Business

Social Security Q&A: What Is Substantial Gainful Activity?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Question: What is substantial gainful activity? Answer: Social Security uses the term “substantial gainful activity,” or “SGA,” to describe a level of work activity and earnings. Work is “substantial” if it involves doing significant physical or mental activities or a combination of both. If you earn more than a certain amount and are doing productive work, Social Security generally considers that you are engaging in substantial gainful activity. For example, …

At the Hospitals: Feb. 7, 2016

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Local Hospitals Release Community Health Needs Assessment Access to mental health care and affordable health insurance, prescription drugs prices, heroin and the misuse of pain medications are among the Upper Valley ’s most pressing health concerns, according to a report by local hospitals. The 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment is based on focus …

Are You Saving Enough For Retirement?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Saving for retirement is no easy task, but a new study says you don’t need to be a Powerball winner to put away enough cash for old age. According to the study by Fidelity Investments, 45 percent of those surveyed in 2015 were on track to cover essential expenses during their retirement, up from 38 percent in 2013. Although that’s still less than …

McDonald’s Japan Selling Chocolate French Fries

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Tokyo — Is this the answer to McDonald’s problems in Japan? The “McFry Potato Chocolate Sauce”? Yes, you read that right. French fries covered with not one but two types of chocolate sauce. It’s the fast food chain’s latest effort to turn around its business in Japan after …

Business Notes: Feb. 7, 2016

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Lebanon — Cioffredi & Associates, the physical therapy and rehabilitation practice on Etna Road, has received an honorable mention award in the 2015 Practice of the Year Contest sponsored by Advance for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine magazine. Rehab Associates of Central Virginia earned top honors in the …

Money Talk: Most People’s W-4s Are ‘Wrong’

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Question: After being an unmarried couple for 15 years, we were married in February 2014. Though I sent this information to my company’s benefits department, I neglected to change my W-4 status from “single” to “married.” I’m crossing my fingers that when all is said and done, we …

‘Shut Up, My Spot Is On’

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Los Angeles — Who was the least valuable player in last year’s Super Bowl? Viewers might say it was the tousle-haired young boy in the Nationwide Insurance spot, talking about all the cool things he missed because he …

Outdoor Co-op REI Is Thriving, but Does It Have Members, or Shoppers?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Seattle — REI’s business acumen has taken it to lofty heights rarely seen by a retail cooperative. But as a record-low turnout in the latest annual election shows, REI’s original democratic fervor seems to have stayed at base camp. Members these days engage more via Twitter, Facebook or …

Consumer Confidential: Why Is University of California Investing in Payday Lender Ace Cash Express?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The University of California makes money when American workers become trapped in endless cycles of high-interest debt. That’s because the university has invested millions of dollars in an investment fund that owns one of the country’s largest payday lenders, ACE Cash Express, which has branches throughout Southern California. …

Panthers Cam Newton Targets Kids’ Market

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Grown-up athletes typically endorse grown-up products. Peyton Manning pushes Nationwide insurance; Tom Brady plugs Movado fashion watches. Cam Newton? He’s 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, and all Nickelodeon. The Carolina Panthers’ 26-year-old quarterback is using his Super Bowl run to establish himself as a pitch-man to America’s youngest consumers. Unlike …

YouTube Entering Paid Content Area

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Could it soon be time to YouTube and chill? The world’s biggest online video platform will officially crack into the paid original content business next week when it premieres the first four titles produced for its new subscription service, YouTube Red, the company said last week. Included in …

Top Chefs to Help Schwan Update Menu

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Minneapolis — The Schwan Food Co. is putting a little top chef swagger into its signature foodstuffs. The company, best known for delivering frozen meals to consumers’ doorsteps, has assembled a team it calls the “future stars of …

Student Who Rented Dorm On Airbnb Faces Punishment

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Boston — College students have always come up with creative ways to pay tuition. They’ve been known to live off ramen noodles, and more recently, the loan-burdened but intrepid have tried crowdfunding their education. No wonder, then, that a sophomore at Emerson College recently attempted to get back …