Friday Financial Five – March 4, 2016
Friday, March 04, 2016
The deadline for filing corporate tax returns without extension is March 15th. This year, owners can count on the Section 179 deduction for qualifying software and equipment. The tax-extension bill makes permanent the $500,000 maximum for the year. Bonus depreciation was extended through 2017, allowing a 50 percent deduction on new equipment purchases in 2015. Some business owners will also have to navigate the tax ramifications of the Affordable Care Act for last year but especially going forward. The IRS website provides information to assist in that process.
Another list for best places to retire
Markets have been turbulent this year, but that doesn’t mean one can’t dream about the ideal retirement locale. Bankrate’s list of most favorable states for retirement is based on crime, the cost of living, taxes, and weather, among other qualifications. An enviable tax environment and low crime numbers help Wyoming top the list and Rhode Island, often at the bottom of retirement lists, makes a surprise appearance in the 22nd spot thanks to health care quality. New York assumes the bottom position at 50th with the worst tax environment and near-worst cost of living.
Retirement health spending rises with increased longevity
Fidelity’s most recent calculation for total retirement healthcare costs show an increase from $220,000 to $245,000. This figure assumes the total spending for two 65 year olds retiring in 2015 and doesn’t account for long term care or over the counter medications. The result reinforces how important the use of a Health Savings Account can be to accumulate funds, especially for those early in the working career.
Women more likely to face retirement impoverishment
A troubling report from the National Institute on Retirement Security finds that women are 80 percent more likely than men to fall into poverty in retirement. Women age 65 and older have a retirement income 25 percent lower than men and that gap increases to 44 percent at age 80. Also cited was a Vanguard report showing that in 2014, the median retirement account savings was $36,875 for men and $24,500 for women.
Billionaires club takes a small hit
Forbes has uncovered an unsettling trend for the ultra-wealthy: the number of billionaires is shrinking. The 2016 list counts 1,810 billionaires, a drop of 16 from last year, while the group’s average net worth dropped from $3.86 billion to $3.58 billion. Bill Gates still tops the list at $75 billion, while two-thirds of the list includes billionaires who are self-made.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
#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.
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.
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