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When Robin Bunevich and her boyfriend, Alex Rivas, decided to buy a place together, they knew they wanted to live in their favorite neighborhood, Astoria, Queens. They found the perfect two-bedroom, two-bath apartment last year. The purchase was a big, exciting step for the couple, who had previously been renting a place together. And just as they were getting ready to start the new chapter together, the process also had them thinking about what would happen if they broke up.

Police needed most of Monday afternoon to arrest all of the sit-down protesters outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington at a demonstration in favor of changing the rules on political money, voting rights and redistricting.

After more than a year of study, the White House on Wednesday finalized tougher requirements for retirement investment advisers.

The changes are intended to help Americans build bigger nest eggs while reducing fees and sales commissions they pay to advisers — keeping more money in workers retirement accounts instead of advisers pockets.

Critics say the changes will create burdensome legal requirements that could squeeze out brokers who earn commissions from working with small investors.

Associates of President Vladimir Putin of Russia have channeled as much as $2 billion through offshore accounts, banks and shadow companies, according to a massive leak of documents from a Panamanian law firm.

More than 11 million documents, dubbed the Panama Papers, show how dozens of rich and powerful people around the world have used offshore and secret accounts to dodge taxes and sanctions and launder money.

First, Alzheimer's takes a person's memory. Then it takes their family's money.

That's the central finding of a report published Wednesday by the Alzheimer's Association on the financial burden friends and families bear when they care for someone with dementia.

Kelly Henderson loves her job, teaching at Newton South High School in a suburb west of Boston. But she's frustrated she can't afford to live in the community where she teaches: It's part of the 10th most expensive housing market in the nation.

"For people in the private sector, they're probably saying 'Oh poor you, you can't live in the community where you work, what's the big deal?' " says Henderson, 35. "And I guess part of the nature of public education and why it's a different kind of job, is that it's all-consuming — as it should be."

Doctors have long disputed the accusation that the payments they receive from pharmaceutical companies have any relationship to how they prescribe drugs.

There's been little evidence to settle the matter, until now.

A ProPublica analysis has found that doctors who receive payments from the medical industry do indeed prescribe drugs differently on average than their colleagues who don't. And the more money they receive, the more brand-name medications they tend to prescribe.

The billing office is one of the friendliest places on campus, says Aja Beckham, a junior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. What wasn't friendly: her bill, and the big number on it.

Ever since her freshman year, she says, her biggest struggle in college has been figuring out how to pay for it.

Medical device maker Olympus Corp., already under federal investigation for its role in superbug outbreaks, has agreed to pay $646 million to resolve criminal and civil probes into illegal kickbacks and bribes to doctors and hospitals.

Federal prosecutors said Tuesday that the company's settlement is the largest ever for violations of the U.S. Anti-Kickback Statute. A portion of the company's payout, $22.8 million, will resolve similar bribery allegations in Latin America.

Americans have about $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. And there's yet another survey out that shows students in this country are confused about their loans, in the dark when it comes to knowing what they've borrowed, uncertain about how to pay them back.

Is it finally time to get rid of the penny? The question was put to the top currency official in the country this week after comedian John Oliver took a swing at pennies on his TV show.

"Two percent of Americans admitted to regularly throwing pennies in the garbage, which means the U.S. Mint is spending millions to make garbage," Oliver said.

These boots make a point:  sales tax was $15.36, meaning a person paid Seattle's minimum wage works an hour just to pay state and local taxes. A higher-paid worker pays proportionally less.
KUOW Feet & Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Seattle’s surging economy continues to cause concerns about affordability.

Monday afternoon, the Seattle Transit riders union held a rally to bring attention to the need for a more equitable standard of living in the city.

But some of the reasons why people struggle in Seattle are deeply ingrained.

Former All-Star point guard Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers, the story goes, hated luggage so much he used to buy new outfits every time his team went on a road trip. Needless to say, he's had some financial troubles.

Retirement for baby boomers will look different than it did for their parents — Americans are living longer, health care costs more, fewer people have pensions today, and many people facing retirement haven't saved much.

All of that makes managing the nest egg you do have even more vital. But many people need and want guidance on what they should do to make sure their retirement savings last.

There are all sorts of ways people save money on clothes: comparing prices, using coupons and membership club discounts, shopping online, buying used. But there’s one cost-cutting strategy that doesn’t get a lot of attention even though a lot of people are doing it.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Taylor Quimby of New Hampshire Public Radio confesses he’s among the many adults buying kids XL-size clothing instead of adult size smalls.

In reporting on students navigating the maze of college costs and financial aid, I kept running into misconceptions about paying for a degree. Here are some of the most common ones:

Low-income students get most of their college financial aid needs met and rich kids don't have to worry, so it's mainly the middle class that gets squeezed.

If you've ever dreamed about finding buried treasure, this story's for you:

A California couple who say they had walked by the same spot on their Sierra Nevada property many times over many years are an estimated $10 million or so richer after digging up eight rusty old cans containing 1,427 very valuable gold coins. It's thought to be the most valuable discovery of such coins in U.S. history.

When Money And Love Collide

Sep 16, 2013
Flickr Photo/Jenifer Correa

It's no surprise that money stress doesn't bode well for romance. For many couples, decisions like marriage, divorce or children hinge on the question: Can we afford it? Marcie Sillman talks with UC Santa Barbara economics professor Shelly Lundberg and couples counselor and director of UC Los Angeles' Sexual Health Program Gail Wyatt about how money impacts our love lives.

Celeste Smith

June 2 is National Cancer Survivor Day. But surviving the disease is just one challenge facing cancer patients. A recent study by Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center showed that cancer patients are two-and-a-half times more at risk for filing bankruptcy compared to people without cancer.

How To Make Sure Your Kids Are Good With Money

Apr 23, 2013
Flickr Photo/Shana

In Washington state there are no requirements to include financial education in school curriculum. As a result, most kids graduate high school financially illiterate.

While parents often give their children an allowance to teach financial responsibility, there is little emphasis on what to do with that allowance. Should it be school’s responsibility to teach financial education? What should parents be doing?

Rethinking The Idea Of Money

Apr 18, 2013

In the book "Rethinking Money," economist Bernard Lietaer and journalist Jacqui Dunne trace the beginnings of our monetary system, including its serious problems and hope for the future.

It’s estimated that about 8.2 percent of US households don’t use bank accounts. Not only that — 20.1 percent of households are considered “underbanked,” meaning they use bank accounts but still opt for payday loans, check-cashing services and other alternatives. This is according to a recent survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

So why aren’t people using banks? Ross Reynolds talks to some of the un- and underbanked.

KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Halfway through the enrollment season for Washington's Guaranteed Tuition Savings program, the number of new enrollments is lagging compared to the last two years. Consumer confidence in the program is slipping, at least for now, even as state lawmakers express their concerns about the $600 million shortfall in the program.  

Micah Sheldon / Flickr

WashPIRG, a division of the Public Interest Research Group, gave Seattle an overall score of 78/100, which put us at 12th place out of the 30 major cities that were surveyed. So what exactly are we doing wrong? Ross talks with WashPIRG spokesperson Micaela Preskill to get a more detailed performance review.

Wall Street skyscrapers
Michael Aston / Flickr

    

  What can physics teach us about finance? A great deal according to physicist and mathematician James Owen Weatherall. He says markets can be understood, and to a degree even predicted, by using principles of physics. Ross Reynolds talks to professor Weatherall about what physics can teach us about Wall Street.

Where you decide to live is more important than your resume in determining your salary. That's according to Berkeley economist Enrico Moretti. He'll tell us about where to live if you want to be healthy and wealthy.

Giving To Panhandlers

Dec 27, 2012
Panhandler holds sign in front of Pike Place Market. Sign reads "My father was killed by ninjas. Need money for karate lessons."
flickr/Kdt

To give or not to give? That's the question many of us face when encountering panhandlers on Seattle's sidewalks. Some people make up their minds about how to act and don't deviate from the script. For others, the ethical questions resurface with every encounter.

Now, it seems we're at a crossroads. Many people are still out of work. Yet social services will probably be cut even further next year. Will that change how you give?

Flickr Photo/Paul Stumpr

President Barack Obama is meeting today with members of Congress to try to avoid the fiscal cliff.  The president says he’ll let Bush-era tax cuts for families earning over $250,000 a year expire.  House Republicans are opposed.

Seattle ​entrepreneur and venture capitalist Nick Hanauer would pay more if the tax cuts expire and he thinks he should. Ross Reynolds speaks with Hanauer, business owner Mark Peterson, and policy analysts Mark Guppy and Marilyn Watkins, and he asks listeners to weigh in with their opinion: Are the rich taxed enough?

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