2023 ushered in an 8.7% increase, the largest raise in Social Security benefits in over forty years. Don’t get me wrong, this was a welcome increase and has helped millions of Social Security recipients. At least a little bit. But was it enough?
With record inflation and almost prohibitive housing prices, more young adults are choosing to live at home with their parents. At least until the economy improves.
Consider the fact that Massachusetts has the second highest average annual wage in the US, coming in at $93,675 vs the United States’ average of $69,392, this will affect more people than you might think₁.
As I read the news headlines each day, I’m noticing a common theme lately. One that suggests that our current economic climate is impacting the middle class much more than the wealthy or those less fortunate. The articles cite examples, such as smaller paycheck increases and the rising costs of items that middle class consumers purchase the most. And the middle class is much bigger than you might think.
Unfortunately, 2022 provided us with plenty of learnings that we could do without. Last year was perhaps the most turbulent year investors have ever seen, and for good reason. Up until 2022, the markets were on a three-year winning streak, making 2022 that much more painful.
One of the first steps you should take when you first start out is to create a budget. This helps create a plan you can stick to and will ideally ensure that you’re putting money aside, too.
According to a 2022 survey by Voya Financial, 66 percent of Americans are worried about how inflation will affect their ability to save for retirement, and 43 percent have had to tap into finances that they previously had set aside for retirement of because of inflation₃.
Folks, there’s no magical formula or strategy that will make us inflation-proof, and we all know that we can’t control the markets. But you can control to some degree what you spend and save.
Lately, it’s hard to watch the news or go online without seeing two popular buzzwords being tossed about – inflation and recession. Many ask, which one is worse? How worried should I be? Or even – what do they mean and how are they different?
Recently, I’ve had a few folks ask me about inflation, given how high it is right now and how much airtime the media is giving it. Inflation – at least as we’re currently experiencing – is an issue that doesn’t seem to have one clear, specific root cause, despite what you may hear from media pundits.