook. Develop your holiday spending plan. Start a savings account for your child. Get your estate in order. All these are ways to celebrate Financial Planning Week, Oct. 5-11, and one of the guests on this Sunday’s H&FF Radio show shares many more tips to put your best plan forward. Home & Family Finance airs Sundays at 3 p.m. EDT on the Radio America Network. The show also is carried on American Forces Radio Network. The one-hour program devoted to consumer finance issues is brought to you by America's credit unions and their 90 million members, and is presented by CO-OP Network. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and Radio America are podcasting Home & Family Finance through iTunes, Podcast Alley, Odeo, and other popular podcast library sites, as well as on Radio America and CUNA’s websites. Sunday’s show, which you also can hear later via the Internet, features Paul Berry, Washington, D.C., journalist and broadcaster, discussing these topics with special guests:
* “Financial Planning Week: Why It’s Important to You and Your Family,” with Ken McDonnell, program director, Employee Benefit Research Institute/American Savings Education Council, Washington, D.C.; * “I Will Teach You to Be Rich,” with Ramit Sethi, founder and writer of Iwillteachyoutoberich.com, and co-founder of PBwiki, San Francisco, Calif.; * “Technology Trends at Your Bank or Credit Union,” with Kathy Herziger-Snider, vice president, product development, CO-OP Financial Services, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.; and * “Payday Lending, Usury Laws, and Statutory Sleight of Hand,” with Christopher Peterson, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law, S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.
Home & Family Finance is a resource center for personal finance information at CUNA. The radio show is sponsored by CO-OP Network, the national credit union ATM network; Cabot Creamery Cooperative, maker of award-winning cheddar; Western Corporate FCU, also known as WesCorp, and its member credit unions; and the Defense Credit Union Council and member credit unions, serving those who serve our country worldwide. For more information, see “Tough Times Series: Payday Borrowing Pokes a Hole in Your Pocket” in Home & Family Finance Resource Center.