Thursday, July 23, 2015

These Are the Top 20 Cities Americans Are Ditching

Soaring costs of living meant residents left New York City and its suburbs in droves
by Erin RomanWei Lu
New York City, Los Angeles, Honolulu: They're all places you would think would be popular destinations for Americans. So it might come as a surprise that these are among the cities U.S. residents are fleeing in droves. 

The map below shows the 20 metropolitan areas that lost the greatest share of local people to other parts of the country between July 2013 and July 2014, according to a Bloomberg News analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. The New York City area ranked 2nd, losing about a net 163,000 U.S. residents, closely followed by a couple surrounding suburbs in Connecticut. Honolulu ranked fourth and Los Angeles ranked 14th. The Bloomberg calculations looked at the 100 most populous U.S. metropolitan areas. 

Interestingly, these are also the cities with some of the highest net inflows of people from outside the country. That gives many of these cities a steadily growing population, despite the net exodus of people moving within the U.S.

So what's going on here? Michael Stoll, a professor of public policy and urban planning at the University of California Los Angeles, has an idea. Soaring home prices are pushing local residents out and scaring away potential new ones from other parts of the country, he said. (Everyone knows how unaffordable the Manhattan area has become.)

And as Americans leave, people from abroad move in to these bustling cities to fill the vacant low-skilled jobs. They are able to do so by living in what Stoll calls "creative housing arrangements" in which they pack six to eight individuals, or two to four families, into one apartment or home. It's an arrangement that most Americans just aren't willing to pursue, and even many immigrants decide it's not for them as time goes by, he said.

In addition, the growing demand for high-skilled workers, especially in the technology industry, brought foreigners who possess those skills to the U.S.  They are compensated appropriately and can afford to live in these high-cost areas, just like Americans who hold similar positions. One example is Washington, D.C., which had a lot of people from abroad arriving to soak up jobs in the growing tech-hub, Stoll said.

Other areas weren't so lucky. Take some of the Rust Belt cities that experienced fast drops in their American populations, like Cleveland, Dayton and Toledo, even though they are relatively inexpensive places to live. These cities didn't get enough international migrants to make up for the  those who left, a reflection of the fact that locals were probably leaving out of a lack of jobs.
This is part of a multiple-decade trend of the U.S. population moving away from these manufacturing hubs to areas in the Sun Belt and the Pacific Northwest, Stoll said. Retiring baby boomers are also leaving the Northeast and migrating to more affordable places with better climates.

This explains why the majority of metropolitan areas in Florida and Texas, as well as west-coast cities like Portland, had an influx of people. El Paso, Texas, the city that residents fled from at the fastest pace, also saw a surprisingly small number of foreigners settling in given how close it is to Mexico.

"A lot of young, reasonably educated people are having a hard time finding work there," Stoll said. "They're not staying in town after they graduate," leaving for the faster-growing economies of neighboring metro areas like Dallas and Austin, he said.

Methodology: Bloomberg ranked 100 of the most populous U.S. metropolitan areas based on their net domestic migration rates, from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014, as a percentage of total population as of July 2013. Domestic migration refers to people moving within the country (e.g. someone moving from New York City to San Francisco). A negative rate indicates more people leaving than coming in. International migration refers to a local resident leaving for a foreign country or someone from outside the U.S. moving into the U.S.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

America’s Seniors Find Middle-Class ‘Sweet Spot’

By Dionne Searcey and Robert Gebeloff June 14, 2015, New York Times

Most Americans suffered serious losses during and after the recession, knocked off balance by layoffs, stagnant pay and the collapse of home values. 

But apart from the super-rich, one group’s fortunes appear to have held remarkably steady: seniors.

Supported by income from Social Security, pensions and investments, as well as an increasing number of paychecks from delaying retirement, older people not only weathered the economic downturn that began in 2007 but made significant gains, a New York Times analysis of government data has found.

More "seniors" are working


Monday, June 29, 2015

How to Manage Your Parents’ Finances When They Can’t

From a June article in Next by Lucy Lazarony

Below are five recommendations from money experts if you find yourself needing to manage one or both of your parents’ finances. They can be especially helpful if the parent who managed the household’s money for years is ill or incapacitated, since the other may be at a loss about what to do.

1. Find the financial documents.
Look for your parents’ essential documents in desk drawers, safety deposit boxes and filing cabinets. You need to find their bank and investment statements including retirement accounts; insurance records; the title to the house and car as well as medical and doctor records, especially if paying for medical expenses is a growing financial concern.
“Take an inventory of what exactly they have and a balance sheet of what’s going to come in or go out.” says Skip Fleming, a financial planner at Lodestar Financial Planning in Colorado Springs, Colo.

2. Check their cash flow.
The checkbook register and bank statements can answer important questions: Are they keeping up with their bills? Are they paying the same bill twice, or not at all? Have they made a number of repeated purchases for items they may not use? Are they giving to their favorite charity every time a telemarketer for the organization calls?
Fleming and his brother are helping their widowed mother with her finances. Fleming offers strategic planning advice while his brother, who lives closer to his mother, stops by twice a month to help pay bills. “She still to this day handwrites checks for everything,” Fleming says. “And my brother goes over to her house a couple of times a month and they go through it together.”

3. Streamline spending
. Check for ways to trim and simplify your parents’ finances. Do they have credit cards they never use? A cell phone they don’t need or a very expensive calling plan?
“Try to streamline stuff as much as possible,” says Fleming, whose mother had cable add ons she didn’t need and a cell phone she didn’t use.

4. Divvy up the job with your siblings
. “I’ve seen it work very well with someone doing the day to day and someone else doing the more strategic or long range things,” Fleming says.
If neither you nor your brothers or sisters feel competent to take control of your parents’ investments, reach out to a financial adviser.

5. Sign a durable power of attorney.
Discuss with your siblings whether you, one or more of them, or some combination will act as durable power of attorney, making financial decisions for your parents when they cannot. (Find out precisely how a durable power of attorney works in the state where your parent lives or will be living if he or she will soon relocate.)
“It’s worth spending two hundred bucks or whatever it costs to talk to an attorney, hopefully it’s your parent’s attorney,”

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Here are the average payments Medicare makes to every medical specialty

By Art Golab  | June 12, 2015 Modern Healthcare

Looking at Medicare physician payment data, it would appear that oncologists were
among the highest paid specialists in 2013. But a closer look reveals that much of
the money going to oncologists is used to cover the cost of administered drugs.

This chart shows the average total payment for every medical specialty along with
 the average payment for drugs, which is a subset of the total payment.

The drug payment figures were broken out for the first time in the physician
 payment data for 2013 released last week.

Individual payment totals to physicians can be tracked by specialty
and location using Modern Healthcare's Medicare payment data tool.

Select specialties from the drop down menu to compare payments.

Select specialties from the dropdown menu to compare payments.
(If you wish to be able to use this menu to check and compare costs of most medical disciplines
click here and screen down to this chart.)

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