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Three Ways Your Future Just Got Brighter

November 2, 2014

A strong dollar. The U.S. dollar had more global purchasing power back in the early 2000s. Then its value fell compared with other currencies, reaching a bottom in 2011. Today, the dollar is strong again, allowing U.S. consumers to purchase imported goods and foods at lower prices. That change will help keep inflation low for Americans.

Low interest rates. Millions of homeowners have been able to get extraordinarily cheap mortgages. Just before the financial crisis, 30-year fixed mortgages were being offered at 6.5 percent. Today, rates are below 4 percent, allowing homeowners to lower their monthly payments.

Fierce retail competition. For shoppers, this should be a great holiday season because of cutthroat pricing. Wal-Mart told the Wall Street Journal it is testing a plan to match online prices. Best Buy and Target already are doing that, and Target is even offering free shipping on everything through Dec. 20. Analysts expect brutal price competition all around.

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