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Updates & Insights (11/30/2020) Thumbnail

Updates & Insights (11/30/2020)

Saving for College: A Brief Guide for Parents

How Much Does a College Education Cost Today?

How Is Need-Based Financial Aid Determined?

Are There Tax Credits I Can Get for College Tuition?

Will My Savings Hurt My Child's Chance for Financial Aid?

What Other Tips Do You Have for Building Up College Savings?

Helping Out a Family Member in Financial Trouble

When money gets tight, one of the first places many people turn to for help is family. If you want to offer financial assistance to a loved one in need, you might have more options than you realize. Here are seven strategies to consider that let you lend a hand without derailing your own financial plans.

Market Highlights:

Markets: Some negative-sounding news is holding the market back today. The U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations are hitting another record high and the Trump administration aiming to add two Chinese companies (China's to chip maker (SMIC) & a national offshore oil & gas producer  (CNOOC)) to a defense blacklist, according to Reuters. This news is not that big of a deal for the market that is optimistic about the 2021 economy and trade policy under a Biden administration.

Elevated Savings May Be A Catalyst For Holiday Spending: The National Retail Federation forecasts holiday sales will increase between 3.6 percent and 5.2 percent over 2019. Despite higher unemployment, an elevated savings rate could be a meaningful catalyst for additional spending over the next few months. It’s been a difficult year for all and consumers may be looking to spend simply to bring some holiday cheer.

Spending Bill Agreed To: Republican and Democratic lawmakers have reached an agreement on levels for the annual spending bill needed to keep the government open after current funding runs out Dec. 11, according to congressional aides in both parties.  There has been some discussion of tying new fiscal stimulus to the funding bill but that discussion has not gain momentum. The U.S. government has been operating under a stopgap continuing resolution since the fiscal year began on Oct. 1.

Good News:

A blind man completed a 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) run in New York’s Central Park without a guide dog or human help this week. His navigation aid? Artificial intelligence through headphones plugged into a smartphone. Thomas Panek, 50, who lost his vision in his early 20s due to a genetic condition, runs Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a guide dog school. He worked with the Alphabet Inc unit to create a research program. A smartphone camera picks up a painted ‘guideline’ on a running path. An app detects the runner’s position and gives audio guidance through an earpiece.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University (TAU) have demonstrated that the CRISPR/Cas9 system is very effective in treating metastatic cancers, a significant step on the way to finding a cure for cancer. The researchers developed a novel lipid nanoparticle-based delivery system that specifically targets cancer cells and destroys them by genetic manipulation. The system, called CRISPR-LNPs, carries a genetic messenger (messenger RNA), which encodes for the CRISPR enzyme Cas9 that acts as molecular scissors that cut the cells' DNA. The results of the groundbreaking study, which was funded by ICRF (Israel Cancer Research Fund), were published in November 2020 in Science Advances.

A moving company announced this month a new commitment to provide free moves to victims of domestic violence and those currently living in abusive situations. Since the recent launch of the program, College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving (HUNKS stands for Honest, Uniformed, Nice, Knowledgeable, Service) has already completed over 100 free moves for those who are fleeing an unsafe situation in the U.S. and Canada. In 2015, another moving company, Meathead Movers, began offering free moves to people in abusive homes. Last year Meathead Movers donated more than $150,000 worth of moving services, partnering with eight domestic violence shelters in Central and Southern California. Now, College Hunks Hauling is extending the same kind of help across their 131 franchise locations in the U.S. and Canada, offering the use of trucks and labor at no cost.
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