Friday Financial Five – January 27, 2017
Friday, January 27, 2017
While Republican leaders want health care reform, those changes can go in many directions. The movement to repeal it without a detailed replacement option may have lost steam. The popular pieces of the plan include the push to increase the number of people insured and coverage for pre-existing conditions. The exchanges may be removed and there will be a fight to open up insurance competition across state lines. In order to cover everyone, there needs to be a tax to subsidize the premiums but there’s disagreement about where those taxes will come from. Republicans know they don’t like the current plan, but there’s no consensus how to change it without leaving people uninsured or subject to skyrocketing premiums.
Social Security heading back to paperless
The method of disseminating Social Security benefits continues the merry-go-round. For years, recipients were accustomed to receiving paper statements. The SSA shifted to paperless in an effort to get people to sign up online. That was unsuccessful as those that are not computer savvy had issues, so there was another foray into sending paper statements. Now, Social Security is moving back to paperless in an effort to reduce costs by an estimated $11 million. Paper statements will only be sent to those 60 or older that haven’t signed up online and aren’t receiving benefits.
Navient sued for cheating borrowers
Navient, the largest company servicing student loans, is now being sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB alleges fraud and contends that the company didn’t service the loans and provided incorrect information to those trying to pay them back. Navient, which services over $300 billion in student loans, noted that the suit may be politically motivated as it was filed before the Trump inauguration took place.
DOL releases 2nd Fiduciary Rule FAQs
The Labor Department’s fiduciary rule, scheduled to take effect on April 10th, faces a delay due to review by the Trump administration. Where it goes from there is anyone’s guess, but the Department of Labor did release another round of Frequently Asked Questions aimed at the general public. The article references resources for the public to get more information, including the CFP Board’s planner search and a financial questionnaire developed by AARP.
IRS warns of cyber scam
The IRS has issued a warning for tax preparers receiving e-mail requests to assist in the filing of tax returns. The cyber strategy is to pose as an individual looking for tax help. The professional responds and then receives a reply with a virus attached, either through an attached PDF file or faulty web link.. By clicking these corrupted links or files, the criminals collect information from the tax preparer’s computer. For this and several other financial scams, regulators continue to make cybersecurity a top priority.
Related Slideshow: The 25 Wealthiest Cities & Towns in Central Massachusetts
GoLocalWorcester looked at the 2010 Census figures for every city and town to rank Central Massachusetts’ 25 wealthiest cities and towns based on median family income. Check out where the top 25 cities are in the slideshow below.
Median Household Income: $81,127
During the Revolutionary War, Deborah Sampson, a woman posing as a male soldier, enlisted in the Continental Army as "Robert Shurtlieff of Uxbridge". A minister kept her secret, and she was later honored as a heroine by the Massachusetts legislature.
Median Household Income: $82,443
In 1786, Hubbardston residents marched to Worcester and, joining hundreds of other farmers, took control of the courthouse to protest the foreclosures and seizures of property by creditors that occurred during the late 1700's.
Median Household Income: $85,697
Shrewsbury is the birthplace to "The Pill". The Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Shrewsbury was the research facility where the oral contraceptive pill was first developed. It is now part of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Median Household Income: $88,214
Boylston was first settled around 1706. The residents petitioned to form a local town and government, but the William Shirley, British colonial Governor of Massachusetts,denied their request since he wanted to keep the number of towns to a minimum in order to restrict popular representation.
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