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Everyday Cents – Editorial Calendar

A Newsletter for General Audiences

Fall 2018

Indebted for Education
The total amount of U.S. student loan debt topped $1.5 trillion in the first quarter of 2018, up sharply from a decade ago. Accompanying chart shows rise in national student loan debt from 2008 to 2018.
Life Insurance: Your Group Policy May Not Be Enough
Employer-sponsored group basic and supplemental policies may give you a head start in meeting your life insurance needs, but the amount could still be insufficient. Buying an individual term life policy provides additional protection for your family that stays in place regardless of career changes.
Identity Thieves Target Kids, Too
Many adults are on the watch for identity fraud, but parents may have no idea that their children could also be vulnerable. Here are some signs that a child has been impacted by fraud, and how parents might limit the damage.
Five Ways for Families to Cut College Costs
Trimming college costs upfront can help families avoid excessive college borrowing and the burdensome student loan payments that come later. The article offers some possibilities to consider.
The Power of a Playlist
A recent scientific study seems to support the widely held notion that listening to inspiring music can take some of the pain out of a challenging workout.
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July 2018

Savings Slide
The personal savings rate, the percentage of disposable income that U.S. consumers do not spend, has dropped by more than half since 2015. Accompanying chart shows changes in the U.S. personal savings rate since 2013.
How a Roth IRA Could Benefit a Hard-Working Teen
Many parents may not realize that their children’s earned income could make them eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA, which is a popular and flexible way to save for retirement, college, or other future needs.
401(k) Loans: Think Twice Before Lending Money to Yourself
Considering the high interest rates that apply to many credit cards and other types of consumer loans, is it a good idea to borrow from a 401(k) instead? The answer may depend on job security and how an employee intends to use the money. Here are some rules and risks that should be considered carefully.
Surprise! Balance Bills Can Really Hurt
A balance bill, which is the difference between an out-of-network provider’s normal charges for a service and a lower rate reimbursed by insurance, can amount to thousands of dollars. Narrower care networks, higher plan deductibles, and rising costs in general are additional trends that make it more important than ever to become a savvy health-care consumer.
Welcome to the “Agri-hood”
A growing interest in fresh, homegrown, and/or local food is driving the development of residential communities focused around a working farm.
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June 2018

Appreciation Makes for Happier Homeowners
Housing prices nationwide rose 6.3% in 2017. All markets in the 20-city index experienced price increases, ranging from 2.6% in Chicago to 12.7% in Seattle. Accompanying chart shows the year-over-year change in U.S. house prices from 2008 to 2017.
Filing for Social Security: What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You
A recent Social Security audit found that 82% of beneficiaries who were dually entitled to receive survivor benefits and their own worker benefits were not informed of an option to claim a larger lifetime benefit. This article focuses on Social Security eligibility rules and strategies for claiming worker, spousal, and survivor benefits.
Have You Checked Your Tax Withholding Yet?
The rush to implement the new tax law at the beginning of 2018 means your withholding could be off more than it might be in a normal year.
Travel Trends: Bargain Hunters Should Book Early
The average price for a domestic airline ticket actually fell in 2017, but most airlines now charge extra for features that used to be included in the standard coach airfare – such as a reasonably comfortable seat. This article offers booking tips that may help travelers save money on their next vacation.
The Growing Appeal of Audiobooks
Printed books are still outselling electronic versions, but audiobooks have become the fastest-growing format in the publishing industry.
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May 2018

Modern Motherhood
After decades of decline, the share of women who become mothers during their lifetimes has been rising in recent years. Accompanying chart shows the percentage of women ages 40 to 44 who have ever given birth from 1980 to 2016.
Wedding Bells and Money Matters
Overspending on a wedding is generally not the best way to start a marriage, especially if it results in a long-lasting debt hangover. Here are some financial guidelines for affordable wedding day bliss.
Young Adults: 5 Steps for Building a Financial Foundation
This infographic illustrates positive financial habits related to budgeting, saving, and managing credit.
Tick Season Tips for Outdoorsy Types
Many people look forward to summer activities such as golf, camping, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, and hiking in the great outdoors. This article provides tips for preventing Lyme and other diseases spread by ticks.
Exploring Long-Term Care Options
A nursing home may not be the first choice for individuals who need long-term care. Here are some alternatives, including home care, accessory dwelling units, subsidized senior housing, and assisted-living facilities.
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April 2018

Delaying the American Dream
Nearly two-thirds of Americans own their homes, but economic factors have caused many young people to keep homeownership on the back burner. Accompanying infographic compares the overall rate of U.S. homeownership (1998‒2017) with the rate for those under age 35.
Let’s Talk Tax Cuts
New tax brackets for 2018 through 2025 may give many Americans lower marginal tax rates on their incomes, but there is much more to know about changes resulting from the new tax law.
Will the End of Net Neutrality Affect You?
In December 2017, the FCC repealed net neutrality rules adopted in 2015. This article discusses what this new regulatory stance could mean for Internet providers, businesses, and consumers.
To Rent or Buy? Make a Calculated Decision
A higher standard deduction means there will be no tax differential between renting and owning for more than 90% of taxpayers, but there may still be financial and lifestyle advantages to owning your own home. There are some important factors for aspiring first-time homebuyers to consider.
Your Desk Job May Be More Dangerous Than You Think
New research suggests that sitting too long on a daily basis increases the risk of death — even for people who exercise regularly.
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March 2018

Teen Tech Trouble
Most families have some rules in place to help keep teens safe on their tech devices, but many parents are still in the dark on their children’s use of technology. Accompanying infographic shows how teens responded to a survey about their online habits and experiences.
Four Questions to Ask Before You Blow Your Tax Refund
When taxpayers receive a large refund, it may be tempting to buy something nice to have, even though the money could be used to shore up their financial situations. This article provides questions to ask that might help determine whether a major purchase is really worth it.
Strategies for Eliminating Credit Card Debt
About 43% of people with credit cards carry a monthly balance. Racking up too much credit card debt can become a heavy burden when high interest payments cut into disposable income. Readers will find four strategies that could help them pay off their credit card balances.
How to Pump Up Your Paycheck
In 2018, U.S. employers expect to award pay raises averaging 3%, the same increase received in each of the past three years. Here are three ways workers can help boost their earning potential and improve their longer-term financial situations.
Getting Dirty May Be Good for Kids
A number of scientists suspect that children in developed societies are growing up in environments that are simply too clean, and that exposing young children to more germs may keep them healthier in the long run.
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February 2018

Grocery Shoppers Still Prefer Private Labels
Millennials tend to be more willing to try lower-cost store brands than other generations. Accompanying infographic shows several reasons why different generations purchase private-label brands over national brands.
Four Things You Can Do with a Will
A will is often the cornerstone of an estate plan. This article discusses important matters that can be addressed with a will, including distributing property, naming an executor, appointing a guardian for minor children, and creating or funding a trust.
Are You Ready to Face a Natural Disaster?
Most areas in the United States could experience some type of catastrophe, whether it’s a wildfire, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or flood. Readers will find tips that could help keep their families safe in an emergency and allow them to leave quickly with the items they need most.
More Health Nuts Are Indulging in Chocolate
U.S. consumers ate an estimated 1.4 million tons of chocolate in 2017, or about 9 pounds per person. Market research suggests that more people are choosing “premium” dark and gourmet chocolate, often for the perceived health benefits.
Cartoon: Taxes Are Universal
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January 2018

Affordable Fitness
Nearly half of Americans believe that gym memberships and fitness classes are well worth the money. Even so, the three most common forms of exercise are all free. Accompanying infographic shows the activities Americans use to keep in shape.
Three Costly Financial Aid Myths
With college costs reaching levels that are often unaffordable, financial aid is essential for many families. This article focuses on qualifications for aid and FAFSA application process.
Will Working in Retirement Impact Your Social Security Benefits?
There are a number of good reasons why someone may want to work part-time during retirement, so it’s important to understand how the additional income could affect Social Security benefits. This article explains how taxes affect benefits and why benefits may be reduced temporarily by the retirement earnings test.
Coming Soon: A World Without Checks?
Since the turn of the century, check payments have largely been replaced with card payments and electronic transfers. Accompanying chart compares check usage in the United States to other developed nations.
Striking a Pose to Help Relieve Back Pain
Medical research suggests that stretching and strengthening core muscles on a regular basis, either on one’s own or by taking a group yoga or Pilates class, may lessen the effects of back pain and some other chronic health conditions.
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December 2017

Counting Centenarians
Living to age 100 or older is still a rare feat, but the number of American centenarians increased 43% from 2000 through 2014. During this time period, 80% to 84% of centenarians were women. Accompanying infographic compares the estimated number of Americans age 100 and older in 2000 and 2014.
Labor of Love: Tips for Family Caregivers
The United States has about 40 million family caregivers who provide unpaid care for adults who have health problems or are disabled. Often this care takes a toll on caregivers’ own financial, physical, and mental well-being. This article includes helpful tips for family caregivers.
More Than One Road to the Middle Class
A recent Georgetown University analysis of the occupations, salaries, and education levels of U.S. workers revealed some important generational shifts. Accompanying chart compares the share of workers with good jobs in 1991 and 2015.
Coffee Could Be the Latest Healthy Elixir
A growing body of research suggests that drinking coffee on a regular basis might give your body a boost in more ways than one.
How to Help Crack Down on Robocalls
Criminals often use robocalls to collect consumers’ personal information and/or conduct various scams. Read how consumers can help put an end to this nuisance.
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November 2017

Baby Boomers Are Still Driving the Economy
U.S. consumers spent more than $7 trillion in 2015, and older consumers continued to play a major role in overall spending. Accompanying infographic shows the distribution of 2015 expenditures by age group.
The Health-Wealth Connection
The clear connection between health and wealth is why it's so important to develop and maintain lifelong plans to manage both. This article includes tips to help readers improve their physical and financial health.
How to Keep Track of Your Social Security Benefits
A worker's Social Security Statement provides important information about his or her earnings record and future benefits, but statements are no longer being mailed to individuals under age 60. This article explains how to access Social Security Statements online.
Tips for Safer Cybershopping
Many people prefer to purchase holiday gifts with a few clicks of the mouse. Here are some tips for a more secure and satisfying online shopping experience.
Almost Half of High Schoolers Are "A" Students
A recent study found that the proportion of high school seniors graduating with an A average is significantly higher now than it was for the previous generation of students.
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