New York Restaurant Rejects Obama’s Credit Card

Yes, even the president of the United States gets his credit card declined. As President Barack Obama signed an executive order to beef up security for government-issued credit and debit cards, he told the story of how his card was rejected at a restaurant while he was in New York last month to attend the United Nations General Assembly. >> 10 Frugal Habits of the Rich and Famous “It turned out, I guess, I don’t use it enough, so they thought there was …

Are Lenders Driving Student Loan Borrowers Into Default?

Borrowers struggling to repay private student loans say they have little choice but to default because lenders won’t revise payments to make them affordable, according to a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “We are hearing from consumers that they are driven into default because private student loan companies are not providing concrete loan modification options,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. “Struggling private student loan borrowers are finding themselves out of luck and out of …

Elder Financial Fraud Just Keeps Getting Worse

A new survey is bringing renewed attention to the hideous crime of elder financial fraud — and the results show just how underreported it is. In a survey of 2,000 people, only 5 percent of people age 65 and up admitted to being swindled. Yet 19 percent of younger respondents (ages 40 to 64) said they knew of a family member or friend who’d been a victim of elder financial fraud, according to the survey by the Minneapolis-based life insurance …

Why the Stock Market Plunge Is Not World’s End

The headlines read “Stocks Plunge” and “Why the Selling Is Just Getting Started.” It’s enough to get anyone scared and ready to exit the market.  Before you do, consider the following: First, have a little perspective. Sure, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average is down about 1,300 points in less than a month, but remember that the Dow isn’t the entire U.S. stock market and doesn’t reflect dividends. I prefer to look at the entire U.S. market considering a longer perspective, using a …

AT&T to Refund Money for Services You Didn’t Order

AT&T Mobility will refund $80 million to customers for billing them for horoscopes and other mobile services they didn’t order, federal and state regulators announced today. The phone carrier also must pay $25 million in penalties. “Mobile cramming” occurs when a carrier bills for services by outside vendors that the customer didn’t authorize. About 20 million consumers are victims annually, regulators said. “It’s the largest cramming settlement in history,” said Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, at a news …

How to Be Really Rich With Less Money

Most people define their net worth in dollars. As a financial planner, I define net worth in time. Allow me to explain. When I ask people to tell me what money means to them, I hear words like freedom, security and independence. Money, and having enough of it, allows us to do whatever it is that makes us happy. Reframing wealth as time turns some millionaires into paupers, and it makes those with $250,000 in 401(k) savings into the very …