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Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved. Wednesday, November 25, 2015
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David McNew/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- After complaints from subway passengers and even remakrs from the mayor, Amazon has pulled its ads from the subway with Nazi-like imagery.

According to ABC News affiliate WABC-TV, the campaign, advertising Amazon's show The Man in the High Castle, was pulled Tuesday.

The show is about what would happen if the U.S. had lost World War II.

"The ads do not violate our content-neutral ad standards and thus we have no grounds to reject them," said the MTA in a statement. "The MTA is a government agency and can't accept or reject ads based on how we feel about them; we have to follow the standards approved by our board."

Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement on Tuesday saying, "While these ads technically may be within MTA guidelines, they're irresponsible and offensive to World War II and Holocaust survivors, their families, and countless other New Yorkers. Amazon should take them down."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Small gains across the board for Wall Street on Tuesday after an earlier slump in the day was caused by international concern.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 19.51 to close at 17812.19.

The Nasdaq barely added 0.33 to finish at 5102.81, while the S&P 500 ended the session at 2089.14, up 2.55 from its open.

Crude oil jumped 2.68 percent, its largest single day gain in three weeks, after investors became worried about what effects Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane would have for the Middle East.

Two billionaires are now competing in a new kind of space race. According to Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, his private spaceflight company Blue Origin successfully launched a rocket and landed it back on Earth. Billionaire Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, and his company SpaceX have also been working on space flight. Musk's company has attempted a similar feat with its Falcon 9 rocket several times, but hasn't quite completed a landing.

What deals should you avoid on Black Friday? According to expert recommnedations from DealNews, a variety of items are better to be purchased in December or January including winter apparel and holiday decorations. The experts also suggest staying away from off-brand electronics by sticking to brands you know, and avoiding doorbusters because they're "cheap for a reason."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Get ready for long lines at the airport on Wednesday.

Or, maybe not.

The commonly held "wisdom" is that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year. That's not true, at least when it comes to flying.

"It is not considered one of our 'busy' days," when compared to summer weekends, Airlines for America spokesperson Melanie Hinton told ABC News. Airlines for America is the leading airline industry trade group.

In fact, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is not even the busiest day of the Thanksgiving travel season -- it's the Sunday after the holiday, said Hinton. Karen May, a spokesperson for United Airlines, said the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is peanuts compared to summer weekends.

Travelers should absolutely leave additional time to get through airport security on Sunday. But the long lines will pale in comparison to the Friday before Memorial Day, the third-busiest travel day of 2014, according to Airlines for America (The second busiest travel day for 2014 was Friday, June 20). Thirteen of the 15 busiest air travel days of the year are during the summer months, between mid-June and early August.

When it comes to cars, the data's not as clear. AAA told ABC News that more drivers will be on the road on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving than the Memorial Day and July 4th holidays.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  There's nothing quite like a fraudulent charge on your credit card to put a damper on the holiday cheer. With the holiday shopping season about to officially begin, there's no doubt hackers have their eyes on targeting the payment information of millions of shoppers.

A stealthy malware infecting point of sale systems (POS) has been identified by experts at a iSIGHT Partners, a Texas-based global cyber security firm.

The company found the malicious software can go undetected by many security defenses since it operates deep inside the machines using "multiple methods of obfuscation and encryption to evade even the most sophisticated security controls."

"We know that U.S. retailers have been targeted and believe it is very likely that criminal actors are seeking to compromise additional victims beyond those identified," iSIGHT Partners said in a statement.

The company's experts have briefed "numerous retailers and other organizations that are involved with payment systems, and our experts are also actively working with the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC) to help its members detect and stop this virulent malware," the statement said.

The goal is to help retailers pinpoint the malware and get rid of it to prevent wide-scale data breaches, such as the one that hit tens of millions of holiday shoppers at Target two years ago.

Robert Siciliano, an online safety expert at Intel Security, told ABC News "consumers should go into the season with the mindset that there is a chance credit card numbers could be compromised."

"I think what consumers need to understand is this type of malware -- it might not be this strain -- but a variant has been around for some time," he said. "A lot of the breaches we have seen over the past few years involve infected point of sale terminals."

Siciliano said he urges consumers to go about their planned shopping since there's no way to "proactively prevent this strain of malware or even a crooked clerk" from stealing your information.

"Consumers shouldn’t worry about proactively protecting their cards, but they should be paying attention," he said. Checking a paper statement once a month for suspicious purchases isn't enough, according to Siciliano.

"The best way to stay on top of your transactions is to sign up for any alerts or notifications that [banks] offer," he said. Siciliano suggests setting up custom alerts with your bank.

That means you'll receive an email or text every time a purchase is made without your card being present or anytime a transaction over a certain amount is completed. For those who want to be hyper vigilant, banks can send alerts every time the card is swiped.

"These make you fully informed in real-time," Siciliano said. "I go to the gas station, swipe my card and get a text within seconds."

There are other ways to protect yourself when shopping online this holiday weekend.

When in doubt, always use cash.

When you do shop online, be savvy about where you’re doing it. Make sure you’re conducting a transaction over a private Wi-Fi connection instead of a public hotspot. The National Cyber Security Alliance also recommends making sure all of your Internet-connected devices are up to date with the latest versions of software and apps for extra protection from hackers and malware.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  The most serious and savvy Black Friday shoppers will want to have a game plan to scoop up all of the best deals.

With some organization and planning, it's possible to cut through the Black Friday frenzy to have an efficient and money-saving shopping day. Check out these four tech tips before the big day to help formulate a game plan that will keep you organized. (The one downside: There's still no magic app for finding a parking spot.)

Find the Best Deals
Get your Black Friday game plan ready with the Black Friday 2015 app. Consider this app the one-stop shop for keeping track of deals from your favorite stores. A wishlist function helps users make sure no bargain is forgotten.

"This app makes it much easier to scroll thru ads and find this years ads as there is less clutter than the website version. Also none of the pesky links that misdirect your attention from black friday research trying to take you to the stores website!" one Black Friday enthusiast wrote in a review.
Check for Coupons
The team at has an app that makes it handy to check for any coupon codes to make sure you're getting the most savings possible. Black Friday shoppers are sure to get hungry too. The app also includes discounts for restaurants, too.

Make Your Shopping List
The Christmas Gift List app allows users to create shopping lists, keep track of who they've bought for, what they've bought and how much they've spent. While it has Christmas in its name, the app is a great organizational tool for all holiday shopping and perfect for parents who may be conscientious about making sure they have spent around the same amount on each child.

Plot Your Route
The most hardcore Black Friday shoppers have a secret weapon: Store floor plans. Some popular retailers, including Walmart and Target, allow savvy shoppers to go to their websites and pull up their local store's floor plan to ensure they don't miss out on any of those door-buster deals.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Subscribe To This Feed YORK) — It looks as though a new version of #thedress has returned.

A color-block frock for sale on is getting quite the Internet buzz after a number of TV weather women were seen donning the garment this week.

Priced at $22.99, the “Homeyee Women's Stretch Tunic Pencil Sheath Dress” is available in seven colors and has been receiving rave reviews by both Amazon shoppers and meteorologists across the nation.

"It's so funny, I never dreamed it would be such a big deal," meteorologist Shelby Hays of ABC affiliate KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City. "It's totally comfortable, it's cheap, it's got sleeves; that's the biggest thing. A lot of us aren't allowed to wear sleeveless in the winter."

TOO funny! Thx @JenMyersFox4 for the collage of all the women who bought "the dress!" #sisterhoodoftravelingdress

— Shelby Hays (@KOCOShelby) November 21, 2015

Hays told ABC News it was in a private Facebook group for weather anchors where a fellow meteorologist posted a link to “the dress” that captured the attention of the Internet after a number of women purchased on wore the garment on-air.

"It really caught on," Hays said. "It became a joke: 'The sisterhood of the traveling dress.'"

Yes, I own #thedress! But at $23, I just couldn't say no. #Q13FOX

— Liz Dueweke (@LizDueweke) November 23, 2015

Hays said a number of meteorologists who own the dress were compiled in a photo collage that has been viewed over 3 million times on Imgur's website.

"You can probably make a collage much bigger now than the one that's gone viral," she said.

Apparently this #Amazon dress is a hit with meteorologists across the country. Where are the news people?!! #Alaska

— Alexis Fernandez (@alexisreporter) November 23, 2015

Hays said she loved the dress so much that she bought the dress in pink, in addition to the one she already owns in blue.

When one female met tells a bunch of other female mets about a $25 Amazon dress. Great collage, @JenMyersFox4! :)

— Samantha Roberts (@SamRobertsWX) November 23, 2015

Amazon did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — There are plenty of deals on Black Friday, but just because that toaster or television is billed as a "doorbuster," it doesn't necessarily mean it's a good purchase.

"Almost everything seems to be at its best price on Black Friday, but there are a few categories that have better deals in December and January," Benjamin Glaser, features editor with DealNews, told ABC News.

Here are some expert recommendations for items shoppers should avoid on Black Friday. (Like always, take any advice with a grain of salt, as these recommendations are based on historical data and anecdotal experience. And if you are in need of something immediately, sometimes it might be worth paying a little more to check it off your list.)

Off-Brand Electronics

That new television or tablet may seem like a steal, but have you even heard of the brand?

Howard Schaffer, vice president of merchandising at, said he doesn't recommend buying from "no name brands, even at those ridiculously low prices."

"Stay away from the no brands and low price models. Look for name brands you're familiar with," he told ABC News. "Consumers who buy [those] later often write poor reviews."


Before you set your alarm to scoop up those cheap doorbusters, Schaffer recommends evaluating what you plan to do with it.

"It’s cheap for a reason," he said. "If it’s the main gift, we recommend spending the extra money and getting the name brand you are looking for because you are going to be disappointed with the doorbuster, lower-end product."

If you're in need of an extra toaster to help accommodate those holiday house guests, then maybe it will serve its purpose.

Buying Apple Products? Be Savvy About Where

Those big ticket Apple items are sure to be at the top of many holiday shopping lists, but it can pay to comparison shop. While Target isn't offering a discount on the Apple Watch, which starts at $349, the retailer is sweetening the purchase with a free $100 Target gift card.

The ever-popular iTunes gift cards are even offered at a discount at Best Buy, where the retailer's Black Friday circular is advertising a deal of buy one, get one 40 percent off.

Winter Apparel

If you're planning to gift a sweater or winter coat for the holidays, Schaffer recommends waiting for Cyber Monday to get the best deals.

"There will be better deals on Cyber Monday for sweaters, outerwear and fall apparel," he said. If you're shopping for yourself and can hold out one more month, Schaffer recommends waiting until after the holidays to snag even lower prices on outerwear for top retailers.

Glaser agreed, telling ABC News: "This is not the best weekend for heavy winter apparel because that stuff will go on clearance later in the season."

Holiday Decorations

Do you really need a new set of lights this year or can you use last year's again? While retailers may be touting big deals on holiday decor, the best time to buy is immediately after the holidays. It will be another year before you can use the decorations, but the deep discounts can make it worthwhile to wait.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos said his private spaceflight company Blue Origin has successfully launched a rocket and landed it back on Earth -- a feat that could help make space travel more affordable for the masses.

Launching from Texas on Monday, Bezos' New Shepard crew capsule and propulsion module blasted into space with no passengers on board. After reaching its planned test altitude of 329,839 feet, the vessel returned to Earth, landing upright just four and a half feet from its launch pad, according to Blue Origin.

"When you throw a rocket away, an expendable rocket, you use it once and you throw away all that expensive space hardware," Bezos told ABC News' "Good Morning America" today. "It’d be like getting in your [Boeing] 747 and flying across the country and then throwing it away, just using it one time. Imagine how expensive traveling would be."

Billionaire Elon Musk, who runs SpaceX, has also been hard at work trying to make space flight more affordable. Musk's company has attempted to land its Falcon 9 rocket on a barge after launch. Several attempts have come close but have fallen short.

While this week's achievement is being celebrated, Bezos said his company plans to fly the vehicle "many, many times and then when we're completely confident in it, we're going to start using it to take people into space."

Bezos said additional testing should "take another couple of years." When Blue Origin is ready for passengers, Bezos said he wants to travel to space and fulfill a boyhood dream.

"It's a passion that is deep in my heart," he told ABC's 'Good Morning America' "By the way, you guys are invited if you want to come."

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- After last week's strong gains, Wall Street closed mostly lower on Monday to start off the shortened holiday week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 31.13 to close at 17792.68.

The Nasdaq dipped  2.44 to finish at 5102.48, while the S&P 500 ended the session at 2086.59, down 2.58 from its open.

Pfizer Inc. and Allergan are going to become one pharmaceutical giant. The planned $155 billion merger was announced Monday, combining Pfizer's expertise in cancer medicines and vaccines as well as Allergan's skin-care treatments including Botox. According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal will make the new company the world's largest drug company in terms of yearly sales at $63.5 billion with 110,000 employees and $9 billion in research spending annually. The merger is a tax-savng maneuver which will allow Pfizer to set up shop in Dublin, Ireland, Allergan's headquarters, for a lower corporate tax rate.

According to the National Association of Realtors, home sales dropped 3.4 percent in October. Economists believe the cause was because of a decline in contract signings in the past few months. "New and existing-home supply has struggled to improve so far this fall, leading to few choices for buyers and no easement of the ongoing affordability concerns still prevalent in some markets," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. "Furthermore, the mixed signals of slowing economic growth and volatility in the financial markets slightly tempered demand and contributed to the decreasing pace of sales."

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is offering its online shoppers a head start to get their Cyber Monday shopping done. The retail giant announced on Monday it will offer its deals on Sunday, Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. ET instead of Monday. "It can be exhausting for working parents and millennials to stay up past midnight to shop online, only to wake up early the next day to get ready for work," Fernando Madeira, president and CEO of, said in a statement. "By starting 'Cyber Monday' hours earlier on Sunday evening and quadrupling the number of Cyber Monday specials, we're making it easier for customers to get ahead of the busiest online shopping day of the year and save on the best gifts."

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(COVINGTON, Ga.) -- A purse-snatching robbery that turned deadly in the parking lot of a Georgia Walmart has some shoppers concerned about their safety ahead of Black Friday.

Two people have been arrested in Covington, Ga., after a man grabbed shopper Marsha Johnson's purse on Nov. 16. The man ran back to his car, and as his vehicle was backing out, "he ran over the female multiple times causing traumatic injuries," the Covington police department said in a statement.

Johnson died as a result of her injuries, and suspects Brandon Shawn Smith and Stephanie Marie Rodriguez have been arrested in Tennessee. Both are facing charges for felony murder, robbery by sudden snatching and aggravated assault. Covington police spokesman Allan Seebaran told ABC News that Rodriguez was in the car when the incident happened and the pair has admitted to committing to several other robberies.

Walmart spokesman Aaron Mullins told ABC News that the company is partnering with police in the investigation.

"Security continues to remain a high priority at that store," Mullins said. "We definitely have procedures and measures in place to make sure all of our stores are hosting safe holiday events."

A similar incident happened in November 2013, when a man was killed during a carjacking in the parking lot of a luxury mall in Short Hills, N.J.

Delaware's Wilmington police department issued a list of holiday safety tips, which includes: walk in pairs and in well-lighted areas; avoid loading up on multiple shopping bags which can lead to unwanted attention; have a fully-charged cell phone handy; carry bags over the shoulder versus in the hand.

The department also suggests using the emergency button on vehicle remote keys "to ward off any unseen persons that may be targeting your vehicle for possible threat."

In the Covington case, Seebaran said the suspects spotted Johnson loading her car before the attack.

"We don't suspect she was targeted," Seebaran told ABC News. "It was just a crime of opportunity. It was just driving through the lot looking for someone to target."

In addition to would-be burglars targeting individuals, malls themselves are seen as a possible target especially in light of recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Mali.

The Mall of America in Minnesota, one of the nation's largest malls with more than 40 million shoppers, confirmed that it has increased security this holiday season.

"In light of recent events and the approaching holiday season we have implemented extra security precautions. Some may be noticeable to guests and tenants –- such as a more visible police and security presence -– and others won’t be," a Mall of America spokesperson said in a statement to ABC News.

Steve Gomez, former FBI special agent and ABC News consultant, said consumers should not fear for their safety this season.

"Everybody needs to be mindful that there is potential for an attack on a soft target given what has been going on in the rest of the world," he said. But "I don't think [shoppers] should avoid malls."

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(DEARBORN, Mich.) -- Ford Motor Company announed a big recall on Monday of 2010 and 2011 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan sedans.  The concern is pressure inside the fuel tank could cause it to crack and leak feul. The leak could then cause a fire.  

Around 450,000 vehicles are included in the recall.  

All were manufactured a Ford plant in Mexico.

Ford says dealers will update software on affected vehicles, inspect the fuel tanks, and replace them for free if needed.

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  There will be no rest for serious Black Friday shoppers.

Just as the turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie feasts begin to settle, some stores will open their doors on Thanksgiving, marking the start of the 2015 holiday shopping season.

Here's a look at when some of the country's biggest retailers are opening their doors -- along with some of the best deals they have to offer. (Note that the times listed are for most locations. Be sure to check your local store's hours.)

Walmart kicks off the holiday shopping season on Thanksgiving when its doors open at 6 p.m. Some of the standout deals advertised include $27 for popular games, including FIFA 16 and Madden 16, along with kids bikes starting as low as $39.

The retailer is urging shoppers to plan ahead by downloading the a store map on or through the Walmart app.

Doors open 6 p.m. Thursday at Target. Among the doorbusters luring shoppers to the retailer are 25 percent off all Apple TV boxes and a $100 gift card with the purchase of an Apple Watch. Parrot Drones, one of the hottest holiday items, are being offered for $69.99 (a $30 savings) while supplies last.

Doors open Thursday at 7 p.m. with the first 100 shoppers receiving a free mystery goody bag. Doorbusters include Star Wars figurines for $9.99 ( a 50 percent savings), select kids denim for $6 and 50 percent off all holiday string lights.

Best Buy
Best Buy opens at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Doors close Friday at 1 a.m. and stores re-open Friday at 8 a.m. Among the doorbusters are a 4K 60-inch Samsung TV for $799.99 (regular price $1,4999.99). A Toshiba 49-inch HDTV is being offering for $149.99 (regular price $429.99).

Staples is closed on Thanksgiving but will open on Black Friday at 6 a.m. Some of the top deals being offered include a Toshiba i3 notebook with Windows 10 for $299 (regular price $499). Some drones regularly priced between $39.99 and $99.99 are being sold at a 15 percent discount.

Opening at 9 a.m. Friday, Costco is offering $40 off a Kitchen Aid 4.5 quart Tilt-head Stand Mixer and $50 off an Xbox One console.

Don't forget to pick up the AA batteries for all of those holiday toy purchases. Costco is offering a 30 pack of Duracell Quantum AA batteries for $5 off.

Sam's Club
Sam's Club opens its doors at 7 a.m. on Friday. The Walmart-owned retailer is planning some big deals including $150 off the iPad Air 2 and a 14-piece stainless steal cookware set by KitchenAid for $109.98 (a $50 savings).

Sears opens at 6 p.m on Thursday and is offering family athletic shoes for buy one, get one free. Early bird shoppers will also enjoy a 30 percent off coupon found in the Sears circular that can be used on clothing purchases of $50 or more.

After its famous New York City parade has wrapped up, Macy's will open its doors at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, kicking off the holiday season with some insane door busters, including 60 percent off Samsonite luggage and 30 percent off all diamond engagement rings.

Kohl's kicks off the savings at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Doorbusters include 50 percent off toys from top brands including Fisher-Price, Payskool, Barbie and Hot Wheels. Kohl's is also offering $15 Kohl's cash for every $50 spent until Nov. 29. The certificates will be redeemable between Nov. 30 and Dec. 6.

Doors open at most JCPenney stores on Thursday at 3 p.m. Deals include a 13-piece cookware set for $29.99 (after a $20 mail-in rebate) and various kitchen appliances for $9.99 (after a $10 mail-in rebate) including blenders, toasters, waffle irons and hand mixers.

Home Depot
Home Depot opens at 6 a.m. on Black Friday and promises shoppers up to 40 percent off some major appliances.

Toys R Us
Stores open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Mini 12-volt Cadillac Escalades are being offered for $299.99 (a $150 savings) while LEGO Ultra Agents construction sets are being offered at a doorbusting discount of 30 percent.

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iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- You already know your boss wants to help you lose weight and improve your vital signs, through one of the workplace wellness programs that more than 90 percent of big employers now offer. Now are you ready for the new kind of wellness in the workplace?

Bank of America, Capital One, J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo are among the big banks looking into offering various levels of workplace financial education. All of these financial firms appear to be responding to demand. According to a recent Harris poll, 86 percent of employees surveyed said it was “important for employers to offer financial wellness programs.” And 93 percent of big employers want to do more to help their employees understand their finances, according to an Aon Hewitt study.

Perhaps no company has banked — pardon the pun — on this concept more than McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union of New York. The credit union started offering what it calls “Financial Wellness in the Workplace” sessions at a medium-sized company in the New York/New Jersey area earlier this year. The program goes beyond just offering information about the company 401k; it delves into credit, debt, home-buying, budgeting and so on.

“Folks are clamoring for this and they just don’t know where to find it,” said Shawn Gilfedder, president and CEO of McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union. “We do think the niche here is the workplace environment. If you ask the employees if they’d pay a sum of money to have that opportunity individually, they would say no. But if it’s offered in the workplace, they’re happy to participate.”

In a report for the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, the educational arm of FINRA that regulates financial advisers, Professor Robert Clark of North Carolina State University examined financial wellness programs offered by nine different employers and found that they made an effort to offer useful information that was not biased or commercial. Better yet, he found that “workers who participate in the retirement planning seminars significantly increase their level of financial literacy and…many workers alter their retirement plans.” Many did things like delay their retirement after realizing they didn’t have enough money saved.

In the McGraw-Hill Credit Union program, employees first participate in “lunch and learn” sessions on topics like protecting your identity, understanding your credit score and better budgeting. About 300 employees attend in person, others remotely. McGraw-Hill Credit Union facilitators have watched in amazement as coworkers share and commiserate about financial topics that are normally private, or even taboo.

Still, studies show, only about 10 percent of people who participate in brief financial seminars will act upon what they learn. In an effort to address this, the McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union Program offers people “Lifecycle Labs.” These are colorful touch screen computers that help participants create a visual timeline with goals like throwing a wedding, buying a car or a home, paying for their children’s college tuition and then their own eventual retirement.

"It’s a way to get them to vest in the process,” Gilfedder said. The final, most personalized, layer of the McGraw Hill Credit Union program gives employees a chance to meet with the credit union’s certified financial planner. And it’s all paid for by their boss.

So why would a company do it? First, it’s not necessarily expensive for employers to offer these programs. According to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it costs private employers only about $144 per worker annually. Other studies have shown employers benefit from their investment, because their workers feel valued and are less financially stressed.

Gilfedder of McGraw Hill Federal Credit Union puts it this way: “Financial stress is still at the top of people’s worry list. And I can tell you, 90 percent of the time, people are addressing that stress at work. Guess what? They’re sitting at their desk to do their banking while they’re at the office. Reducing that stress helps them be more productive and should make them a better employee.”

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Walmart(NEW YORK) — Remember when Black Friday and Cyber Monday actually began on their respective days of the week?

The battle for holiday shoppers is shaping up to be bigger than ever this year. While plenty of retailers have already announced their Black Friday deals, Walmart said it is also going after Cyber Monday shoppers a few hours early.

The retailer will began offering Cyber Monday online deals Sunday, Nov. 29, starting at 8 p.m. ET. The retailer is hoping to snag some shoppers looking for online deals before they head back to work on Monday.

"It can be exhausting for working parents and millennials to stay up past midnight to shop online, only to wake up early the next day to get ready for work," Fernando Madeira, president and CEO of, said in a statement. "By starting 'Cyber Monday' hours earlier on Sunday evening and quadrupling the number of Cyber Monday specials, we're making it easier for customers to get ahead of the busiest online shopping day of the year and save on the best gifts."

Promising thousands of deals, Walmart teased some of its specials on the most sought-after items this holiday season.

Among the top items are an LG 65-inch 4K television for $799 (coming at a $500 savings).

Microsoft's Surface Pro 3, a tablet-laptop hybrid that was released last year, is being sold for $599 (a $200 savings). Microsoft recently released the Surface Pro 4, but the savings on last year's model, which can work with some new Surface Pro 4 accessories, makes it a steal.

An Air Hogs Video Drone is being offered for $75 (a $34 savings) -- an ideal price point for purchasing an entry-level drone.

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Fuse/ThinkstockBy ABC News’ BECKY WORLEY

(NEW YORK) — When you buy a gift card at a discount — it's an automatic price cut on everything you eventually buy with it. What's better than a blanket discount? So how do you buy gift cards for less than face value?

Gift Card Clearinghouses

There are quite a few sites for buying discounted gift cards: Cardcash (formerly Plastic Jungle), Gift Card Granny, and Raise, to name a few. These sites let users buy and sell cards while the sites act as a form of escrow. Let me explain. If I have a card I don't want, I would put it for sale on and they would tell me what percentage I would lose off the card. For example, if I have a $100 Dick's Sporting Goods card they would put it up for sale on the site for $87.

I send the card in and here's the genius of the third-party escrow system: Cardcash checks the balance on the card to confirm it is loaded and active, then they list it for sale. A buyer purchases it, Cardcash mails the card to the buyer, and guarantees the value of the card for 30 to 90 days depending, on the site. Some of these cards are printable e-cards and some only work online. Read the fine print. I purchased seven gift cards and gift codes from these sites and one of them didn't work when I tried to use it. I contacted the gift card reseller, they verified the card was fraudulent and are refunding me the cost. Buy from a reseller that has a money-back guarantee and check/use the cards immediately.

Buy During the Black Friday Week

I have long advised -- if you buy one thing on Black Friday, it should be discounted gift cards. Costco slashes prices (and they have discounted gift cards all year long now). Big name retailers often slash prices this time of year (I bought $300 worth of Target gift cards last year at 10 percent off and used them for groceries and staples all year long). Also look for what I call sweetening deals. Many retailers want to discount popular brands and electronics, but they have contracted with the manufacturers not to slash prices on those items. Instead they offer the items at full price but bundle it with a gift card. The most famous of these types of offers are deals on Apple electronics: Best Buy is offering the iPhone 6 at full price but they are bundling it with a $200 Best Buy Gift card. -- eBay the Company, Not Other Users

During the Black Friday week, eBay offers a slew of discounted gift cards. I’m not talking about buying cards on the site from another user; instead eBay the company has a button on the top of its site that says "gift cards," click that and you can buy directly from eBay a verified card. For example, this year their sale starts on Black Friday with these four deals: Sephora -- $100 with $10 bonus, Toys R Us -- $100 for $85, Lowes -- $200 for $175, and Lord & Taylor -- $50 for $40.

Stack Your Discounts

The real power of discounted gift cards comes when you stack them during sale times. Take a card that you bought for 15 percent off, use it to buy a sweater that's marked down 30 percent and then add a blanket coupon you have for 20 percent off -- that's 65 percent off, an $80 sweater is now $28.

Word of Warning

A study by Cardhub estimates that since 2008, $44 billion in gift cards have gone unused. That is an insanely large amount of our hard-earned cash that we are ostensibly handing over to multinational corporations as a gift. Only buy gift cards if you have immediate plans for them.

I love the idea of using a key ring and a hole punch to keep all your cards together.

Ask everyone in your family to do an inventory of the cards they have, if they aren’t planning to use them in the next two months -- I say sell them at one of the card retailers. I think some money is better than no money.

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