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relates to What to Do With Your Money—and Your Life—in a Wild New World

Illustration: Anna Haifisch for Bloomberg Businessweek

What to Do With Your Money—and Your Life—in a Wild New World

From buying real estate to getting a new credit card, answers to perplexing questions in a time of economic weirdness.

There’s no doubt about it: The shift from the pandemic economy to whatever comes next has been frustrating and confusing. Inflation’s back in the US for the first time in a generation. The federal government has had to step in to guarantee depositors at a pair of banks. Markets are up this year, but your retirement account is likely still recovering from the shellacking it took in 2022—not just on stocks, but on bonds, too. Mortgage rates have shot up to ... wait, how much?! Maybe you’ve thought about quitting your job for a better one—unemployment is still near historic lows—but then you heard about all these layoffs. You’d like a new car, but prices are still nuts. In a time when everything seems more up in the air than usual, we asked financial experts to help us untangle the knottiest money problems, from investing to career planning to smarter spending.

The sudden failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in March were scary, but for the vast majority of US bank depositors, there’s no need to worry about your dough. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. covers $250,000 per depositor in qualified accounts at insured banks. If you somehow find yourself with more than that, diversifying among multiple banks might be a good idea, says Peter Palion, founder of Master Plan Advisory. You can also be strategic about who’s listed as the depositor on your accounts because the FDIC covers each co-owner of a joint account. (Fun deposit insurance fact: Married couples can get $1 million of FDIC coverage at one institution just by having a personal bank account in one spouse’s name, a personal bank account in the other spouse’s name and a joint account.)