The Psychology of Economics

Countries with a longstanding track record of economic stability and security tend to have the happiest citizens, reports journalist Dan Buettner, who has studied what makes people happy. Education and health care are two primary reasons why, combining to create an upwardly mobile lifecycle.1   Mothers with higher education levels tend to have fewer children,…

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For Some Retirees, Home is Where the Debt is

Today’s pre-retirees and retirees tend to have far more debt than those in years past. In addition to factors like credit card payments and medical expenses, this generation is seeing the effects of higher home prices and easily obtained low down-payment mortgages in the early 2000s.1 Between 2003 and 2016, Americans 60 and older nearly…

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Medicare News

Earlier this year, Congress passed a last-minute budget deal that included provisions affecting Medicare benefits. Specifically, one provision will permit certain therapies to continue beyond the previous caps, subject to conditions. All therapy (physical, speech and occupational) must continue to be classified as “reasonable and necessary to treat the individual’s illness or injury.” 1 There had…

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Consider Having a Backup Plan

Consider Having a Backup Plan When looking ahead in anticipation of Social Security benefits, many people expect to wait until an average age of 66 to make a claim.1 However, Nationwide Retirement Institute’s fifth annual Social Security survey found many retirees start drawing Social Security at the earliest possible age of 622 — frequently the result…

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Technology Pros and Cons

Not all innovations are initially successful. Think about the driverless car. It sounded like a great idea — helping the disabled and elderly retain some independence — until the first pedestrian fatality involving a driverless car occurred in Arizona this year.1 Driverless technology may be a work in progress, but it may still have advantages.…

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Notes on U.S. Infrastructure

The American Society of Civil Engineers has given the U.S. an overall infrastructure grade of D+. Throughout the next decade, it will take more than $4.5 trillion to fix our aging infrastructure — including upgrades to roads, mass transit, wastewater treatment plants and the electrical grid.1 We’ve reached the mission-critical stage. One industry analyst observed,…

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Music Plays Instrumental Role in Healing Ailments

Hearing a familiar song from a happy period in your life, such as childhood, can instantly make you feel joyful. It’s as if you’re right back there — toe tapping, head bopping and singing along. Just as with our sight, smell and taste senses, positive auditory memories can enhance mood and transport us back to…

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Demographic Differences

Consider these questions for a moment: Have your outlook and attitude toward politics and culture changed over the years? Or are you the same as always? If you were a conservative young adult, do you hold the same beliefs today? If you were a rebel as a youngster, are you still? Or have you mellowed…

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End-of-Life Issues

Before today’s modern medicine, people usually died of three things: injury, infections or some type of nutritional deficiency.1 Painkillers may have come in the form of herbal tea or some other applied root, so pain was a fact of life. Life expectancy was much shorter than today, and people often died suddenly or after a period…

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A Look at How America Ranks

In his first year in office, President Trump has promoted his “America first” philosophy. This new focus, with its trade protectionism and tough stance on immigration, has somewhat changed the U.S. narrative on a world scale.1   Considering this new emphasis on America first, perhaps it’s worth looking at how the U.S. ranks on the…

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