Are rental properties or index funds better in pursuit early retirement?

FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early), a flourishing lifestyle movement, has crept its way into mainstream culture throughout the past decade. As we’ve seen the pandemic spark a renewed push for people to create more autonomy in their lives, there is continued debate about the most sensible way to invest if FIRE is your goal. Real estate proponents advocate for potentially robust monthly cash flow, price appreciation, and tax advantages, whereas index fund adherents cite minimal expenses, a lack of constant oversight, and efficient trading as reasons to invest. In reality, there are benefits to both strategies, which might lead you to consider a hybrid approach.

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Mortgage rates are at historic lows: Is it time to refinance?

If you’ve been following the news, you may have heard that mortgage rates hit a record low in July, and they’re still competitive as we ease into August. In fact, on August 2, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.12%, and 2.77% for a 15-year mortgage. That’s great news for first-time homebuyers, but it’s also good news if you already own a home. The reason? You may be able to refinance your existing mortgage. But is that the right move for you?

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Urban Rent Slowdown May Signal Renters are Edging Toward the Suburbs as Unemployment Surges During the Coronavirus Pandemic

SEATTLE, WA – While the for-sale market has shaken off the early impact of the coronavirus pandemic and resumed its torrid pre-pandemic pace, rent growth hit the brakes this spring. Rent prices in urban areas have slowed more than those in suburban areas, Zillow data shows, a possible signal that renters’ preferred location is tilting toward the suburbs.

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During a Pandemic, Lobbies Set Expectations for How Buildings Tackle Virus Contamination

In high-end residential buildings across the U.S., lobbies are far from mere entrances. They offer lavish welcomes, set lofty expectations and embody the overarching aesthetics of the residences that sprawl beyond them. But in the age of coronavirus, much like individual homes and shared amenities, lobbies are assuming new sensitivities and features that bow to the ways the virus has reshuffled our priorities.

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Unemployment Fell in July — but the Jobless Rate Is Still Dangerously High

COVID-19 sparked an unemployment crisis that the U.S. has been grappling with since March, and will most likely continue to struggle with through the end of the year. In April, the jobless rate hit a record high of 14.7%, and while May and June’s numbers were lower (13.3% and 11.1%, respectively), they were still considerably higher than they were prior to the pandemic (in February, the unemployment rate was just 3.5%).

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