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Friday Financial Five – June 24, 2016

Friday, June 24, 2016


Markets rally Thursday ahead of Brexit vote

After months of speculation, the vote to determine whether or not the United Kingdom remains in the European Union is complete with the results still outstanding. Financial markets rallied on Thursday, apparently encouraged by the latest polls that showed “remain” with a slight advantage over the “leave” contingent. A major flaw for those wanting to leave the EU is the lack of a clear plan going forward if they win. Results are expected around breakfast time this morning.

BPC details numerous changes for financial security

The Bipartisan Policy Center is comprised of industry leaders focused on shoring up retirement stability for the country. Their 2016 report  was released this month, with several possible changes meant to address retirement challenges. One suggestion is to increase Social Security’s maximum taxable base from the current level of $118,500 to $195,000. Another encourages a less expensive method of using home equity to fund retirement, including a reformation of reverse mortgages. High income earners would be affected by the report’s suggested limitation on Social Security benefits and mortgage interest deductions. Intended results include increased overall retirement savings and reduced poverty for the elderly population.

Warren introduces 401(k) “lost and found”

Employment mobility can leave a string of old retirement accounts at former employers. Those without the time or inclination to consolidate accounts can find themselves without a solid way of keeping track of important retirement funds. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Steve Daines have introduced a bill to help in the process of keeping track of those accounts by creating a national online database for workers to quickly find lost accounts. They cite GAO and TIAA reports where tens of millions of employees with neglected accounts would benefit.

2017 Out-of-pocket limits for health plans

There’s sometimes confusion with health plans regarding the difference between the “deductible” and the “out-of -pocket limit”. The deductible represents how much an insured is responsible to pay before the insurance company contributes, sometimes differentiate between “in-network” and “out of network” services. Insureds may still be responsible for expenses once the deductible is met and that’s where the max out-of-pocket becomes important. For 2017, the federal maximum out-of-pocket has increased, up to $7,150 for individuals and $14,300 for families.

More athletes defrauded by advisor

Mark Sanchez and Roy Oswalt are a couple of big name athletes caught up in another example of financial shenanigans. According to the SEC, a Dallas based advisor funneled up to $33 million from clients into an online company whose board the advisor sat on. From those cash infusions to the company, the advisor was paid $2 million. According to sources, Sanchez, approved the use of $100,000 but instead had $7 million of his money placed in this doomed venture.

Dan Forbes, a CFP Board Ambassador, is a regular contributor on financial issues. He leads the firm Forbes Financial Planning, Inc in East Greenwich, RI and can be reached at [email protected]


Related Slideshow: Massachusetts Business Rankings

See how Massachusetts stacked up.

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Massachusetts has 2015's 28th highest insurance premium penalties for high risk drivers, according to a WalletHub report. 

Mass is behind Colorado and New Mexico who come in at 26 and 27 spots respectively while Mass is ahead of Tennessee and the District of Columbia who rank 29 and 30 respectively. 

Massachusetts ranks 14th overall in the category of DUI conviction annual premium increase with an amount of $756.

Massachusetts ranks 20th overall in the category of speeding over 20 mph annual premium increase with a total of $261 while ranking 21 overall in the category of  two accidents annual premium increase with a total of $1,364. 

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Massachusetts has been ranked as the 5th most eco-friendly state in the country, according to a recent study by WalletHub. 

Mass ranks tenth in environmental quality and fourth in Eco-Friendly Behaviors landing them in 8th overall. 

Mass is behind Minnesota and New York who are in the fourth and third spots respectively, and in front of Washington and New Hampshire  who come in at the six and seven spots. 

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The Economist

Small Business Friendliness Grade: D+

The Economist grades states on an A+ to F grading scale for its small business climate. Massachusetts ranks near the bottom of the nation, joining New Mexico and New York in receiving D+ grades.  9 states scored worse than a D+ in the Economist rankings. 

Overbearing bureaucracy and excessive licensing is stifling small business in America. 

Read More About The Economist Grade Here

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#25 CNBC

CNBC ranks each state in cost of doing business, economy, technology and innovation.

Massachusetts' unemployment rate as of May 2014 was 5.6 percent. The state added 9,100 jobs in the month of May.

Read More About CNBC Ranking Here

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#13 Forbes

Forbes ranks each state in business costs, economic climate, and growth prospects.

The most damning in the commentary:

Massachusetts’ business costs, including labor, energy and taxes, are the highest of the 48 contiguous states—only Hawaii is higher—at 20% above the national average.

Read More About Forbes Ranking Here

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#47 ChiefExecutive.net

ChiefExecutive.net ranks each state in taxations and regulations, workforce quality, and living environment.

The most damning in the commentary:

Taxation and regulation are always the key barometers. Massachusetts and Oregon are the worst.

Read More About ChiefExecutive.net Ranking Here

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Tax Foundation

#25 Tax Foundation

Tax Foundation ranks each state in corporate tax rank, sales tax rank, and unemployment insurance tax rank.

Massachusetts ranked #49 in unemployment insurance tax.

Read More About Tax Foundation Ranking Here

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Wallet Hub

#10 Wallet Hub

Wallet Hub ranks each state in ROI rank, state tax rank, and overall government services.

Massachusetts ranked #49 in worst roads and bridges, but ranked #7 in overall government services.

Read More About Wallet Hub Ranking Here

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#41 ALEC

ALEC ranks each state in economic performance and outlook.

Although Massachusetts ranked low in economic performance, a forward-looking forecast is based on the state’s standing in 15 important state policy variables. Some of these variables include top marginal personal income tax rate and sales tax burden.

Read More About ALEC Ranking Here

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Kauffman Foundation

#29 Kauffman Foundation

Kauffman Foundation ranks each state in entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial activity generally is highest in Western and Southern states
and lowest in Midwestern and Northeastern states.

Read More About Kauffman Foundation Ranking Here

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Free Enterprise

#18 Free Enterprise

Free Enterprise ranks each state in performance, exports, innovation + entrepreneurship, business climate, talent pipeline, infrastructure.

Massachusetts's reputation as a hotspot for science and technology endures in this year's rankings. The commonwealth is a center for STEM jobs and university research and development, ranking 4th and 2nd, respectively, in those two categories. It also ranks 6th as a center for high-tech establishments. Massachusetts is taking aggressive steps to bolster economic activity with high-impact university-industry R&D projects and new tools for tech-based startup companies.

Read More About Free Enterprise Ranking Here

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The Pew Charitable Trusts

#45 The Pew Charitable Trusts

The Pew Charitable Trusts ranks each state in job growth and job creation.

Massachusetts added 38,368 jobs in 2014.

Read More About The Pew Charitable Trusts Ranking Here


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