Early Retirement Moves; Metaverse Face-Off

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Biden’s Infrastructure Package

President Biden signed into law one of the largest infrastructure packages in U.S. history this week—a total $1.2 trillion in spending. This includes funds to modernize and maintain roads, bridges and Amtrak lines, purchase electric school buses, improve broadband internet access and more.

We’ve all heard of the carbon tax, but there might be a better way to use taxes to curb carbon emissions. A carbon capital gains tax, which would work like a normal capital gains tax but would apply to the profits the seller has made by owning carbon-intensive assets, might be more politically feasible than the carbon tax. That’s because it wouldn’t burden lower income people or give companies an incentive to shift production to countries without a carbon tax.

There’s been a lot of talk about both the great resignation and declining labor force participation, with some older workers checking out of the workforce permanently. But early retirees are not the only ones quitting, says Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. Record numbers of younger folks are also leaving their jobs in search of better paid work and new career opportunities. Apprenticeships can be part of the solution, Walsh says—and conveniently the new infrastructure package has funding for two million apprenticeships.

And The Inheritance Goes To…

Even with record numbers of people still leaving the workforce, jobless claims just reached a new pandemic low for the seventh week in a row, with 2.1 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits—that’s 129,000 fewer than last week. However, some of the younger workers who left their jobs might have to double back, if they were relying on a parent’s inheritance to boost their finances in the near future. Baby Boomers could end up skipping their Millennial children when transferring their trillions in wealth, leaving their assets to their grandchildren instead.

Speaking of wealth transfers, indexed universal life insurance, a type of policy sometimes sold as “free multimillion-dollar life insurance,” might just be too good to be true. Insurers that used to hand out these policies, which are tied to indexes like the S&P 500 to accrue more funds, have now stopped issuing them at all. Here’s why.

How To Retire Early—Or Keep On Working

Medicare plans are getting more expensive next year, with part B premiums set to rise 14.5% in 2022—that’s an increase more than four times larger than last year’s. Highest-income couples, those earning a joint $750,000 income or more, will be paying nearly $14,000 a year in premiums.

If all the talk about the great resignation is inspiring you to leave your job behind sooner rather than later, here’s a handy guide on investing for early retirement. For those who are not quite done with their professional careers, here is some advice on how older workers can find age-friendly employers. Some things to look for are smaller companies and an older-age friendly vibe on a company’s website and social media feed.

With more people wanting a stronger role in choosing their investments, self-directed IRAs have quickly grown in popularity. Unfortunately, this comes coupled with a rise in scams targeting these investment vehicles. These come as phony offers to invest in precious metals, cryptocurrency or other assets, with some scammers even impersonating financial advisors and IRA custodians to steal the funds in people’s accounts.

Novel Graphic: Inflation Heats Up Turkey Prices

Betting On The Metaverse

When you don’t like one metaverse, you build your own. At least that’s what the Winklevoss twins are hoping to do with their blockchain company that’s now valued at more than $7 billion thanks to a fresh $400 fund raise. The twins say their metaverse will “protect the rights and dignity of individuals” unlike that other metaverse run by arch nemesis, Mark Zuckerberg.

Meanwhile, the company formerly known as Facebook is on Morgan Stanley’s list of stocks to invest in for exposure to the growing world of virtual reality and the metaverse. Also on the list: Roblox, Unity Software and Snap.

If you’d rather invest in today’s reality, one global asset manager recommends giving China a second chance. High volatility rooted in China’s recent regulatory crackdown on corporations and issues in the real estate sector create an “attractive” investment opportunity for the upcoming year. On the other hand, blank check companies, or SPACs, which were trendiest of investments last year, are losing their steam. Here’s why.


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