Cheat Sheet Q&A:
Today’s topic: My wife Ashley
What does your beloved Ashley do? I saw her picture once (think when you were first married). Easy on the eyes! Just curious!
Bottom Line: You’ll have to forgive me tackling a non “issue” in today’s Q&A. This is a common question that comes up. I frequently reference Ashley during the show, in commercials and well, most of the time I’m talking generally. The “lovely and talented one” is just that… She’s super talented.
Ashley is a classically trained musician turned power business woman. She studied classical music at the University of Colorado and after transferring, she graduated from University of Florida. She sang for a number of years, at first with other groups but eventually was the lead signer with her group “Karma 5”. Along the way she got involved in doing commercial voice work for radio (voicing radio commercials) and in sales. That is how we met. At the time I was married to my first wife and she was engaged to another man. Over time my wife asked for a divorce and she broke up with her fiancé. We became close friends even going on double dates with the people we were dating at the time. Eventually we stopped dating other people & just over 5 years ago I married my best friend.
In the meantime she had become very successful in selling radio and made a big switch over to ADP (Automatic Data Processing) where she’s worked for the past 6 years. She’s a highly successful business woman. I’m an extremely lucky man… She’s amazing.
If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Just how easy is it to cheat Heathcare.gov & thus all American taxpayers?:
Bottom Line: So just how easy is it really to open up fraudulent health insurance policies? The GAO just demonstrated the ease. They made up 12 phony applications for people who aren’t real. They were able to obtain policy acceptance with subsidies on 11 of those 12 attempts. Pretty alarming isn’t it?
You may recall that in recent months I’d indicated that the initial internal review of policies originated through healthcare.gov (comparing tax reported data to Health and Human Services vs. what was filed with the IRS) suggested that more than 50% of plans that were subsidized had inconsistent income reporting. In other words it appears that more than 50% under reported income to obtain subsidies. So bring this full circle…
Back to the split Federal Court decisions regarding the Federal legality of ACA subsidies. The reason that the law called for the states to be the entities to qualify enrollees for subsidies was due to the mechanism for vetting enrollees was already in place – Medicaid. There wasn’t and isn’t any Federal mechanism for vetting and that’s why it’s so simple to defraud healthcare.gov and thus every American taxpayer.
In short this is a disaster and there isn’t an easy fix. Almost all states opted out of creating their own exchange because of the expense associated with doing so. In fact several states that did create their own exchanges have since scrapped them. The Federal Government can’t force the states to create their own exchanges (it would be unconstitutional), so we’re left with an out of control mess. And we’re left holding the bag with no clear fix in sight.
Rent rates now rising faster than home price increases:
Bottom Line: Earlier in the week we received the existing home sales info which demonstrated the weakest year over year price appreciation since the housing recovery began two and half years ago – at just over 4%. This gave me the idea to track down the current rent rates around the country. Here’s what I found:
- The average rent rate increase around the country for the first half of 2014 was 3.5%
So if you were to annualize the rate of increase we’re starring at an average of 7% rent rate increases. This means that at the moment the overall value proposition is swinging back in favor of buying vs. renting a like property. It’s the first time since the beginning of the housing recovery this has been the case. Historically there is a bit of an inverse relationship between the two. So before you consider locking in another year of rent for a higher rate, you might take a second look at buying a like property – especially since the likely long term trend for mortgage rates is higher.
Is "Made in the USA" merchandise actually made in America?
It’s pretty sad when you can’t even trust that the “Made in USA” label. If you see that label you know that the product is manufactured in our country right? Sadly the Federal Trade Commission discovered that many different lines of merchandise with that label – aren’t actually made in the USA. How?
Made in the USA is a licensing company. As long as a company pays them an annual license fee, they could use the label. The company that owns the license doesn’t vet the products. The FTC is looking to take action to thwart this misleading labeling going forward – it should be considered false advertising. Let’s hope they’re successful but preying on the patriotism of Americans in false pretence is just plain sad.
Cool beans... Our contributions to retirement account have hit a new record high:
Bottom Line: Earlier in the week Fidelity released their quarterly 401k update that revealed that the average 401k balance is at an all-time high (greater than $92k). Now we have word that the average annual contribution has also reached a new all time high.
For those who made a contribution to an IRA account within the last year the average contribution increased to $4150. That’s up 5.7% within the last year. Every age group has been increasing their level of contribution. This is all great news. Now we just need to increase the number of people contributing to IRA’s generally.