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Muriel Siebert & Co.



Life’s many expenses and wealthy rewards

By Dian Vujovich

These days it takes more money to raise a child and to die than it ever has. Throw in the cost of living and your life style between those two points and the bill can easily run into millions. Below is a look at a few aspects of our money lives.

Where we die…

Turns out, Florida is a pretty okay place to die. Connecticut not so much.

According to a recent Associated Press story, Connecticut is the most expensive state to die in thanks to their new probate fees. Fees that took effect as of July 1, but are retroactive to all deaths dating back to January 1, could bump probate invoices up from the old maximum fee of $12,500 to $100,000 or more depending upon the size of one’s estate.

Add the state’s estate tax—it ranges from 7,2 percent to 12 percent on top of it— and two notions come to mind: Making sure you’ve got a trust, and, moving to Florida where probate fees can be more reasonable.

How about those kids…

Figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and based on 2013 data, show that a family of middle class wealth can expect to pay close to a quarter of a million dollars to raise a child up to the age of 18. The actual figure was $245,340 and included costs for food, clothing, child care, housing, health care and transportation. Throw in education, vacations and a Palm Beach life style and you can easily quadruple that amount.

Where’s all that money going to come from…

The stock market has been a friend to the wealthy and if Jeremy Siegel’s fortune telling cap is correct, if there’s a hike in interest rates in September, he sees stocks soaring and the Dow heading for 20,000.

“Once we get the first increase of the Fed’s rate out of the way … we’re going to have a very good fourth quarter,” said Siegel, a Wharton School finance professor, on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on July 14.

So go buy that yacht….

In our magnificent state of Florida, while this year the governor vetoed a $9.5 million grant for charitable clinics that would have benefited literally thousands throughout the state, he did something for a few wealthy folks who happen to be luxury yacht owners.

Apparently, mega yacht owners spend an average of $1 million a year fixing up their vessels. As you might guess, taxes for such work can be costly too.

So Governor Scott, who once-upon-a-time was a Navy guy and must still have a fondness for all big things that float, signed into law a tax barring the state from collecting more than $60,000 for any boat repairs.


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