Time to recharge

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Is it just us, or is everyone talking about Christmas in July while we’re still playing catch-up on our New Year’s resolutions?  

If reminders that we’re halfway through the year make it seem that the race is on to achieve all those 2023 intentions you may have forgotten, this is your sign to pull over, refuel, and take a look at the milestones you’ve already reached.  

— The Editors  


“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads”: Alef Aeronautics just received FAA clearance to begin consumer testing for what could be the world’s first flying car* sold to the public. The vehicle, named the Model A, is now available for preorder and while it won’t be delivered until 2025, you might want to start saving now: The car comes with a price tag of $300,000. 

How do you say Uber in Greek? More than half of travelers told us they’re capping their vacation transportation spend at $500 in a recent survey – but they may want to save room in the budget. Visitors to Greece can now use Uber Boat* to charter a sea vessel for the afternoon. Uber recently announced it would be expanding its popular “Travel” feature to new locations in Italy, Greece, Spain, France, and Croatia as the result of an expected 250% increase in European tourism this year. Through Uber “Travel” users can sync their trip itinerary and preschedule rides (or boats) before they land at their destination.  

Navigating refunds if your flight is delayed: The TSA screened a record 12 million travelers* over the July 4th weekend. Getting through security was the easy part – making their flight (2,000 were canceled the week leading up to the holiday) was another matter. Here’s what you need to know if your flight is delayed:* Travelers are entitled to refunds if the delay is caused by controllable circumstances (for example, maintenance issues or staffing). But if the issue is weather, the cause of 65% of flight delays so far in 2023, the airline isn’t required to refund you a dime – though you may want to download the airline’s app to check for hotel or food vouchers.  


Electric vehicle sales are on the rise (and so are the costs of ownership) 

Electric vehicle makers Rivian and Tesla surprised industry analysts by reporting a boost in car deliveries in Q2 2023, thanks to supply chain issues finally easing. The auto industry is now expected to see a 13% increase* in sales in the first half of the year, defying previous forecasts.  

While finding the luxury electric car of your dreams in stock is one issue, financing it is another: A Rivian SUV model starts at $73,000 and a comparable Tesla can cost as much as $98,490, according to Insider.* Car prices overall are up 3% from last year, with the average new car costing $46,000.*  

If you have your heart set on purchasing an electric car this summer, you still may have options. Some consumers qualify for a $7,500 tax credit* after purchasing an electric vehicle, which can make financing some models more affordable. 

Just keep in mind the long-term costs of car ownership: The New York Times* reports the cost of auto repairs is up 36% from 2018, nearing an average of $5,000. 🚘 Weighing whether to buy or lease your next car? Use Empower’s debt pay off calculator to understand how long it would take to settle a new loan.


When robots review: How to prep your resume for an AI screen 

If you’re on the job hunt and struggling to get an interview, artificial intelligence may be to blame: Three-quarters of resumes are now processed by an algorithm.* 

Data shows remote jobs can attract up to seven times the number of applicants* of in-person roles – which means competition is steep and recruiters are overwhelmed. 

Enter AI. Companies are using algorithms to scan resumes for relevant keywords, and some even have artificial intelligence screen video interviews for facial expressions and personality traits.  

Sound daunting or maybe exciting? Either way, when you do get the offer for your dream job (congrats!), don’t forget to consider your 401(k). 

💼  Here are some tips for what to do with your retirement plans when changing jobs.


Supercharging income streams 

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is once again the world’s wealthiest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index,* which estimated his net worth at a cool $239 billion. 

Some wealth may be thanks, in part, to passive income. While passive income may not make you a billionaire (yet), it can provide additional revenue streams that could boost your savings or help cover expenses.  

One way someone can create passive income is to maximize their investments – for example, they may invest in a stock or a fund that pays dividends on a quarterly basis. Purchasing bonds may also provide passive income. A bond is a debt security that a company or government entity issues to raise capital. Bond holders receive interest payments throughout the life of the loan, and when the bond reaches maturity, the issuer returns the investor’s principal investment.  

High-yield cash accounts are another option that can pay competitive interest rates on the initial deposit, and funds can be withdrawn at any time. 

Let’s face it, life is getting more expensive every day. So whether you’re evaluating strategies to repay student loans or just trying to cover your next grocery bill, every little bit goes a long way when it comes to paying down debt and saving for the future.

💡 Take a deeper dive into passive income strategies (and the pros and cons of each). 


1 The Empower Personal Cash™ Annual Percentage Yield (APY) as of 5/10/23 is 4.45% APY (4.362% interest rate). The calculation for APY is rounded to the nearest basis point. Both the interest rate and APY are variable and subject to change at UMB’s discretion at any time without notice. 

As of July 6, 2023, EAG holds shares of TSLA and UBER in advisory client accounts and does not hold RIVN. 

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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.

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