A Swift swing into spring

A Swift swing into spring

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Feeling like it’s time to take a break, hit pause, and stop scrolling through your reality timeline, just for a little bit? Say it with us: breathe in, breathe out. Listen to Midnights ("Lucky You" if you get to hear it live as part of Swift’s $620M tour — more on that in a minute).  

This week marks the official start of spring and the unofficial start of decluttering. As you clear out your closet and dust bunnies from the winter, don’t forget your wallet.  

Here are a few affirmations to help when spring cleaning your budget.  

— The Editors  


Crisis of confidence: San Francisco-based First Republic Bank is set to receive a $30 billion lifeline* from a group of America’s largest banks as regional institutions continue to struggle in the aftermath of the banking crisis.  

Pension tension in Paris: Thousands of protesters marched in France after President Emmanuel Macron pushed through a bill to raise the national retirement age from 62 to 64.* Macron faced (and survived) a vote of no-confidence as a result.  

Point of interest: Despite rising rates cited as a factor in the Silicon Valley Bank failure, the Federal Reserve announced a 0.25% increase* to interest rates Wednesday as it continues the battle against inflation.  


Is a 44-song setlist too much?  

The opening night of Taylor Swift’s much-anticipated Eras Tour — her first in five years — was nothing less than magical* for the 70,000 Swifties who attended, according to The Atlantic.  

Seats at the concert were hard won, lest we forget the Ticketmaster drama* from last November that nearly broke the internet.  

In 2022, Live Nation reported more than 121 million patrons attended around 43,600 events, as revenues rose 44 percent to $16.7 billion.* It’s a price many seem willing to pay: Post-pandemic, FOMO is alive and well, and consumers are making sure they don’t miss out on experiences.

So how much are consumers putting down to go out? Average spend at ticket vendors like Live Nation and Ticketmaster peaked at $1,427 in December 2022, according to Empower Personal Dashboard™ user data. That’s a 542% increase from the previous year in the same category. 


Ready or not: Here comes Tax Day   

As of March 10, nearly 64 million Americans have filed their income tax returns, with more than 49 million refunds issued for a total of $146 billion.* 

Despite being one of those sure things in life, Tax Day sneaks up on Americans almost every year. According to the IRS, some 43 million returns* are filed in the three weeks leading up to April 18, so for anyone who falls into this camp (procrastinators, we’re looking at you), what are you waiting for?

Don’t forget that your last three tax returns are subject to scrutiny. The chances of being audited by the IRS are very low (about 0.38%* or 3.8 out of every 1,000 returns in 2022), but never zero (you know the meme), e.g., not impossible.  

Since red flags aren’t just for relationships, here’s our list of top IRS audit triggers for this year. You’re welcome.


ICYMI: A perk-cession is here 

The demise of company perks is being whispered ’round the proverbial water cooler. For Facebook, Goldman Sachs, and Google, it’s all in the name of efficiency — and the bottom line.  

The vanishing act of employee extras (think: on-site baristas brewing special blends for your morning coffee or access to a 75-acre wellness retreat) is what The Wall Street Journal dubs a “perk-cession,”* and a symptom of a larger workplace shift: The balance of power is now tipping back toward employers.  

Is losing access to the office gym better than filing for unemployment? Rising layoffs, especially in the tech industry, are sparking concern for job security among workers as more cuts loom on the horizon.



*Empower Retirement, LLC and its affiliates are not affiliated with the author or responsible for the third-party content provided from links to external material.

As of March 22, 2023, PCAC and EAG hold shares of META, GS and GOOG in advisory client accounts and do not hold FRC or LYV. 

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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Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design), and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements. 

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