Friday's Personal Finance stories
- The housing crisis in 1933, and today
- What a Republican win would mean for investors
- Social Security benefits won't rise in 2011
- Recession is tragedy for young, almost-old
- Consumer sentiment edges lower in October
"Just as Social Security beneficiaries will see no increase in benefits, for the second straight year, highly paid wage earners will see no increase in the current wage base of $106,800 on which Social Security taxes are due for 2011," according to Wolters Kl.Law & Business, a research and services firm, in a release Friday.
The amount subject to FICA taxes is based on national average wages, not the consumer price index upon which Social Security benefit cost-of-living adjustments are based, Wolters Kluwer said. But the law prohibits an increase in the taxable wage base if there's no increase in benefits.
If there'd been a COLA adjustment last year, then the wage base would have risen to $109,200 for 2010, Wolters Kluwer law And even though average national wages declined this year, the wage base would have remained the same for 2011 since the Social Security Act does not allow it to drop from one year to the next. But since there was no COLA, it's a moot point.
But look out ahead: Some estimates predict the 2012 wage base will range from $113,400 to $114,300, according to Wolters Kluwer.
—Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor
Social Security recipients will not receive a cost-of-living increase to their benefits next year, the government announced Friday, following data that showed few inflationary pressures.
Read more on Social Security benefits won't rise in 2011.
While the current mortgage meltdown and resulting housing bust has been described as the worst since the Great Depression, it's nothing when compared to what happened in 1933.
Read more on the housing crisis in 1933, and today.
In a week where the "robo-signing" crisis grew, a report showed foreclosure filings rose 3% in September. RealtyTrac expects the foreclosure moratorium to result in a temporary decrease.
Read more on foreclosures, inflation and more.
The Republicans seem headed for victory in next month's elections. Pollsters say they are likely to take control of the House of Representatives, after a four-year gap, and they might even win control of the Senate.
Read more on what a Republican win would mean for investors.
Not everyone is overly bullish on the precious metals sector and with investor demand becoming an increasingly important and uncertain factor, confidence in the ability for gold and silver to sustain their rallies is starting to buckle under the pressure.
Read more on gold, silver may buckle under pressure.
Professional-sports teams and stadium owners are showing interest in a new informational guide for installing solar panels, with environmentalists and others pushing to remake arenas into exemplars of green-energy adoption.
Read more on sports stadiums warming to solar power.
Persistently high unemployment for teenagers is a tragedy that could haunt a whole generation for years. And the Great Recession has also been a disaster for older Americans that could ruin their finances for the rest of their lives.
Read more on recession is tragedy for young, almost-old.
Consumer sentiment dropped in October, according to an index released Friday, showing the U.S. consumer is still wary with the U.S. jobs market weak.
Read more on consumer sentiment edges lower in October.
The index for U.S. consumer prices rose 0.1% in September, supported by gains in food and gasoline, as the annualized rate of core inflation was the lowest in nearly five decades, according to a Labor Department report released Friday.
Read more on core prices lowest in decades as CPI edges up.
Despite pressures to reduce the deficit, there is a strong argument for more fiscal stimulus in the areas of education, infrastructure and small businesses to boost the economy and reduce unemployment, an outside adviser to President Barack Obama said on Friday.
Read more on more fiscal stimulus needed, Tyson says.
The U.S. government's gap between spending and income narrowed slightly in 2010, but it was still the second largest on record, according to fresh government data.
Read more on U.S. budget deficit dips but is still near record.
While Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was seen as cautious about a second round of bond buying to stimulate the economy, economists on Friday said that the underlying message was still that some sort of program would be enacted.
Read more on Bernanke caution doesn't dim asset buy view.
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday the poor economic outlook made the case for further easing but said caution in proceeding with any innovative policy was warranted given the lack of experience with new policy tools.
Read more on Bernanke makes case for cautious easing.
Conditions for New York state manufacturers improved markedly in October, according to a report released Friday morning.
Read more on Empire State index jumps in October.