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06.15.2023

“You brought me everything. You made my house a home.” - Alabama Shakes 

“Home is wherever I’m with you.” - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros 

The concept of home brings up feelings for many: It can be an exciting goal, an elusive dream, a shelter, a canvas, or a memory recalled by a favorite song.  
 
It’s also something that requires insurance, a bit of DIY, and sometimes a brief escape. We cover all of that (plus the next generation of home shopping) below.  

— The Editors  

MONEY

Insurance woes: As the frequency and devastation of wildfires grows, some major insurance companies are ending the sale of new home insurance policies* in high-risk regions. While California residents may be able to fill the coverage gap through the Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) program, many homeowners in flood or fire zones find themselves with few – and expensive – options. Insurance is one part of the PITI (principal, insurances, taxes, interest) calculation that makes up a monthly mortgage payment, and an important consideration if you’re looking to buy property in a high-risk area. 

The incredible, edible egg: Whether you like them scrambled, poached, or sunny-side up, egg lovers saw the price fall 13.8% in May, the largest decrease since January 1951, according to the latest Consumer Price Index.  

A hometown favorite reopens: Casa Bonita is “worth infinity dollars”* according to Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the South Park creators who swooped in to save the iconic Denver restaurant from bankruptcy in 2020. Like many property owners, they discovered their new casa needed more work than anticipated, including basic cooking equipment (let that sink in). After $40 million in renovations and hiring a James Beard-nominated chef, the 52,000 sq. ft. restaurant is ready for its triumphant return. Currently, the reservation list is 100,000 diners long.

PLAY

The next generation of home shopping  

Attention, shoppers: Many companies are racing to break into the U.S.’ growing livestream shopping market, estimated to manufacture $32 billion in sales this year. Sune, a new live shopping app owned by QVC’s parent company, is strutting onto the scene alongside Poshmark, who recently launched its “Posh Shows” live experience in April. According to the New York Times,* the livestream e-commerce market saw an influx of $380 million in investments in 2022, up from just $36 million in investments in 2020.  

Through Sune and platforms like Amazon Live, celebrities and influencers promote their must-have products during livestreams or pre-recorded videos, which appear in an app user’s “personalized” feed. If a product strikes their fancy, the viewer can make a purchase directly through the app.  

If you do make a purchase online (via a livestream or otherwise), make sure you love it: The Atlantic reports retailers are tightening their return policies.*  

LIFE

Hammers at the ready 

Many who bought a home during the housing market insanity of mid-2020 to late-2022 had to make more than a few compromises – carpeted bathroom? Floral wallpaper? That could all be fixed later.  

Well, it’s later. If you’re thinking of tackling some home improvement projects this summer, your budget is an important consideration. In 2022, Americans shelled out an average of nearly $9,000 on sprucing up their surroundings,* with 35% relying on credit card debt to cover their expenses.*  

If your home could use a little TLC, and you’re avoiding high-interest debt, here’s how to save through DIY

WORK

Welcome to the summer of funemployment 
 
Tech layoffs in the first half of 2023 are nearing 170,000* – and some newly jobless employees are taking it in stride.  

According to Business Insider,* many are using their unexpected sabbatical to travel, perfect yoga poses, and finally wrap up some unfinished art projects. Others are taking time to soul-search, according to research by Empower.  

Even with a positive perspective, losing a job is rarely easy. Building an emergency fund can help soften the blow and potentially provide the opportunity for some “funemployment.” If you’re using some time off to find your “home away from home” this summer, here are top tips to help save for (and save while on) a trip.  

Last word: You can’t put a price on memories 💒

In last week’s poll, we asked readers if they regretted how much they spent on their wedding. A resounding 62% said no, though 39% said they would choose to spend differently.
 

 

As of June 13, 2023, EAG holds shares of MSFT and AMZN in advisory client accounts and does not hold QRTEA. 

The Currency editors

Staff contributors

The CurrencyTM, a publication from Empower, covers the latest financial news and views shaping how we live, work, and play. We keep you current on ways to plan, save, and invest for life.

The content contained in this blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and is not meant to constitute legal, tax, accounting or investment advice. You should consult a qualified legal or tax professional regarding your specific situation. No part of this blog, nor the links contained therein is a solicitation or offer to sell securities. Compensation for freelance contributions not to exceed $1,250. Third-party data is obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, Empower cannot guarantee the accuracy, timeliness, completeness or fitness of this data for any particular purpose. Third-party links are provided solely as a convenience and do not imply an affiliation, endorsement or approval by Empower of the contents on such third-party websites. 

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