The hybrid-work mega-commute

And more of the week's best financial insight

Woman walking in airport.
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Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web.

An annual return on a charitable gift

New rules let retirees ages 70.5 and older donate up to $50,000 from their IRAs to fund gift annuities, said Ashlea Ebeling in The Wall Street Journal. About 1,600 charities run gift annuity programs, in which they agree to make fixed annual payments in exchange for a donation, "much like a traditional annuity purchased from an insurance company." The payments continue as long as you live. "While charities have offered gift annuities for years, the donations previously couldn't be made directly from retirement accounts." Thanks to retirement rule changes passed in Congress in December, funds for a gift annuity can be withdrawn from your IRA tax-free — though the annual payments are usually taxable. The annual payout for a 70-year-old from a $50,000 gift annuity is $2,950.

The hybrid-work mega-commute

A 21-year-old intern is racking up air miles on a weekly 750-mile commute, said Morgan Smith at CNBC. Sophia Celentano "didn't want to join the legions of summer interns fighting for affordable housing" when she landed an internship with Ogilvy Health in Parsippany, N.J., especially since the job "only requires her to be in the office once, sometimes twice, per week." Instead, she hops a plane from her parents' home in Charleston, S.C. Her "super-commute" is only costing her "about $225 per week, including a round-trip flight" and rides to and from the office. Conversely, she estimates she would have to spend $4,250 to stay 10 weeks in New Jersey. That's $2,000 in savings— as long as she can keep waking up at 3:30 a.m. to make the flights.

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Big home investors pull back

Large investment firms that had been on a controversial rental home buying spree have pulled back sharply, said Lance Lambert in Fortune. Invitation Homes, which owns some 83,000 single-family homes — the most of any U.S. landlord — "recently became a net seller." So, too, with American Homes 4 Rent; in the first quarter of 2023, that firm, which owns more than 58,000 houses, sold 666, more than twice the number it bought. Profits have fallen after factoring in changes in interest rates and rents. Big homebuyers have been blamed for driving up rents and prices in markets like Phoenix. However, many large investors think that national housing prices "are poised for another step down" despite a small bump in the spring. Some are waiting for prices to fall 15% before returning to the market.

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