COLA Not Keeping Up With Medicare Premium Increases

Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors were foregoing retirement until later as well as taking part-time jobs even after retiring. Living longer for millions of Americans has translated into a financial challenge resulting in dealing with the threat of dwindling assets during an extensive retirement. The single greatest menace to retirees has historically been inflation. Over the …

How The Fed Makes Money For The Government – Government Structure

The Federal Reserve acts as a separate and individual entity from the U.S. government. It has the ability to create and manage its policies for the benefit of the U.S. financial system. Large banks throughout the country, also known as money center banks, deposit their excess cash with the Federal Reserve. The Fed in turn pays interest to banks on …

Sets Later Date To Accept Returns – Tax Planning

The IRS announced that it will not start accepting individual tax returns for the tax year 2020 until February 12. A law passed by Congress in December designed to mitigate fraud hindered the ability for the IRS to start accepting tax returns earlier in the year. As a result, many taxpayers may have to wait an extra month or two …

Which Workers Are Calling In Sick – Labor Market

A growing number of U.S. workers are calling in sick to work as the fear of COVID infections has escalated for the past few weeks. The number of days that workers have missed due to illness and calling in sick has doubled since the pandemic began according to the Census Bureau. The rate of absenteeism, as termed by economists, has …

What People Are Doing With Their Stimulus Payments

Surveys done each week by the U.S. Census Bureau are detailing what Americans are doing with their stimulus payments. Data gathered from various stimulus recipients among all income levels and educational backgrounds, reveal that a large portion receiving payments are using their funds to pay off debt. The most recent data as of the week ending January 22, 2021, show …

How Lending Standards Affect Consumers

Even before the pandemic materialized, banks and finance companies were already starting to tighten lending standards. The low rate environment for the months leading up to the pandemic culminated into a flurry of new loans for homes and automobiles. As the pandemic took hold throughout the country, banks and lenders modified their loan requirements to compensate for lost wages and …

Volatility Returns To Markets – Domestic Equity

Equity indices were nearly unchanged in January following volatility that drove prices higher and lower throughout the month. Market performance for prior Januarys has historically been acknowledged as an indicator of where markets might head for the year. Speculative trading among smaller retail investors raised concerns about how social media is influencing individual stock valuations. As a result, volatility spiked …

Macro Economic Overview – Feb 2021

Speculative trading among smaller retail investors raised concerns about how social media is influencing individual stock valuations. Recently popularized social news aggregation and discussion websites are driving frenzied trading behavior among inexperienced young traders while disrupting traditional stock valuation methods. Many are calling for heightened regulation and scrutiny surrounding these websites and how they operate. Vaccination progress is being closely …

Consumers Expect Inflation To Rise

Even though traditional government data has current inflation at 1.2%, consumers have a different perspective with higher inflation expectations. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York tracks and maintains consumer inflation expectations every month, separate from traditional inflation data tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median one-year inflation expectation by consumers is 2.96% as of November 2020, nearly …

Coronavirus Relief Bill Overview

The Coronavirus Relief Bill extends and modifies several provisions first enacted by the CAREs Act in March 2020. The package extends relief through mid-March of 2021, providing support to individuals and small businesses in order to get through the remaining months of the pandemic. Following are highlights from the relief bill: Stimulus Payment; A one time direct payment in the …