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Friday Financial Five – July 3rd, 2015

Friday, July 03, 2015


Retirement plans and destinations

401(k) plans and big banks receive plenty of negative publicity, so it’s a change of pace when both are praised in the same context. NARPP identified traditional consumer punching bag, Bank of America, as the company with the best retirement plan out of the 18 they studied. BOA projects that nearly 80% of their plan participants started or increased contributions to the plan last year. In terms of where to retire, LPL is the latest to evaluate all the states based on multiple categories such as financial well-being and healthcare. Based on their internal parameters, Virginia tops the list while New York and New Jersey fill the last two slots. 

CFPB publishes 7,700 consumer complaints

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau exists to alert the public on different issues in the financial industry. The group called out private student loan borrowers for rejecting too many applicants looking to release their co-signer. The CFPB also made public a prodigious list of customer complaints involving bank, mortgage, and credit card issues. As of June 1st of this year, the CFPB has handled a total of 627,000 complaints. 

Interest-only loans making a comeback

It’s interesting to see interest-only loans are back, as this type of loan has a thorny history. The goal in planning is to minimize the impact of unforeseen circumstances, maintain steady income sources and avoid dramatic spending increases. Lack of predictability can present an impediment. While the updated underwriting standards are more stringent, borrowers still need to consider possible fluctuations in rates and home values.

Marriage ruling and Social Security

The Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage last week will have ramifications for Social Security. Married same-sex couples will be eligible for spousal benefits, as well as the various payout options that weren’t previously available, such as file and suspend. Social Security will be subject to an increase in benefit payouts as same-sex spouses take advantage of more flexible options. The combination of increased payouts and continued education of retirees makes updating the entire program imperative.

2015 Financial Stress report

Work can be stressful for all genders and ages but a Financial Finesse survey identified young single mothers as the most stressed out group over finances. 55% of women age 30 to 55 with income below $60,000 and minor children reported “high or overwhelming stress”. On the opposite end of the spectrum, only 7% of males under 30 or over 55 making more than $100,000 felt that level of stress. Overall, 85% of employees reported feeling some level of stress while almost a quarter of respondents feel stress at a high level.

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


Related Slideshow: Oregon Business Rankings in US

See how Oregon stacked up against the other states in the U.S.

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Oregon gets a C+ for small business friendliness from Thumbtack, in conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation.

According to the ranking:

Overall friendliness C+

Ease of starting a business B
Ease of hiring D+
Regulations D
Health & safety D
Employment, labor & hiring D
Tax code D+
Licensing C-
Environmental D
Zoning D+
Training & networking programs B+

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CEO Magazine

CEO magazine was not kind to Oregon.

The state ranked in the bottom ten states at #42.

Oregon get lumped by CEO's as being California like - too much regulation.

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The 2015 rankings puts Oregon in the top 20. Oregon ranks #18 in the United States. 

NY ranks one spot ahead at #17 and Florida ranks after Oregon.

#1 in the United States: Utah

#50 in the United States: Mississippi

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Oregon has been ranked as the 2nd most eco-friendly state in the country, according to a recent study by WalletHub

Oregon ranks eighth in environmental quality and first in Eco-Friendly Behaviors landing them in second overall. 

Oregon is behind Vermont and ahead of New York and Minnesota who land in the third and fourth spots respectively. 

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The Economist

Small Business Friendliness Grade: C+

The Economist grades states on an A+ to F grading scale for its small business climate. Oregon is one of 4 states that earned a "C+"

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

Read More About The Economist Grade Here

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#22 CNBC

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

Read More About CNBC Ranking Here

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Wallet Hub

#28 Wallet Hub

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

Read More About Wallet Hub Ranking Here

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#38 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 Ranking Here

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#19 Forbes in 2014

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

Read More About Forbes Rankings Here


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