Amazon Care, best budgeting apps and more

September 27, 2019 edition

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Money moves from this week's headlines

Amazon launches Amazon Care, a virtual medical clinic for employees

The gist → The app will include video visits and in-app texting with healthcare providers, plus the ability to schedule at-home appointments and request prescriptions. CNBC

The move → Many insurance companies and medical groups offer their own virtual medical services, and you may already have access to app-based medical care, or get it for a fee. Learn more about how to access medical care online.

Michelle Williams’s Emmy Award acceptance speech on pay equity

The gist → “The next time a woman — and especially a woman of color, because she stands to make 52 cents on the dollar compared to her white, male counterpart — tells you what she needs in order to do her job, listen to her,” Williams said. “Believe her.” NYT

The move → Information can be the best armor when fighting the gender pay gap. Learn how women can get the salary they deserve.

Pets can take a big bite out of your home’s resale value

The gist → Anyone who has seen a puppy suffer separation anxiety knows that dogs can take a costly toll on real estate. These expenses typically far exceed the cost of dog ownership (which the ASPCA says can range from $700 to $1,000+ each year for the basics) WSJ

The move → While your home insurance doesn’t pay for property damage caused by your dog, it will protect you if your dog damages another person — but only if your dog is listed on your policy. Find out how to add them today.

No money moves to make this week? Why not try a 5-minute money task? May we suggest:

🔨 Make a budget for home improvements

😮 Learn what to do if you get a surprise medical bill

💑 Try out the new budgeting app for couples


This week in money gossip


The amount of prize money earned by professional dog musher Aliy Zirkle after competing in the Iditarod. Policygenius Magazine


The price of the new ‘luxury, handcrafted’ KitKat bar, available in 1,500 flavor combinations. CNN


The estimated value of a Renaissance-era religious painting that was found hanging in a French woman’s kitchen. The Guardian


The number of vehicles recalled by Nissan this week due to defects with the back-up camera. USA Today


The price of the espadrilles worn by Meghan Markle on an official tour of South Africa this week, her first royal tour with baby Archie. Refinery29


Fast + free money advice from the Policygenius advisers

Can you try to retire early if you aren't making six figures? — George

Many people who plan to retire early (many of them members of the “financial independence, retire early” or FIRE movement) are putting away 70% or more of what they're earning, living with minimal expenses and a modest lifestyle that they plan to continue into retirement. But retiring early can’t account for all the future expenses you might have to take on later in life, like large medical bills or unexpected home repairs. These expenses can add up fast, so FIRE planning is not right for everybody.

— Patrick Hanzel, Policygenius CFP®


Brittney Castro, CFP® and founder of the financial planning firm Financially Wise, Inc.

#1 money tip you give to people: Have compassion with yourself. Creating lasting financial success takes grit, tenacity and a commitment to keep going even during difficult times.

Debunk a money myth: “You can’t change your money story/situation.” I know firsthand that where you came from financially does not dictate where you can go.

Money must-read: I recently read Tony Robbins’ Money: Master the Game and loved his focus on explaining fees to consumers and how you can outsmart the financial industry.

Worst money you ever spent: A car. Now I lease. For me, a car is a depreciating asset and I’d rather invest my money in assets that can grow over time.

Most common money advice people ask you for — and what you tell them. “How can I save more of the money I make?” Set up automatic savings systems. It is the only way to save long term. Set it and forget it.

Learn more about Brittney, including how she funded her business and the money problems she’s hoping to help women solve, in her Ask a Genius interview.


Are you among the underinsured?

A majority of Americans are operating without a financial safety net, according to a Policygenius survey. Get the full story, plus learn how to find affordable coverage to protect your family.

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