2008 Financial Empowerment Podcasts

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.


December 2008

Getting a Grip on the Stock Market

With the volatility of the stock market, savvy investors need to reassess their risk tolerance and how they approach investing. Top-rated financial adviser Mitch Freedman, CPA/PFS, discusses some of the advice he is giving his own clients nowadays.   

The News You Can Use segment notes that $16 billion in United States Savings Bonds are no longer earning interest and explains how to check the current value of a bond.

strong>Download the podcast (Mp3, 3.3Mb)

Links discussed in the podcast:

American Institute of CPAs 


November 2008

Is Bankruptcy for You?

Bankruptcy may seem an easy way out of debt, but it can seriously harm your credit score and has long-term financial implications. CPA Parisa Nesva Derani of Menlo Park, California, explains the different types of bankruptcy and why you should consider other options before filing for bankruptcy.

The News You Can Use segment discusses what you can do if your credit card company sends you a rate-increase notice.

Download the podcast (Mp3, 3.3Mb)

Links discussed in the podcast:

National Foundation for Credit Counseling   

National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys 

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 


October 2008

Make a Date to Plan Finances

Good financial planning requires an annual review of your investments,insurance policies, will and other important documents. Brooke Salvini,a San Luis Obispo CPA/PFS, encourages you to set aside a specific time to collect those documents and see if you need to update how your financial resources are allocated.

The News You Can Use segment highlights scams the Federal Trade Commission is warning the public about.

Download the podcast (Mp3, 3.5Mb) 

Links discussed in the podcast:

Aging with Dignity

Federal Trade Commission 


September 2008 

Lower Taxes Before Year End

Don't wait until Dec. 31 to find ways to reduce your income taxes. Start planning now to take advantage of deductions, exemptions and credits you may be entitled to. Brooke Salvini, a San Luis Obispo CPA/PFS, shares her ideas on how to lower your tax bill.

The News You Can Use segment explains why most bank depositors should have confidence in the safety of their accounts.

Download the podcast (Mp3, 3.6Mb)

August 2008

Benefits of New Housing Act

CPA and attorney Scott Haislet explains how the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 can help you with the purchase of a home. The legislation includes a $7,500 tax credit for first-time purchasers. That essentially is an interest-free loan.

The News You Can Use segment discusses special tax deductions available to military personnel and volunteer firefighters.

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Links discussed in this podcast:

Dept. of Housing and Urban Development



July 2008

Maximizing Your Retirement Accounts

Want to have millions to play with when you retire? Start early and contribute often to your retirement account. That's the message of Rob Seltzer, a Beverly Hills CPA and personal financial planner.

The News You Can Use segment discusses the need to secure important records prior to a natural disaster such as an earthquake.

Download the podcast (Mp3)

Links discussed in this podcast:

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy  


June 2008

Getting Control of Your Debt

Overextended on your credit cards? Do you have difficulties paying your bills? If debt is overwhelming you, San Jose CPA Dan Morris offers advice on how you can control your current debt and suggests ways you can minimize debt problems in the future.

The News You Can Use segment focuses on the benefits for small businesspeople and entrepreneurs that are in the federal government's economic stimulus package.

Download the podcast  (Mp3, 5.4 MB)

Links discussed in podcast:

National Foundation for Credit Counseling

Small Business Administration 


May 2008

How To Teach Children About Money

Parents should teach children about the value of a dollar as early as possible,believes CPA Jason Melillo. He's helping his own children understand financial concepts through games and by getting them to find ways to save for a trip to Disney World. Melillo provides additional tips that can make learning about money fun for both parents and children.

The News You Can Use segment notes the growing longevity of Americans and what people should do to minimize financial worries in their later years.

Download the podcast  (Mp3, 3.6 MB)

Links discussed in this podcast:

360 Degrees of Financial Literacy 

Family Education 


April 2008

How Small Businesses Can Succeed in a Recession

Is a recession good for small business? That sounds counterintuitive, but if a small business pays careful attention to both its numbers and its customers, it may even thrive during an economic downturn. CPA and business consultant Gloria Birnkrant explains what small businesspersons need to do to keep their firms profitable.

Download the podcast (Mp3, 2.6 MB)


March 2008

How a Recession Affects Home Sales

With housing prices dropping and many homeowners facing foreclosure because they can no longer afford their mortgage, this may not be the right time to sell your house ... or maybe it is. It depends on more than just what is happening in the economy. Tustin CPA Bob Weinberg provides some guidance for sellers and buyers in today's housing market.

In the News you Can Use segment, learn why requesting direct deposit for your tax refund will speed up your tax rebate. And it also helps if you have a Social Security number whose last two digits are 20 or below.

Download the podcast (Mp3, 4.4 MB)

Links discussed in this podcast:

Rural Community Assistance Corporation

Internal Revenue Service



February 2008

Recession-Proof Your Retirement

If a recession comes and you are nearing retirement, you'll need the proper mix of investments as well as strong saving habits to ensure a comfortable lifestyle in the years ahead. Dan Thomas, Newport Beach CPA and a personal financial specialist, explains what you can do to retire with a decent nest egg even if the economy suffers a setback.

In the News You Can Use segment, you'll learn how you can send your child or grandchild to an elite, private university for next to nothing.

Download the podcast (Mp3, 5.4 MB)

Links discussed in this podcast:

Social Security Administration




January 2008

Credit Card Fraud

Keeping credit cards and their numbers safe should be a top priority for every consumer. Thieves can easily steal credit card numbers as well as personal identification numbers (PINs) from people who log onto unsecured websites or who don't monitor their cards while making purchases. San Diego CPA Minel Diaz provides advice on how you can minimize the possibility of credit card fraud.

The News You Can Use segment has some suggestions regarding wise use of the tax rebate the federal government likely will give taxpayers.

Download the podcast (Mp3, 3.6 MB)

Links discussed in this podcast: