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Friday Financial Five – March 21st, 2014

Friday, March 21, 2014

 

CBO advocates near term entitlement change

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) exists in an attempt to provide non-partisan guidance to Congress to help direct budget policy. This week, Director Doug Elmendorf (http://www.c-span.org/video/?318350-2/2014-economy-summit-douglas-elmendorf) spoke of the threat presented by inaction on Social Security and healthcare programs. As we approach the year 2020, the CBO estimates entitlement spending will increase dramatically, while the rest of expenses will slightly decrease as a percentage of GDP. The choices to fix Social Security aren’t all that popular: change who can receive it and when or increase tax revenue to pay for the program as currently constituted. Elmendorf suggests that adjusting the framework now will allow individuals to plan ahead and should be a top priority.

Contribution deadlines approaching

For Roth IRAs and Traditional IRAs, the date for establishing and funding them is April 15th of this year for tax year 2013. This deadline holds fast even if filing an extension. While SIMPLE IRAs need to be established by October 1st of the applicable tax year, SEP-IRAs can be established and funded by the employer’s tax filing date, including extensions.

Millionaires continue to increase

Economists continue to debate the effect income inequality has on the economy. For those concerned about the wealthier end of that equation, take comfort that the number of millionaires has increased considerably since 2009. The Spectrem Group, which has been conducting this survey for the last decade, estimates that the total number of millionaires in the U.S. is now up to 9.6 million. The mass affluent, or those with over $25 million, has also increased significantly since 2008 from 84,000 to 132,000.

Keeping an eye out for bubbles

Bonds issued by companies, or corporate debt, now has the investment world’s attention. The total amount of corporate debt has reached almost $10 trillion and is more than the mortgage backed debt of 2007, which preceded a financial crisis. This century has experience with inflated asset prices, and some investors argue against a buy-and-hold investment philosophy using bubbles as part of the logic. However, they would have to concede that recent market advances have taken place with plenty of former investors in cash due to fear created by the events of 2008. Unfortunately, there’s no hard fast rule to determine the optimal time to get back into the market once you sell out.

More advisors under scrutiny

Adding another black eye to the financial industry, the SEC recently charged a group of brokers with using terminally ill hospice patients as pawns. This scheme involved the sale of $80 million worth of variable annuities. The charges contend the brokers used fraud to obtain the dying patients’ info and use them as annuitants. The brokers then marketed these annuities to wealthy clients, generating a hefty commission in the process.

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

 

Related Slideshow: 2014 Auto Insurance Rates in Central MA

Using a defined set of criteria, GoLocal utilized the Auto Insurance Premium Comparison tool from the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation to compile and rank the cities and towns of Central Massachusetts with the highest auto insurance premiums - lowest to highest. 

The Criteria

Vehicle: 2008 Honda Civic LX

Policy: Single Vehicle, Single Operator Licensed 14 Years  

Driving Record/Behaviors:

  • Driver Licensed in Massachusetts: Yes
  • Date of last accident or traffic violation: 5 years ago
  • Days lapse in coverage during the previous 3 years: None
  • Commutes to work: Yes
  • Annual miles vehicle driven in past year: 15,000
  • Years at current residence: 2
  • Years with current agent: 3
  • Years with current company: 2
  • Discrepancies on Application: 0 
  • Subscriber to a Roadside Assitance Organization: No
  • Policy Eligible for a Group Discount: No
  • Premium paid in full at inception: No
  • Companion insurance products purchased: None
Coverage:
  • $20,000/$40,000 Bodily Injury Liability
  • $20,000/$40,000 Uninsured Motorists
  • $20,000/$40,000 Underinsured Motorist
  • $25,000 Property Damage Liability
  • $8,000 Personal Injury Protection ($0 deductible)  

Prev Next

71. Templeton

Highest Premium: $602.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

70. Upton

Highest Premium: $620.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

69. New Braintree

Highest Premium: $620.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

68. Millville

Highest Premium: $640.00
 
Lowest: $234.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

67. Hubbardston

Highest Premium: $640.00
 
Lowest: $234.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

66. Holland

Highest Premium: $640.00
 
Lowest: $234.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

65. West Boylston

Highest Premium: $640.00
 
Lowest: $268.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

64. Ashby

Highest Premium: $642.00
 
Lowest: $234.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

63. Westminster

Highest Premium: $651.00
 
Lowest: $234.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

62. Lunenburg

Highest Premium: $653.00
 
Lowest: $234.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

61. Townsend

Highest Premium: $655.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

60. Northborough

Highest Premium: $659.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

59. Orange

Highest Premium: $663.00
 
Lowest: $268.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

58.East Brookfield

Highest Premium: $663.00
 
Lowest: $268.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

57. Barre

Highest Premium: $663.00
 
Lowest: $268.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

56. Warren

Highest Premium: $663.00
 
Lowest: $276.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

55. Ware

Highest Premium: $663.00
 
Lowest: $276.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

54. Winchendon

Highest Premium: $666.00
 
Lowest: $276.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

53. Petersham

Highest Premium: $671.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

52. Sterling

Highest Premium: $672.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

51. Brimfield

Highest Premium: $679.00
 
Lowest: $276.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

50. Ashburnham

Highest Premium: $687.00
 
Lowest: $234.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

49. North Brookfield

Highest Premium: $692.00
 
Lowest: $276.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

48. Shirley

Highest Premium: $693.00
 
Lowest: $268.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

47. Brookfield

Highest Premium: $693.00
 
Lowest: $276.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

46. Uxbridge

Highest Premium: $698.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

45. Northbridge

Highest Premium: $698.00
 
Lowest: $276.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

44. Gardner

Highest Premium: $698.00
 
Lowest: $276.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

43. Ayer

Highest Premium: $698.00
 
Lowest: $276.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

42. Athol

Highest Premium: $698.00
 
Lowest: $276.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

41. Sturbridge

Highest Premium: $702.00
 
Lowest: $234.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

40. Topsfield

Highest Premium: $702.00
 
Lowest: $291.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

39. Charlton

Highest Premium: $703.00
 
Lowest: $291.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

38. Sutton

Highest Premium: $704.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

37. Hopkinton

Highest Premium: $705.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

36. Oakham

Highest Premium: $705.00
 
Lowest: $234.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

35. Hudson

Highest Premium: $705.00
 
Lowest: $276.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

34. Douglas

Highest Premium: $706.00
 
Lowest: $268.00
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

33. Harvard

Highest Premium: $707.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

32. West Brookfield

Highest Premium: $708.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

31. Paxton

Highest Premium: $714.00
 
Lowest: $300.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

30. Boylston

Highest Premium: $716.00
 
Lowest: $268.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

29. Bolton

Highest Premium: $719.00
 
Lowest: $234.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

28. Dudley

Highest Premium: $719.00
 
Lowest: $276.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

27. Palmer

Highest Premium: $719.00
 
Lowest: $291.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

26. Royalston

Highest Premium: $721.00
 
Lowest: $234.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

25. Oxford

Highest Premium: $727.00
 
Lowest: $300.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

24. Westborough

Highest Premium: $728.00
 
Lowest: $268.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

23. Millbury

Highest Premium: $744.00
 
Lowest: $291.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

22. Hardwick

Highest Premium: $746.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

21. Milford

Highest Premium: $746.00
 
Lowest: $300.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

20. Marlborough

Highest Premium: $746.00
 
Lowest: $300.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

19. Leominster

Highest Premium: $746.00
 
Lowest: $300.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

18. Clinton

Highest Premium: $746.00
 
Lowest: $310.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

17. Auburn

Highest Premium: $746.00
 
Lowest: $310.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

16. Hopedale

Highest Premium: $749.00
 
Lowest: $268.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

15. Lancaster

Highest Premium: $755.00
 
Lowest: $268.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

14. Southbridge

Highest Premium: $759.00
 
Lowest: $310.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

13. Rutland

Highest Premium: $766.00
 
Lowest: $276.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

12. Fitchburg

Highest Premium: $770.00
 
Lowest: $332.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

11. Princeton

Highest Premium: $773.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

10. Holden

 
Highest Premium: $773.00
 
Lowest: $276.00
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

9. Leicester

Highest Premium: $773.00
 
Lowest: $332.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

8. Mendon

Highest Premium: $779.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

7. Southborough

Highest Premium: $780.00
 
Lowest: $217.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

6. Webster

Highest Premium: $786.00
 
Lowest: $332.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

5. Spencer

Highest Premium: $805.00
 
Lowest: $310.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

4. Blackstone

Highest Premium: $829.00
 
Lowest: $268.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

3. Grafton

Highest Premium: $850.00
 
Lowest: $276.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

2. Shrewsbury 

Highest Premium: $865.00
 
Lowest: $300.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
Prev Next

1. Worcester

Highest Premium: $997.00
 
Lowest: $440.00
 
 
All premiums reflect rates effective on 1/1/14
 
 

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