We feel like this guy every Friday...
*Market indexes are the value of certain stocks which represent the overall stock market. Learn more here.*
S&P 500 (Standard’s & Poor 500 ): Made up of the 500 most widely-traded stocks in the U.S. +23.39 (+0.86%). Stock markets are strong this week, but keep an eye out for what happens as Trump's new trade tariffs with China go into effect today.
IN THE NEWS:
This week as many soccer teams were gearing up for the World Cup, one was preparing to be rescued. The Thai youth soccer team that had been missing for 10 days was finally located on Monday by British diving experts nearly a mile underground. Everyone's excited, but...now comes the hard part. Rescuers can’t safely move the boys yet, so doctors, nurses, and psychologists are among the many personnel diving the 2.5 mile course to visit the team and bring supplies. Sound pricey? Dang straight. The 2010 Chilean miner rescue, a similar crisis, cost between $10 and $20 million and lasted 69 days. With the rainy season just beginning, these boys could be underground for twice that time. The Thai government will foot some of that bill, but so will you. The U.S. alone spends about 7.84 billion dollars per year internationally on acute short-term disasters like these, and is one of several countries providing support to the young athletes.
Speaking of things that are pricey to lose, cryptocurrency investors have outdone themselves by losing a combined $20 billion in digital currency. How can that be? Cryptocurrency only exists online, so if you forget your PIN, you can’t access your money. Back when cryptocurrency was only worth pennies, people bought it and forgot their PINs. Now with bitcoin (the #1 cryptocurrency) nearing $6,500 U.S. per coin, nearly $20 billion dollars worth of the stuff is sitting in accounts whose PINs have been forgotten, unclaimed in the crypto-universe. Forgetful investors are getting creative about how to trigger their memories and get back their cash.
One thing that’s gotten easier to find is a job. Despite global economic challenges, the U.S. economy is doing well, and the job market is the strongest it has been since 2000. There are more open jobs than people looking for work, leading lots of workers to voluntarily leave for better opportunities. If you're under 35, congratulations. Welcome to your first strong job market.
DEFINITION OF THE DAY
Health Savings Accounts (HSA): A pre-tax savings account for medical expenses that comes with your health insurance plan.
Did you know that your benefits cost 50% of your salary, on average? Why not get the most out of your benefits, starting with the HSA. The HSA is, in our humble opinion, one of the most undervalued benefits out there. Here are three reasons you should pay attention to your HSA:
1. Your money goes in pre-tax, so you get to keep more of your paycheck to put towards expenses. Many employers will also put money in your HSA, or match your contribution, so it's worth asking your employer if they contribute.
2. “But what,” (you might ask) “if I’m healthy as a horse and never spend the money?” No fear, horse people. You get to keep that money when you leave your job, and you can even transfer it to your retirement account. “Any catch?” Neigh.
3. If you’re young and don’t have many medical expenses, you can choose a cheaper health insurance plan and contribute to an HSA. If you have medical expenses, the HSA will be there. If you don’t, the money is available to you instead of sitting in the pockets of your insurance company.
***Word to the wise: An FSA, or Flexible Spending Account, sounds similar, but it’s more limited. It can be useful too, BUT if you don’t spend the money within the year, you lose it. Make sure you clarify which accounts your employer offers.***
*This section is not sponsored by any third parties. These are our pure, honest opinions of what we think is easy and works best!*
This week, our task for you is easy. If you are currently employed, take a minute to look into your HSA and ask yourself (or your benefits team) a few questions. Does your insurance plan come with an HSA? Does your employer offer a match? How much are you contributing towards your HSA? With that information in hand, you’ll be better prepared to pick your benefits package when it’s time to re-enroll. For our job seekers out there, make sure you ask your employer these questions when you (hopefully!) see that offer letter. We're rooting for you!
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