It’s Not Just You – Politics is Stressing out America’s Youth

“I can’t sleep.” – A 16-year-old “It’s been extremely hard to concentrate.” – A 22-year-old “I got behind in school.” – A 22-year-old “I feel like I could get killed any second.”- An 18-year-old “I’m nervous about whether I need to go to school wearing a gas mask.”- A 14-year-old “I’m scared for my safety.” – A 15-year-old The current political climate has been difficult for Americans of all political stripes. People have been so stressed that, just before the 2016 presidential election, the American Psychological Association released a list of coping strategies to help adults deal with election-related stress. The focus has been on adults, yet teens and college-aged Americans are exposed to the same headlines. Turns out – youth are feeling it, too. In our survey of 80 youth across the nation, published Feb. 13, we found that a majority experienced physical or emotional distress before and after the …

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is Law

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is Law: The Detailed Provisions to Know The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a measure that has been characterized as the first major reform of the Internal Revenue Code in 31 years, received final approval from the House and the Senate on December 20, and was signed into law by President Trump two days later on December 22. The legislation slashes the top corporate tax rate to 21%, lowers the top marginal rate for individual taxpayers to 37%, eliminates or scales back several popular deductions, reduces taxes on business income earned by pass-through businesses, doubles the estate tax exemption, and substantially enhances immediate expensing of capital investments. The legislation is expected to add around $1.5 trillion to the Federal deficit over 10 years, before accounting for any economic growth. Under the Senate’s budget reconciliation rules, the final bill could be approved by …

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Americans are Saving Energy by Staying at Home

Information and communication technologies are radically transforming modern lifestyles. They are redefining our concept of “space” by turning homes and coffee shops into workspaces. (This article was written in a coffee shop.) Instead of going to the theater, many people sit in the comfort of their homes and stream movies. Online purchasing of food, groceries and consumer products has transformed shopping. Personal interactions, from the casual to the intimate, are increasingly virtual instead of face to face. How can we measure the impacts of these changes? Time diaries are one tool for quantifying lifestyles and trends. A time diary is a survey in which people list what they do and for how long, from waking up in the morning to going to bed at night. Along with our colleague Roger Chen, we analyzed data from 2003-2012 from the American Time Use Survey, which is conducted annually by the U.S. Bureau …

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FINRA Rules Take Effect to Protect Seniors & Vulnerable Adults from Exploitation

Financial abuse of seniors is devastating to those who should be enjoying their golden years. A 2015 report by True Link Financial says seniors lose more than $36 billion a year to financial abuse, and the financial industry has been looking for ways to address the privacy and safety concerns of older investors. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a self-governing private body, issued a rule to help that went into effect in early February. “The bottom line for this new rule is to install safeguards to either prevent potential financial exploitation or stop ongoing exploitation of impaired seniors,” says Clifford Caplan, a certified financial planner at Neponset Valley Financial Partners. With widespread reports of huge amounts of funds being siphoned off from unsuspecting investors’ accounts, FINRA has finally stepped in establish a mechanism and procedure to stop this abuse, he says. Here’s what you need to know about the new …

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Basic Facts of Life Insurance

Thinking of a future without ourselves in it, is not the most pleasant of thoughts. . .however, it is necessary to do so for the financial security of your family. Life insurance may provide you with the opportunity to bequeath money to your survivors, while at the same time, provide the necessary liquidity to help pay estate taxes. This, in turn, may allow your assets to pass undiminished to your heirs. As a general rule of thumb when purchasing life insurance, it is usually thought that you would need eight to ten times your salary in order to take care of your family’s needs. A more accurate formula may be as follows: Determine the amount needed to help meet specific needs such as providing funds for college, paying off your mortgage, or giving money to an heir. Label this figure as [A]. Determine the amount necessary for the support of …

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