2015 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 2015

Preparing for the Unexpected

An unexpected medical expense can happen at any time. You could be in a serious accident, for example, or you could suddenly come down with a major illness. Regardless, you—and your loved ones—need to be prepared for the expenses and care demands brought by unexpected medical problems. We talk over Skype with Jean-Luc Bourdon, a Santa Barbara CPA and personal financial specialist, regarding this topic. Bourdon has written about this subject and has guided clients on how to handle unexpected medical problems. In our conversation, he discusses such issues as caregiving (and caregiver burnout), housing, relocation, estate planning documents, medical directives and long-term care insurance.

Audio Version

October 2015

Making Your Retirement Better

Newspapers and magazines seem to have an abundance of articles about the need for people to prepare financially for their retirement years. Relatively few articles focus on other aspects of retirement that we should consider—such things as housing, leisure activities and health, for example. Susan Carlisle, a Los Angeles forensic accountant, offers her perspective on the subject and what she advises her clients facing retirement.

Audio Version

August 2015

Tips for Teens on Buying First Car

Buying a first car, whether new or used, is an important event in anyone’s life. Did your parents help you out with the purchase? And if you are a parent with a teenager in the house, have you and your son or daughter discussed buying their first car? Both of you might want to listen to the advice of Larry Pon, a Redwood City CPA and personal financial specialist, regarding what teens should consider when they are ready to purchase their first car.

Audio Version

Video Version

July 2015

How to Organize Your Death

Dying is a subject few of us like to discuss. But it is important that we do so with our family. We need to let them know such things as to whether or not we want extraordinary measures to be taken if we are incapacitated. We also should provide them with information about important documents like insurance policies, wills and military records as well as a list of passwords for websites survivors might need access to. Kurt Kilwein, a Los Angeles CPA and certified financial planner, reviews some of the important items that need to be discussed regarding one's death.

Audio Version

Following are various documents that provide guidance for sharing important information with your family.

What My Family Needs to Know

Important Documents Location List

Document Organizer

Digitizing Important Documents

May 2015

If You’re Blending, You Need to Discuss Finances

Blended families—families in which both adults have children from previous relationships—have special financial problems. For example, how are college expenses for the children handled? How are inheritances and beneficiaries decided? Rob Seltzer, CPA and personal financial specialist, offers advice on what adults who are joining households should do.

Audio Podcast (Mp3, 8.42M)

Link discussed in this podcast:

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: