Your weekly money scoop: February 17, 2017

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Your weekly money scoop: February 17, 2017

By JENNIFER WILLIAMS

We're serving you our weekly bite-sized roundup of the stories you need to know. This week, read about how many Americans would choose money over true love and why British department store Harrods is selling £80 ($99.80 USD) bottles of water.

Love or money? Valentine's Day is behind us, but in case love's still on your mind, here's something to mull over: A recent survey by Money and SurveyMonkey found that just over half of respondents would rather have $1 million per year for the rest of their lives over true love. Over 50 percent of married or coupled surveyors, would opt for love over money, while 71 percent of separated and 59 percent of divorced surveyors would take the million.

Seven unexpected ways to live rent free that don't involve moving back home. Skyrocketing rent can be hard to keep up with -- but as you can learn from these seven individuals, if you have a skill to trade or don't mind some unique living experiences, it might be possible to find rent-free opportunities. One woman explains how she landed a free private apartment at a retirement home in Cleveland, in exchange for musical performances. Another couple shares how they spent 18 months rent-free by pet- and house-sitting for expats in South America.

Harrods is selling £80 bottles of 'luxury water'. The water -- a "sophisticated alternative to alcohol," according to the brand's founder -- is on limited-time offer at the luxury London-based retailer. So what makes the water so special -- and so expensive? The founder, Norwegian-American businessman Jamal Qureshi, gathers ice from the Kongsfjorden icebergs, which are about 600 miles from the North Pole, then melts and bottles it by hand in sustainable packaging. If that's your jam, be prepared for your bank account to suffer a cold shiver upon purchase.

Retirement just isn't how it used to be. One writer took a closer look at how her grandmother prepared for retirement; After working as a high school secretary for 33 years, she was able to retire at 65 and live on her and her late husband's pension, Social Security and personal savings. This writer estimates that millennials will likely have to wait longer to retire, or even keep side gigs or part-time jobs well into their old age. That's because as the market changes, you might get less money back on your investments, and the writer estimates that Social Security is at risk of running out in 2034 if Congress doesn't properly fund it. What can you do? If you can, start saving now - and use a retirement calculator to help estimate how early you can retire based on how much money you save and invest in retirement accounts.

How much does the average wedding cost? In 2016, tying the knot on average costs $35,329. The data comes from an annual survey from The Knot, which has surveyed couples married in the U.S. since 2008. So what are couples spending on? Venue fees, averaging at $16,107, make up the bulk of the cost. Then there's also the engagement ring, the reception band, photographer, florist and more. Location has a big impact on cost, too: Manhattan weddings cost $78,464 on average, making it the most expensive area in the U.S.

And that's the scoop this week -- see you next week for more.

About the Author: Jennifer Williams is a QA Specialist in Member Support at Credit Karma. She has her MFA in Fiction, and puts her skills to use helping members and training new hires. When she's off the clock, she can be found editing her novel, playing guitar, or hiking with her dog in the hills.

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