Nevada Ranked No. 2 Wealth-Friendly State
Nevada ranked second to Wyoming in the list of America’s most “wealth-friendly” states, according to an annual ranking released this spring by Bloomberg Wealth Manager magazine. The publication serves financial planners and investment advisers who counsel the affluent. In its seventh year atop the wealth-friendly chart, Wyoming reigns supreme when it comes to keeping the wealth in the hands of the breadwinners, not
state government. Rhode Island, on the other hand, might be a nice place to visit, but you may not want to live there if you’re rich. It was ranked America’s most “wealth-hostile” state for the fourth straight year. For the annual wealth-friendliness survey, co-author Thomas Saler compared the impact of state taxes on salary, real estate, personal property and retirement assets for four hypothetical families. The editors ran exhaustive research on tax codes and effects in each state. The results vividly demonstrate how the tax bite can vary from state to state. For example, the identical set of financial parameters that generated a tax bill of $7,259 last year in Wyoming could have cost a family $56,419 in Rhode Island.
Letting Go: Make Yourself Dispensable
“If you want something done right, do it yourself” may be a favorite motto for many of the entrepreneurs who are brave enough to start a business. But that advice may be
costing them a fortune, according to Joe John Duran CFA, author of Start It Sell It & Make a Mint. One of the most important traits successful entrepreneurs have to learn in order to grow their companies to the next level is the art of letting go. According to Duran, these are the three most important reasons entrepreneurs win when they let go:
1. Increased focus brings increased results. For example, one business owner thought no one could sell his investment products as well as he could, but when he brought in a salesman, revenues increased significantly, because the business owner typically spent less than a third of his time selling, while the new salesman concentrated on it full-time. The benefits of having a person focus on one area of the business apply to every area of the business, from accounting to operations.
2. Spend your time on more important decisions, and you’ll make more money. Giving the $5-an-hour work to someone else frees you up to focus on the more important facets of the business, such as strategic planning and closing big-ticket deals.
3. The less important you are, the more valuable your business. This is counterintuitive for most people. Yet, if the business is still completely dependent on the founder, it is not transferable to a new buyer and is not very valuable. Imagine you own a barbershop and you have hundreds of loyal customers. If they love getting their hair cut by only you, then what is the business worth to someone else? Obviously not much.
“While letting go of some of your daily tasks might be challenging,” says Duran, “as long as you keep an eye on things and make sure your standards and values are maintained, you will benefit immensely.”
Managing the Risks of E-mail and Instant Messaging
According to a recent report by American Management Association (AMA), one in five U.S. companies surveyed had employee e-mail subpoenaed in the course of a lawsuit or regulatory investigation, up from 14 percent in 2003. Another 13 percent have battled workplace lawsuits triggered by employee e-mail. Yet, in spite of the fact that e-mail and instant messages (IM) are a primary source of evidence, employers remain largely unprepared to manage e-mail and instant messaging risks. The 2004 Workplace E-mail and Instant Messaging Survey of 840 companies was conducted by AMA and The ePolicy Institute.
“Most alarming is the business community’s failure to retain e-mail and instant messages according to written retention and deletion policies,” said Nancy Flynn, executive director of The ePolicy Institute. Only 6 percent of organizations retain and archive IM business records, and only 35 percent have an e-mail retention policy in place. According to the survey, 42 percent of respondents perform a job function that is governed by government or industry regulations. Yet, fully 43 percent of those regulated employees either do not adhere to regulatory requirements governing e-mail retention, or are unsure if they are in compliance. “For financial services firms and others in regulated industries, the failure to properly retain e-mail and IM can – and regularly does – lead to six-figure fines, criminal charges, civil lawsuits and damaging publicity,” said Flynn. “Employers simply cannot afford to approach e-mail and IM retention as a hit-or-miss proposition.”
Fast Facts About Baby Boomers
In a recent national survey by Del Webb, the nation’s leading builder of active-adult communities, baby boomers throughout the U.S. were polled on their feelings about becoming “empty nesters” and retiring. Here are some results:
Getting out of debt is the No. 1 priority for the nation’s 76 million boomers when they become “empty nesters.”
While 40 percent anticipate their adult children will boomerang back to live with them, 30 percent expect to share their household with aging parents.
Fifty-five percent of those surveyed plan to move when they retire, citing a desire for a smaller house (23 percent) and one with less maintenance (62 percent).
Only 36 percent of boomers think they will have enough money to live comfortably once they retire, and fully one-fourth think they will not have enough money to retire at all.
However, while greeting customers at the local Wal-Mart, aging boomers will still be looking good. About 26 percent said they would consider some kind of cosmetic surgery or treatment, such as a tummy tuck, liposuction or a facelift.