Today I have for you an eye-raising new report on home prices and what it might mean for the American dream, an update on marriage rights in the EU and some hot links.

—Nick Wolny

How home prices are shifting wealth goals


Home prices in US metros have risen an average of 47% since 2020, and new home construction is at a four-year low. In half of American cities, you now need an income of $100,000 or more to be able to afford to buy a house, says new data. The tough market is leading to both a shift in life goals and civic challenges, including record-high homelessness, says a new report from the The Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University.

I think this data is important, especially for young people as they begin to shape and curate their lives. When homeownership is off the table or simply feels too far away, what do people prioritize instead? And what will become the new definition of “making it” in our modern world?

Credit: Chartr, Sherwood News

Many entrepreneurs, service providers and self-employed folks have already gone through this coming-out process of sorts. There comes a time in our lives when you decide to diverge from the path you're supposed to take in order to pursue what is most authentic and meaningful to you.

With this home prices boom, though, I worry that we'll become even less effective at saving money. The property down payment is one of the few remaining life expenses that still must be done in cash. Saving money requires grit, and as we dump more debt and financing options on young people (Lookin' at you, Buy Now, Pay Later), a valid concern is that saving will become increasingly foreign or unrelatable to younger generations.

It's important to have short-term and medium-term personal finance goals, not just long-term ones like retirement. When you can see the finish line, it's easier to commit, and saving money is a muscle that strengthens and gets easier with time. Another way to streamline and automate your savings goals is to calculate your personal savings rate (PSAVERT); if you don't know that number, a blog about how to find it is here.

Sherwood, the media property of trading platform Robinhood, has a digestible breakdown of the current home prices surge.

🔗 Read at Sherwood News

Latvia inches forward


Latvia legalized same-sex civil unions last month, and many same-sex couples were lined up at notary offices last Monday to make their partnerships official. There are now only five countries left in the EU that offer neither same-sex marriage rights or civil unions.

Civil unions are an important step forward not only for equal rights, but also for financial well-being. These civil unions grant Latvian couples hospital visitation rights as well as tax and Social Security benefits, but full inheritance rights and adoption are still off the table.

Same-sex marriage obviously has a lot of civil rights optics throughout the world. But one of the most important benefits of marriage rights is the economic parity that comes with legalized partnerships. Good legacy planning can reduce friction on loved ones later in life, and queer people deserve to be able to facilitate these caregiver roles as much as everyone else. (If you need a good gay documentary to bawl your eyes out to, Bridegroom vividly illustrates the impact of not having fully realized civic protections.)

LGBTQ Nation has a writeup on what happens next.

🔗 Read at LGBTQ Nation

Reading is fundamental


A shorter hot links roundup today as we bounce back from the holiday weekend.

Work and Money

Unemployment ticked up slightly last month, despite continued jobs growth, complicating matters for the Fed as they weigh rate cuts. (CNBC)

Crypto Stolen by Hackers Doubled to $1.38 Billion In First Half of This Year.Crypto prices also surged considerably in the first half of the year, which may be a factor. (Bloomberg friend link)

One mattress store to rule them all? Not quite yet. The FTC blocked Tempur Sealy’s proposed $4B takeover of Mattress Firm on the grounds that the deal will monopolize too much power. The FTC has been doing this a lot lately, with mixed results.

Deepfake creators sell nonconsensual images on 'hidden' websites that take Visa and Mastercard. (NBC News)



LGBTQ people say their mental health is positively impacted when states have protective laws. (ABC News)

Nonbinary runner Nikki Hiltz qualified for the Paris Olympics in record time.They ran the 1500m in 3:55.33, a trials record in the women's division. (LGBTQ Nation)

A federal judge halted Biden’s new Title IX gender identity protections rule. (The Advocate)

‘Blunt-force approach’: LGBTQ+ advocates say proposed teen social media ban overlooks benefits. (The Guardian)


I’m hanging in there!

I’m working on something secret and it is KILLING me that I can’t tell you what it is yet. I have been hauling ass over here lately.

Here’s a selfie from the weekend where I got a little respite from the laptop.

Cheering you on,


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