Pertinent Category: Daily Economy

Why It’s So Hard to Delay Social Security

– October 27, 2015

Behavioral economists have found that traditional economic models cannot explain what people actually choose to do with their money, including filing for Social Security benefits early – a move that can cost them a lot of money in the long run.


Seeking Generational Patterns? Don’t Be a Slacker

– October 26, 2015

It is in our nature to try to identify patterns and draw conclusions that are often incomplete or downright incorrect.


Yahoo Finance Highlights AIER Study

– October 23, 2015

Thanks to MoneyTalksNews and Yahoo Finance for highlighting AIER’s Employment Destinations Index as part of a recent story on work-life balance. The story highlighted’s list of top 10 jobs for work-life balance. The list was led by data scientist – which should make our data scientist, Theodore Cangero quite happy to hear. Other top jobs were search engine optimization manager, talent acquisition specialist, social media manager and substitute teacher.


Your Retirement Account Balance May Mislead You

– October 22, 2015

I recently read an article from CNN Money about how much you should have saved at different ages in order to be prepared for retirement. This is a popular topic in the financial media; the problem is that I’m not sure it’s doing anyone much good. In this case, I find the opening lines to be misleading. The article starts off: “How much should you have saved for retirement? There’s actually a simple answer to that.” But I think that account balances alone can be misleading as to financial preparedness.  There is not a simple answer.


Fall Foliage Frames AIER’s Historic Campus

– October 21, 2015

It’s peak leaf season here in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, home of AIER’s historic, 110-acre campus. I shot these photos on a recent series of crisp autumn days.


Increasing Competition May Curb Restaurant Prices

– October 20, 2015

As consumers gradually show a willingness to spend, the cost of one indulgence – eating out at a restaurant – has been getting more expensive over the last year.


Why Your 401(k) Differs from Fund Performance

– October 19, 2015

The way that a fund calculates performance is probably quite different from the way that you perceive performance.


Social Security COLA Forecast, Right On the Money

– October 16, 2015

The American Institute for Economic Research has a long history of accurate forecasting on economic matters, such as predicting recessions. Our senior research fellow, Polina Vlaskeno, was once again right on the money when it came to predicting the size of next year’s Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.


The Housing Market, Still Haunted

– October 15, 2015

Six years after the Great Recession, key parts of the housing market continue to struggle to find momentum, the reasons for which are outlined in the new October edition of Business Conditions Monthly, the American Institute for Economic Research’s bird’s-eye view of the economy. Owning a home has been held up as a key part of the American Dream, but the housing bust devastated Americans’ balance sheets and wreaked havoc on the financial system, the report notes. As a result, home ownership rates have fallen to below 64 percent today, down from over 69 percent in 2005, according to the report.


A Recession Wouldn’t Spread Here Like a Cold

– October 14, 2015

Yesterday, a financial reporter posed a good question to me: Why haven’t the global economic woes caused a recession in this country? Or, why wouldn’t they? It’s hard to look away from the problems in China, Greece and elsewhere. Last week, U.S. News & World Report quoted our report, Business Conditions Monthly, on the possibility of headwinds from China affecting us at home. So why is it less than likely that problems in China, Greece, or elsewhere would send the U.S. into recession? Our senior research fellow, Bob Hughes, stated the reason in rather simple terms.


Social Security “File and Suspend”: An Example

– October 13, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote up the case for the “file and suspend” Social Security claiming strategy for married, two-earner households. To recap, the strategy can allow two-earner couples to collect a Social Security spousal benefit for up to four years without compromising long-term  benefits. The blog was well-received, but it also brought up as many questions as answers. I want to now walk through a numerical example of how the strategy actually affects income. If you’re like me, these numbers may help you better understand the alternatives.


People Are Using Their Credit Cards More

– October 9, 2015

Here’s one more bit of data that backs up the storyline of the U.S. economy continuing its trajectory of growth. The Federal Reserve on Wednesday released its consumer credit report, showing that the trend of 6 to 7 percent annual growth that started in early 2014 continued in August. The major driver recently has been credit card usage, noted Bob Hughes, senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research.