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Everyday Cents – Editorial Calendar

A Newsletter for General Audiences

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

October 2017

Living in a Snap-Happy World
Most people carry smartphones with cameras, and it's estimated that more than 1.2 trillion digital photos will be taken worldwide in 2017. Accompanying infographic shows how the share of digital photos taken by smartphones has changed since 2011.
Turning Retirement Savings into Income
Many defined contribution plans are better suited for accumulating retirement savings than they are for generating a predictable income stream. Relatively few employer plans offer installment payments and systematic withdrawals. On the other hand, a rollover IRA may provide a variety of income and investment opportunities, including the purchase of annuity contracts.
Taking Their Time
In 2016, fewer young adults (ages 25 to 34) had reached four common milestones of adulthood — working, living independently, getting married, and having children — than young adults in 1975. Accompanying chart compares young adult milestones in 1975 and 2016.
Stroll Your Way to Better Health
According to some experts, taking a short 10- to 15-minute walk after each meal may help stabilize blood sugar levels. This might benefit people with Type 2 diabetes and anyone who is trying to control his or her weight.
Some Parents Are "Going for Broke" on Youth Sports
More than 75% of parents with children in middle school or high school encourage their kids to play sports, but some may have unrealistic expectations. This article discusses how lofty hopes and dreams may inspire some parents to overspend on competitive athletics.

September 2017

U.S. Deficit Streak Continues in 2017
The last time the federal government spent less than it collected in taxes was during fiscal years 1998 to 2001. Accompanying infographic shows the FY federal deficit as a percentage of GDP since 1997.
Empty-Nesters May Still Need Life Insurance
Regardless of age, a couple might have debts such as a mortgage, car payment, or student loan, which could be paid off with a life insurance benefit. This article discusses options for maintaining life insurance coverage to benefit a surviving spouse.
Don’t Let Rising Rates Catch You by Surprise
Forms of consumer credit that charge variable interest rates are especially vulnerable to looming rate hikes. However, borrowers still have time to act before higher interest rates significantly affect their finances.
Budget Battles: Terms That Shape the Spending Debate
U.S. taxpayers may want to know more about the often-contentious budget process and the rules surrounding government spending and borrowing. This article includes an infographic that breaks down federal outlays by category.
Asked to Fax? No Need to Relive the '80s
In light of privacy, security, and legal concerns, some businesses still insist that confidential information or forms with legally binding signatures be sent by fax. Web-based fax services allow consumers to upload scanned documents to send from a website or mobile app, or by email.

August 2017

Young Workers More Likely to Sacrifice Vacations
More than half of American workers failed to use all of their allotted vacation days in 2016, and about one in four young workers didn’t take a single day off. Accompanying infographic compares the share of workers, by age group, who did not plan to use any paid vacation days in 2016.
Two Numbers That Reflect Your Financial Picture
When it comes to financial matters, it’s important to know the numbers that really count. This article discusses two figures that provide a snapshot of where someone stands financially: debt-to-income ratio and net worth.
Medicare for Newbies
Now more than ever, older Americans should make the most of their Medicare benefits and factor rising health-care costs into their retirement planning. This article focuses on Medicare basics such as coverage options and enrollment timeframes.
Ransomware on the Rise
Ransomware is a menacing virus that locks consumers or businesses out of their computer files and demands a ransom payment in exchange for the return of the computer’s system or critical data. Here are tips for preventing a ransomware infection.
It’s Official: Funny Cat Videos Lift Our Spirits
A survey found that 76% of adult Internet users watch short videos online at least weekly; many were partial to clips involving animal antics.
Why sunseekers should slather on sunscreen.

July 2017

Once Again, Americans Are Borrowing Big-Time
Balances on all types of non-housing debt grew in the fourth quarter of 2016, but student debt and auto debt have been rising much faster than credit-card debt. Accompanying chart compares total balances for student loans, auto loans, and credit-card debt.
Money Mistakes People Make
People typically encounter different financial challenges during each stage of their lives. This article discusses common financial missteps for different decades of life.
Four Things to Do in the Four Years Before College
With costs rising every year and the prospect of too much student debt weighing on many families, it’s more important than ever to be an informed and proactive college consumer.
Introducing the Nanny Tax
Finding and paying for reliable child care is often a major challenge, and many young families may not even know about the nanny tax.
Would You Swap Homes to Vacation for Free?
Today, services with thousands of online listings make it possible for more people in more places to coordinate swaps.
Sticker shock for new vehicle loans

June 2017

The Price Parents Pay for Better Schools
Homes located in neighborhoods with a good elementary school cost significantly more and appreciate faster. Accompanying infographic compares the average home value and return on investment in ZIP codes with good schools to those without good schools.
Are Smarter Robots Sneaking Up on Workers?
Research on the U.S. labor market found that about 45% of 2,000 distinct work activities could be automated with current technologies. As artificial intelligence is combined with robots, sensors, and other advanced technologies, modern society is becoming automated in ways that were once unimaginable.
Why Inflation Is a Personal Subject
“Headline inflation” ran at a moderate 2.1% annual rate in 2016. This article focuses on why the reported inflation rate may seem way off-base for some consumers. Accompanying graphic shows Consumer Price Index changes for various categories such as airfares, groceries, housing, and gasoline.
Millennials Are Sticking Around...Maybe Too Long
Statistics show that millennials are moving less often than previous generations did at the same age. Accompanying infographic compares generational mobility rates for 25- to 35-year-olds over different time periods.
Sizing Up Your Credit Score
A person's credit score can influence loan approvals and terms for a variety of financial transactions. This article discusses how FICO scores are calculated and includes tips to help readers maintain a high credit score.
Tips for recovering a lost or stolen smartphone.

May 2017

More Americans See Good Reasons to Save
Public opinion on saving and spending used to be more evenly divided, but the appeal of saving has grown steadily since the Great Recession. Accompanying graphic compares the share of respondents who prefer saving vs. spending.
Calculating the True Cost of a Career Break
Couples who can easily afford to live on one income may prefer that one parent stay home to raise their young children, but many families depend on two incomes. This article discusses the short- and long-term costs to consider when deciding whether to leave the workforce temporarily.
Rent-to-Own Offers the Worst of Both Worlds
If you want to buy a home but aren’t in a position to qualify for a traditional mortgage, a rent-to-own deal might seem like an ideal opportunity. Unfortunately, these arrangements are fraught with risk and are sometimes scams.
The Problem with Unpaid Internships
About half of college seniors have completed an internship (paid or unpaid) to gauge their interest in particular career fields or start building their business networks. However, research shows that college graduates with paid internship experience are much more likely than unpaid interns to receive job offers and earn higher starting salaries.
Teaching Kids to Code
A recent analysis of online job postings found that nearly half of the highest-paying jobs were for occupations that require computer coding knowledge or skill. Thus it’s not surprising that a number of new toys and games are available to help children in grades K-12 develop problem-solving skills and spark an interest in computer programming.
The cost to raise a child to age 17.

April 2017

Consumers Regaining Confidence
A closely watched gauge of consumer confidence surged at the end of 2016. Accompanying graph shows changes in the Index of Consumer Sentiment from 2007 to 2016.
Can You Count on Social Security?
Many retirees depend heavily on Social Security income, but the program faces a projected funding shortfall by 2034. This article discusses financial and demographic challenges to Social Security as well as some proposed reforms.
What’s Up with Rising Rates?
In December 2016, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to raise the federal funds rate by 0.25%. This article discusses the implications of rising rates for consumers and the U.S. economy.
Housing Markets Are Flooded with Fixer-Uppers
There has been a surge in fixer-upper homes for sale in recent years, especially in more competitive markets. Here are some tips for home buyers who are trying to decide whether a fixer-upper is worth the hassle.
Adding Up Prom Costs
Formal prom events for high school students have grown more extravagant in recent years. This article includes ideas to help keep prom spending in check.
The fight to save citrus groves from a disease known as citrus greening spread by the Asian citrus psyllid.
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