What the experts say
Tips for a 529 plan
If you’re setting up a 529 account for a child’s college education, said Chana Schoenberger in The Wall Street Journal, it’s best to put it in the name of the parents or the child, not a grandparent. Most colleges use the standard Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine a family’s assets and obligations. If the account is in the name of the parents or a dependent student, it’s counted in the parents’ assets and financial aid each year gets cut by 5.64 percent of its value. If the custodian is a grandparent or anyone else, “it doesn’t show up on the FAFSA as an asset at all.” But watch out: When the student withdraws money to pay for school, it will be considered untaxed income on the following year’s FAFSA, cutting financial aid eligibility by as much as half of the withdrawal.
Where the money flows freely
The world’s 200,000 wealthiest people are gravitating more and more toward a few cities, said Benjamin Stupples and Frederik Balfour in Bloomberg.com. London—with close to 5,000—Tokyo, and Singapore are home to the most people worth at least $30 million. Also in the top 10: São Paolo; Taipei, Taiwan; and Zurich. New York City is the only U.S. city in the top 10. “The data highlight the concentration of the ultrawealthy living in the biggest metropolises.” Last year, buyers from Hong Kong and China made about a quarter of the purchases of London homes worth at least 2 million pounds ($2.6 million). Asia is the world’s biggest source of new billionaires, boosting luxury investments like cars, artwork, and whisky. The last is up in value by 582 percent over 10 years, helped along by a new nonstop air route from Edinburgh to Beijing.
Coming back to the workforce
The share of Americans ages 25 to 54 who have a job has finally reached pre-recession levels, said Christopher Rugaber in the Associated Press. Economists refer to this group as “prime-age workers,” and for the first time since 2008, 80 percent of them are now employed. “More people have decided to look for work” than economists expected, leading to an influx of job seekers. With unemployment now around 4 percent, “businesses have increasingly begun recruiting more widely,” relaxing their prerequisites for education or experience and expanding training programs. “Women have returned to the workforce in greater numbers than men have.” For women ages 25 to 34, labor participation is at an 18-year high.