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Friday Financial Five – December 19th, 2014—Congress finally approved retroactive individual tax breaks

 
 

Friday Financial Five – November 2nd, 2012

Friday, November 02, 2012

 

President Obama or President Romney will have an ailing economy with positive recovery signs to work with come January . . .

Hurricane Sandy, deductibles and flood insurance

One thing you should have done in preparation for Hurricane Sandy was check the hurricane deductible on your homeowner’s insurance policy. If you have a deductible, it’s time to at least consider changing companies. You don’t necessarily have to be located in a coastal region for it to matter. Flood insurance is another consideration. While the federal insurance program is restrictive in what it will cover, if you don’t live in a flood zone, it might make sense to pay the premium (usually a few hundred dollars) for peace of mind.

Jobs and consumer confidence

This morning’s Department of Labor jobs report will be the last before the election. ADP provides a preliminary report and according to their data, we should see over 150,000 private sector jobs added. ADP’s numbers have yet to completely reconcile with the DOL’s in any month, but this could be indicative of the national unemployment rate staying below 8%. There was also a huge stride in Consumer Confidence index which reached a 4 year high of 72.2 in October, up from 68.4. This can be attributed to some combination of the rebound in housing, the employment rate dropping below 8%, the upcoming holidays or perceived political change.

Meanwhile, in the Eurozone. . .

Things continue to deteriorate in the 17 Eurozone countries, where unemployment hit a scary, Halloween-worthy 11.6%. Greece and Spain continue to make the headlines, but the entire region is suffering. While U.S. consumer confidence is on the rise, Euro economic confidence fell to a three year low of 84.5. The ECB is also expecting a slowdown in next year’s growth. Is it possible our confidence was also helped because people are taking a look across the pond?

Say goodbye to the Social Security tax decrease

Your first paycheck in 2013 might look slightly lower, as the payroll tax decrease set to expire at the end of 2012 appears to be going away. In order to put more money in workers’ pockets, a 2% reduction in employee payments was enacted for 2011 and then extended into 2012. It was only meant to be temporary, and there is little support on either side of the aisle in Congress to continue it. While the average tax that workers pay will increase, letting the cut expire does help increase the chances that Social Security is available when you retire.

The return of the NBA

With the Celtics returning to action this week with a painful loss to the Heat, let’s look at team values according to Forbes Magazine (no relation). The Lakers top the list at $900M with $208M in yearly revenue thanks to an extremely lucrative television deal. The team with the most revenue is the New York Knicks at $244M. Our beloved Celtics are the fifth most valuable team coming in at $482M and the champion Heat come in sixth. The New Jersey Nets came in fourteenth, but the evaluation occurred before their move to Brooklyn. The team ranked dead last and valued at $268M? The Milwaukee Bucks.

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]
 

 

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