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18 Apr
The Most Expensive Cities in the World

The Most Expensive Cities in the World

 

Every year, The Economist magazine surveys the Worldwide Cost of Living, looking at 160 expense items across 133 countries.  There are a lot of interesting tidbits to be found in the report, but perhaps the most interesting is a list of the most expensive cities in the world.  In 2018, Singapore won this dubious honor.  After that, it was a tie between Zurich, Switzerland and Paris, France, followed by 4) Hong Kong, 5) Oslo, Norway, 6) Geneva, Switzerland and Seoul, South Korea, 8) Copenhagen, Denmark, 9) Tel Aviv, Israel, and 10) Sydney, Australia.

 

No American city?  The fact that the dollar fell against other currencies over the past year lowered the cost of living in places like New York (ranked #13) and Los Angeles (#14) when measured in global terms.

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08 Apr
Social Security, Where Budget Cuts Lead to Terrible Service

Social Security, Where Budget Cuts Lead to Terrible Service

 

These days, trying to apply for Social Security benefits, or getting straight answers about what your best claiming strategy might be, is frustrating at best.  Recently, Max Richtman, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, illustrated the problem in vivid detail before the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee.  When he began his testimony, he first dialed the agency’s toll-free telephone number.  Twenty-five minutes later, he announced to the legislators that his phone was still on hold.  A recorded message said that his wait would be about an hour.

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