Financial Empowerment

Financial Empowerment is a service of CalCPA Institute. Our podcasts help consumers make sense of today’s complex financial issues. Most podcasts are under 15 minutes in length.

E-mail your questions to FinancialEmpowerment@calcpa.org.


April 2015

How Not to Lose Big Winnings

Who hasn’t dreamt of winning or inheriting a lot of money? What would you do with your sudden wealth? Buy a Rolls? Travel the world? The National Endowment for Financial Education estimates that as many as 70 percent of Americans who experience a sudden windfall will lose that money within a few years. Mitch Freedman, a CPA and personal financial specialist, suggests that if you do win or come into a lot of money, you should have a plan so that you can stretch your wealth to last for the rest of your life.

Audio Podcast (Mp3, 7.25M)


March 2015

Reap the Credit in Your Home

One of the advantages of owning a home is that you can take out a second mortgage or a home equity loan to help you pay for improvements or even a nice vacation. Furthermore, the interest on such loans is deductible. Rob Seltzer, a Los Angeles CPA/PFS, explains how to get and how to use such loans.

Audio Podcast (Mp3, 7.7M)

Links Discussed in this podcast:


February 2015

Beware of Tax Scams

Filing a tax return can be stressful enough itself. But what if you get a phone call supposedly from the Internal Revenue Service that you need to send more money or else! The IRS is not like that, however. It does not make direct phone calls, and it does not threaten taxpayers. If you get such a call, you are the target of a scam. The IRS does not want taxpayers to become scam victims. It regularly posts information about tax scams and what to do about them on its website. If you are the victim of a tax scam, file a police report and notify the IRS at 800-366-4484. We talked with Larry Pon, a Redwood City CPA/PFS, about tax scams that you need to be aware of so you won’t fall victim to them.

Audio Podcast (Mp3, 5M)


January 2015

Keep Control of College Costs

College costs continue to rise. But parents and students can find ways to pay for higher education without being encumbered by too much debt. We talked over Skype with Larry Pon, a Redwood City, California, CPA/PFS, about student loans, scholarships, grants and how to keep college costs under control. In this video, Pon mentions the FAFSA application. That’s the free application for federal student aid. Schools use that application to determine student eligibility for aid.

Audio Podcast (Mp3, 7M)

Video Version

Link discussed in this podcast: