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The Retired Investor: The Beloved Baseball Glove
By Bill Schmick,
05:00PM / Thursday, August 18, 2022
Baseball continues to be one of the most popular youth sports in North America. More than 3 million kids in the U.S. play the game and about 10 million children play worldwide. They are not alone. In 2022, approximately 20 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 also play baseball, according to Statista. Every one of them do so with a baseball glove.   Prices have risen substantially since I was a kid. Today, the price of these baseball gloves can range from $20 to $400, depending on the kind of materials involved. Back in the day, most kids in my neighborhood kept their glove next to the bed. A typical summertime day started with pick-up games in the morning,

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The Retired Investor: Can You Put a Value on Your Dog's Life?
By Bill Schmick,
04:47PM / Thursday, August 11, 2022
Your elderly dog has arthritis. His breathing is difficult. He needs assistance to get up, and his bladder is failing. The vet bills are far higher than your own, and it is getting more difficult to pay them. "How much is too much?"   Some say there is a limit, others would be willing to go into enormous debt to prolong the life of their pet. The veterinarian technological and medical innovations of today make preserving your pet's life achievable. Vets offer plenty of ways to prolong life, even in cases of terminal illness.   Specialists abound who can offer chemotherapy, radiation, kidney transplants, drug trials, and much more. Given all these

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The Retired Investor: No End in Sight for Airline Agony
By Bill Schmick,
03:56PM / Thursday, July 28, 2022
Missing bags, canceled flights, stranded passengers, and interminable check-in times have made this summers' travel a nightmare. What's worse, the cost of travelling has exploded.   Consumers are paying an average 34 percent higher air fares this year versus last. The reasons why range from higher jet fuel costs, increased labor costs and sky rocketing demand among others. As the summer season progresses, it seems that the worse the experience gets, the more consumers are willing to pay.    If you watch the horror shows on the news, chaos abounds not only here in the U.S. but in the international airline system overall. Short comings in one

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The Retired Investor: Local Gas Stations Suffer From High Fuel Prices
By Bill Schmick,
10:34AM / Friday, July 22, 2022
Given the price jump in gasoline, you would think owners of the corner gas station are raking in the money. Unfortunately, the opposite is occurring, especially now that pump prices have been declining for more than a month.   "The national average price of a gallon of gasoline has dropped below $4.50 per gallon after touching $5 as recently as mid-June," according to Berkshire Money Management's Allen Harris. He goes on to say that despite the 10 percent decline, gas is still up 9.3 percent over the last three months. That brings the year's gain thus far to 36.8 percent    In an environment of higher gasoline prices, consumers are

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The Retired Investor: Public Sector Can't Compete in Tight Labor Market
By Bill Schmick,
04:01PM / Thursday, July 14, 2022
State and local government employees are essential in delivering everyday services to the American public, but the government's labor force is understaffed and has yet to recover from its pandemic lows. The reasons range from lower pay and less advancement to little flexibility in areas such as remote working.   Private-sector jobs have already surpassed pre-pandemic levels, while in the public sector, government employers are still looking for more than 664,000 workers with little success. This may sound like one of those "so what" kind of issues but consider this.   Public employees operate the nation's trains, subways and buses in addition

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