💪 Staying power

Ropes knotted with staying power as title

We’ve got tea – and it costs less than a dollar.

Since launching 32 years ago, AriZona Iced Tea has been offering its drinks at the original price: 99 cents* for a 23-ounce can, and the staying power has poured in an estimated worth of $2 billion.*

Meanwhile, food prices are up about 20%* from three years ago, and persistent inflation is on the minds of 57% of Americans who say it’s sipping away at their savings goals, according to Empower research.

There’s generally sunny news if you take the long view, so let’s explore money stories about the long haul.

— The Editors


 Saving for the long run:  20-year-olds are thinking about their financial futures – with Roth IRA usage seeing a big bump with this group. More than 19%* of households with a twentysomething at the helm invested in a Roth IRA in 2022, nearly tripling from 6.6% in 2016. Beyond knowing the ins (contribution limits) and outs (withdrawal rulesof Roth IRAs, this trend of saving for retirement early points to the power of compound earnings.

🛳️ Smooth sailing:  Carnival stock floated 8% higher after the company reported second-quarter revenue of $5.78 billion*  – beating analyst estimates and blowing last year’s figure ($4.91 billion) out of the water. The cruise operator saw a wave of advance bookings for 2025, already ahead of this year across inventory and pricing. Wherever your travels take you, many people are scoutinpotential retirement destinations.

📁 Sticking around: Direct File – a free electronic tax filing process the IRS tested with 12 states* this year – will be available nationwide in 2025. Over 140,000 taxpayers have used Direct File since March to send their returns, claiming more than $90 million in refunds. On average, Americans spend $140 annually on preparing their taxes, and the new system is offered at no cost. To stay prepared for the year ahead, get clarity on the complexities of the tax system

🙂 Silver screen time: Family films seem here to stay, as Disney and Pixar’s “Inside Out 2” earned an eye-popping $155 million* in its domestic opening weekend, followed by $100 million* more a week later. It follows recent momentum from fellow kid-friendly flicks’ opening-weekend draws: Paramount’s “IF” ($33 million*) and Sony’s “The Garfield Movie” ($24 million).


Forever homes 

A record 38.5%* of U.S. homeowners are living mortgage-free, and over half are Baby Boomers.

Amid median housing prices rising 5.8%* from last year to a record high, some homeowners are seeing their resilience in the market pay off.

The slice of owner-occupied homes without a mortgage has been steadily increasing since 2010, when it sat at 32.1%. More than half of homeowners in West Virginia (53.3%) and Mississippi (50.1%) can boast this title. 

For mortgage holders, total home equity increased to $17 trillion in the first quarter of this year, with the average equity per borrower sitting around $305,000.

As people consider how to tap into equity, researching debt payoff options can serve as a helpful home base.


The big stay

Adults ages 55 and above are staying in their careers longer: The share of those workers 65 and older jumped to 29.5%* in 2023, an uptick from 23% in 2000.

With this silver wave can come a silver lining for employers: Turnover is 4%* lower at firms that have a 10% higher share of workers who are ages 50 and older, according to a recent industry report.

Employees could also benefit from a longer timeline, as Empower research found that 40% of people say work satisfaction comes from being rewarded for loyalty and longevity at a company.

Making a move to retirement doesn’t always mean an end to employment, either: 58% of people are open to working in retirement, with personal fulfillment (41%) leading the way on why they’d return to the workforce.


Lounging around takes off

Sit back, relax... and enjoy the lounge.

Delta Air Lines has created a new destination that may make time fly for some travelers: a 39,000-square-foot* lounge offering complimentary spa treatments, a gourmet restaurant, and soundproof booths. The upgrade is part of the airline’s $1.5 billion* investment into expanding in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Access to the lounge is limited to members of the invite-only “360” club, or travelers who purchase premium Delta One service tickets, which can reach as high as $10,000. Seeking exclusive experiences, more than half* of frequent flyers have been visiting airport lounges lately, with family needs and business facilities among the top reasons to pay for access.

The airport amenity can be a way for credit card companies and airlines to build brand loyalty and retain customers, especially as almost a third of people (32%) use travel rewards to finance their trips, according to Empower research.

New Empower research shows that more than half of Americans are willing to pay a high price for financial peace of mind (56%). For many, that looks like having a solid financial plan (73%).

Americans with a more detailed financial plan are about three times as likely to report greater happiness in money matters, including goal-setting, debt, net worth, and financial allies. 

Get the scoop on your money.

Stay current on planning, saving, and investing for life.

*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, responsibility, or approval by Empower of the contents on such third-party websites. 

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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.

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.