What the experts say
State taxes for retirees
“It pays to shop around when deciding which state you want to live in during retirement,” said Lorie Konish in CNBC.com. Retirees often choose to move because of climate or proximity to family, but “how hefty the tax bill will be” should be a key concern. States like Florida, Texas, and Nevada are popular retirement destinations because there is no individual income tax. But retirees should also consider other levies, such as sales tax, property taxes, and state inheritance taxes, when making their decision. Some states tax Social Security or pension income; others offer special deductions to seniors on property taxes, or exempt items like prescription drugs and medical devices from sales taxes. Assessing all state fees, including even car registration costs, will capture the full tax picture.
College banking lessons
College students: Read the fine print on your school-affiliated bank accounts, said Ann Carrns in The New York Times. Banks consider campuses to be “fertile ground for establishing relationships with prospective customers,” and 10 million students attend a school with a commercial banking agreement. But fees on school-affiliated accounts “vary widely.”
Fees paid by students at Florida International University on Wells Fargo accounts averaged $52 in the last school year, for instance, while students at the University of Minnesota averaged $27 for the year on accounts offered by TCF Bank. “It’s wise to do some comparison shopping.” Convenient, no-fee ATMs should be a big consideration, and credit unions and online banks shouldn’t be overlooked.
New payday lender rules
The nation’s top consumer watchdog last week issued new regulations “to prevent lenders from taking advantage of cashstrapped Americans,” said Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “long-awaited rules” require payday lenders to determine whether the borrower can afford to repay a loan “and still meet basic living expenses and major financial obligations.” Limits will be set on how many loans a borrower can take out. Under the rules, which will not take effect until 2019, lenders can make a single loan of up to $500 “without a full repayment test,” but only to borrowers with no other outstanding payday loans. For larger loans, lenders will be required to follow a complex set of underwriting rules. ■