Health Care Spending Trends

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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…

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Pension Matters

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When it comes to preparing for retirement, headlines about underfunded pensions can be troubling. One study found that 21 state pensions held less than 40 percent of the assets needed to pay benefits. To make up for that shortfall, each taxpayer would have to contribute an extra $1,385 per year.1  While not every worker in…

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Spending Influences

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Everyone has their own unique way of spending money. Even people who live in the same house or grew up under the same parental influences can turn out drastically different. Some people are minimalists while others simply like to buy stuff.  A variety of factors can shape our values when it comes to spending and…

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Men in Contemporary Society

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With an increased focus on the pay disparity between genders, women in the workplace are a frequent subject of studies. How many work? How many out-earn their husbands? How many make less than their male peers?  Meanwhile, we don’t often see many studies about men. Just how are men faring in today’s society? For starters,…

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Life at Home is Your Business

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With a businessman running against a career politician in this year’s presidential race, one topic of discussion has been the pros and cons of running the country like a business.  The idea has been broached before, with several past presidents boasting more business than public service experience. In fact, 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney once…

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Entrepreneurs on the Rise

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Entrepreneurship plays a vital role in the growth of the U.S. labor market. The number of jobs created from startups peaked in the late 1990s before declining steadily through the first 10 years of the 2000s.1 However, from the ashes of the recession comes a phoenix of entrepreneurship.  In a recent study, 66 percent of…

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What’s New With Social Security?

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Before the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 passed, the Social Security Disability Insurance Trust Fund was projected to be depleted sometime this year.  Congress shifted tax revenues from the Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund to keep disability benefits fully funded. However, Social Security still faces long-term shortfalls under currently scheduled funding and expenditures.1 …

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America’s Founders: Entrepreneurs and Opportunists

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Our nation’s forefathers were reputed for their progressive views, business-minded principals and pursuit of independence through the establishment of a new government. It might help to consider these tenets as we aim for our own goals in our careers and retirement.  Earlier this year, author Edward Lenge published a book based on the writings of…

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Will New Health Care Provisions Hold Up Long Term?

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New incentives and physician payment updates put in place by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act have helped fix short-range physician payment issues, but as the Boards of Trustees for Medicare noted in its June 22 report, these changes raise some long-term concerns.1  The board is concerned these measures will not adjust for economic…

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For Some Businesses, Success is All in the Family

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Twenty-five years ago, business analysts thought the traditional family business model would eventually become extinct. But here it is in 2016, and some of the largest brand names in America are still owned and operated by their original families: Walmart, BMW, Tyson, Samsung, Kohler, Christian Dior, Mars, Ford and Comcast. In fact, public and private…

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