Money Minute: Networks Fined for Movie Ad; Retirement Plans Now Feasible?


"This is not a test" -- a warning that draws a big fine from regulators.

In an effort to promote the movie thriller "Olympus Has Fallen," media companies played a 30 second commercial last year showing the White House under siege, with the fake warning: "This is not a test." But the Federal Communications Commission says Comcast (CMCSA) (CMCSK), Viacom (VIA) and Walt Disney (DIS) violated federal law by improperly using the emergency alert system. The three companies were fined a total of nearly $2 million.

Workers are becoming a little bit more optimistic that they will be able to retire after all. A CareerBuilder survey finds half of all workers age 60 and above expect to be able to retire within four years. That's a slight improvement from a year ago. And fewer people say they are delaying retirement, but 10 percent still doubt they'll ever be able to retire. One reason for the improvement is that many workers have seen the value of their retirement accounts increase.

Prices for several key commodities are soaring on concerns about the turmoil in Ukraine -- everything from copper to corn and wheat.
Ukraine is one of the world's biggest grain exporters, and shipments could be disrupted. Exports from Russia could also slow, and in the short run that could benefit U.S. farmers if they can pick up the slack.

Stocks could rebound today as Russia withdraws troops from the Ukraine border.

Here on Wall Street Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) fell 153 points, the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) fell 13, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) lost 30 points.

Free checking is becoming an endangered species. Bankrate (RATE) reports just 38 percent of banks offer free checking. That's down from 65 percent just four years ago. Bankrate says the good news is that nearly 3 out of 4 credit unions still offer free checking, no strings attached.

Finally, banks are scrambling to protect their ATMs from hackers. According to CNNMoney, 95 percent of all ATMs run on Windows XP, but Microsoft (MSFT) will stop supporting the 13-year old software system next month. That could leave it vulnerable to hackers.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.

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I'm just a plain middle class person who decided to retire at 56&1/2 years of age. Downsized from the suburbs of Chicago. Sold high bought lower on the MO/AR state line. Nice smaller house on a big lake. Retire when you can and take your SS at 62 then enjoy life from day to day. Because you never know when your health might give out.

March 04 2014 at 2:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Florida farmers will have to provide healthcare for migrant workers. That will result in higher prices and less food. Experts say that, not me.

March 04 2014 at 12:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You have to have a job to retire.

March 04 2014 at 11:03 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply