ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

cloudy-day
76°
Isolated Thunderstorms
H 87° L 73°
  • cloudy-day
    76°
    Current Conditions
    Isolated Thunderstorms. H 87° L 73°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    86°
    Afternoon
    Isolated Thunderstorms. H 87° L 73°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    84°
    Evening
    Sct Thunderstorms. H 88° L 76°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

podcasts: The Clark Howard Podcast

Money expert Clark Howard shows you practical money-saving ideas to help you Save More, Spend Less, and Avoid Ripoffs. He helps you keep more of what you make and invest your money wisely.

Most Recent Episode:

8.16.19 Why everyone hates customer service; Clark Stinks

Topics: According to the ACSI, pay TV, internet service providers, and traditional phone companies are the 3 industries that rank the worst in customer service. What happens when you call customer service? You go through a phone tree maze. Many require you to speak, so they can use AI software that patterns your voice to gauge your patience, track you through caller ID, check your profitability index score, and answer you call (or not)  accordingly. Clark has found attempting customer service via phone is only effective if you’re prepared to fire a company and have your next provider in mind. Often you only get results when customer retention is engaged because they get that you’re leaving. Always being willing to walk is key to getting the customer service you’re looking for.

Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a "Clark Stinks" to share you can leave it here.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Posted: August 16, 2019

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Audio temporarily unavailable
refreshretry

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Audio temporarily unavailable
refreshretry
 

More Episodes:

8.15.19 Owning a home isn't always the way to go; Teacher retirement plans stink; Private labels taking over

Topics: Housing prices have gone up way beyond income. In an effort to jumpstart home buying for those in their 20s & 30s, the Feds are offering a new FHA loan for first-time condo buyers, with a 3.5 down and lower credit standards. Know the condo market is more volatile than the single-family home market, with values going up or down more quickly, creating more short-term risk. Ideally, go into a condo purchase using Clark’s rule of thumb if possible, with the intention of living there 10 years or longer. Otherwise you should rent instead, despite this new FHA financing.

On the heels of a similar disgrace in PA – stripping consumer protections from teacher retirement plans, Texas now has one of the worst law changes for teachers retirement in the country. Teachers are shunted into retirement plans vastly inferior to 401Ks or IRAs, called 403b’s. These plans have poor disclosure and massive fees. In Texas, teachers can be charged massive fees on 403bs, typically 40 times that of a company 401K. 

The U.S. is the only developed country where consumers continue to buy primarily brand names. Roughly 1 in 4 items tend to be store brands vs nationally advertised brands. Well-targeted national ads are effective. Americans spend massive money buying brand names. That market has been eroded some, so brand manufacturers are pushing up their prices to generate higher profits. It’s working. Store brands historically have been 30% cheaper and that gap is getting larger, even as store brands are improving in quality. 

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Audio temporarily unavailable
refreshretry

8.14.19 Prepare your personal finances for a possible recession; Vaping warning; The best single person cell phone plan deals

Topics: Bond rates are at all time record lows for 30 year federal treasury bonds, a strong signal of coming recession. If the economy slows or declines, workers are impacted with less overtime, reduced hours, pay freezes etc. Think through how you can be more careful with spending. Take the time to look through your bills, trim costs and build some breathing room. Things happen and we need to be prepared for surprise expenses – medical, home, vehicles etc. Investors, if you’re going to need your investment funds in the next 24 months, keeping it in stocks may not be the best choice. Otherwise, continue to contribute to your retirement plan as normal. 

According to the CDC, vaping has gone up 50% in one year among middle school students, 80% among high school students. Juul voluntarily discontinued over-the-counter sales of flavored juices attracting teens, so other companies are filling that void. Be aware of the unknown health risks. Vaping is a nicotine delivery system that can create lifetime addiction. Parents are encouraged to have continuing conversations with kids about the dangers, because remember, they think they’re invincible.

Cell phone plan deals!  AT&T is offering a year’s service for $300 per line, only at AT&T.com – unlimited talk & text and 8 gigs of data per month. MintMobile.com offers 6 months of service for the price of 3 at $60 for unlimited talk & text + 8 gigs = $10 a month – on T-Mobile’s network. Verizon prepaid is $35 a month with autopay for unlimited talk & text and 6 gigs of data per month. Sprint’s Unlimited Kickstart plans offers unlimited talk, text & data for $25 a month.












Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Audio temporarily unavailable
refreshretry

8.13.19 Movie theater subscription services; Zombie debt on the rise; Beware the dent repair scam

Topics: Movie Pass and Sinemia are both effectively out of business. But in the process they taught the film theater industry that if you offer a deal, many will take advantage of it. The movie industry has faced stagnation and steady decline with fewer people going to movie theaters. AMC was the first to offer a subscription through Stubs A-List – around $20 month for 3 movies a week.  Regal’s program is $18 - $24 per month – offers unlimited movies! Only subscribe if you’ll really use the subscription.

Zombie debt reaches into the past to cause havoc in the present and future.  Rogue collectors buy very old debt for a fraction of a penny on the dollar.  Old debts can’t be sued against. But crooks in the industry are contacting people and conning them with trick offers. They suggest you pay $1 or another nominal sum to settle an old debt. BUT in many states, as soon as you do that, the debt is treated as new – and you can be sued against it again. You no longer have a statute of limitations protections. Never agree to any partial payment against an old debt.

Nicole from Team Clark has a relative who got a pitch in a retail parking lot. Her sister-in-law was approached in a Kroger parking lot. The person noticed dents in her car and offered to fix them for $160 – far less than a body shop would charge. He said he had the equipment in his car, was off early – let her know he was a family man. Nicole's sister-in-law noticed his car was beat up, and politely declined. This scheme has been around at least 10 years. NEVER fall for a parking lot pitch to fix a car. Just say no.







Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Audio temporarily unavailable
refreshretry

8.12.19 Crazy good interest rates; Fake Equifax settlement sites; New cheap streaming services

Topics: Credit card interest rates are at an all-time high. At a time when interest cost to banks is very low for what they borrow to lend on credit cards,  they’re charging the highest rates ever. Users don’t worry about rates likely because they don’t intend to carry balances. Meanwhile, if you’ve financed a vehicle at a bank or dealership, now there’s an opportunity to refi for a much lower interest rate through a credit union. With the trade related reduction in interest rates, this is a side benefit. Home refi opportunities are great again. Shop around. With good credit, you can refi a 30 into the low 3s, or move to a 15 year loan for around 2.34%.


With all the publicity surrounding the Equifax settlement, people are doing searches to find out more and ending up at spoof sites. There are scam sites taking personal info. If you are interested in the settlement, go to ftc.gov/Equifax.  

Nearly 1 in 5 American households have cut the pay TV cord. Streaming packages generally range from $20 to $60 a month. Philo and Sling are the bargains. (Sling TV is a service of Dish – always priced favorably). Coming this fall: the new Disney bundle, including the Disney film and video library, ESPN+ and a stripped down version of Hulu for $13 a month. Consider free streaming. Ad supported streaming is the fastest growing form of video content. Roku offers massive free content.







Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Audio temporarily unavailable
refreshretry

8.9.19 DOT rules for flight passengers with food allergies; Clark Stinks

Topics: Complaints against American Airlines have been filed for their refusal to accommodate passengers with nut or any food allergies. The DOT has determined American was putting people in harm's way. Now airlines are required to accommodate those with food allergies, which comprise 1.5% of the population. While other airlines have done away with nut snacks, American continues to serve them,  allowing pre-boarding to wipe down seats for designated passengers. They need to take the next step and stop serving nuts.

Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a "Clark Stinks" to share you can leave it here.












Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Audio temporarily unavailable
refreshretry

8.8.19 Social Security account hacking; School hours for teens; Best family cell plans

Topics: Social security hacking is a rare but ongoing crime, wherein a criminal hijacks someone's social security benefit, convincing the authorities of an address and bank account change. Impersonating you, the criminal starts receiving your benefit. Criminals will also apply before you do - just in advance of your 62nd birthday, while you may be planning to take the benefit years later.  Set up an account at MySocialSecurity.gov long before you're eligible to receive the benefit. If an address change is attempted, you get an alert letter. This account allows you to monitor your benefit. Pay attention to alerts and letters. And before you ever call social security - verify the number given to avoid ss scams.

It's back-to-school time for many districts in the country and for most, the morning bell rings way too early. The early bell is a convenience for working parents, but it's not what's best for kids. Adolescent circadian rhythms have been studied. Kids this age are night owls for whom getting enough sleep is critical to development. They perform better if school starts later. Some school districts have made the adjustment. One district at a time.....

Family and individual phone plans -  / Clark.com Cell Phones  /  ClarkDeals-Phone Plans








Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Audio temporarily unavailable
refreshretry

8.7.19 Employee relief funds; Major landlord accused of ponzi scheme; Car-sharing apps on the rise

Topics: Way too often people will raid their 401(k) at some point. They take out a loan, do a hardship withdrawal, or spend it away when changing jobs. The Federal Reserve finds that people withdraw around 40 cents of every dollar put in their 401k - money that WON'T be there for retirement. Pew Research calculated the average amount of a major unexpected expense to be $2,000. Most don't have $2k for emergencies. The WSJ reports more employers are offering personal finance programs, with emergency fund rewards for participating. There are now hundreds of companies offering these programs in order to increase productivity and reduce turnover and stress in employees.

Deal or no deal: Private real estate placements. They're hot. Do they have any place in your life? A major U.S. landlord has been accused by the Justice Dept of running a criminal Ponzi scheme. This individual owns properties across 14 states. He raised $110M under the pretense of investment, converted to personal use and sustaining the Ponzi. This is the danger with any offer of private real estate investing. If you put money in, it's a hard time getting it back out. Be aware. Be careful. 

A potential money-making opportunity: Renting out your car an hour, day or week at a time. Years ago Clark shared how luxury  & sports car owners were listing their vehicles and Turo and Getaround. Now entrepreneurs are buying low mileage, young used cars, building fleets and making a living renting them out via car-sharing app business platforms. The app takes a quarter cut typically. Car rental companies are spending a fortune to get state legislatures to pass laws to essentially outlaw car-sharing apps. Don't invest too much into a business that could disintegrate.










Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Audio temporarily unavailable
refreshretry

8.6.19 Do bigger houses make us happier?; How you get manipulated to buy things online

Topics: American debt and delinquency are increasing in a time of low unemployment. The Census Bureau data finds Americans buying homes with double the square footage per occupant compared to 2 generations ago. The average home has 1000 square feet per person. The average U.S. home now is around 2500 square feet - up from 1500 not that long ago. That's more square footage to heat, cool and repair. Housing is the number one cost of living factor that affects your future financial security. When home shopping, put needs first and stick to living on less than what you make.

Shopping online reveals a big push to get consumers to click to purchase now. Clothing sellers flash purchase reports of what appear to be real-time buys going on. That can be faked. Priceline uses this tactic as well - pushing you to click to buy now because some person just got some hotel deal. Car rentals sites may tell you there's an urgent shortage of available cars so book now!! Know these manipulations exist to counter the problem of abandoned carts. Online retailers are using mind-games to create urgency and/or excitement. Don't let them fool you. 








Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Audio temporarily unavailable
refreshretry

8.5.19 Where to watch free movies online; Will your AC be obsolete soon with freon phase-out?

Topics: Check out our new free online movie guide. Ad-supported streaming services heavily featuring movies are a fast-growing part of streaming. Big Five Glories features classic movies, no subscription, no sign-up, lots of free movies. Sony Crackle is a free streaming service, mostly movies from the 80's and recent bombs. Crackle is polarizing because there are ads inserted, but it's free. ClassicCinemaOnline features westerns, classic and independent films.

Home HVAC units may need replacing. Rip-off Alert! R22 freon is usable this Summer but will be banned next year. There are reports emerging from around the country that HVAC salespeople are telling customers their AC units will no longer work after this season and they have to buy a new one! Go to the manufacturer's website of your HVAC unit and enter your model number to see if your unit will be obsolete next year. Most any unit manufactured before 1996 - 23 years old or older - will be impacted and will need to be replaced. You can retrofit, but as a general rule, retrofitting is not recommended. 






Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Audio temporarily unavailable
refreshretry

8.2.19 Should you eat expired food?; Clark Stinks

Topics: Food company CEO Scott Nash spent a year eating food past its expiration date, tortillas a year past, yogurt months past and heavy cream 2.5 months past its expiration date. Truth: Most expirations dates on medicine and food don't mean ingestion will be dangerous past that date. Meds can be fine years out of date, perhaps less effective but most are not harmful. Expirations dates should be honored on certain foods, including deli meats, unpasteurized cheeses & milk. And tossing picnic foods that have been unrefrigerated too long is still the best advice. Implementing a voluntary system, 2 years ago the food industry came up with a compromise of 2 labels: Best if Used By and Use By - to reduce confusion. Nearly 90% of us toss expired foods. But that's not necessary with most food items. Scott Nash was just fine!

Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a "Clark Stinks" to share you can leave it here.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Audio temporarily unavailable
refreshretry

The Latest News Headlines

  • Just a month after City of St. Augustine Beach leaders passed bans on the sale and distribution of plastic straws, plastic bags, and Styrofoam, it all may need to be rolled back. That's as a Florida appeals court has struck down a similar ordinance in Coral Gables. The court found that their ban violated a state law that stops local governments from regulating Styrofoam.  Attorney Jane West, who pushed for the St. Augustine Beach bans, tells our partner Action News Jax, that after the city passed the measures, they received a letter from the Florida Retail Federation threatening to sue.  'Now that they're armed with this very strong opinion in their favor, the city can't take the legal risk of getting sued and then having to pay all the attorney's fees in defending what is probably going to be a losing case,' says West.  She and other residents believe it'll likely be up to families and local businesses to cut down on their use of these materials on their own. The ban was set to take effect on January 1st, 2020. St. Augustine Beach Mayor Undine George released the following statement about this court decision: “I don’t believe the appellate decision reflects the majority opinion of Fl communities. Even our governor has expressed strong support for local communities’ right to regulate Styrofoam and single use plastics; we are the ones who see and feel their impact. Hopefully, local businesses will listen to the voice of the people and transition away from Styrofoam and single use plastics. Consumers want to patronize businesses who share their desire to protect our environment from harmful pollutants.”
  • The Jacksonville Beach Police Department is turning to the community for any information after a man was fatally shot outside his home. Police have now identified the victim as 28-year-old Jake Hall. Neighbors tell us he was a father of three kids.  Investigators say at this time, there's no clear motive or any information on a possible suspect. That's why they're asking neighbors within a 6 block radius of 17th Avenue North and 2nd Street North to check their doorbell cameras and security cameras for anything that might be of interest to police. They say the shooting happened around 9:40 PM, Thursday evening.  The police department says shootings for the community are rare. According to their stats, the last shooting was in August 2018.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office has released an extremely clear surveillance photo of two armed robbery suspects that they're working to identify. Police say they're accused of robbing the Circle K on St. Johns Bluff Road, Thursday night, just before 11:00 PM. Police are asking anyone with information about either suspect to contact the sheriff's office at (904) 630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-8477.
  • The plane that crashed in Tennessee on Thursday while carrying retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., his family and two pilots bounced at least twice before stopping and catching fire, according to investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board. >> Read more trending news  Officials said the incident happened as the Cessna Citation was landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport at 3:40 p.m. An NBC Sports spokesperson said in a statement that Earnhardt, his wife Amy, his 15-month-old daughter Isla and two pilots were safe after the crash.  Update 2:35 p.m. EDT Aug. 16: Investigators will spend at least two days collecting evidence from the scene of the crash, Ralph Hicks, a senior investigator with NTSB, told reporters Friday. Authorities have reviewed surveillance footage from near the crash site which showed the plane bounced at least twice before coming down hard on one of the landing gears, Hicks said. 'You can actually see the right main landing gear collapsing in the video,' he said. 'The airplane continued down the runway off to the end, through a fence, and it came to stop ... on Highway 91.' Hicks said the crash site was about 1,000 feet past the end of the runway. The plane had taken off about 20 minutes before the crash from Statesville, North Carolina, Hicks said. The aircraft was not equipped with a data recorder, though Hicks said other instruments recorded some data. Officials are also analyzing a cockpit voice recorder. Authorities continue to investigate the cause of the crash. Update 2 p.m. EDT Aug. 16: Authorities are providing an update Friday on the investigation into Thursday's plane crash. Update 1:50 p.m. EDT Aug. 16: Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration said no injuries were reported as a result of the crash, although the Cessna 680A aircraft was destroyed. The Earnhardt family and the pilots were the only passengers listed on board when the crash happened. Authorities are expected to provide more updates on the incident at 2 p.m. news conference Friday. Update 11:50 a.m. EDT Aug. 16: Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board are scheduled to hold news conference Friday afternoon to update the public on the investigation into Thursday's crash.  Update 9:25 a.m. EDT Aug. 16: Earnhardt's sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, thanked God, supporters and medical staff early Friday in a Twitter post after Earnhardt and his family survived a fiery plane crash in Tennessee. 'Finally laying down for the night and want to say thank you to God, the angels among us, our pilots, first responders, medical staff, our NASCAR family and everyone that has reached out in whatever way to support us all,' Earnhardt Miller wrote in a post around 12:30 a.m. Friday. A nurse who witnessed the crash told WSOC-TV her instincts kicked in Thursday when she saw the jet skid off the runway. '(The) first thing that went through my mind was, 'Lord, I hope there was nobody in the plane that's still in the plane,' because it was completely engulfed,' she told WSOC-TV. She added that as she tried to help, the plane, it was smoking out the back and then, all of a sudden, it caught on fire.' An NBC Sports spokesperson said Thursday that Earnhardt was taken to a hospital but released a short while later. Authorities are investigating the cause of the accident. Update 9 a.m. Aug. 16: Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board were in Elizabethton on Friday morning, WJHL reported. Agency officials said Thursday that two NTSB officials were being sent to investigate the incident. Federal Aviation Administration officials were also expected to be on the scene Friday, WJHL reported. Original report: Retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife Amy Reimann were aboard a private jet when it crashed at the Elizabethton Airport, in Tennessee.  Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford told WJHL that Dale Earnhardt Jr. was taken to an area hospital and his injuries are described as cuts and abrasions.  Lunceford also said that his wife and child were onboard as well as the family dog. The pilot and one other passenger was also onboard. Earnhardt Jr. sister, Kelley, tweeted that everyone involved survived the crash. 'We're incredibly grateful that Dale, his wife Amy, daughter Isla, and the two pilots are safe following today's accident,' NBC Sports said in a statement. 'After being discharged from the hospital, we communicated with Dale and his team, and we're all in agreement that he should take this weekend off to be with his family. 'We look forward to having him back in the booth next month at Darlington.' According to WJHL, emergency crews responded to the crash involving the Cessna Citation Latitude business jet that ran off the end of the runway Thursday afternoon. It's not clear if the plane was departing or arriving. Earnhardt retired as a full-time racer in 2017 and has been working as an analyst for NBC. He is part of the scheduled broadcast team for Saturday night's Cup Series event in Bristol, Tennessee.The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • It's an exciting day for the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park! The zoo held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new sloth exhibit. WOKV told you back in July, when the zoo brought in two Hoffman’s two-toed sloths named Teddy and Grizzly.  The zoo says the exhibit is part of the rainforest habitat as guests walk into the ‘Land of the Crocodiles.’ Despite sloths typically being solitary, the zoo has said Teddy and Grizzly share a strong bond.

The Latest News Videos