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Midyear Outlook 2021: Picking Up Speed

LPL Research Midyear Outlook 2021: Picking Up Speed is designed to help you navigate the risks and opportunities over the rest of 2021 and beyond. While the speed can be exhilarating as economic growth accelerates, it can also be dangerous. Midyear Outlook 2021 looks ahead for opportunities, but also watches for new hazards created by the reopening.
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Real Estate Is Booming. Is a Bust Ahead?

Anyone looking to buy or sell a home lately has probably been hit by sticker shock. Residential real estate prices have gone through the roof, increasing at rates unseen since 2005. According to S&P Case-Shiller, home prices in March saw their highest annual rate of growth in over 15 years -- up 13.2% from a year earlier, following a 12.0% annual gain in February. Some markets -- most notably Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle -- saw gains of 18% to 20%.
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Despite Pandemic, Americans Are Saving for Retirement

The global pandemic has taken a grim toll on lives and livelihoods. Many have been laid off, furloughed, or taken on more debt to tide things over. Many others have had to scale back their lifestyle or help support family or friends affected by the ravages of COVID-19. The good news is that despite the pandemic and its economic fallout, Americans are still saving for retirement and are confident in their ability to live comfortably when they do retire.
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Gearing Up for Summer

As we move into June, a path to normalcy is coming quickly with stadiums allowing full capacity, restaurants filling up, and summer vacations in full swing. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy continues to recover remarkably quickly and the stock market is near all-time highs. Although there are many positives, a lot of this good news could very well be priced into stocks.
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Out of the Shadows

As the calendar has turned to May, the popular "Sell in May and Go Away" stock market cliche' is getting a lot of airtime. This is the idea that the stock market tends to be weakest between May and October (and strongest between November and April). Stocks have done so well recently that preparing for a pause in the rally makes sense. Worries about the Federal Reserve tightening its monetary policy may intensify this summer as inflation picks up, potentially pushing interest rates higher.
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Social Security and You: What Does the Future Hold?

Social Security benefits currently represent approximately 33% of the aggregate total income of Americans aged 65 and older, according to the Social Security Administration. For future generations of retirees, Social Security may represent a much smaller percentage of retirement income.
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Paying for College in the Era of COVID-19

This semester, millions of students, teachers, and college administrators are having to deal with a radically changed landscape. At many institutions, classes have been cancelled or moved online. Sports programs have been suspended and dormitories, libraries, and labs shuttered. In fact, traditional campus life has been turned upside down thanks to COVID-19, and it's unclear how long it will last. Meanwhile, the cost of a college education is higher than ever.
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Should You Take an Early Retirement?

The story is a common one these days. You have been furloughed or laid off, just a few years before you plan to retire. Or, your work-from-home arrangement is ending, and you're not keen on resuming the commute or going back to a crowded workspace. So why not retire now, since fate has presented the opportunity? Many 50- and 60-somethings are asking themselves this very question.
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Your Estate Plan: Time for a Checkup

COVID 19 has brought tragedy to many families and businesses and impacted personal finances. It has also rendered many an estate plan inaccurate and unrepresentative of current circumstances. If you, your family or your beneficiaries have been affected by the virus, you may need to review and make changes to your plan.
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Think Twice Before Tapping into Your Retirement Savings

New legislation -- the CARES Act -- permits qualified individuals to take early distributions from their retirement assets, such as their 401(k) or individual retirement account (IRA) -- penalty free. The rules, which sunset after 2020, are designed to help the many cash-strapped Americans who have suffered financially as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. But tapping into your retirement savings has its costs, and there may be better ways to shore up your short-term cash flow.
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