Are you keeping score?

Are you keeping score?

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Nothing wrong with delegation: According to a recent Empower survey, 15% of Gen Z is having their parents file their taxes this year. But for real, the deadline to file your 2022 tax return is just around the corner on April 18. Whoever you tap to help with your taxes – free government online software, an accountant, or if it’s all up to you – the sooner you file the sooner you may have a little extra cash for your money goals.

 The Editors  

Just keep spinning: Not ready to hand over the keys of your combustion engine vehicle but also low-key stressed about climate change? A new bill introduced in Congress would provide up to $1,500 in tax rebates for the purchase of an electric bike.* The program is modeled after a similar initiative in Denver, Colorado, estimated to have cut 2,040 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in 2022.

Surprise: OPEC+ made an unexpected announcement Sunday that it would be cutting oil production by 1 million barrels per day (or 1% of the world’s supply). Even that small adjustment has pushed per-barrel cost of crude oil from $60-$70 to over $80. Analysts say OPEC+ is hedging bets against a potential recession and drop in oil demand. While gas prices will likely go up, they aren’t anticipated to reach 2022 extremes.

Fast food woes: Despite reporting 10.9% sales growth over the past 13 months, McDonald's is preparing for layoffs. The fast food chain temporarily closed its U.S. corporate offices* this week so employees could work from home “to ensure comfort and confidentiality” during staffing notifications. The company currently has 150,000 employees, with 70% located outside the U.S.

It’s a great week to be a sports fan Monday saw UConn’s victory in the NCAA championship, the Stanley Cup playoff bracket is almost finalized and baseball teams across the U.S. are hosting their Opening Day celebrations. For those looking to make a wager on the outcome of a match, the proliferation of online sports betting is changing, well, the game. The American Gaming Association (AGA) recently reported that more than 46 million Americans planned to place a bet* during the 2022 NFL season. And since 2018, the year the Supreme Court overturned a law that banned sports betting, more than $180.2 billion in bets* have been placed in the 36 states* with a form of legalized gambling. If you’re thinking about making a bet on a game this summer, there are a few things to consider. First, the AGA has a resource site to encourage responsible gambling*. You may also want to note that winnings are taxable – especially if you’ve won $600 or more* betting on a game. And if you do win some extra cash, we have a few thoughts on how to make that money work for you.

As “Succession” comes to a close, so does the era of “peak TV” Devoted “Succession” fans are debating which outfit they would wear* to Logan Roy’s birthday party as they tune in to the final season HBO’s edgy family drama. “Succession,” “Stranger Things” and pretty much every nostalgic series reboot of the past five years (“Fuller House,” we see you) are the product of “peak TV.”* That’s the term used to describe the network buying frenzy fueled by the streaming wars when any and every show was game for a green light. But it may soon peter out: the Financial Times reports a 20% decline* in the number of scripted shows ordered by networks at the beginning of the year. Companies may increasingly lean on trusted franchises as the capital to experiment* with new titles dries up – more Marvel anyone? The cost for consumers is also changing as companies raise subscription prices and explore the comeback of commercials.

Grab your cowboy boots and résumé Nashville was just named the metro with the hottest job market by the Wall Street Journal.* When looking at key metrics such as the unemployment rate and wages, Austin, Texas, Dallas, Texas, and Jacksonville, Florida, joined Nashville at the top of the list. If you do score a job in one of these popular cities, be prepared for a competitive home buying experience. Nashville, Austin and Jacksonville were also named to Rocket Mortgage’s list of the country’s hottest housing markets.* Jacksonville ($289,900) and Orlando ($350,000) were the only cities from the job market list to have an average listing price below the national median price of $378,700.

*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 April 4 2023 EAG does not holds shares of MCD in advisory client accounts.

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. 

Certain sections of this blog may contain forward-looking statements that are based on our reasonable expectations, estimates, projections and assumptions. Past performance is not a guarantee of future return, nor is it indicative of future performance. Investing involves risk. The value of your investment will fluctuate and you may lose money. 

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. 

Advisory services are provided for a fee by Empower Advisory Group, LLC (“EAG”). EAG is a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and subsidiary of Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training.