AROUND THE OFFICE
Our own Austin Eddy went walking with “Bull” for a good cause.
INTO THE ESCAPE ROOM
Why people of all ages are choosing to “escape” for a fun night out.
PROCRASTINATION DOES NOT PAY
Saving too little for retirement today may lead to financial stress tomorrow.
ARE HEALTH TRACKERS TRULY ACCURATE?
These devices have improved, but are far from foolproof.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
No-Bake “Creamberry” Cheesecake
You go into a room with friends or family, with an assignment to solve a puzzle or find clues against a clock or face a terrible fate. The drama is merely make-believe, but the excitement and fun are real, and the adventure is seemingly available in every metro area. The escape room phenomenon came to the U.S. from Japan in 2012, putting players into a kind of real-time action movie in which they are the stars.
In the eyes of many, escape rooms are hot because they have tapped into the millennial-driven “experience economy.” An escape room adventure has a social aspect; you can enjoy it with others, you have a memory that lasts, and the experience arguably becomes richer because it is shared. Small businesses and corporations are starting to use them for team-building exercises. New technology, costumes for participants to wear, and compelling “storylines” appear to be giving some escape rooms a competitive edge over others, but both high-tech and low-tech escape rooms are proving highly profitable – virtually any commercial space can host them.1
Many people begin saving for retirement later than they should. As an illustration, consider the findings of a new survey by asset management firm Financial Engines. It polled Americans age 55 and older, and 68% of the respondents acknowledged that they procrastinated on saving and investing for retirement.
The survey data pinpointed 25 as the ideal age to begin. Just what kind of difference could starting at 25 make? Running some numbers, Financial Engines determined that 35-year-olds would need to save 11.69% of their pay to have retirement funds at age 65 equivalent to 25-year-olds who started saving just 6% of their wages a decade earlier in life. A 40-year-old just starting his or her retirement savings effort would need to set aside 16.44% of salary to catch up with the 25-year-old saver by age 65. (These calculations were based on a salary of $36,000 for the 25-year-old rising an inflation-adjusted 1.5% per year, a 3% company match, and an annual investment return of 5% after inflation.).2
The examples in this article are hypothetical and for illustrative purposes only. They assume a steady 5% annual rate of return, which does not represent the return on any actual investment and cannot be guaranteed. Moreover, the examples do not take into account fees and taxes, which would have lowered the final results. Speak with a financial professional about how these examples might relate to your own investing circumstances.
Mere activity trackers like Fitbit are so yesterday – or so it seems. The number of personal health devices to monitor you as you work out (or walk around) has multiplied recently, and some physicians still worry about the accuracy of the data; the algorithms involved have improved since their debut.
In the utopian view of their champions, the technology or artificial intelligence present in such devices could measure health metrics 24/7 for everyone, from the fit to the ill. But questions linger. How useful are the devices if people find them bothersome and quit wearing them after a few weeks? If the trackers collect highly sensitive personal data, how is it stored? For that matter, the Food and Drug Administration conducts no trials for these trackers, as it does for medical devices – which makes clinicians and physicians wonder if they can truly be relied upon as a source for information pertaining to diagnoses and prescriptions. The next step may be for these manufacturers to meet new federal standards or tolerances for health care data.3
1 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
1/4 Cup Butter
24 oz. Cream Cheese (softened)
3/4 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Water (cold)
1 Tbsp. Gelatin (unflavored)
16 oz. Strawberries (fresh)
12 oz. Blueberries (fresh)
2 Cups Whipped Cream
Lightly grease a 9″ pie pan. Melt butter, mix with crumbs, and press firmly into the pan, then set aside.
In a small saucepan mix cold water and gelatin, then let sit for 1-2 minutes. Move to the stove top and stir gently over low heat until all gelatin has dissolved, then remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Add cream cheese to a large bowl and beat until fluffy, add sugar and mix. Set aside. Coarsely chop (do not puree) berries in food processor, then add to the cream cheese and sugar mixture. Finally, fold in your whipped cream (store bought or house made) and combine until mixed evenly.
Spread the filling mixture across the crust and fill evenly. Refrigerate for 7-8 hours before serving.
Serving suggestion: Top with whipped cream and/or fresh berries.
WHO SAID IT
Henry David Thoreau
A: B, 6.8%4