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Mortgage Rates: This past week, mortgage rates touched their highest level in nearly 14 years. The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage rose to 5.89%, topping an earlier high from June, according to a survey by Freddie Mac released on Thursday. This time last year, rates were below 3%. Unfortunately for home buyers, mortgage rates look set to continue rising. This is directly connected to the Federal Reserve lifting rates to try and curtail inflation, which has driven up borrowing costs across the board.

Spending More: We came across this interesting article earlier last week. It’s an interesting thought study on why spending money is so hard for some of us—old frugal habits die hard, as the author says. The crux of the article is that money is meant to be spent. We spend a lot of time saving and avoiding spending that we sometimes forget ourselves and the freedom to enjoy money. It’s there to help us and our loved ones live better. And, yes, we agree that planning and intentionality is important—it’s the business we are in! But like this article reiterates, the goal for Compass Ion with each of our clients is to help you live more freely. Take a quick look at the article and let us know what you think of the author’s approach!

Maximizing Social Security: How Social Security calculates payments can be complex. However, a few basic principles can substantially boost your lifetime benefits. For starters, the primary earner in the family (in most cases) should delay collecting as long as possible—optimally, to 70 years old. But here are the four steps you can take:

  1. Have at least 35 years of earnings. With Social Security, your benefit is based on the 35-highest salary years.
  2. Working in your 60s can double the benefits. Working a few years in your 60s can pull up your average monthly earnings (particularly if you still have fewer than 35 years of earnings).
  3. Make the bigger check even bigger. If married, it often makes sense for the higher-earning spouse to collect Social Security at 62 if necessary. The other spouse, if possible, could wait longer to collect—possibly until 70—to increase monthly benefits.
  4. Timing matters. Each month you delay collecting Social Security after age 62, your benefit rises, climbing by a total of at least 76% by age 70.

If you’re thinking through details related to Social Security and your situation in real-time, we’d love to chat. Reach out today with any questions!

Business Briefing

  • European Inflation: The European Central Bank on Thursday raised interest rates by 0.75%, its biggest hike since 1999. The move is intended to help bring down record inflation. That effort, however, is complicated by an energy crisis sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that has nearly pushed Europe into a recession. (The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times)
  • Charged Up: Brazil suspended the sale of iPhones that come without a charger. The Brazilian government claims that Apple is selling an incomplete product. The Justice Ministry ordered Apple to cancel the sale of the iPhone 12 and any newer models and fined the company $2.38 million. Apple has argued that the decision to exclude chargers from their newer iPhones is a method to reduce their carbon footprint. The sentiment was swiftly rejected by authorities, who declared there was no evidence to support significant environmental impact.

The Pizza Box Dilemma: We’ve all been there. You’ve finished off a greasy, delicious pizza, and the box is left. Do you recycle the grease-laden cardboard? Or do you trash it? To recycle or not recycle? That is the question. So great was the confusion that Domino’s commissioned a study to see if boxes made up of 20% pizza grease by weight would somehow harm the recycling process. Their findings? It made no difference. With that cleared up, Domino’s is now printing everything someone needs to know to recycle their pizza box right onto the box. Now, if we could just figure out the easiest way to fold or break down the pizza box …