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Data Studies

Sep 22, 2022 Across all generations, millennials spend the most time worrying about money (seven times a day, on average). Additionally, nearly three in four millennials have credit card debt and carry an average balance of $4,576. Tackling that debt can be challenging when you take into account high housing costs and rising inflation that Americans face in some parts of the country. Read More...

Sep 21, 2022 Large cities can be a great option for anyone looking for a walkable, fast-paced environment with easy access to shops and restaurants. However, the hustle and bustle of a large city isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition for everyone. Large cities are often expensive (average home values exceed $1 million in a handful of places) and may have higher crime rates than their surrounding areas. Suburbs, in turn, can offer more affordable housing, lower crime rates and a variety of entertainment options. Read More...

Sep 20, 2022 When you put 20% down on the purchase of a home, you don't have to borrow as much money as someone whose down payment is only 5% or 10%. And as a result, your monthly mortgage payment may be considerably lower. But 20% down payments, while common, are by no means mandatory or the norm. In fact, the National Association of Realtors says the median down payment in 2020 was just 12%. So if you are hoping to save for retirement in addition to buying a home, you could opt for a 10% down payment and invest the remaining cash. Your monthly payments and interest will be higher, but your invested assets will grow into a substantial nest egg over the next 30 years. Let's compare how a 10% and 20% down payments could affect your retirement. If you need to figure out how big your down payment should be, a financial advisor may be able to help you decide. Read More...

Sep 15, 2022 Millions of federal dollars are on the way to states as a result of two recent bipartisan infrastructure bills. This has the potential to impact the finances of everyday Americans. Some sources suggest that the average American loses roughly $3,300 of disposable income per year due to poor infrastructure - money that could be put to other use such as retirement planning, housing, family spending and more. Better infrastructure means the creation of millions of jobs and lower commute times among other benefits. Read More...

Sep 22, 2022 Hispanics and Latinos have played a major role in the country's population growth over the last decade. In fact, Hispanics and Latinos made up almost one-fifth of the country’s population in 2020 at roughly 62 million, according to the Census Bureau. That's an increase of nearly 12 million people since 2010, or an increase of 23%. Data from the nonprofit Latino Donor Collaborative shows how this population boom has impacted the economy. Total Hispanic and Latino economic output in 2019 added up to a  gross domestic product of $2.75 trillion, which is up from $1.7 trillion in 2010. Read More...

Sep 08, 2022 Consumer prices rose 8.5% in July over the previous year, leaving many retirees and pre-retirees wondering how inflation impacts retirement savings. They have a right to worry. After all, living on a fixed income is tough when the price of everyday goods and services accelerates past the returns retirees can expect on their investments. To illustrate how inflation can erode retirement savings, SmartAsset analyzed the impact of three different inflation rates on savers. Here’s what the data shows. If you need help inflation-proofing your investment portfolio, talk to a financial advisor. Read More...

Sep 08, 2022 Young professionals are generally staying close to home, according to new research. The Census Bureau and Harvard University recently found that 80% of young adults live less than 100 miles from where they grew up. Meanwhile, just 10% had moved more than 500 miles away. This means that while big cities like New York and Los Angeles have been millennial hotspots for years, the tides may be changing. Read More...

Sep 07, 2022 Demand for nurses surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, and for those willing to travel, the field became more lucrative: traveling nurses earn roughly two to three times more per hour than those in traditional hospital-staffing positions. Yet as healthcare across the country begins to stabilize, the demand for traveling nurses has waned dramatically, with a 60% decrease in the number of open positions between January and April of 2022. And as those dynamics might lead to a drop in income, it's increasingly important for nurses to consider stability and affordability, too, when seeking employment in a new city to get a true conception of their earning potential. Read More...

Sep 02, 2022 Stubborn inflation, a sliding stock market and ongoing layoffs in recent months have many Americans on edge. However, financial stress was at a record high even before the market made headlines. Data from an American Psychological Association survey shows that in February 2022, 65% of Americans were stressed about money and the economy - the highest percentage recorded since 2015. And while it's clear that nationwide financial stress has been high for months, people in some cities are in worse shape than others. Read More...

Aug 30, 2022 The number of people moving across state lines is increasing. From 2019 to 2020, a total of roughly 4.2 million individuals moved to a different state while from 2020 to 2021, that figure grew to 4.4 million. As Americans increasingly look to live in different states, state capitals may be ideal locations to reside in if you’re looking for rich culture and history, access to a variety of job opportunities and a front seat to a state’s political happenings. Read More...

Aug 29, 2022 When it comes to the question of whether Americans are in a  recession – or headed for one in the near future – financial advisors are pessimistic. In a survey of close to 300 financial advisors who participate on SmartAsset's SmartAdvisor matching platform, 80% of respondents said that Americans are already in a recession or would enter one in the next 12 months. The survey, which was conducted between Aug. 2 and Aug. 16, posed the question “Do you expect the U.S. economy to enter a recession in the next 12 months?” Here’s how the numbers broke down. A financial advisor can help you navigate complicated economic times. Find an advisor today. Read More...

Aug 24, 2022 The tight labor market has made it more difficult for some companies to secure top talent. Even financial advisor firms are struggling to find new advisors as their workforce ages. Data from the J.D. Power U.S. Financial Advisor Satisfaction Study shows that between 2020 and 2022 the average advisor age rose from 54 to 57, increasing the urgency for firms to invest in a new generation of advisors. Read More...

Aug 23, 2022 While the number of virtual events has increased exponentially over the past two years, they are not without pitfalls. A recent survey by video conferencing service BlueJeans and Forrester Consulting shows that 71% of respondents find it difficult to mimic the in-person experience of an event virtually. As a result, many companies are considering how to safely return to in-person conferences. In fact, the volume of in-person events is expected to rise by over 10% in the next year and there are precautions that conference organizers can take to keep face-to-face events safe. Read More...

Aug 25, 2022 In June 2022, U.S. stocks officially entered a bear market as popular market indexes - such as the S&P 500 - fell more than 20% below previous record closes. Those losses have since been met by recent upticks over the past few weeks, though some commentators are warning of a bear market rally, as stocks may be still set to hit new lows. Read More...

Aug 23, 2022 The price of jet fuel has increased by roughly 110% between the first quarters of 2021 and 2022 and as passengers return to the skies, some of those costs are passed on to consumers. In fact, airline fares spiked by 26% over the same time period, bringing the national average flight cost to $328 for Q1 2022. With the average American taking nearly four air trips per year (3.6, to be exact), that works out to roughly $1,200 spent on air travel annually. Read More...

Aug 31, 2022 Union members tend to earn more than their non-union peers. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that non-union workers have median weekly earnings that are only 83% of the earnings for union workers. And while union membership is declining nationally - declining by 241,000 workers from 2020 to 2021 - unions in some states are more robust than in others. Read More...

Aug 15, 2022 Will I outlive my retirement savings? This question dogs many retirement savers who view their accounts, often far shy of $1 million, with dread and fear. After all, aspiring retirees have to plan for longer lifespans, potentially steep medical costs and the uncertainty surrounding government programs such as Social Security. Meanwhile, the average saver who is 61 or older with a workplace retirement account has $449,228 invested for retirement, according to a recent BlackRock survey. (Workers who are 61 and older with no employer accounts available have just $258,094 saved.) If you need help saving for retirement, talk to a financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 10, 2022 In 2021, over $100 billion was spent on the pet industry in the U.S. alone. While that figure includes pets of all kinds, dogs make up the majority of pet ownership in the U.S. with 48 million households caring for a four-legged friend. While spending on dogs continues to climb with each passing year, more and more cities have also grown in their dog-friendliness, even allowing patrons to enjoy the company of their dogs while they dine or shop. Read More...

Aug 09, 2022 Teachers play an important role in enriching the minds of the next generation. And though the work itself may be rewarding, the pay often isn't. Education jobs consistently fail to keep pace with inflation and are among the least financially-rewarding for positions requiring a bachelor's degree. Once adjusted for inflation, teacher incomes have declined by -3.8% over the past decade. What’s more, issues like a lack of funding and the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic have made the field more challenging for educators today. Despite this, some areas of the country provide more job opportunities, higher earnings and lower housing costs for teachers. Read More...

Aug 04, 2022 Households that make over $200,000 annually comprise just a sliver of all tax returns that are filed in a given year, but their movement between states can have a significant financial impact. When a state loses more high-earning tax filers than it gains in a given year, tax revenues may decline and the state's fiscal situation may worsen. That’s why despite making up less than 7% of total tax returns filed across the 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2020, the migration patterns of high-earning households continue to make headlines. Read More...

Aug 03, 2022 Contributing to a 401(k) or individual retirement account (IRA) isn't the only way to save for retirement. While most people think of health savings accounts (HSAs) as tools for covering annual medical expenses, they can also be valuable retirement savings vehicles. HSAs are unique because they benefit from a trio of tax advantages. First, contributions lower your  income tax liability. Second, an HSA balance grows tax-free and can even be invested in mutual funds, so you won't pay taxes on investment gains. Lastly, you won't have to pay taxes on the money when you withdraw it, provided it's used to pay for qualified health expenses. And unlike flexible spending accounts (FSAs), HSA balances don't need to be spent in a given year. The money is yours forever. If you need help planning for medical expenses in retirement and getting the most out of your HSA, talk to a financial advisor. Read More...

Aug 03, 2022 According to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey for June 1 to June 13, 2022, a little over one in seven women report being in poorer health, and more challenges are afoot. Recent legal changes concerning abortion have restricted access to women's healthcare in some states. With this in mind, SmartAsset examined data to rank which states are best for women's healthcare. Read More...

Jul 28, 2022 With higher home prices, rising interest rates and a bear market upon us, Americans are struggling to find affordable housing. According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines, residents in cities across the nation are considered severely cost-burdened when their household spends more than 50% of their combined income on housing costs. Nationally, 13.76% of households exceed this threshold. However, in some parts of the country, a larger proportion of households are severely housing cost-burdened. Read More...

Jul 27, 2022 Despite rising inflation and recent stock market instability, it's still a job seeker’s market. There are roughly 11 million job openings available nationwide as of May 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For the same month, there were 6.5 million hires. Data from June 2022 shows a 4% increase in the percentage of people who voluntarily left their jobs compared with one year ago. Read More...

Aug 01, 2022 The independent wealth management industry has grown significantly over the past decade and many financial advisors think it will continue to grow looking forward. According to a 2022 Schwab Advisor Services’ Independent Advisor Outlook Study, about 93% of firms expect growth over the next five years, with a projected uptick of 17% annually in terms of the average net new assets expected over this time. In fact, more than one in four surveyed advisors expects to grow at a faster rate over the coming years relative to their current growth rate. Read More...

Jul 20, 2022 The median household income is about $65,000, according to the most recent Census Bureau data. And while this can give a sense for what a typical American family is earning, income quintiles can shed light on the disparity between the top and bottom earners. In fact, the minimum threshold to be among the top 20% of earners nationwide ($130,545) is more than two times greater than the median household income and nearly five times greater than the maximum threshold to be among the bottom 20% of earners nationwide ($26,685). Read More...

Jul 19, 2022 Despite nationwide lockdowns and sudden economic instability unleashed early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. economy showed resiliency, roaring back in the months that followed. But inflation and a bear market are now presenting new challenges that are reshaping the concept of economic resiliency. John Boyd Jr., the principal of a New Jersey-based site selection firm, says the resiliency of a local economy can typically be measured by traditional indicators like the size of a labor market, the number of graduates entering the labor force each year and the major employment sectors of a place. But his consulting firm, The Boyd Company, is increasingly examining lifestyle factors like the availability of housing and cost of living. “The most resilient economies are also ones that have synergy between elected officials, the business community and the schools/academic sector," said Boyd, whose company helps find locations for corporate businesses. Read More...

Jul 15, 2022 The June 13 news that equities had officially entered bear market territory sent some investors reeling. The S&P 500, an index that tracks a broad spectrum of stocks, closed 21% below its January 2022 highs. The last time stocks tumbled so precipitously was during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when markets fell amid mass lockdowns and shuttering businesses. Read More...

Jul 14, 2022 If you’re a young professional, chances are that you haven’t hit your peak earning years yet. According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median weekly earnings for people ages 25 to 34 is just $975. Median weekly earnings rise from there, climbing to $1,155 for people 35 to 44 years old, before peaking at $1,172 for those ages 45 to 54. Read More...

Jul 13, 2022 Between 2014 and 2019, electric car sales increased by 174.8%. Among the commonly cited reasons for considering an electric vehicle purchase, 30% of respondents in a 2021 Forbes survey cited the reduced cost of fuel. With the national average for gasoline hovering around $5, there might be even more incentive to purchase an alternative fuel vehicle now. Read More...

Jul 12, 2022 Housing costs for new homeowners are at an all-time high with double digit home price increases over a one-year period since 2021. However, median household income has not kept pace, decreasing by 2.9% over a similar one-year period. Affording monthly home payments is challenging in today’s economy, especially when considering the non-mortgage debt that many prospective homebuyers are tackling, such as student loans and credit card debt. Read More...

Jul 07, 2022 It should come as no surprise that a computer-related profession is the fastest-growing occupation among people ages 25 to 34. However, other jobs that have seen the significant growth among young workers in recent years aren't limited to computers and technology. Instead, they run the gamut from health care workers to pilots and aviation engineers, and even writers and authors. Read More...

Jul 06, 2022 With skyrocketing inflation rippling through the economy, some large cities once thought of as affordable are quickly losing that title among Americans. Additionally, since the start of the pandemic, an estimated five million people have relocated, encouraged by the flexibility of remote work. While small towns have their charm, mid-sized cities offer a balance between the hustle and bustle of the big cities and the quaint neighborhoods of small towns. Read More...

Jun 27, 2022 Traffic fatalities are rising on American roadways, once again highlighting the importance of safe driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic deaths spiked 10.5% in 2021 when 42,915 people were killed in crashes. That uptick followed a particularly harrowing 2020, which saw 38,824 motor vehicle fatalities. It had been the deadliest year on American roads since 2007 despite fewer people driving amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More...

Jun 24, 2022 Life is tough for working moms and dads, and the pandemic has exacerbated the stress that parents in the workforce face. A new report from The Ohio State University shows that roughly 66% of working parent respondents met the criteria for burnout. Financial concerns are top of mind for many parents, especially as the prices of goods and services rise rapidly and the stock market enters bear market territory. However, in some cities, housing and childcare costs are lower and parental leave is available to all workers, creating a more favorable environment for working parents. Read More...

Jun 24, 2022 The U.S. tech industry has steadily grown year-over-year and is projected to see another 178,000 tech jobs enter the market in 2022. But while the industry's median income continues to skyrocket above the national median income, women only make up 26.1% of all tech workers and earn just 84% of what men do. Depending on the city, however, some women fare better than others and represent a larger portion of the tech workforce. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset analyzed data to identify and rank the best cities for women in tech. Read More...

Jun 22, 2022 After months of climbing gas prices, the national average has hit new highs, reaching $5 per gallon of regular gasoline in June. According to recent data from AAA, the national average for regular gasoline was $4.98 per gallon on June 20, 2022. With these significant increases, Americans across the country are looking for new ways to adjust their budgets and stretch paychecks. Read More...

Jun 21, 2022 Rent prices are rising rapidly in many of America's largest cities. Nationally, average rent increased by 11.3% between the start of 2021 and 2022. To more comfortably afford housing costs, some renters opt to share a space. The Pew Research Center reports that nearly one in three adults have a roommate. However, many people prefer living alone, if it fits in their monthly budget. Read More...

Jun 15, 2022 As of April 2022, the 12-month inflation rate is 8.3% and the highest it has been in over 20 years. Among other things, this has translated to a higher cost of living for many Americans. According to a report from the Capital One Insights Center, only  18% of consumers said their wages kept up with the rising cost of living. With a tightening wallet, Americans across the country are looking for ways to stretch their income and some places offer a better opportunity to do so than others. Read More...

Jun 09, 2022 As home prices continue to skyrocket, it has become increasingly difficult for first-time buyers to afford a home. In April 2021, U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) sponsored federal legislation that would create a refundable tax credit of up to $15,000 for first-time homebuyers, similar to the one included in the 2008 Housing and Economic Recovery Act. This bill, however, has languished in the House of Representatives and is yet to be voted on. Read More...

Jun 08, 2022 American seniors have many financial considerations to take into account as they navigate their golden years. Retirement income, savings, tax burdens and inflation are a few common examples. The Global Retirement Index from the French investment manager Natixis says that 41% of American respondents believe a miracle would need to happen in order to be financially secure in retirement. Read More...

Jun 08, 2022 Outdoor activities can add up quickly when you consider equipment, gear and apparel. For instance, the average bicycle costs upwards of $300, with some bikes costing thousands of dollars, depending on make and model. Similarly, skiing is a particularly expensive outdoor activity, with most annual ski passes costing nearly $1,000. Other outdoor activities, such as hiking, are more affordable. An annual pass to the U.S. National Parks costs just $80. Read More...

Jun 08, 2022 When it comes to housing costs, a general financial rule says not to spend more than 30% of your pre-tax income on this inevitable expense. But though the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that Americans paid roughly 25% of their income on housing expenses in 2020, residents in larger cities generally have to put in more working hours to afford housing. Read More...

Jun 08, 2022 Many Americans agree that amid rising prices and economic uncertainty today, it takes a six-figure salary to get by. However, women continue to be underrepresented in higher-paying jobs. According to 2020 Census data, women make up less than 30% of six-figure earners in the U.S. And while this figure marks progress from a decade prior when only 23% of six-figure earners were women, women continue to face tighter budgets than men generally.  Read More...

May 26, 2022 Make no bones about it: 2022 has not been kind to investors. Persistent inflation, rising interest rates and the Russia-Ukraine War have all driven major stock market indexes down through the first four-plus months of the year. Read More...

May 26, 2022 Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many betrothed couples delayed their nuptials out of caution or in adherence to safety guidelines. Because of this, the wedding industry saw a dramatic fall in revenue (-35.7%) from 2019 to 2020, and average wedding costs fell 21.6% simultaneously.  However, spending has since normalized. In fact, average wedding costs are on the rise and with 2.5 millions weddings predicted for the year, 2022 is expected to be historic. Read More...

May 23, 2022 Even though the median home price in the U.S. has soared to new heights, some housing markets are rising faster than others. The temperature of a housing market can heat up and cool down based on a variety of factors. Places where the population is growing faster than the development of new housing units are hotter markets, and so are cities where median incomes and home values are increasing most rapidly. Keeping these factors top-of-mind, SmartAsset analyzed data to identify and rank the top 10 rising housing markets in the U.S. Read More...

May 19, 2022 The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new stressors into daily life as employees try to balance potentially longer hours, increased demands at home and continued uncertainty regarding work culture looking forward. As a result, a healthy work-life balance has become increasingly difficult to achieve. A 2021 survey from Indeed says that 52% of workers report feeling burned out, an 11% increase since before the pandemic in 2019. With employee stress and exhaustion on the rise, some states and businesses are taking action to address this issue and help employees to establish a positive work-life balance. In early 2022, the California legislature proposed shortening the traditional 40-hour work week down to 32 hours, essentially creating a four day work week. While talks on this particular proposal have stalled, it certainly has opened the door to further conversation on work-life balance. Read More...

Aug 24, 2022 Fewer Americans plan to work past the age of 62. In a March 2022 survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 49.2% of Americans plan to work past the age of 62, a figure that is 6.2% lower than two years prior. However, it can be difficult to make early retirement a reality. Stretching retirement savings long enough to live comfortably is challenging, but some cities are better than others for bringing early retirement plans to fruition. Read More...

May 13, 2022 The time that follows college graduation can be an exciting period in the life of a recent graduate. This is when they enter the workforce, take on new responsibilities, and perhaps, move to a new city. A college diploma can also start to pay off almost immediately. In 2021, full-time workers between 22 and 27 years old with bachelor’s degrees earned a median annual wage of $52,000, while those with only high school diplomas made roughly $30,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read More...

Jun 01, 2022 Transitioning from renting to  buying a home is a major financial milestone. But rising prices have made home buying more challenging for millions of Americans. The  Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis says that the median home sales price increased 30% between the first quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2022, reaching $428,700. And rents are shooting upward as well. Zumper's National Rent Report shows that the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment rose 13.2% between April 2021 and April 2022, while two-bedrooms spiked 14.6% during the same period. Read More...

May 05, 2022 Buying a home in 2022 has become very expensive. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller US National Home Price Index, which tracks the purchase prices of single family homes, says that prices rose 19.2% in the one-year period ending in January 2022. When you add in proximity to the water, prices can be even more discouraging. However, there are some cities that are more affordable than others when it comes to owning a beachfront property. Read More...

May 09, 2022 Asian Americans make up just under 5% of the total adult population in the U.S., but own roughly 10% of all U.S. businesses. And as the Asian American population is expected to more than double from roughly 22 million in 2019 to over 46 million in 2060, many more Asian American entrepreneurs across the country will be seeking to make their mark. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset analyzed data to identify and rank the best places for Asian American entrepreneurs in 2022. Read More...

May 02, 2022 During times of economic instability, financial advice is often in high demand. As increased inflation and the Russia-Ukraine War continue to shake financial markets, many individuals working with financial professionals may rely more heavily on them for advice and planning. Read More...

Aug 17, 2022 Despite the perception that the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a mass migration out of cities, the data simply does not support that narrative. According to Pew Research, fewer people moved out of cities in 2020 compared with the years leading up to the pandemic. Approximately 4.9 million people left cities in 2020, which is less than the 5.4 million people who moved out of cities each year between 2016 and 2018. But while the mass exodus from large cities may have been overstated, many small cities are growing. A recent SmartAsset study found that five of the top 10 boomtowns in America have fewer than 100,000 residents. Keeping this in mind, we set out to identify the most livable small cities in the nation. Read More...

Apr 27, 2022 No sector of higher education has been hit harder by the COVID-19 pandemic than community colleges. While enrollment across all higher education institutions fell 5.1% between fall 2019 and fall 2021, public two-year colleges have suffered the steepest drop in enrollment during that time, falling by 13.1%, according to data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Yet, community colleges remain an affordable alternative to four-year institutions. Some students choose to begin their college education at a public two-year school and then transfer to a four-year institution, where they can get their bachelor’s degree. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees at a private, nonprofit four-year school was nearly 10 times that of a public two-year college. Read More...

Apr 26, 2022 Historically, the middle class has been the largest economic group in the U.S. and currently remains so. However, it is an economic group whose numbers have steadily declined year-over-year. More families are renting than buying homes in recent years and the number of families considered cost-burdened (paying more than 30% of their income for housing) has steadily increased - up to approximately 27% of the middle class in 2018. However, some states are better than others for middle class residents and we set out to uncover them. Read More...

Apr 21, 2022 Retirement can often be daunting because it means a shift from traditional income to a reliance on savings, investments and government programs such as Social Security. However, for most Americans, the government safety net is not enough to live on. While the Social Security program in 2022 has seen the largest cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increase in four decades (5.9%), many retirees are still looking for ways to supplement their income. Read More...

Apr 20, 2022 Billions of dollars are at stake each year for individual states when lawmakers in Washington D.C. negotiate the following year’s federal budget. For 2023, President Biden is calling for a 7% increase in federal spending as part of his $5.8 trillion budget proposal. While this money will ultimately play a major role in how states fund themselves, some states are more reliant on federal dollars than others. For example, Wyoming gets over 56% of its revenue from federal sources, but only 27% of Hawaii's revenue comes from the federal faucet. With this in mind, SmartAsset took a closer look at individual states to determine which ones are most dependent on the federal government. Read More...

Apr 15, 2022 While the U.S. is not directly involved in the Russia-Ukraine war, Americans are seeing an impact at home. The prices of commodities and products in the U.S., and worldwide, have increased above the norm. While spending on some commodities such as gasoline can be greatly minimized or avoided, depending on lifestyle, food spending is unavoidable. Consumers across the nation are experiencing higher prices on wheat and corn-based products, among other food items. And farmers are also experiencing higher prices for basic trade tools like fertilizer, which is needed to grow crops for consumers. Read More...

Apr 13, 2022 Most financial advisors fall in the 90th percentile of U.S. workers according to average annual earnings. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the average financial advisor made about $120,000 in 2021, more than double the income of the average worker who earned $58,300 in the same year.  Though the advisory career sets many individuals up for financial success, some places are more favorable for pay than others. Read More...

Apr 13, 2022 Renewable energy will play a pivotal role in the world’s attempt to curb the effects of climate change. The landmark Paris Agreement signed by 196 countries seeks to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. To do this, global emissions of carbon dioxide must fall 45% by 2030 and be virtually eliminated by 2050. Read More...

Apr 08, 2022 For the first time in four years, violent crime in the U.S. increased in 2020. A steep rise in murders fueled this overall uptick in violent crime, as homicides surged 22% from a year earlier, according to FBI crime data. Unfortunately, that trend continued in 2022, as major cities recorded an additional 5% increase in homicides, a report from the Council on Criminal Justice found. Read More...

Apr 06, 2022 Between 2020 and 2021, the number of fraud reports filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) increased by 27.3%, from 2.2 million to 2.8 million. Total reported monetary losses saw a bigger spike over the same time period (78%), jumping from $3.3 billion to $5.9 billion. Over the past 10 years, there was a 154.5% increase in monetary losses. Read More...

Apr 07, 2022 While most borrowers get a 30-year mortgage and methodically pay off the loan by making regularly-scheduled monthly payments, there is another repayment option. Rather than making 12 monthly payments per year, some borrowers arrange with their mortgage lender to pay half of their monthly bill every other week. As a result, they make the equivalent of 13 monthly payments per year. A financial advisor can help you figure out just how much you should spend on a home. Find a trusted advisor today.  Read More...

Mar 31, 2022 The cryptocurrency industry is currently worth more than $1.8 trillion globally, compared to its value of  roughly $200 billion two years ago. In the U.S., consumers and businesses are latching onto virtual currency and blockchain technology in droves; however, federal guidelines are only beginning to take shape. Most recently, President Biden signed an executive order to examine the benefits and risks of virtual currency. Read More...

Mar 30, 2022 A 2022 study from the  Bank of America says that 30% of current women homeowners bought their home while single. And almost two-thirds of women surveyed said they would buy a home before getting married. As more women poise themselves to become homebuyers, SmartAsset analyzed data to identify and rank the metro areas where they were approved for the most mortgages. Read More...

Mar 23, 2022 The rising cost of a college education has been well documented over the last 30 years. In that time, average tuition and fees for in-state students at four-year universities has more than doubled, according to the College Board. However, in-state tuition still remains significantly more affordable than out-of-state tuition. In 2020-2021, average published tuition and fees for in-state students were $10,740 compared to $27,560 for out-of-state students. Read More...

Mar 23, 2022 As inflation continues to send the cost of goods and services higher and higher, there’s one place where price spikes have been especially acute: the gas pump. The  consumer price index says that the price of gasoline surged 6.6% in February 2022, pushing costs 38.0% higher than one year earlier. And if rising inflation wasn't enough of a concern, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has added more uncertainty and volatility to energy markets. By March 11, the national average for unleaded gasoline peaked at $4.33 per gallon, according to AAA data. Read More...

Mar 23, 2022 As of 2020, there are 10.7 million single parent households in the U.S. and 80.5% of them are headed by single mothers. Single mothers have also seen a decrease in their income over the past several years and nearly half of them (47.5%) are living in poverty. In some cities, single mothers tend to face more economic hardship when working to meet the extra demands of parenting without spousal support. Read More...

Mar 18, 2022 Though the Equal Pay Act (EPA) passed in 1963, pay equity issues still exist. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2020, women made 82 cents for every dollar a man earned. Depending on race and ethnicity, this figure varies. Asian women earn 79 cents on the dollar compared to Asian men and Black women have median earnings that are 92% of Black men's. Recently, the U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) made headlines for settling their equal pay dispute with the U.S. Soccer Federation: a dispute that pushed the conversation around the wage gap back into the spotlight. Read More...

Mar 16, 2022 Often when we think about the finances of older Americans, a couple of words come to mind: investments and retirement. Student debt among older Americans is a less typical conversation. However, about 6% of Americans ages 50 and older carry an average of $45,641 in student debt in addition to potential other debt. That’s $333.2 billion dollars spread across 7.3 million people ages 50 and older, according to Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education. Read More...

Mar 14, 2022 With rapidly climbing food, rent and gas prices, inflation is the highest it has been in four decades. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that the  Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the change in prices paid by urban consumers for goods and services, increased 7.9% during the 12-month period that ended in February 2022. Read More...

Mar 10, 2022 Since 1990, average childcare costs in the U.S. have more than doubled while the median household income has increased by just 35%. With childcare costs outpacing incomes, childcare alone can account for more than 10% of one’s pre-tax income. However, in some states childcare is more affordable than others. Read More...

Mar 09, 2022 Though financial advisors expertly help clients plan for their future, they sometimes neglect to apply the same forethought to their own firms. In fact, only 27% of financial advisors have a succession plan or any formal preparations to transition their business, according to a 2018 Financial Planning Association (FPA) report. The need to have such arrangements in place is all the more urgent since the average age of financial advisors is 55, and about one in five financial advisors is aged 65 or older, according to a 2019 J.D. Power study. The fact that so many financial advisors are near retirement age begs the question: What is their legacy strategy? Read More...

Jun 27, 2022 When applying for a  mortgage, one of the most consequential decisions homebuyers make is choosing the term of their loan. While most buyers opt for a 30-year mortgage, a small percentage purchase their home using a 15-year mortgage because of the long-term savings a shorter duration loan offers. Read More...

Mar 03, 2022 Home prices shot up an average of roughly 17% during 2021 and continued to rise during the first month of this year, according to Freddie Mac data. This spike has led some researchers to hypothesize that the housing market could overheat, especially as the Federal Reserve looks to raise rates. However, most industry experts continue to think this possibility is unlikely. “While it's impossible to predict what the future holds, much of what caused last year's significant house price growth will continue into the next,” licensed real estate broker Kris Lippi told SmartAsset. Read More...

Mar 08, 2022 In a 2021 modern wealth survey, Americans told Charles Schwab that they need an average net worth of $934,000 to be financially comfortable. Another survey by Personal Capital says that Americans believe that they need to save an average of $516,000 to maintain financial health. The huge difference in these figures indicates that financial comfort is ultimately a relative figure and depends on one's household size, life stage and other personal factors. Read More...

Mar 01, 2022 The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that household debt went up roughly $1 trillion in 2021, which is the highest annual increase since 2007. Other studies estimate that the average household now owes more than $155,000. As Americans struggle to keep up with bill payments and afford basic necessities like food and housing, SmartAsset has analyzed data to identify and rank the states where residents are financially hurting most. Read More...

Feb 24, 2022 Many Americans choose to buy used cars as a cost saving mechanism rather than investing in a new vehicle. In fact, in 2020, over 40 million used cars were sold in the U.S. compared to 14.6 million new cars. But even with a used vehicle, the first year of car ownership can be a pricey endeavor when factoring in purchase costs as well as recurring costs. Read More...

Feb 23, 2022 With average housing costs adding up to almost 35% of all household expenditures in 2020, many renters nationwide are looking for roommates so they can afford short-term financial obligations, save for long-term financial goals or both. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset analyzed data to identify and rank cities according to where living with a roommate saves you most. Read More...

Feb 22, 2022 Behind housing and transportation, food and alcohol is the third-largest spending category for the average American - totaling upwards of $7,000 per household in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This figure differs wildly across generations, though. Average food and alcohol spending for Generation X tops $9,000 while the average Generation Z household spends the least, with about $4,500 outlaid annually on food and alcohol combined. Read More...

Feb 17, 2022 Nationally, less than 3% of businesses are Black-owned. However, over the past two years, the number of Black-owned businesses has grown by 8.52%, according to Census Bureau data. This exceeds the rate at which all businesses are growing (0.46%). Some parts of the country provide a more favorable environment for Black entrepreneurs to set up shop. Read More...

Feb 15, 2022 A college degree is an important professional milestone that can boost your finances. According to data from Indeed.com, the average yearly earnings for someone with only a high school diploma is $37,024, while someone with a bachelor’s degree earns an average of $60,996. Keeping that in mind, SmartAsset crunched the numbers to identify and rank the best U.S. states for higher education in 2022. Read More...

Feb 10, 2022 The low interest environment during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a boon for the vacation real estate market. While millions of Americans took advantage of low interest rates and bought their first homes, others capitalized on the cheap money and purchased vacation homes. Read More...

Feb 09, 2022 The IRS says that the number of million-dollar taxpayers has gone up in five years. In 2014, there were 410,110 taxpayers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of $1 million or more, filing 0.28% of tax returns. In 2019, there were 554,340 million-dollar earners, filing 0.35% of tax returns. Keeping this in mind, SmartAsset took a closer look at the states where the number of million-dollar earners is growing the fastest.  Read More...

Feb 04, 2022 Finding an affordable home has become an increasingly daunting endeavor. As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the U.S., home prices soared while incomes remained stagnant. In fact, Zillow and Census Bureau data shows that between 2019 and 2020, the average home value rose at a rate more than double the median household income (5.09% vs. 2.48%). And while most experts recommend that a home's sale price not exceed 2.5 times your household income, that rule of thumb is growing difficult to follow as homes grow less affordable. Read More...

Feb 02, 2022 Over the next 10 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects there to be 821,300 new openings for STEM jobs, according to recent estimates. This represents a roughly 9% increase in the number of STEM jobs in the U.S. However, not all STEM jobs are projected to grow at the same rate. Read More...

Feb 01, 2022 Is tax season a time when you look forward to an eventual refund or dread a looming tax bill that could cost you thousands of dollars? Taxpayers who owed the IRS money when they filed their 2019 federal tax return faced an average tax bill of $5,893. That’s $272 more than one year earlier when those who underpaid their taxes during the year ended up owing $5,621. Read More...

Jan 28, 2022 As federal efforts to increase the minimum wage have stalled, many states and cities are paving the way to pay workers more than $7.25 an hour. On January 1, 2022, a total of 20 states raised their minimum wage, with the largest increases taking place in Virginia (from $9.50 to $11) and Delaware (from $9.25 to $10.50). Additionally, many cities and counties are implementing pay increases. According to findings from the National Employment Law Project, 35 cities and counties increased their minimum wage beginning 2022. Read More...

Feb 02, 2022 In 2019, the Census Bureau reported that just 32% of the population ages 25 and older has a bachelor’s degree. With 216.1 million people aged 25 and older in the United States, that leaves 147 million without a college degree. Read More...

Jan 25, 2022 Even if your wedding was all about eternal love, companionship and mason jars wrapped in twine, don’t fool yourself: at the end of the day, your marriage is essentially a tax arrangement in the eyes of the state. When two people become one unit, the way they pay into our society changes, as their income, investments and property starts being viewed differently by the powers that be. Whether or not your marriage works out in your favor or not financially, though, could depend on how much money each individual makes and where you live. A trusted financial advisor can help you be strategic about your finances and explore ways to lower your tax liabilities. If you'd like to match with a financial advisor in your area, get started here. Read More...

Jan 21, 2022 Social Security benefits and housing expenses are two of the most important elements of a successful financial plan in  retirement. While Social Security is the primary source of income for many retirees, housing can be their biggest monthly expense. Read More...

Jan 19, 2022 Census Bureau data from 2019 to 2020 shows the largest single-year drop in national employment. There were roughly 5.7 million fewer Americans employed in 2020 when compared with the prior year. Relative to total employment, the number of workers fell by an average of 3.58% from 2019 to 2020. Some industries were more affected than others, however. Read More...

Jan 13, 2022 An American family needs an income of $597,815 to be considered in the top 1% of earners nationwide. This, however, varies from state to state. In Connecticut, a family needs almost $900,000 in annual income to be in the top 1% of earners in their state, whereas a family in the top 1% of West Virginia needs only an average of just over $350,000. Read More...

Jan 11, 2022 Not all couples can afford to  buy a home and have the wedding of their dreams. Some must choose between the two or postpone one in favor of the other. The Netflix reality series "Marriage or Mortgage" explores this dynamic, as a couple decides between buying a home or having their dream wedding in each episode. Nationally, the average down payment (13%) on the median home sales price was $39,026 in 2020, close to double the average wedding cost, at $20,286. That means in most places, having a wedding takes far less cash than buying a home. But that isn’t the case everywhere. Read More...

Jan 06, 2022 In 2021, millions of Americans voluntarily left their jobs every month in what is now called the "Great Resignation." Some were burnt out, while others quit to look for  better pay or new careers. A total of 4.4 million people left their jobs in September alone, raising the quit rate to 3%, the highest it's been since the Bureau of Labor Statistics first published the figure in 2000. Read More...

Apr 26, 2022 While many people look to sunny skies and year-round golf when picking a place to retire, there are also those who want to maintain a connection to all four seasons in their golden years, or perhaps those who want relatively easy access to all corners of the country. For these folks, a retirement in the Midwest probably makes sense. With that in mind, SmartAsset has crunched the numbers to find the best cities to retire in the Midwest. Read More...

Dec 16, 2021 Research has shown that the COVID-19 recession was particularly harmful for working women. A recent report from the Brookings Institution highlights two primary reasons why this was the case. Firstly, the COVID-19 recession had an outsized impact on low-wage jobs and women are disproportionately represented in low-wage jobs. According to their findings, 46% of working women earn low hourly wages compared to 37% of men. Secondly, many working women shouldered an outsized portion of the burden stemming from disruptions that COVID-19 caused in childcare and school systems. Read More...

Dec 15, 2021 Layoffs and unemployment were early economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. But 20 months after the pandemic shut down large swathes of the economy, businesses are contending with a new challenge: a larger percentage of people are quitting their jobs in 2021 than ever before and many employers are struggling to hire. In September 2021, there were over 10 million jobs available across the economy. That's 4 million more open jobs compared with a year earlier, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Read More...

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