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Markets reach record highs and Biden increases minimum wage to $15 for federal workers: How the headlines can affect your money

Plus, why everyone should have a will.

The exterior of the New York Stock Exchange.

Markets close at new record highs, and President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order ensuring that federal workers and contractors make a minimum wage of $15 an hour. Plus, why everyone should have a will. Here's how the headlines could affect your money.

Markets reach new record highs 

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq both closed at record highs Thursday after a better-than-expected jobless report and strong earnings from tech companies. The Dow reached a new intraday high, but ended the day down 0.04%. 

Early Friday, the market was slightly lower.

Biden to increase protections for federal workers

Biden plans to sign two executive orders on Friday. One will provide more food aid to Americans and create a guarantee that workers can still collect unemployment if they refuse to take a job that would jeopardize their health. 

The second order will clear a path for contractors and federal workers to make at least $15 an hour. (Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal, released last week, included a measure to boost the federal minimum wage to $15.)

Coronavirus: How to negotiate a raise during a pandemic

Video by Mariam Abdallah

Why to write your will now

Only about 16% of Americans between ages 18 and 34 have a will, according to If you don't, you might want to consider drafting one. Although it seems like a big commitment, a will can be changed at any time in your life, and if something happens to you and you don't have one, your assets could be divided according to your state's intestacy rules, which might not reflect what you want.

Words you've heard: intestacy 

When someone dies without a will, much of their property is handed down via state intestacy laws, meaning the state will distribute the decedent's wealth. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have intestate laws or statutes determining who gets what share. 

Although the daily news can have an impact on your wallet, remember to take a long-term outlook when it comes to decisions on spending, saving, and investing.

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