SBV Curated Content | A Weekly Update of Enlightening & Intriguing Information | May 26, 2021

Businesses, Stock Markets & the Economy

New results on Work From Home (Marginal Revolution, Tyler Cowen)

“COVID-19 drove a mass social experiment in working from home (WFH). We survey more than 30,000 Americans over multiple waves to investigate whether WFH will stick, and why. Our data say that 20 percent of full workdays will be supplied from home after the pandemic ends, compared with just 5 percent before. We develop evidence on five reasons for this large shift: better-than-expected WFH experiences, new investments in physical and human capital that enable WFH, greatly diminished stigma associated with WFH, lingering concerns about crowds and contagion risks, and a pandemic-driven surge in technological innovations that support WFH.

We also use our survey data to project three consequences:

1.  First, employees will enjoy large benefits from greater remote work, especially those with higher earnings.

2.  Second, the shift to WFH will directly reduce spending in major city centers by at least 5-10 percent relative to the pre-pandemic situation.

3.  Third, our data on employer plans and the relative productivity of WFH imply a 5 percent productivity boost in the post-pandemic economy due to re-optimized working arrangements. Only one-fifth of this productivity gain will show up in conventional productivity measures, because they do not capture the time savings from less commuting.

Here is the link to the NBER working paper.”

Your Finances & other Wealth Management links

What to Know Before You Buy Your First House (Peter Lazaroff)
“Here are four reasons you might be better off renting and saving the money that would have otherwise been spent to buy your first house.”

There are now apps to help people track their whereabouts for state residency purposes. (nytimes.com)

Six things to do to stretch your money in retirement. (humbledollar.com)

How to do your own death cleaning, at any age. (nosidebar.com)

Social Security rolls out new, shorter statements (ThinkAdvisor)

““The example that Jeff Levine showed on Twitter provided a much clearer graphical illustration of the income increase from delayed claiming,” Finke told ThinkAdvisor. “This can help workers recognize the advantage of waiting to claim benefits to increase lifetime income payments, which are even more valuable in a low interest rate environment.””

The Environment & ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) Investing

“Countries need to cut planet-warming pollution faster to avoid irreversible damage to Earth, the International Energy Agency says.”

COVID-19 & Your Health

Look at the Big Picture Even Though We’re Not Done (Lucy McBride, MD)

“At this pivotal moment in the pandemic, it’s also appropriate to zoom out and look at the big picture. Let’s remember our broad health goals — for ourselves, our families, and our communities. After all, health is about much more than NOT getting COVID. Particularly after we’ve been vaccinated, it’s time to focus on our overall mental and physical health. Health is about connecting with loved ones, getting outside in nature, moving our bodies, recreating lost routines, laughing with friends, and putting the pieces of our regular lives back together.

Let’s also take stock of what we’ve been through and how far we’ve come. I think back to the hair-on-fire days of spring 2020 and am in awe of what we’ve been through. Think about it for a minute! What has been the hardest part of the pandemic for you, your family, and your community? How did you handle it — and how would you do things differently?

As we emerge from this collective trauma, battered, bruised, and hopefully a little wiser, too, it’s time to imagine life after COVID. Try to realize what matters most to you. What did you miss most? What did you miss the LEAST? What habits, routines, and relationships could use a tune-up now that we’re coming through the end of the tunnel. What have you learned about the kind of friend, partner, parent, worker, and person you are — and want to be?”

Your Physical & Mental Well-being

From the New York Times “Well Family” Newsletter:

  • If you’re a parent of a teenager, especially one who has been doing school remotely this year, it can be hard to tell if things are “normal.” Carrie Goldman writes about how to know if a teen is doing OK, and what to do if the answer is no.
  • And if you have grown-up kids who moved back home during the pandemic, you may be facing a re-emptying of the nest. Julie Halpert talks to experts about how to handle that.
  • If you are planning to send a kid to camp this summer, you may be worried about some separation anxiety. My colleague Jessica Grose writes that experts are more concerned about the parents than the kids. Make sure you project a message of confidence rather than of fear, they advise. She has more tips on how to normalize homesickness.
  • With summer just around the corner, we have some fun in mind: Our Books department has recommendations for summer reads, and Malia Wollan of the Magazine has advice on how to build a treehouse.

 

— Roberta Zeff, Editor, Well Family

This Week’s Serendipity

Sheri Iannetta Cupo
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