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Ending of Emergency Benefits: Twenty-one states recently announced they are ending emergency benefits early before the September 6, 2021 end date. These states claim the benefits (e.g., the extra $300 weekly, federal top-off) discourage individuals from work and see the remission of emergency benefits to help correct labor shortage and help right the balance of supply and demand.

More Economic Concerns out West: California came through its last drought only four years ago. Now, it is facing another. Commodities such as almonds, tomatoes, alfalfa, and wheat are taking a big hit. Many farmers are just letting fields fallow while others are paying four times the standard prices for water on the private market. Estimates are that this latest drought afflicts 88% of the American West (up from 40% last year). “We’re definitely in a very critical situation,” said Ernest Conant, a regional director of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. “Our biggest concern is if we get a third year in a row.”

The Power of the Dollar: In 1913, the year Federal Reserve banks were granted the ability to manage the money supply for the sake of economic stability, one dollar could buy 30 Hershey’s chocolate bars. As more dollars come into circulation, the purchasing power of the dollar falls. The money supply in the U.S. has skyrocketed in the past couple of decades, from $4.6 trillion to $19.5 trillion in 2021. Consider the chart below as a helpful visual of the history of the dollar’s value.

Preparing for the Unexpected: One of the common questions we hear (or raise) when helping clients prepare a financial plan is, “What would happen if I died tomorrow?”. It is a sobering question, but an appropriate one when exercising financial prudence out of abundance of concern for our families. There are countless ways to answer that question and it varies from client to client. The central question we address regularly is, “How much do you need?”. The answer (and cost) depends on various variables, such as age, debt, family situation, financial goals, savings, workplace life insurance, etc. Notice, all of those variables are subject to change, so too, your insurance needs. Reach out to us to see if you have too much or too little insurance coverage. It is one of the many reasons we are here.