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01 October 2022

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  • Booking.com adds safety advisory for West Bank properties
    01 October 2022
  • Venezuela has released 7 jailed Americans, Biden says
    01 October 2022

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    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Venezuela has released seven jailed Americans, U.S. President Joe Biden said on Saturday.

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  • Elon Musk to provide Florida with Starlink satellites in response to Hurricane Ian
    01 October 2022

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    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said SpaceX Chief Executive Elon agreed to provide the company’s satellite internet service, Starlink, for help in response to Hurricane Ian in areas of Southwest Florida still without connectivity.

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  • The home price correction intensifies—what to expect from the U.S. housing market in 2023
    01 October 2022
  • 陳茂波:香港未來一定跟從國家發展 不斷進步 – 信報網站 hkej.com
    01 October 2022

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    財政司司長陳茂波在社交網站祝賀國慶73周年,稱今天大街小巷都充滿喜慶和歡欣氣氛,在國慶節這愉快的日子,他相約了幾個家庭來個「國慶本地遊」,一起共聚。

    陳茂波指出,適逢今天是第二期消費券發放,他用消費券買了一些壽桃,與巿民一同分享,讓「國慶節x消費券x一起共聚」,加倍喜悅、歡樂滿城。

    他又稱,國家發展迅速,繁榮昌盛,大家都感到非常自豪和高興,香港未來一定會跟從國家發展,不斷進步,分享國家發展的榮光,祝願國家繁榮昌盛、國富民強。

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  • Intel Unit Mobileye’s Proposed IPO: What You Need To Know – Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)
    01 October 2022

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    Israeli autonomous vehicle technology company Mobileye Global, Inc. will soon tap the public market yet again, according to its S-1 filing with the SEC late Friday.

    What Happened: Mobileye said it will offer its Class A common stock in an initial public offering, or IPO, without mentioning the size and pricing of the offering, according to the preliminary prospectus filed on Form S-1.

    The company said it intends to use a portion of the net proceeds to repay the debt owed to its parent, Intel Corporation INTC. The remainder, if any, would be used for working capital and general corporate purposes, it added.

    Following the IPO, the company would have Class A and Class B common stock, with both being identical in rights to holders, except for voting, transfer and conversion. Each Class A stock will be entitled to one vote compared to ten votes for the Class B stock.

    Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will serve as lead managers for the offering.

    The company has applied for listing its shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “MBLY.”

    See also: Is Mobileye IPO A Good Investment?

    Why It’s Important: Jerusalem-headquartered Mobileye was founded in 1999 by Hebrew University professor Amnon Shashua, who currently serves as the company’s CEO.

    It launched its first-gen EyeQ1 processor in 2008, with subsequent versions rolling out in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

    The company went public for the first time in 2014 and listed its shares on the NYSE. Less than three years later, Intel acquired it in a $15.3 billion deal. With Intel struggling to turn around its fortunes, it decided to offload the self-driving technology unit in a bid to focus on its core business.

    Intel announced in December 2021 that it plans to spin off Mobileye in an IPO, while maintaining majority ownership in the latter. A recent Bloomberg report suggested, Intel has slashed Mobileye’s IPO valuation from $50 billion to $30 billion.

    Mobileye said in the S-1 filing that its revenue grew 43% in 2021 to $1.4 billion, while revenue for the six months ending July 2, 2022, was up 21% at $854 million. On an adjusted basis, the company earned $474 million in 2021 and $276 million for the first half of 2022.

    The filing revealed that over 50 OEMs have adopted Mobileye’s solutions and about 800 vehicle models incorporate its EyeQ processors.

    Photo: Courtesy of ETC-USC on flickr

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  • Disney pulls its content from Dish and Sling TV over rate disagreement | CNN Business
    01 October 2022

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    CNN

    Disney

    (DIS)
    has blocked its content from being shown on Dish TV and Sllng TV channels after the companies were unable to reach agreement over a contract extension.

    The dispute affects access to Disney channels that include ESPN, FX, the Disney Channel and ABC local stations in seven markets.

    Dish and Sling claim that Disney “walked away from the negotiation table” and refused to provide its content to millions of their US customers.

    “Disney has exploited its market position to increase fees without regard for the public viewing experience,” said Brian Neylon, executive vice president and group president, DISH TV. “Clearly, Disney insists on prioritizing greed above American viewers, especially sports fans and families with children who watch their content.”

    The statement added that “Disney is more interested in becoming a monopolistic power than providing its programming to viewers under fair terms.” And Dish claimed that the removal of the channels will have an “oversized impact” on rural consumers who rely on satellite television as their primary means of entertainment.

    For its part, Disney said in its own statement that despite months of negotiation, Dish “declined to reach a fair, market-based agreement with us for continued distribution of our networks.” It added that the rates and terms it seeks “reflect the marketplace” and are the basis of deals it has in place with other pay TV providers.

    “We’re committed to reaching a fair resolution,” the Disney statement continued, “We we urge DISH to work with us in order to minimize the disruption to their customers.”

    The ABC television stations affected by the blackout include WLS in Chicago, KFSN in Fresno, CA, KTRK in Houston, KABC in Los Angeles, WABC in New York City, WPVI in Philadelphia and KGO in San Francisco.

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  • Dr. Miriam Levitt Flisser Is Ready To Serve New York’s Congressional District 16
    01 October 2022

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    Bronx-raised Dr. Miriam Levitt Flisser was nominated by the Republican Party to run for congress in New York’s Congressional District 16. The recently redrawn district, is comprised of most of Westchester County, south of Interstate 287 and its four largest cities –Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, White Plains and Yonkers, as well as a section of north-central Bronx.

    New York Congressional District 16

    U.S. Census Bureau

    Dr. Flisser has been a pediatrician for several decades and is also a pediatric consultant in several school districts in the Bronx and Westchester County. She is Board Certified as a Diplomate of The American Board of Pediatrics and holds certification by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as a Designated International Vaccine Center. She is also a Provider for the New York State Department of Health Vaccines for Children Program. Flisser has dedicated countless hours of community service, especially in the Bronx. She also served as Mayor of Scarsdale in 2011-2013.

    Flisser is running against Representative Jamaal Bowman. The election is November 8 and early voting starts October 29th. I sat down with Dr. Flisser to discuss her platform, experience, and expertise.

    Why are you running for Congress. Dr. Flisser?

    I have immense gratitude to America, and I am a strong believer in community service. These are also the reasons that I ran for Mayor of Scarsdale and served as the police commissioner and the fire commissioner. I was born in Eastern Europe, and was smuggled out under a mail truck. My parents and I were detained in a Displaced Persons camp in Germany. Brought to the U.S. on a Marine troop ship, I first saw the Statue of Liberty from the ship’s deck. This affected me deeply, and I am still moved whenever I see her.

    I was an immigrant raised in the Bronx. I attended the Bronx High School of Science and graduated from New York University’s Bronx Campus. I received my medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and also did my training in Pediatrics at Montefiore Medical Center. When I was a child, there were few women doctors, and who could imagine then, that I would be the Mayor of Scarsdale and now run for Congress?

    I honor the tremendous opportunities I had in the Bronx by being a lifelong volunteer there. I never give up on the people of the Bronx!

    Dr. Miriam Levitt Flisser has been busy speaking to voters during her congressional campaign in New … [+] York’s 16th District.

    Harvey Flisser

    What is your professional background?

    I have a pediatric practice in Bronxville. Also, I am the Medical Director of the Bronxville School District, St Joseph School, Chapel Lutheran School, the Reformed Church Nursery School, and the Horace Mann School in the Bronx; these are consultant appointments. I am an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

    I have served as the Chief of Pediatrics at Lawrence Hospital for fifteen years in a voluntary position, where I was elected as the first woman President of the Medical Staff. I have been a member of the Voluntary Staff at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx ever since I completed my training there. As a Physician Volunteer for FEMA and the Westchester County Medical Corps Disaster Response Team, I served during the current pandemic.

    What are the main issues in New York’s Congressional District 16?

    Increase in crime is a major issue. We must reduce the flow of drugs from the border, and the related influx of indentured criminals, due to the cartels’ control of the system. A failed immigration process, which enables the abuse of unaccompanied minors, requires major change. I am horrified about what happens to young girls crossing the border; they will carry this trauma for the rest of their lives. And immigrant boys are forced into criminal gangs. Teens are a big part of my medical practice; I would work to reform the immigration system to help them. I will work on legislation that stops the abuse of immigrants. We the need proper channels for people to come to the US from different countries, and we must improve the system in our consulates abroad to process immigrant applications. If we do not reform the system, we will end up spending even more money for police and drug enforcement here. In addition, we must also put in place the effective policing strategies that dramatically reduced crime in large cities in the 1990s, beginning in New York.

    For crime control, we must support our men and women in police departments in our district, and around the country, who keep us safe. The various efforts to “defund” the police are misguided, dangerous, and a central part of my opponent’s campaign. I will support legislation to ensure that our police departments are sufficiently funded, so that they have the people, training, and equipment they need to reduce and prevent crime.

    What do you think are biggest economic problems in District 16?

    Inflation is a serious problem for all of us, increasing the costs to cover essentials like housing, gas, electricity, and food. The Fed just increased its benchmark rate by seventy-five basis points, which translates into higher mortgage and car loan rates. Persistent inflationary pressures hurt families at the checkout counters, and the corporate economy is adversely affected by reduced consumer spending.

    As a health care provider for children, I am aware of the economic pressures that their parents endure, and how these pressures affect the health of families. I recall the local community hardship when the North Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow GM Auto Assembly plant was closed in 1996, exactly one hundred years after its opening. The plant had provided 49% of the total tax revenue for the village. Today, a number of US corporations are cutting jobs, and I fear that the gross mismanagement of our economy by the Administration and the Democrat Congress will result in a serious recession. We must change course on policies.

    What legislation would you introduce in Congress?

    My priorities are jobs, security, schools, and family. I support policies that will respect what people work for. I want businesses to grow. My father had a food shop, where I worked since I was eleven. I saw what hard work it was. The Government should respond to our problems. I am very much part of our community because of my position as a school doctor, and as a physician in practice. All day long, I talk to people about what they want and need. Recently, for example, I went to a neighborhood meeting to hear about crime.

    We need to focus on creating better manufacturing and value-added jobs here. Too many manufacturing jobs have been exported abroad. In fact, it is dangerous to export certain jobs like pharmaceutical production, medical supplies, infant formula and semiconductors. We need to create jobs that at least pay minimum wage. Our workers spend money in our own communities.

    I have been a small business owner, a parent, a pediatrician, a public health official, a medical response corp volunteer, and a Scarsdale Village trustee. I am married to a middle school teacher. I was instrumental in the distribution of infant formula and foods through the Women Infants and Children (WIC) program in the Bronx. These issues inspire me.

    I am also focused on making changes in education. Education needs a significant overhaul. When we have college graduates who cannot repay their loans based on the employment available to them, we have a damaged economic structure. I was a scholarship student, with loans for my medical education, and after training, I worked in a South Bronx program to obtain credits to repay them.

    We are lacking creative solutions. Why have universities become so expensive? There is something wrong in a system where massive institutions have huge endowments and yet students cannot afford tuition, nor repay their education loans. Everyone with kids knows they should save for college, but not everyone can. The White House debt forgiveness program is not forgiveness; it is an unfair outcome, transferring the costs to others.

    We also need reform in the greater area of healthcare. We need to reform insurance companies. I serve on numerous hospital institutional committees, and I see the number of regulatory systems that must be addressed, and the incredible amount of documentation needed. Often the regulatory compliance is more expensive than the medicines or treatments being prescribed.

    I understand that there are caucuses of moderates from both sides in Congress. Since I am a centrist on many issues, I believe that I would be able to bridge the gap.

    What do you think of the Inflation Reduction Act?

    You cannot increase government spending and think you can reduce inflation. We need to be finding ways to support small businesses and not add IRS workers aimed at middle class. Also, to reduce inflation, we need to be energy independent. Of course, I understand the environmental implications. Yet, nuclear plants should not have been closed.

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  • Seven-Eleven, Speedway to drive record profit for Japan’s Seven & i
    01 October 2022

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    TOKYO — Japan’s Seven & i Holdings, the parent of Seven-Eleven, is expected to report a record first-half operating profit after a strong six months for its Japanese and U.S. convenience stores.

    Group operating profit for the March-August period is seen coming in at more than 230 billion yen ($1.6 billion), up nearly 30% on the year, which would beat a company forecast of a 20% gain to 222.5 billion yen.

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  • Booking.com adds safety advisory for West Bank properties
    01 October 2022

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Personal Finance

Personal Finance Blogs

01 October 2022

Personal Finance Blogs Personal Finance Blogs
  • Expert Grill 15″ Charcoal Pizza Oven for just $97 shipped!
    01 October 2022

    Get a great deal on this Charcoal Pizza Oven right now!

    Walmart has this Expert Grill 15″ Charcoal Pizza Oven marked down to just $97 shipped right now!

    This pizza oven gets amazing reviews, and I bet it makes perfect Grilled Pizza!

  • Canada Weather Gear Women’s Soft Mock Neck Sweatshirt for just $14.99 shipped! Reg. $55!
    01 October 2022

    This Canada Weather Gear Women’s Sweatshirt looks so comfy!

    Proozy has this Canada Weather Gear Women’s Soft Mock Neck Sweatshirt for just $14.99 shipped with code PZYCWGD-FS at checkout.

    Choose from 6 colors in sizes S-XL. This is regularly $55 and a great deal!

    Valid through October 8th, while supplies last.

  • The Most Asked Financial Questions And Answers
    01 October 2022
    No matter where you are in life, you’ll have questions about your money; it’s an important factor in the world. Not having the answers to these questions can cause undue …
  • Making Lemonade in the Stock Market
    01 October 2022
    For just the third time in a long time, the stock market has declined for three consecutive quarters. Things feel dark out there, and investors are losing hope. But for those of us that are still contributing money to their future, this bear market should not be met with anxiety, but with open arms. If you were contributing $100 every month to SPY, you would have been able to purchase half a share at the beginning of 201...

    The post Making Lemonade in the Stock Market appeared first on The Irrelevant Investor.

  • Fortunately Review 2022 | Build a Solid Financial Plan for $5 a Month
    01 October 2022

    I didn’t really develop a full-fledged financial plan until I was well into my 30s. I waited too long.

    Many people avoid getting help with financial planning despite its importance because it seems complicated or overwhelming. This is the issue that “Fortunately,” the financial planning software, tries to address.

    Fortunately is a platform that tries to “keep your financial future on-course, despite life’s unpredictability”. Whether you need to plan for retirement or simply want to save for a rainy day, Fortunately strives to get your finances in order. Here’s what you need to know about this new, up-and-coming financial planning tool.

    The Challenges of Financial Planning

    Planning your financial future can be tough, to say the least. And with half of Americans predicted not to have enough money for retirement, you’re not alone in feeling anxious about your prospects. Now, more than ever, it is important to start saving early and often for your retirement.

    No doubt, it can be tricky knowing where to start. Do you focus on paying off debt first, or should you start investing for retirement? How much should you be putting away each month? Can you afford your dream home?

    When it comes to our finances, we all want to feel like we’re in control. But life can be unpredictable, and things happen beyond the expected.

    How Fortunately Answers These Challenges

    Fortunately’s self-directed planning service looks at your entire financial situation to help you create a personalized plan. The app’s reports show whether you’re on track to reach your financial goals. It also offers recommendations on how to improve your financial health.

    You can also use Fortunately to determine the best investment allocation for you and get insights into your financial habits. It can help you save for retirement, college, weddings, and other big goals, or just plan for unexpected balloon payments and make the most of your money.

    Their key features make monitoring your finances more manageable. Here’s what you’ll get with Fortunately.

    1. Fortunately Gives You a Personalized Financial Plan

    You can get a basic personalized financial plan tailored to your situation in just a few minutes – 5-10 depending on your situation. Fortunately will ask questions about your age, current annual income, spending, existing savings, and upcoming life goals to determine the basic structure of your plan — whether you should have more allocated to stock or bonds.

    You can also fine-tune your strategy by linking your financial accounts, setting up automated transfers, and adjusting your goals to see the big picture.

    2. Plan With Life Goals

    Their goal-based planning feature is very good. You can set up multiple short-term goals, like saving for a car, or long-term, like retirement. For each goal, you can set a target date and amount and track your progress over time.

    The app even makes recommendations on what you can afford, given your circumstances.

    3. Smart Recommendations

    In addition to goal-based recommendations, Fortunately will also give you personalized tips on improving your financial health. The platform shows you the probabilities of success and failure so you can optimize your finances accordingly.

    4. Investment Strategy

    Their investment strategy feature will also help you determine the best way to invest your money, whether you’re looking for growth or income.

    5. Forecasting and Visualization

    One of the most helpful features of Fortunately is their forecasting and visualization tool. This feature shows you how your current financial situation will affect your future, so you can plan accordingly.

    Their forecasting tool takes into account your existing assets and liabilities and your current saving rate. Using past, real-world information, it then projects your investments into the future to show you how your financial situation might change over time.

    6. Guides and Resources

    Fortunately is a helpful tool for anyone looking to get their finances in order. Like most platforms today, they also have free resources (blog and podcast), or you can schedule a call (chat or Zoom) with one of their consultants to help review your plan.

    Using Math to Improve Your Chances

    Can you fund your goal, given how much you save and your lifestyle? That is the all-important question that Fortunately shows visually. Instead of giving a definite “yes” or “no,” the platform shows you probabilities of success or failure.

    The exact way they do this is proprietary, of course, but it seems they apply Monte Carlos simulations, testing thousands of possible futures using “decades of real data.” This is the same technique used by actuaries, so it makes sense that the founders of Fortunately have math and economics degrees, with the CEO having actuarial experience.

    But the key takeaway is that these are all just probabilities — no one knows for sure. Anyone planning to use the app should take all forecasts carefully and proceed with caution.

    In any case, proceeding with caution applies whether you’re using an app or an in-person financial advisor.

    Signing Up with Fortunately

    I signed up for Fortunately and recorded it to share with you.

    In the video, you will see that all it takes to sign up and get some basic recommendations is to provide your email address (and create an account) and answer about 5-10 minutes worth of questions (depending on your situation).

    At the end you will be presented with an opportunity to sign up for Fortunately’s on-going service: $5/month, starting with a 30 day free trial.

    The Pros and Cons of Fortunately

    Fortunately is an excellent tool for anyone who wants to take control of their financial future. If you’re looking for a simple way to see a snapshot of where you’re headed, then Fortunately is a wonderful option.

    Of course, it might not be the best fit for everyone. For instance, if you’re looking for a more hands-off approach to financial planning — or if you’re not comfortable sharing your financial information with an app — and you don’t mind paying extra, then an in-personal financial advisor might better suit you.

    Pros
    • It is offered at an affordable $5 a month with a 30-day free trial. In-person financial advisors can charge hundreds to thousands of dollars.
    • The probabilities of meeting your goals are presented in a visually appealing chart.
    • Get personalized recommendations and suggestions based on your unique situation. (This is in contrast to the generic recommendations from free online sources.)
    • You have access to financial experts. While these are likely limited to basic and generic recommendations, the overall direction is still helpful for starters.
    • There is the ability to link your accounts to one platform and set up automated transfers.
    • Their business model does not rely on selling your data, nor is your information stored in Fortunately’s servers. (Alternative free resources typically earn by selling your data.)
    • The platform has a user-friendly interface that’s perfect for starting families.
    Cons
    • The platform’s self-directed planning style might not be for some people.
    • While the platform accounts for various scenarios and probabilities, it can fail under extremely complex situations.
    • The projections are only just probabilities, which may be misinterpreted by beginners.
    Fortunately is Just a Tool

    Fortunately is good for most people because it gives a general sense of your financial situation. While it isn’t the end-all-be-all solution to financial planning and securing your retirement or other goals, it was never designed to be one — or at least its current iteration isn’t.

    Instead, it is a tool that guides its users in the right direction. And like all tools, it has no value without valuable input from the user. Its probabilities, while extremely helpful for planning purposes, should be interpreted as they are — mere probabilities.

    Nevertheless, knowing you’re headed down an unsustainable path is enough of a nudge for most people. The low-dollar commitment to getting started helps, too. For those reasons, I’m on board.

    Click here to try Fortunately free for 30 days.

    The post Fortunately Review 2022 | Build a Solid Financial Plan for $5 a Month appeared first on Part-Time Money®.

  • Healthcare Spending Statistics: 2022
    01 October 2022

    The U.S. Health Care System is one of the most sophisticated medical systems in the world. It is also by far the most expensive healthcare system in the world and has serious difficulties delivering affordable care to those who most need it.

    US healthcare is a major source of controversy and a leading cause of debt and financial stress. To understand those problems a little better, let’s take a closer look at US healthcare spending.

    Key Takeaways
    • The United States spent $4.1 billion on healthcare in total in 2020, an increase of $500 million over the previous year.
    • The US spends around $12,530 a year per person on healthcare.
    • Canada spends $6,413 less per person each year than the US.
    • People 55 and older account for 30% of the population but 56% of healthcare spending.
    • Women spend $1770 more on healthcare per year than men do on average.
    • On average, Americans spend $1,059 a year on prescription drugs alone.
    • Insured individuals paid $7,739 on average for a single policy in 2021.
    • The amount of medical debt in the US is estimated to be anywhere from $88 billion to $195 billion.
    • 63% of people said they had to cut back on food and basic necessities to stay on top of their medical bills.
    How Much Does the US Spend on Healthcare?

    In 2020 the U.S spent a total of $4.1 billion on health care, a $305 billion increase over 2019. The increase was largely driven by the COVID-19 Pandemic.[1]

    For perspective, that’s about 19% of the US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and more than 5 times the annual defense budget.

    Per Capita Healthcare Spending

    The US spends around $12,530 a year per person on healthcare, the highest average cost of healthcare in the world. That figure is up from $10,242 in 2016.

    To put the numbers in perspective, Canada spends $6,413 less per person than the US.[1]

    US Healthcare Spending Compared to Other Countries

    The U.S.spends an average of $12,318 per person on healthcare every year. Germany falls a distant second with an average of $7,383 per person per year.[2]

    Healthcare Spending by State, Age, and Gender Per Capita Healthcare Spending by State

    We were unable to determine the exact per capita healthcare expenditures per state. This is why we calculated the average healthcare spending per capita by state using the data on total personal healthcare spending. *Rolling drums* New York has the highest per-capita healthcare expenditure, with $14,007.[3]

    Healthcare Spending by Age

    The chart below shows the most recent data (2014) broken down by type sources of funding (private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, out-of-pocket, and all other payers and programs).

    Statistics show that the 5-17 age group spends the least on healthcare, with an average of only $1,921 a year. The highest healthcare spending ($11,316) has been recorded for the age group 65+, which is expected: as we grow older, we require more care.[4]

    Healthcare Spending by Gender

    Data from 2014

    Women spend on average $1770 more on healthcare than men, which could be due to the fact that women tend to go for regular checkups a lot more often than men. Women also have unique medical expenses, from giving birth to birth control and preventive care services.[4]

    Where Does the Money Come From? Where Does It Go? How Is Healthcare Financed

    Most healthcare in the US is financed by private insurance companies, government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and out-or-pocket expenses carried directly by the patient. Here’s how the balance gaming those payers has evolved. [5]

    Who Pays For Healthcare?

    A study by AMA shows that 27.9% of costs related to health care in 2020 were covered by private health insurance and 20.1% by Medicare.[6]✓✓ Trusted source
    AMA
    The American Medical Association brings together more than 190 state and specialty medical societies as well as other important stakeholders.

    Healthcare Spending By Type of Expenditure

    Data show that people spend the most on physicians and clinical services, with $2,459 per person in 2020. This means an increase of $801 over the last ten years. Prescription drugs come second as the most expensive with $1,059 spent per capita in 2020.[1]

    Cost Of Health Insurance

    The net cost of health insurance has increased from $64 billion in 2000 to $259 billion in 2018. That’s a $194 billion increase over those 18 years. To put those numbers in perspective, Chile’s GDP is $252 billion.[7]

    The average cost of insurance for single coverage grew from $6,435 in 2016 to $7,739 in 2021, with the cost of family coverage growing from $18,142 to $22,221.[7]

    Who Pays for Employer-Provided Private Health Insurance?

    The cost of employer-provided private health insurance is typically shared between the employer and the employee. The employer pays a portion of the cost as part of the employee’s compensation package. Here’s how the balance between employer and employee contributions breaks down.

    Medical Debt Statistics How Much Medical Debt Is There in the US?

    The total amount of medical debt in the United States falls into the $88 billion (according to CFPB) to $195 billion range. Although this is a rather “generous” range, it is challenging to get an accurate figure, as many people use credit cards, loans, or other forms of financing to cover their medical costs.[8]✓✓ Trusted source
    CFPB
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a United States federal organization in charge of financial consumer protection.

    How Much Medical Debt Does the Average American Have?

    Healthcare debt is a problem many Americans deal with, some of them finding themselves under challenging circumstances because of it, while others manage to stay on top of their bills. Wyoming has the highest average health care debt of all states, with $1,611, while Alaska comes second with $1,363. You might be wondering, why is health care debt so high in Alaska? Well, that’s because medical services cost a lot more than they cost in other states, considering accessibility to all medical services and procedures, costs of transportation for all medical supplies, and other factors.[9]

    How Do People Tackle Medical Debt?

    Health care services are quite costly in the U.S., and not all of the cost is covered by insurance. Many Americans, even those with insurance, fall into debt because of their high hospital bills.

    A survey designed to reveal how Americans manage medical debt found that 63% of the people surveyed said they had to cut back on food and basic necessities to stay on top of their bills, while 48% used up all of their savings to pay off the debt. Unfortunately, some have been put in situations where they filed for bankruptcy, asked for charity aid, or lost their home.[9]

    The post Healthcare Spending Statistics: 2022 appeared first on FinMasters.

  • Black Coffee: Decisions, Decisions
    01 October 2022

    It’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a little joe …

    Welcome to another rousing edition of Black Coffee, your off-beat weekly round-up of what’s been going on in the world of money and personal finance.

    I’ve got another busy weekend ahead of me, so let’s get right to this week’s commentary …

    We can control our destiny, but not our fate. Destiny means there are opportunities to turn right or left – but fate is a one-way street.

    – Paul Coelho

    Paper is a mortgage on wealth that doesn’t exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which isn’t theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it becomes marked: ‘ACCOUNT OVERDRAWN.’

    – Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

    Credits and Debits

    Debit: Did you see this? Bond yields jumped last week after another major rate hike from the Fed, flashing a warning of market distress. Last week, the policy-sensitive 2-year Treasury yield climbed to nearly 4.3%, notching a 15-year high, and the benchmark 10-year Treasury hit 3.8% – that’s the highest in 11 years. Unfortunately, higher bond yields are not only bad news for first-time homebuyers, they’re bad news for the stock market and its investors because they create more competition for funds that may otherwise go into the stock market.

    (h/t: mediacloud.theweek.com)

    Debit: Needless to say, higher rates are also bad news for the US government’s debt servicing costs. As a simplified example, 4% interest on $31 trillion of debt, is a $1.2 trillion hit on expenditures – that’s roughly 30% of tax revenues in a booming economy. And while that’s bad, the debt interest will take an even bigger bite out of those tax revenues during an economic downturn. It’s simple math that’s staring everybody in the face, but both the Fed and the government still refuse to acknowledge this – and the trouble it portends. Or, as market analyst Vince Lanci puts it, “Kicking the can down the road has become hide the pea.”

    (h/t: r/wallstreetsilver u/onetroyounce)

    Credit: Of course, as the inimitable MN Gordon notes us, “centralized credit in the hands of a central bank always leads to money supply inflation. Asset price inflation and consumer price inflation then follow in strange and unpredictable ways. These price distortions are not defects of capitalism. They’re symptoms of a scam currency managed by central planners.” Yep. Although “mismanaged” is probably the more appropriate term here. As for scam currencies, well … they’ve been around for a long, long time:

    Credit: Believe it or not, debtors love inflation because it reduces the real value of debt, allowing them to pay off debts using money worth less than when they originally borrowed it. You can bet the biggest debtor of all – the US government – is well aware of this. So it shouldn’t be surprising that Bloomberg pointed out this week that “US debt is shrinking rapidly” when measured against the inflated size of its economy. Oh … and you know who doesn’t love inflation? Savers. That’s because it erodes the purchasing power of their long term savings – in most cases, even when those savings are in the stock market.

    (h/t: media.townhall.com)

    Debit: Unfortunately for the citizenry, inflating the debt away results in the government’s gain at the lender’s expense – which means bondholders end up getting far less in real terms than they originally put up. Even worse, when investors, businesses, and households believe inflation is a problem, it often leads to soaring inflation expectations that become a self-fulfilling prophesy; and perversely, it’s a situation the government tacitly condones. Yet it’s frustrating that the mainstream financial media and “Almighty Dollar” fans can’t see this – but I think I found a pictorial explanation that should clear things up:

    Credit: The fact that inflationary expectations can lead to a doom loop, is confirmed by professor Ricardo Reis from the London School of Economics. He says that over the last century, currency hyperinflation started only after governments had such large debt piles that they found themselves unable to collect the taxes to pay for them, leading them to purposely resort to inflation – which eventually went out of control. Imagine that.

    Credit: By the way, Mr. Gordon also reminds us that politicians “will spew nonsense to deflect responsibility for the mess they’ve created. The depth and duration of the destruction is unknown. Still, we’re fairly certain this is more than your garden-variety downturn. This is the big one we’re all facing: A wrath of biblical proportions.” Indeed. And all indications are that our fateful day of reckoning is fast approaching.

    (h/t: @GlobalProTrader)

    Credit: So … why should anyone believe financial judgment day is fast approaching? Well … maybe because macroeconomist Alasdair Macleod is suggesting that, “Russia is on the verge of declaring the largest monetary gold reserves in the world. And with an estimated 12,000 tons of the yellow metal, the recently announced Moscow gold standard, and plans for a new trade settlement currency to replace the dollar, those reserves will provide support a new gold standard for cross-border trade.” Curiously, some of the most competent macroeconomic experts out there still seem to think the US dollar has little to worry about …

    Credit: By the way, Macleod also says that if Russia does indeed announce their updated official gold holdings, the move would probably force China to declare its true gold reserves as well, which are currently estimate to be more than 20,000 tons. Remember, the US supposedly has the largest reserves in the world at 8133 tons – although many people doubt that to be true anymore. Regardless, Macleod warns that, “If this is Putin’s plan, the consequences for Western fiat currencies are likely to be devastating.” Well … I guess that’s one way to put it.

    Credit: For those of you wondering how this will unfold from here on out, macro analyst Bill Holter says to watch for the bursting of the housing-, stock- and bond-market bubbles, which will unleash a deflationary event that sees a massive collapse in asset prices. Holter says that, in turn, will lead to the implosion of the credit market as debt holders stop making payments on the resulting stock market margin calls, home mortgages and other loans. And that collapse in the credit market will then, in turn, destroy the fiat currencies because the credit (debt) backing them will be washed away.

    (h/t: r/wallstreetsilver u/hephaestus4)

    Credit: Financial analyst Dave Kranzler is aware of what’s going on too. In fact, he notes that, “The credit markets are (already) melting down as evidenced by the devastation in the various fiat currencies. The dollar soared – like it is now – in the summer of 2008, just before the financial system implosion.” As for the timing, you’ll know our current debt-based monetary system is taking its final breaths when you see a deflationary price collapse in stocks, bonds and real estate, with simultaneous price explosions for the things you need like food, energy and shelter – which will undoubtedly leave most people feeling like this

    Debit: Frankly, we may not have too long to wait, because after watching its bond market blow up this week, the Bank of England became the first central bank to panic and restart the printing presses under the guise of QE. This prompted Zero Hedge to conclude that the BoE’s “pivot means central banks can’t take any more pain. It’s the beginning of the end for the fiat system which now faces a terminal dilemma: fight inflation and suffer a market collapse and economic depression, or push to stabilize social order with higher asset prices, hyperinflation be damned.”  As for the rest of us, the only question is: Have we prepared for either outcome?

    The Question of the Week

    Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

    Last Week’s Poll Results

    How much of your income goes to the rent or mortgage (including taxes & insurance)?

    • 10% or less (41%)
    • 11% to 20% (29%)
    • 21% to 30% (16%)
    • More than 40% (8%)
    • 31% to 40% (6%)

    More than 1800 Len Penzo dot Com readers responded to last week’s question and it turns out that 1 in 7 say they spend more than 30% of their income on shelter. Compare that to the average US household that spends 15% of their income on rent or the mortgage.

    If you have a question you’d like me to ask the readers here, send it to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and be sure to put “Question of the Week” in the subject line.

    By the Numbers

    The typical American family currently spends 82% of its after-tax income – that’s $5111 per month based on the average US household income. Here are the biggest expenditures:

    $1050 Housing

    $819 Transportation

    $784 Sales taxes & property taxes

    $734 Utilities & other household costs

    $610 Food

    $431 Healthcare

    $243 Entertainment

    $120 Clothing

    $106 Education

    $66 Alcohol and/or tobacco

    Source: ValuePenguin

    Useless News: The Phone Call

    Several men were in a gym locker room when a cell phone on a bench rang and a man put the phone on speaker and began to talk:

    MAN: Hello?

    WOMAN: Hi, Honey; it’s me. Are you at the club?

    MAN: Yes.

    WOMAN: I’m at the mall now and found this beautiful leather coat. It’s only $2000. Is it OK if I buy it?

    MAN: Sure, go ahead if you like it that much.

    WOMAN: I also stopped by the BMW dealership and saw the new models. I saw one I really liked.

    MAN: How much?

    WOMAN: $95,000.

    MAN: OK, but for that price I want it with all the options.

    WOMAN: Great! Oh, and one more thing. The house we wanted last year is back on the market. They’re still asking $990,000 for it.

    MAN: Well, then go ahead and make an offer for $900,000. They’ll probably take it, but if not I’m willing to go the extra $90,000 this time if that’s what you really want.

    WOMAN: OK. I’ll see you later! I love you so much!

    MAN: I love you, too. Bye.

    And with that, the man hung up. Meanwhile, the other guys in the locker room were staring at him in astonishment.

    The man who was speaking then turned around and asked, “Do any of you guys know whose phone this is?”

    (h/t: Stewie)

    More Useless News

    Hey, while you’re here, please don’t forget to:

    1. Subscribe to my weekly Len Penzo dot Com Newsletter! (It’s easy! See the big green box in the sidebar at the top of the page.)

    2. Make sure you follow me on my new favorite quick-chat site, Gab! Of course, you can always follow me on Twitter. Just be careful what you say there.

    3. Become a fan of Len Penzo dot Com on Facebook too!

    And last, but not least …

    4. Please support this website by patronizing my sponsors!

    Thank you!!!!

    Letters, I Get Letters

    Every week I feature the most interesting question or comment — assuming I get one, that is. And folks who are lucky enough to have the only question in the mailbag get their letter highlighted here whether it’s interesting or not! You can reach out to me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    After reading my post on college degrees that are a waste of money, Mike Collins had this to say:

    You have to admit, getting a degree in Ghostbusting would be pretty bad-ass.

    Yeah. Too bad the business outlook for those grads is dead and buried.

    If you enjoyed this edition of Black Coffee and found it to be informative, please forward it to your friends and family. Thank you!

    I’m Len Penzo and I approved this message.

    Photo Credit: public domain

    The post Black Coffee: Decisions, Decisions appeared first on Len Penzo dot Com.

  • How to Save Money On Your Online Spending
    01 October 2022

    The Internet has made it possible to shop and save money online without ever leaving home.

    The Internet has made lots of things easier, including shopping. Gone are the days when you had to leave the house and go to the store to get your groceries. Now you can have them delivered.

    It’s the same for gaming online. You can play without buying a disc now; just download it. All of these things are super convenient, but sometimes convenience leads us to spending a little more than perhaps we should. So if you’d like to save money when shopping online, these tips can help you to achieve that goal.

    Never Miss A Sale Again

    If you don’t want to buy fewer things, but you do want to stick to your new budget then sale shopping is what you should be focusing your attention on.

    Of course, you could trawl through your favorite brand homepages each day to see if they’re holding a sale. But a much simpler way is to sign up to their mailing lists. By doing this you’ll always be in the know about when there’s a big sale coming up. Plus, brands often reward their mailing list customers by giving out exclusive early sale invites and voucher codes.

    These codes can be used to save additional money when shopping online for desired purchases. The early sales also give you access to the online store before the general public. Some brands even give out birthday gifts to customers, so this tip really can be lucrative.

    Always Read Reviews

    Buy right and buy once is an old saying that could do with reappearing in our lexicon a little more frequently nowadays. The frustrating thing is that it’s even easier to buy the right thing now than it was fifty years ago.

    The Internet means that you can look up impartial, professional reviews with just a few taps. That means you never need to waste your money on useless products or services again.

    Of course, there are different ways to look for reviews depending on what it is that you’re looking to purchase. For example, if you want to buy a new mascara, then taking to Google reviews is a good place to start; Google screens reviews for false ones and because there are so many, you’ll get a non-biased opinion.

    On the other hand, if you want to look for a specialized new gaming site, then you might be better off going to a specialist review site. For example, a gaming sire such as, say, Asiabet is incredibly specialized, offering insight on online casinos, known in Thailand as เว็บคาสิโน เชื่อถือได้, that operate throughout the continent of Asia. They provide information on legalities, the variety of games available and they’ll even help you out with finding bonuses.

    Download Thrifty Browser Extensions

    Browser extensions could save you a little each time you shop, but that will quickly add up.

    Using bonuses and voucher codes is a great way to save money shopping online for the purchases you were going to make anyway. After all, it used to be incredibly common to spot housewives cutting vouchers out of magazines to save money. But as things have become more digital, this pastime has almost been wiped out.

    Nowadays people will trawl through websites looking for bonuses and voucher codes instead, but this is far more time-consuming than it needs to be.

    Instead of wasting time looking for vouchers yourself, you can now download browser extensions that will do it for you. These clever bits of tech are completely free to download and use and will automatically search for voucher codes whenever you click through to checkout. In fact, they take as little as a few seconds and could make you enormous percentage savings on your purchases. Downloading several codes is a good way to plug any gaps in their searches. Doing so will ensure that you can always save money shopping online and snag the biggest bargains possible.

    Photo Credits: unsplash

    The post How to Save Money On Your Online Spending appeared first on Len Penzo dot Com.

  • Alberta man hopes $1.2-million net worth will go further in Mexico retirement
    01 October 2022
    There are many unknowns in this income forecast
  • Low-Stress Retirement Jobs to Keep You Happy and Healthy
    01 October 2022

    After working so many years, it feels great to be able to retire. All those years playing with the best retirement calculators and planning how to retire early have finally paid off. So many plans, like travel, relaxing, working in the yard and doing other things you’ve put off for years. Read the rest

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It Can Be Frustrating When One Is Easily Confused With Someone Else Online. Prospect Employers Have Been Known To Search For Information On Prospective Employees. If Your Name Is A Common One, Or Even If Not, It Is Still Easy For You T Be Mistaken For Another, Especially If the Person Searching For Your Online Presence Has No Visual. Create A Profile Here, Link Your Social Media Profiles, Give Out Your Username(Id)--Then Be Found.

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    Registered users may create blog entries which feature in relevant Category Pages.

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    The RSS ability of your blog, enables your readers to subscribe to your blog post, and follow any further additions as you make them.


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