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Holiday Shopping This Summer

Even with lockdowns, fewer parties and reduced travel, the National Retail Federation reports that in 2020, Americans spent $209 billion on holiday-related purchases — averaging about $998 per person.1 If it seems a bit early to be talking about holiday shopping, consider that you may want to shop earlier than ever this year. That’s because...
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Lessons From the Pandemic

They say we don’t always appreciate what we have until it’s gone. That was one of the big lessons learned during the pandemic — but there are others. We learned a lot about the quirks and interests of family members — which tend to change as our children grow and we don’t always realize how...
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Putting Inflation Expectations in Persepctive

Historically, inflation has been highly correlated with unemployment levels. When more people were out of a job, inflation was lower. As more people got jobs, inflation increased. From an economic point of view, this makes sense. Jobs increase income, which increases spending, which increases demand — supplies drop and prices rise. The opposite is true...
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What’s On Tap For Jobs

Jobs data can be confusing. For example, the New York Federal Reserve reported in May that among businesses active before the pandemic, 35% remain closed, only 3% of service businesses still closed were likely to reopen, and only 4% of workers will be rehired by currently closed small businesses.1 One industry that has experienced the...
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The Labor Market in the Post-Pandemic Era

According to the most recent Future of Jobs Report by the World Economic Forum, 50% of employees will need new skills training by 2025 as the pace of technological innovation continues to grow. Among business leaders, 94% say they expect employees to learn new skills while on the job, compared to just 65% who made...
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How to Plan for Old Age

Thelma Sutcliffe turned 114 years old in April, making her the oldest living American and the seventh-oldest person in the world, according to the Gerontology Research Group. The Omaha, Nebraska, resident attributes her relative good health and longevity to the fact that she never had children, never smoked and made it a habit not to...
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How Infrastructure Spending Affects Municipal Bonds

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the 10-year tab to meet the country’s basic infrastructure needs is about $6 trillion. The report, published in March, includes $125 billion needed for bridge repairs, $435 billion for roads and $176 billion for the nation’s transportation systems.1 For more than 200 years, municipal bonds have been...
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Why Buy an Annuity When the Market is Up?

Perhaps you are familiar with an annuity. The basic premise is that you convert a lump sum of money into a stream of income. Unlike an investment, once you commit a fixed amount of money to the insurance company, that company is contractually obligated to provide you a minimum level of income with the option...
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U.S. Supply Chain Crunch

Throughout the past 60 years, the microchip has influenced the manufacturing of a wide variety of products that touch nearly every consumer these days. From computers to cell phones to cars, the chip is now the most critical and costly component of modern-day electronic devices. However, the majority of chip production occurs overseas, which means...
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Social Security Proposals and Strategies

As the Social Security Trust Fund approaches its expiration date, many existing entities are offering helpful suggestions for funding alternatives. For example, the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) recommends a combination of changing how cost of living adjustments are made, delaying retirement age and updating the delayed credit strategy. Among its proposals, the AMAC...
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