Google checking, 401k contributions and more

November 22, 2019 edition

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Money moves from this week's headlines


The Black Friday deals have arrived

The gist → Black Friday deals have come early this year, with retailers offering limited-run and advance sales ahead of retail’s big day. Money

The move → Whether you’re shopping sales online or in-store, plan your shopping list ahead of time, and be strong against the psychological tricks used by stores to get you to spend more this time of year.

Tired of robocall scams? They work

The gist → A New York-area nurse was conned out of close to $340K by a sophisticated phone scammer impersonating an FBI agent. The nurse shared her harrowing tale to help others recognize how easy it is to fall prey to scammers, even if you think you’re immune. WSJ

The move → Scams are abundant and constantly evolving. Make sure you stay one step ahead by stopping spam calls once and for all.

WeWork cuts jobs for 2,400 workers

The gist → The layoffs, which represent 20% of the company’s workforce, had been rumored for weeks. Last week the real estate startup reported that it lost $1.25B from July through September — more than twice as much as the same period in 2018. NYT

The move → Some job endings can be planned for, but some can’t. Here’s how to manage your money if you lose your job.


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

💊 Update your HSA withholdings — the contribution limit has increased for 2020

🎓 [Usually take a student loan interest deduction on your taxes? See if you meet the new income requirements(https://www.policygenius.com/taxes/student-loan-interest-deduction/)

🖊️ Review our list of end-of-year money tasks


Keeping Score KEEPING SCORE

This week in money gossip


$250K The amount that self-identified “Real Housewives” stalker David Yontef estimates he has spent to follow the Bravo series' cast members. He sold his tech recruiting company to fund his hobby.

The Cut

$19K

The price of a build-it-yourself tiny home kit, available on Amazon.

Business Insider

$35,548

The new minimum salary to be exempt from overtime pay in 2020. Individual states' may be higher — California's minimum, for example, is $49,920.

Inc.

$129

The price of Bird’s new motorless scooter for kids.

Money

$449K

The fee paid by the state of South Dakota to a branding agency for a confusing new viral campaign: “Meth. We’re on it.”

Argus Leader

$80

The price for a private Instagram tour of a single site in Bali — the popular Gates of Heaven — where a “reflecting pool” is actually a piece of glass someone will hold in front of the camera for an additional donation.

WSJ


100 words 100 WORDS OR LESS

Fast + free money advice from the Policygenius advisers


Is there an easy way to know which health plan I should choose? — Matt

There are no “right” answers when it comes to choosing health insurance. It’s all about what’s important to you. Is it a low deductible? The ability to see any doctor, not just those in-network? Do you have a certain prescription you need covered? Your answers to these Qs can help you decide the right plan for you. If you’re buying on the federal health insurance marketplace (as opposed to choosing a plan through your employer), Policygenius has a tool that can show you plans based on your criteria.

— Patrick Hanzel, Policygenius CFP®

Have a money question? Our advisers have a money answer. Reply to this email and we’ll get them on the case.


Pro TipPRO TIPS

Stacey Lee, Founder of Solve Your Books

Stacey


Money thing you’re most proud of: The ability to resign from my 8-to-5 and start my own business that empowers people to achieve their dreams.

A money regret: Investing in out-of-state real estate with no support team.

Last thing you splurged on: A leather jacket.

Why’d you OK the splurge? I traded my credit card points for 80% of the cost and paid cash for the rest — and it’s something I’ll cherish and use for a long time.

Book, podcast, newsletter or blog you recommend to help people be better with money? For podcasts, “Secrets of Wealthy Women” and “How I Built This.” I also love “Smart Women Finish Rich,” “Millionaire Women Next Door” and “The Motley Fool Investment Guide.”

Check out more of Stacey’s pro tips, including her biggest money goal and what she’d do with a $1M windfall, at Policygenius Magazine.


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Why is health literacy so low?


Policygenius has surveyed people about health insurance literacy for the past three years. Our cumulative findings suggest that people are increasingly confused about both health care law and their coverage. Only 29.3% of respondents were able to correctly define terms such as "copay," "deductible" and "premium" - even among people with health insurance, only 36.1% knew the meaning of all three. literacy


This newsletter is intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you