You may reach me via email:
or the voicemail of death (I may not get to your call):
Ash's favorite wedding pic
Today's Cheat Sheet is brought to you by Web Success Agency:
Healthcare renewal – update:
Bottom Line: Before the renewal season began I mentioned that many two income households would likely be better served this year by using two different insurance plans. It appears that is the case.
Many employer sponsored plans have kept the cost increases to a relative minimum for individuals while passing through the biggest increase for adding on others to the plan. You can often notice a particular plan your employer is pushing you with regard to your health plan options (based on cost & deductible levels).
Ashley and I just completed a review of options from both of our companies and the result… It is cheaper by a few thousand dollars for us to go at it separately this year. For similar plan options it would cost around $2800-$3500 more for us to both be on one plan rather than the best options with each employer. And so we’ll be going at it alone in 2013. It’s worth reviewing carefully if this applies to you.
Cutting through fiscal cliff talk – what’s likely to occur at this point (divs & cap gains):
Bottom Line: The noise level is loud regarding the fiscal cliff posturing. It’s easy (and probably best) to ignore much of the rhetoric day to day. One trend is quickly emerging from the discussion though… Tax policy on investment…
Currently the long term capitol gains and dividend tax rate is 15%. Indications are that regardless of the resolution of Federal income tax rates – investment tax rates are heading higher. Certainly not something I want to hear. Taxes on investment are the most regressive taxes imposed on us. If anything we should have higher income tax rates and no taxes on investment but it’s likely we’re heading the other direction.
It appears as though the most likely outcome at this point would be capitol gains rates rising to 20% with dividend tax rates rising to ordinary income tax rate levels. That would mean for example that if your income tax rate is 25% - it would be a 10% increase. If your tax rate is 35% a 20% increase etc. The prospect of a dividend tax rate increase is especially distressing as many looking to find income (because of the low rates of fixed income options) have had to turn to stocks.
If these increases do occur they will make equities much less compelling from a risk-reward consideration. That will mean that stock valuations will likely remain lower than they would if tax rates remained the same (it’s a big reason for the negativity in the stock market post-election).
Good time to sell a car – not a good time to buy one:
Bottom Line: This is a story about Hurricane Sandy.
The first insurance check going to victims of
The average used care price is now $700 higher and the average new car price is up about $1000. In other words – it’s a good time to sell a car but it’d be better to wait until supply and demand returns to normal levels before buying.
Email signature – Best practices:
Bottom Line: Life has become more complicated and so have our email signatures. The founder of Next Web had enough when he received an email from someone with a 20 line signature. So he laid out his idea for proper email practices.
I’m ready to comply. I’m not sure my company is though. That is the problem for many. Even if you prefer brevity your company many want more. For example by choice my signature is this:
Brian Mudd | Program Director \ Morning Rush Host | Clear Channel Media + Entertainment l
Simple and to the point right? But Clear Channel also wants this:
Clear Channel Media & Entertainment, with its 239 million monthly listeners, is the leading media company in
The mandate is longer than what I actually do on my own. And so my signature will remain longer than the proposed practices from Next Web. But I like his idea… hint, hint.
Coming Monday – streaming children’s E-Books:
Bottom Line: As a young child one of my favorite weekly trips, was one to the local library… While I’d sample many different books, one I frequently came back to was “Duchess Bakes a Cake” (insert joke here).
In today’s technology age you don’t have to wait for a trip to the library. You have eBooks. But what if rather than buying them in quantities you could download them as part of a streaming e-book service (a la Netflix). On Monday you’ll have that opportunity. For $5 to $10 per month a new service, BookBoard, will allow you to stream children’s books on demand.
I like the concept & think it’ll be better for you budget & you child’s whims. For complete information click the link below:
i-Fatigue & an iPhone 5s rumor:
Bottom Line: Do you have iFatigue yet? Many are starting to feel that way. The latest iPhone rumor will add to that feeling. The rumor is that an iPhone 5s will be tested next month and released in the 1st quarter of next year. I’m not buying the rumor just yet but stranger things have happened.