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Trade Wars: More Context

  Blog for 10.23.18 DL Version Trade Wars: More Context   In particular, automobiles seem to be in the crosshairs of President Trump’s hard line on trade with the rest of the world. Here are a few reasons why:1   S. auto production represents about 2.7 percent of GDP. There are more jobs in motor-vehicle…
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Marketing on Demand IO Blog Post #386

Travel Ideas Travelers Benefit from Industry Trends   Many areas of the U.S. experienced sweltering heat throughout this past summer. As the seasons change, now is a great time to take a vacation and enjoy the cooler air.   Plan to get away If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, consider locations not necessarily off…
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Sustainable Investing Goes Mainstream

Invest in what you know is a common piece of investment wisdom. In the past, that advice has most likely referenced your favorite soda or retail store. Today, however, more people are investing in actions and causes they champion, and this is true of companies, as well. For example, while the current U.S. administration is…
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Expenses that Come with Caring

We spend our lives caring for others – at least if we’re lucky. One of the greatest treasures in life is having people, causes and pets to care for. Unfortunately, caring for others can have its challenges, including additional stress and financial burdens. Sometimes we get so caught up in making money that we don’t…
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Checking Up on Health Care Expenses

If there’s one thing every adult demographic in America values, it’s maintaining good health. People with medical conditions may be interested in topics like new medical technology, pharmacology or national changes to health care insurance. Meanwhile, those without serious medical issues want to know how they can stay that way, through nutrition, exercise, weight loss…
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All Things Pharmaceutical

The White House recently launched a task force aimed at addressing the nation’s opioid addiction crisis, headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.1 According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the majority of drug overdose deaths that occur today involve an opioid.2 Prescription drugs are a nuanced example of how positive innovations can…
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The Psychological Impact of a Divisive Election

Before 2016, the American Psychological Association’s (APA) annual Stress in America surveys showed money, work and the economy were the biggest sources of stress in people’s lives.1 During the 2016 presidential campaign season, however, doctors began reporting patients were increasingly anxious due to issues candidates highlighted in speeches and interviews. 2 The APA’s most recent…
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Simplify Your Life

Life has its highs and lows. Sometimes when we go for a long stretch – everybody in the family is healthy, finances are on track, you’re enjoying yourself – we get that nagging feeling that our good fortune just can’t last. Often, that’s true. There’s inevitably a repair needed on your car, an appliance breaks…
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Are We "Shovel-Ready"?

A famous line of dialogue came from the 1989 film “Field of Dreams”: “If you build it, he will come.” Perhaps the quote endures because of its inherent irony – it’s not always true. In fact, during the Obama Administration, there was an unfortunate lesson best illustrated by paraphrasing this quote: “If you fund it,…
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Will We Ever Close the Gender Gap?

Every year, the World Economic Forum updates its Global Gender Gap Report, which measures gender disparity across 144 countries and tracks this progress over time. The report pays special attention to the gaps between women and men with regard to health, education, economy and politics.1   Although the corporate “glass ceiling” has been broken by…
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Medicare Reform Outlook: Uncertain

With a new administration in the nation’s highest office, there is growing debate about Medicare reform. The federal program, which helps provide health insurance to those over 65 and certain younger people with disabilities, is partially funded by participant premiums and a 1.45 percent payroll tax, matched by employers. Yet, it routinely exceeds its funding…
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Higher Education Cost Inflation Helps Lead to Legitimizing of MOOCs

Almost 40 percent of high school graduates accepted for college admission ultimately do not attend the following year. The reason? College is expensive: The average college graduate emerged with about $30,000 in student loans in 2015.1 So you’ve got to wonder, is it worth it to graduate with that much debt, especially these days when…
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The Old-School Stool

The proverbial “three-legged stool” of retirement funding traditionally comprised Social Security, a company pension and personal savings, but that stool has been wobbly for quite some time. In fact, the traditional pension has been replaced largely by employer-sponsored 401(k) plans. This development firmly places the responsibility of two of the three stool legs on individual…
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Sleep and Other Surprising Economic Factors

As a result of all modern society’s demands, researchers say people are sleeping less than ever. Common sleep inhibitors include stress, alcohol consumption, smoking, lack of physical activity and excessive electronic media use.1 Sleep deprivation may be detrimental to one’s health, but there’s an economic toll as well. One recent study found that as much…
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Looking Through the Glass Ceiling

The Women’s Rights Movement began in 1848 to enable women to have representation in decisions impacting their social, civil and religious rights.1 While Hillary Clinton, the first female presidential candidate from a major party, was not elected this year, women take their right to vote very seriously. In every presidential election since 1964 (2016 results…
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The State of Real Estate

Thanks to price and sales growth, the U.S. housing market outperformed the U.S. economy in the first six months of 2016. Part of that success is demographic driven: Older millennials are looking to grow their families and buy their first home at the same time that some baby boomers are downsizing in preparation for retirement.…
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Perks of Growing Older

Getting older has its perks – from potential tax breaks to everyday discounts. It’s like turning 21 and getting carded all over again. Only now, in some ways, the older you are the more you may be able to save. If you’re closing in on retirement, you may be in position to start saving more…
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Opposites Attract: Couple Finances

It’s very common for a married couple to have vastly different financial personalities. One may be frugal and the other a big spender. As we all know, money can be the source of some pretty big challenges in a relationship. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 73 percent of couples said their financial approach…
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Being Wise in a Smart World

These days, it seems like everything’s getting smarter. Smart phones, smart cars, smart appliances, smart technology. Maybe we take things like this for granted, but you can start typing any phrase into Google, and the computer will finish it for you. That’s pretty darn smart. Unfortunately, our increasingly smart world creates a host of new…
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Health Care Spending Trends

For the 40+ year period of 1961 to 2002, health care expenses followed a pretty steady upward trend, thanks to things like the introduction of Medicaid, coverage expansion and occasional price increases.1 But between 2003 and 2007, that rampant growth slowed down considerably, and the impact of the recession was felt from 2008-2013.2 Many Americans lost…
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