Is your money safe with an ‘app-only’ bank?

A number of new banks are counting on consumers being happy to manage their finances via their smartphone.

But is your money safe with an “app-only” bank?

Such banks offer accounts that are set up and managed solely via an app. (For the uninitiated, an app is a piece of software on a smartphone or tablet that connects users directly to a company without visiting a website.)

The big app-only banks, such as Atom, Starling, Tandem and Monzo, have attracted millions of pounds of savers’ deposits.

Atom Bank is arguably the most recognisable app-only bank. It has been up and running since 2015 and is chaired by Anthony Thomson, co-founder of Metro Bank. It offers fixed-rate savings accounts and mortgages, with current accounts, debit cards, overdrafts and instant access savings all planned for this year.

Atom is one of the first banks to offer biometric security – logging in via face, voice or fingerprint recognition.

But while these futuristic features might appeal to millennials, baby boomers will be more attracted by the table-topping savings rates that Atom offers. It’s likely to be this older generation that is concerned about the security aspects of app-only banking.

Omaha jet management company Jet Linx reaches 100-aircraft milestone – Omaha World

VA Choice Program May Run Out Of Money By Mid-August

Lawmakers from both parties admonished Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin at a Senate appropriations hearing on June 21 for dropping a fiscal bombshell: The department has found a $1 billion shortfall that threatens the VA Choice program.

Shulkin says VA may need Congress to sign off on emergency funding to fill the gap and preserve the program, which allows veterans to seek medical care outside the VA, the AP reported.

“We would like to work with you,” Shulkin told members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. “We need to do this quickly.”

The revelation comes only a few weeks after VA officials projected that Choice was under budget by $1.5 billion. Now, Shulkin projects that money allotted for the program will be gone midway through August.

Several senators asked whether Shulkin could simply cover the expense by taking funds from VA’s new budget, which represents a $4.4 billion increase over previous years.

“The department’s stewardship of funds is the real issue at hand,” said Republican Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas, who chairs the appropriations subcommittee overseeing the VA.

Shulkin, however, blamed the lack of funding on unanticipated demand for the program and suggested that the 2018 budget request might need to be adjusted.

“On financial projections, we have to do better,” he told the committee. “We do not want to see veterans impacted at all by our inability to manage budgets.”

Moran joined three other senators June 21 in writing a letter to the VA supporting emergency funds to cover the Choice shortfall, but admonishing the department for its past missteps:

Unless Congress appropriates emergency funding to continue the Veterans Choice Program, hundreds of thousands of veterans who now rely on the Choice Card will be sent back to a VA that cannot effectively manage or coordinate their care. We cannot send our veterans back to the pre-scandal days in which veterans were subjected to unacceptable wait-times.

However, a representative for the American Legion, one of the nation’s largest veterans service organizations, says the Choice program — enacted by former President Barack Obama in 2014 as a response to excessive wait times — was never meant to be a permanent fixture of VA’s care for vets.

“The Veterans Choice Program expands the availability of medical services for eligible veterans with community providers, and was intended to be a temporary, emergency program in response to the revelation that VA medical centers were unable to serve the veterans in catchment areas who were requesting care,” Joe Plenzler, communications director for the American Legion’s national headquarters, told Task Purpose.

Plenzler added that the organization supports the termination of the program, saying the American Legion would like to see Congress “rededicate the funding proposed in the 2018 Presidential budget request toward supporting VA’s medical infrastructure and existing community care programs.”

Task Purpose reached out to Sen. Moran’s office for a comment and will update this story as more information becomes available.

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The Senate’s New Health Care Bill Makes It More Expensive to Be a Woman

Better Care Reconciliation Act, introduced Thursday by Senate Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act, would both increase pregnancy costs for women, and increase the cost of not getting pregnant.

How does the bill manage such a feat? It defunds Planned Parenthood—which provides family planning and birth control for millions of low income women for one year. It also prohibits federal tax subsidies from paying for individual market plans that cover abortion. That means fewer women will have access to birth control.

Additionally, the bill allows states to redefine what counts as an Essential Health Benefit for Medicaid plans. Currently, all plans must cover 10 categories of care, including prescription drug coverage, maternity care, preventive services like birth control, and mental health care.

Related

But those Essential Health Benefits aren’t just on the line for Medicaid enrollees; it’s possible that all women in the individual market could lose those protections. The bill allows states broad waiver authority in what services are covered by insurance plans, which experts told MONEY will allow them to redefine the Essential Health Benefits.

If states are able to redefine these, it is most likely maternity coverage that’s on the line, the nonprofit Kaiser Health reports. Just 12% of non-group plans covered maternity care prior to the passage of the ACA.

“It’s going to make it much harder to avoid a pregnancy that you don’t want, it’s going to make it harder to [end] an unwanted pregnancy, and it’s going to make it harder to take care of that baby when you do have it,” says Andrea Flynn, a health policy fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, a left-leaning think tank. “We can’t expect that women will be able to be economically secure if they can’t access health care and take care of themselves and their families.”

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which scored the House’s American Health Care Act (which included similar EHB provisions to the BCRA) women could end up paying as much as $1,000 a month for an additional rider that covers maternity care and pregnancy, on top of their premiums and other health care costs.

According to Stephanie Glover, a senior health policy analyst at the National Partnership for Women Families, waiving Essential Health Benefits is an “attack” on the guaranteed coverage of maternity care in the individual market. “Women need access to maternity coverage, it’s an essential part of their health care,” Glover says. “It shouldn’t matter what kind of insurance you have.”

The BCRA is even worse for low income women: not only may they lose some Essential Health Benefits, but the BCRA phases out the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and cuts funding overall.

Medicaid currently covers at least 25 million low income women, according to Kaiser, and about half of all children in the U.S., including 60% of disabled children. As MONEY reported Thursday, “starting in 2025, Medicaid spending would only be allowed to rise at the rate of general inflation, a rate much lower than needed to keep pace with rising health care costs, experts say.” All of this means fewer people overall will be covered.

“This bill is really, really harmful for low income individuals,” says Janel George, director of federal reproductive rights and health at the National Women’s Law Center.

The BCRA also requires new mothers, starting October 2017, to return to work 60 days after giving birth or risk losing their Medicaid coverage. “It’s hard to articulate how unhelpful that is,” Flynn says. “It really just feels like a way to punish low income Americans and make it even harder for them to take care of their families.”

Taken all together, the Senate bill will make women’s health care more expensive and limit access to it.

How to manage your money when your rent is a little too expensive


apartment
Start
seeking out other financial perks.


Vanessa
Porter/Flickr



If you’re hunting for a new apartment, brace yourself: Your rent
is probably going to eat up a lot of your paycheck, especially in
urban areas.

According to a recent report
by Attom Data Solutions
, rent takes up an average of 38.6% of
people’s paychecks nationwide. But that can also be much higher
in urban areas.

A typical renter in Miami, for instance, now spends nearly 50% of
her income to lease a one-bedroom apartment, a recent Trulia
study
found — and that figure is even higher for the
millennial renter, who spends 54% on her Miami pad. San
Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, meanwhile, all have
percentages in the mid-to-upper 30s.

So much for that old rule of thumb that says you should spend
only 30% of your pay on housing.

But if the choice is between spending a little extra or not
having a place to live, you may have to treat the 30%
rent-to-income ratio as more of a guideline, says Matt Shapiro,
CFP, of LearnVest
Planning Services
— although he recommends capping it at 40%
so you still have money left over for other essential costs as
well as your financial goals, like paying down debt or saving for
retirement.

If you’re closer to that 40% mark than you’d like to be — or past
it, and worried you’re headed back to your parents’ basement —
don’t panic. Here are six ways to help deal with the reality of
expensive rent, whether you’re staying put or looking for a new
lease to sign.

1. Trim your overall spending

Budgeting is like dieting — it’s not always fun, but if you have
a plan and stay consistent, it’ll pay off in the end. That means
knowing what you spend on both the necessary stuff — like
utilities and rent — and on the fun stuff, like dining out and
nights at the movies. And yet, “there are a lot of people who
don’t even think about their discretionary spending, let alone
track it,” says Shapiro.

If you don’t already monitor your spending, the first step is to
assess where your money is going on a monthly basis. You can do
this by looking at your last three months’ worth of bank and
credit card statements to see how much you’re spending on both
fixed expenses (those costs that don’t change much from month to
month) as well as your flexible spending (things like gas, food
and entertainment that aren’t always consistent).

Then see which areas of your budget you can cut back on. If it
can’t be rent, you might have to make a few adjustments to your
day-to-day in order to free up some cash. Maybe it’s bringing
your lunch to work more often, or taking more public
transportation and fewer Ubers. Think of it as a trade off so you
can continue to afford your rent as well as put money toward
short- and long-term savings goals.

2. Use a real estate agent

A real estate agent can help you find apartments that match your
location, price and size requirements; submit rental applications
on your behalf; and negotiate rent with a prospective landlord.
Plus, an agent may also have access to rental properties that
aren’t on the market yet, giving you further opportunities to
find the place that’s right for you, both location and
price-wise.

3. Negotiate for cheaper rent

The ability to negotiate will ultimately depend on how hot the
market is — if multiple people are vying for the same studio, the
landlord isn’t going to lower the price. But for areas with less
demand, you do have some bargaining chips.

First, see how long the unit has been vacant. “If it’s been on
the market for over 30 days, you may have more leeway to
negotiate because the owner will be eager to find a renter,” says
Joe DeFilippo, a real estate agent and rental specialist with
City Chic Real Estate in Washington, D.C.

And just like a job interview, show up with references, such as a
letter from a previous landlord that says you paid rent on time,
kept the property in good condition and got along well with
neighbors.

Offering to sign a 24-month lease instead of the standard
12-month contract can also work in your favor, since it saves the
landlord the hassle of finding a new tenant in a year. You may
also be able to knock the bill down on an overpriced unit by
showing the landlord the lower price tags on comparable
apartments.

4. Score other financial perks

If the landlord isn’t willing to budge on the rent price, there
are other costs you can negotiate. Ask him to cover or split the
move-in fee, which typically ranges from $250 to $500, says
DeFilippo. He may also be persuaded to waive the application fee,
which usually costs $35 to $50 per tenant over 18 years old.

If you plan to renew your lease, ask the landlord to include a
provision in the agreement that states rent won’t increase when
you re-sign the contract. This could mean serious savings, since
annual rent hikes can be substantial. Through August 2017, for
example, Seattle and Portland, Oregon, rents are expected to
increase by 7.2% and 6%, respectively, according to a recent Zillow
report
.

5. Find a roommate

In America’s biggest rental markets, you can save an average of
13% of your income by taking on a roommate, the same Trulia study
found. Makes sense, considering living with a roommate gives you
someone to split monthly living expenses with, which could cut a
lot of your fixed costs in half.

If finding a roommate on Craigslist isn’t for you, try roommate
matchmaking sites such as Roommates.com,
Roomster.com
or SpareRoom.com.
You can even check out candidates in person with the roommate
version of speed-dating, offered through sites like SpeedRoommating.com.

Keep in mind, though, that if you do sign a lease with a
roommate, write up a roommate
contract
that clearly spells out your expectations, from who
pays what to upkeep to visitor expectations.

6. Rent out your space

With the rise of Airbnb and HomeAway, you can make some serious
money by renting out your apartment (or even just a room) to
cost-conscious travelers. In fact, Airbnb hosts in New York City
earned an
average of $5,474
in 2016.

So if you frequently travel for work or have some vacations lined
up, think about renting out your unused space for a profit.
However, make sure you review your lease agreement beforehand, as
some rental agreements prohibit tenants from subletting, as well
as the laws of your city so you’re not illegally renting out your
place.

Read the original article on LearnVest. Copyright 2017. Follow LearnVest on Twitter.

Big Read: The digital revolution changing the way you manage your …

Steven Faulkner says electronic transactions make up at least 40 per cent of his ice cream truck sales.

Steven Faulkner says electronic transactions make up at least 40 per cent of his ice cream truck sales.

Technology has changed everything from how we purchase goods to how we pay our bills. Reporter Brittany Baker looks at how the digital world is changing your bank and the way you think of money. 

When Steven Faulkner hands a cone through the window of his ice cream truck he takes an eftpos card in return.

“People don’t carry cash anymore,” he says. “If I go park down at the beach, people won’t have any coins but they will be carrying a card.”

Stephen Bowe, head of digital at Bank of New Zealand (BNZ), says the ease of access to bank accounts has skyrocketed the ...

Stephen Bowe, head of digital at Bank of New Zealand (BNZ), says the ease of access to bank accounts has skyrocketed the number of online transactions.

When Faulkner took on Tinkle Bell ice cream three years ago, he says the first thing he did was add an eftpos machine, even though ice cream trucks are typically associated with loose change. 

But now that he’s accepted electronic payments, he estimates 40 per cent of sales are made through a card payment and that trend will only continue.

  

More bank branches will be digitized as people continue to use online services to deal with money.

More bank branches will be digitized as people continue to use online services to deal with money.

READ MORE:
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Vaughn Davis: Banking the future
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It might not seem like it but Faulkner is at the forefront of a long-running revolution that is changing the way we spend, manage and even think of money. 

Paper notes and coins are becoming less and less popular in favour of electronic transactions that reduce money to a row of numbers on a screen electronically transferred between two parties without any human middleman 

Westpac general manager of consumer banking and wealth, Simon Power, says the traditional branch and bank conversations ...

Westpac general manager of consumer banking and wealth, Simon Power, says the traditional branch and bank conversations is “definitely” changing.

And while we are spending more than ever, the way we are electronically managing our money is largely why brick and mortar bank branches are either closing or struggling to turn a profit from the decreasing number of people that do come through their doors. 

For Faulkner using eftpos not only provides a bit of security and reduces the need to visit the bank, it also helps ensure a sale to parents who increasingly carry little or no cash.

“Kids will run up and ask, ‘have you got eftpos’, and when I tell them I do, I watch them run down to tell mum.

TSB Bank general manager of customer sales  service, Steve O'Shea, says banks can no longer make decisions solely on ...

TSB Bank general manager of customer sales service, Steve O’Shea, says banks can no longer make decisions solely on commercial viability. He says customer service is major point of difference.

“Then I see her drop her head because that used to be the excuse for years,” he laughs.

It should come as no surprise that more and more transactions are done via electronic services. In February 2016 there were a total of 123 million card transactions in New Zealand, or about 27 transactions for every one of New Zealand’s 4.5 million people.  And this number is set to grow.

Stephen Bowe, head of digital at Bank of New Zealand (BNZ), says there will be a natural reduction in cash as people continue to turn to faster options in dealing with their money.

Less people carry cash while electronic transactions are on the rise.

Less people carry cash while electronic transactions are on the rise.

And ever-increasing ease of access to banking has skyrocketed the number of online transactions.

“Banking has always been based on this idea of physically going into a bank,” he says.

“But now the number of people using mobile is ridiculous.

The banks continue to be involved in the background somehow because you still need that repository, Claire Matthews, ...

“The banks continue to be involved in the background somehow because you still need that repository,” Claire Matthews, Massey University.

“We’re dealing with 40 million more transactions than we were before.”

BNZ is not alone in this technological shift. Banks throughout the country are seeing less people walk in the door to deposit cash, withdraw money, or sign off a cheque.

Westpac has 90 per cent of transactions occur outside branch locations, general manager of consumer banking and wealth Simon Power says.

“In the last five years, we’ve seen online log-ins increase by 61 per cent and in the last year mobile log-ins have increased by 33 per cent.

“The way people are banking is definitely changing. You’ve got to think beyond the physical branch presence.”

As less people visit the bank, the cost of keeping them open becomes bigger than the profit those branches can make. Branch closures have rippled throughout the country, usually leaving smaller communities without a bank and greatly reducing the number of branches in cities.

There are likely to be more closures yet as more and more people migrate to online banking and may only need to visit a branch for big ticket items like mortgages. 

To a degree Taranaki has been shielded from the worst impacts of these closures with the homegrown TSB Bank still able to operate branches in most towns around the province. 

Steve O’Shea, TSB general manager of customer sales and service, says its this sort of presence that preserves the bank’s customer-driven reputation.

But it doesn’t make it easy, he says.

While the financial institution has increased its staff numbers in the last year, expanding its branch numbers outside the region, the bank’s latest reported profit was $20.1 million behind the preceding year’s profit of $85.6m.  

In response to the drop-off, O’Shea points to the organisation’s recent investment in both people and new technology.

Like its larger competitors, TSB has also seen a reduction in over the counter transactions, he says.

“They’re probably reducing upwards about 10 per cent per annum.

“That’s a large number of transactions that people used to come and do that no longer do.”

Yet this hasn’t convinced the Taranaki bank to close the doors of its smaller branches, no matter the increasing costs of newer technologies, as O’Shea says customer satisfaction is the major point of difference between banks.

“As more and more options come into play, it doesn’t mean you can always just rush out there and chop the other ones away.” 

“Yes, it’s got to be commercially viable but, if you aren’t seen and truly a part of those communities, you’re not going to grow your business.”

Reviews are always underway – this is true for every bank.

And as customers overwhelmingly choose “more convenient” ways to bank, chief executive of New Zealand Bankers’ Association Karen Scott-Howman says the look and feel of branches will continue to evolve.

“This means some branches no longer make commercial sense.”

She explains branches are already being equipped with smart ATMs, which can accept and count notes and coins that are instantly available as cleared funds in an account.

“The focus of branches these days is more on providing advisory services,” Scott-Howman says.

Kiwibank communications manager Bruce Thomson agrees.

He explains that while services such as loans and opening accounts can be done online, the complexity and “magnitude” of these conversations were enough to pull people into a branch.

However, Thomson admits banks were feeling the pressure.

“If you look into the future, is it a cashless society? We don’t know. But it’s probable that cash will continue to diminish.”

Dr Claire Matthews of Massey University is not sure if the cashless society will happen but she does see technology’s enormous impact on the finance industry.

She says services such as the phone-based Apple Pay and online payment giant PayPal can be a competitor to traditional banks but they can also be utilised as a tool for opportunity, pointing to ANZ as an example of one bank that had embraced Apple Pay.

Technology has has already positively changed the way people pay for parking or donate to an organisation, which can now be done by the simple action of sending a text, Matthews says.

While she recognises the changing face of banks can be upsetting for some, she says after initial investments, the cost savings are significant.

Matthews uses “ballpark figures” to explain: “A branch transaction will cost $10, while an electronic transaction is $0.15. And to use the ATM is $1.50.”

And while this means a reduction in bank branches, she believes banks will always have a physical place in the community, saying people have an innate need to see a branch is available should they ever require a visit.

“People want to be able to know there’s the option,” she says.

“They want to drive by and just wave. They may never actually go in, but they want to know they can.

“I think it has to do with them dealing with your money.”

Faceless services at a fingers’ reach, Matthews adds, could not replace banks as each app, text and transfer “ultimately goes through the bank”.

“So the banks continue to be involved in the background somehow because you still need that repository.”


 – Stuff

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Need help with money management? This free class could be for you. – Belleville News

One of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Head Start centers for children is teaching adults, too.

The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Head Start Center is offering a new financial literacy course to help parents of children enrolled at the center manage their money, according to a news release.

The next free, 10-week class is planned for October, according to Michael Greenfield, the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center programs director.

The most recent classes were taught by employees from Associated Bank, the release states. They covered topics like budget planning, credit awareness, debt resolution and managing a checking account. Parents who completed the class received $700 to start a savings account for their children and $300 to start their own savings account.

One of the course’s graduates, Candace Taylor-Harris, stated in the release that she decided to enroll in the program to get help with her spending habits and learn how to save for her grandson’s future. But Taylor-Harris said she was shocked to receive $1,000.

“It’s amazing to think how much that account can grow by the time he turns 18. It makes me feel like I accomplished something,” Taylor-Harris stated.

The school is located at 101 Jackie Joyner-Kersee Circle in East St. Louis. It is named for East St. Louis native Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who is a six time Olympic medalist.

I got a financial windfall. Here’s how I avoided blowing it. – USA Today

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When Susan Rose’s dad passed away, he left her enough money to start dreaming big. See how she nurtured her inheritance into even more than she imagined.
USA TODAY

In a four-part series, USA TODAY takes a look at financial challenges that can emerge at various stages in your life. Through the stories of real people, we provide a roadmap that readers can learn from if they experience something similar. In this installment, Susan Rose details how she beat odds that say that most people quickly spend, or lose, inheritances. 

What would you do if you came into a large sum of money? And what if that windfall was associated with the loss of a loved one?

Susan Rose had to answer both of those questions and the way she handled the newfound cash provides a lesson that many people can learn from as they deal with the aftermath of the passing or relatives or other life events that lead to a sudden windfall.

Rose, a professor from Elmhurst, Illinois received a significant inheritance from her father’s estate. Though her father passed away in 1993, the money didn’t come all at once.

“We got a lump sum when my dad died, and then he also left us a piece of land that (we) sold a little later,” she says. Another portion of the inheritance came when Rose’s mother died eight years ago. For Rose, blowing the money on a quick thrill was never an option. “When you realize how hard folks in my parents’ generation work for what they had you feel more of an obligation,” she says.  “I had to be respectful of their sacrifice.”

While receiving a large windfall can seem like an end to money troubles, many people end up back in a financial hole. In fact, research from Ohio State University found that, on average, people who receive inheritances quickly spend or lose half of it. Rose was determined to defy the odds.

Here’s how she turned her inheritance into a wealthier future for herself and others:

Consult a professional. It’s one thing to manage a salary and a monthly budget. But Rose knew she didn’t have the expertise necessary to make the most of a large windfall of cash. “I’m an academic. My husband’s a musician. Why would we try to do something that we were not trained to do?” Rose sought help by hiring a financial adviser.

Maintain your current lifestyle. Since Rose and her husband were making enough to sustain their daily lifestyle, they didn’t use the extra money to live more lavishly. Instead, they invested the money so it could continue to grow and fund their biggest priorities. When money got tight, they reined in their spending. Rose’s mantra: “This money is off to the side for investment. Live with the rest of it.”

Start with your needs. Neither Rose nor her husband Robert had been huge earners up to that point, so they decided to focus first on their retirement. “We were saving all along, but I don’t think to the level we thought we really wanted to be,” Rose says. “This gave us a boost that we needed.”

Prioritize your dreams. Once their retirement account was adequately funded, “we could think about some of those other goals,” she says.  They purchased and refurbished a vacation home in Minnesota. They rehabbed the house over a period of several years, which helped Rose to be more conscious of her financial choices, and allowed the money that was invested to grow.


Spread the wealth. It was important to Rose that the money also benefit someone else. She funded 529 college-savings plans for two godchildren and set up two scholarships at local universities.

“That money was a gift from my father who worked very, very hard. It helped me in my life. I thought, ‘how do I think about helping some other folks move up the ladder as well?’”

More advice for managing a sudden windfall:

Sharon Oberlander, managing director and wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch, has helped Rose manage her money for the last 20 years. Oberlander offers more advice for those who receive a large sum of money:

Do nothing at first. Receiving a sudden windfall can be an emotional experience. “Emotion leads to flawed thinking,” Oberlander warns. Instead of spending impulsively, think through what you want to do with the money over the long term.

Create a plan. We’ve all heard stories of lottery winners who burned through their winnings in a couple of years. “It’s because they don’t sit down and do the planning,” Oberlander says. Figure out how long you need the money to last and what you want the money to do. Then create a strategy to make that happen.

Target your most pressing financial need. Are your retirement savings lacking? Do you have three-to-six months of emergency savings? Are you overwhelmed by debt? Use the money to tackle your biggest money problem.  Then, create your money bucket list. “There are many different ways a lump sum of money could help somebody,” Oberlander says.

Trump: ‘I just don’t want a poor person’ running the economy

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President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, June 21, 2017.


President Donald Trump has offered a simple explanation for his wealthy Cabinet choices: Rich people know how to manage money better than poor people do.

In a rambling aside at a rally in Iowa on Wednesday night, Trump responded to criticism about his choices for top economic jobs, including billionaire investor Wilbur Ross for Commerce secretary and former Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn for chief economic advisor.

Trump, who bashed Goldman Sachs during the presidential campaign, received backlash for choosing wealthy Wall Street figures for top administration posts. Many of his nominees had complex financial holdings around the world, which created myriad potential conflicts.

Trump contended on Wednesday that wealthy people can better run the U.S. economy because they do not need money.

“I love all people, rich or poor. But in those particular positions, I just don’t want a poor person,” Trump said. “Does that make sense? Does that make sense? If you insist, I’ll do it. But I like it better this way, right?”

The wealth of Trump’s nominees created snags in the confirmation process as executive branch ethics officials aimed to make sure they complied with guidelines. While Trump’s choices have divested from assets, some still have business holdings that leave the door open for potential conflicts.

Here are Trump’s comments from the Iowa rally:

So, somebody said, ‘Why did you appoint a rich person to be in charge of the economy?’ … I said, ‘because that’s the kind of thinking we want.’ I mean, you know, really. Because they’re representing the country. They don’t want the money. They’re representing the country and they had to give up a lot to take these jobs. They gave up a lot. And you get the president — this is the president of Goldman Sachs. Smart. Having him represent us. He went from massive paydays to peanuts, to little tiny — I’m waiting for them to accuse him of wanting that little amount of money. They wanted that. But these are people that are great, brilliant business minds. And that’s what we need, that’s what we have so the world doesn’t take. … We can’t have the world taking advantage of us anymore. And I love all people, rich or poor. But in those particular positions, I just don’t want a poor person. Does that make sense? Does that make sense? If you insist, I’ll do it. But I like it better this way, right?

Jacob Pramuck

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Ask Brianna: Manage your money and emotions with a financial therapist – Omaha World

Q: You’ve mentioned “financial therapy” in past columns. What is it, and how do I know if it’s right for me?

A: When you’re ready for professional money help, a smörgåsbord of options will appear before you: financial planning, credit counseling, money coaching, burdening your nightstand with a teetering pile of self-help books.

Financial therapy is one of the newest additions to the field, emerging from a small forum for mental health and financial planning professionals in 2008. While certified financial planners help you develop and implement concrete financial strategies, and mental health professionals help you recognize and change thought patterns that aren’t serving you, financial therapists straddle both worlds. They focus on your relationship with money and how it affects your behavior so you can realize your financial goals.

“Money comes with a lot of emotional baggage, and there just aren’t many places to talk about it openly and constructively,” said Dr. Mary Gresham, a financial psychologist in Atlanta.

If you struggle with saving, budgeting, paying off debt, severe frugality or other money issues, financial therapy could help. Here’s how to assess whether it makes sense for you, and how to evaluate any professionals you may work with.

When to go to a financial therapist

Financial therapy can help you understand why you’re stuck in the same patterns, such as overspending, even if you’ve tried to change. It also can help you explore the feelings that bubble up when you think about money. Gresham and Derek Lawson, a doctoral student in personal financial planning with a focus on financial therapy at Kansas State University, say financial therapy might be the right call if:

» Your finances make you feel depressed or anxious.

» You’re consistently spending more than you earn or aren’t saving any money.

» You’ve tried to change those behaviors, with no luck.

» You want to understand the root of your money troubles.

In some cases, other experts could better suit you. Try traditional financial planning if you want straight money advice you’re fairly certain you can implement on your own. If you’re dealing with a mountain of debt and urgently need an action plan, try credit counseling. Gresham says she refers her clients to these financial pros when necessary.

What financial therapy looks like

At your first few sessions, a financial therapist might ask you, “What are your best hopes for your financial future?” and “How would you know if these hopes were realized?”

“I might have a couple of meetings with clients before I analyze their financials,” said Lawson, who is also a financial planner at Priority Financial Partners in Durango, Colorado.

Lawson said he’ll ask clients who have trouble saving to focus on a time in the past when they did save and how they felt. That positive emotional memory may encourage clients to integrate saving into their lives more frequently.

How to find a financial therapist

Because there are few formal places to study financial therapy, practitioners today typically have either a mental health background and an understanding of financial issues, or a financial planning background and further training in mental health counseling.

You can use the Financial Therapy Association’s member directory or do a general online search to find financial therapists or financial psychologists near you. The XY Planning Network lists financial planners who work with clients in their 20s and 30s. It’s best to work with fee-only financial planners, who charge flat or hourly fees and won’t earn commissions on insurance or investment products, like mutual funds, that they might recommend you buy.