What’s Driving Oil Prices?

Oil prices are influenced by supply and demand, and 2020 was a great demonstration of this principle. With global and local shutdowns due to the spread of the coronavirus, there was less demand for products and services. While online shopping was up, foot traffic in stores languished and retailers – both local and nationwide –…

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The COVID Vaccine, 50 Years in the Making

Back in the 1970s, a Hungarian scientist named Katalin Kariko began working on mRNA therapeutics, but her research was believed to be too radical and a financial risk. Years later, she moved to the U.S. and found better support. It was then that Kariko developed a vaccine approach using synthetic mRNA, which became the basis…

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Vaccine and Technology: Where to Get Help

One of the biggest flaws in the COVID vaccine distribution plan is its heavy reliance on the internet. Meanwhile, older seniors — the first and most critical targets for the vaccine — are the least-experienced internet users.   Most state and local plans have created websites that allow people to sign up for a vaccine…

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Tax Pitfalls

Millions of Americans took advantage of the delayed tax-filing deadline in 2020. In fact, according to one survey, 11% of taxpayers filed their 2019 returns after the July 15 extension, and 3% still hadn’t filed as of last December. The primary reason most taxpayers file late isn’t due to procrastination, but rather because they owe…

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Retirement Planning Insights

Amid lost jobs and a scaled-back economy in 2020, some workers may have decided to retire earlier than planned. There are a couple of Social Security strategies worth considering in this scenario.   First, if both spouses are over age 62, determine if you can make ends meet by taking only one Social Security benefit…

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Vaccines and the Stock Market

  If there’s one thing that can move the economy and stock market forward, it’s hope. This year, that hope is being presented in the form of COVID-19 vaccines. Economists and Wall Street analysts have long proclaimed that comprehensive economic recovery is not possible until we have contained the virus. The prospect of wide distribution…

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Airline Industry in Trouble

The airline industry has been largely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Secluding people in a confined space with limited air circulation for hours on end is not a great recipe for containing an airborne disease.   However, airlines that have invested in protocols and protections to keep passengers safe are the ones that will likely…

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Open Enrollment: Health Care Insurance Takes Priority

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) – passed in 2010 and known colloquially as “Obamacare” – has experienced quite a ride. Initially, it was embraced by millions of Americans for whom it afforded tax-subsidized health insurance without access to employer-sponsored coverage. At the same time, it was derided for increasing government sharing costs…

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Social Security Updates

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently announced a new cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) starting in 2021. Beneficiaries can expect a 1.3% increase in their income payouts next year, which is actually smaller than the COLA increase was for this year.1 For single households, that’s an average increase of about $20 a month; $33 for married retirees.2…

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The Millennial Economy

The millennial generation hasn’t had it so great. A recent economic analysis reports that since entering the workforce five to 20 years ago, the average millennial has experienced slower economic advancement than any other generation in U.S. history.1 It’s not just a matter of long periods of high unemployment. It’s also because getting that first…

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