For generations, the tooth fairy has brought a little monetary relief for those losing a tooth. Before all the qualitative data was kept, we can share with confidence that the early 50s brought about ten cents to losing a tooth, but it quickly rose to a quarter by the mid-50s.  Now according to Delta Dental via the Kiplinger Letter, we learn that after polling 1,000 people that the tooth fairy might need a loan from the bank, assuming she/he has good credit. The cost has risen to an average of $6.23, up from $5.36 last year, representing a 16% increase. The baseline was drawn in 1998 at a then paltry $1.30. That means it has grown at a rate of about 6.5% on an average annualized basis.



Though we cannot avoid death, we can limit our tax liability. According to the IRS, the average American household in 2020 paid $10,850 in Federal taxes plus those pesky state and local taxes. Certain states like Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming have no income tax, but, of course, make it up in other ways. What states have the lowest overall tax rates exclusive of Federal taxes? Here are the top ten according to WalletHub with the lowest overall state and local tax burden as a percent of income:

10) Tennessee – 8.58%

  9) Colorado – 8.53%

  8) Idaho – 8.29%

  7) Utah – 8.23%

  6) Florida – 8.21%

  5) Wyoming – 8.06%

  4) Nevada – 7.79%

  3) Montana – 7.12%

  2) Delaware – 6.34%

  1) Alaska – 6.05%



Last Wednesday, Ray Ferrara, CFP®, Founder and Executive Chair, and Daniel Mannix, CFA®, Chair of the Investment Committee, hosted a webinar for our clients and friends. Daniel reviewed the recent events in the banking industry while Ray discussed President Joe Biden’s budget proposal.

In short, we believe banks are generally in much better financial condition a decade and a half following the Great Financial Crisis. This is not a 2008-type credit crisis and the recent bank collapses represent unique, isolated events rather than a systemic issue across the industry. The President’s budget proposal is ambitious and focuses on increasing taxes rather than cutting expenses. Given a split Congress, we believe the chances of this budget being approved being slim-to-none. To see a replay of the webinar, please go to

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/z_b_z26TJ3LJ7EGAA7vEVolWEoYTPoZTN1N6hCfdONLGbyQdkpUxyTlOpPFd9m2e.naZH79GhyjfoZIH7 and use Passcode: H8m#c9?f



Inflation over the past 18 months has made the cost of living go up dramatically and forced the Fed to rapidly raise interest rates. Clearly, it has had a great effect on those with a lower income, but the wealthy are not immune to inflation’s ravages. SmartAsset recently used the MIT Living Wage Calculator to determine the after-tax income needed for a basic lifestyle in the top 25 most expensive metro areas for an adult without children. Here are the top ten:

10) Orlando/Kissimmee/Sanford, Florida – $67,740

  9) Denver/Aurora/Lakewood, Colorado – $70,892

  8) Portland/Vancouver/Hillsboro, Oregon/Washington – $74,086

  7) District of Columbia/Arlington. Alexandria, Virginia – $76,194

  6) Los Angeles/Long Beach/Anaheim, California – $76,710

  5) Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue, Washington – $77,634

  4) New York/Newark/Jersey City, New York/New Jersey/ Pennsylvania – $78,524

  3) Boston/Cambridge/Newton, Massachusetts/New Hampshire – $78,752

  2) San Diego/Chula Vista/Carlsbad, California – $79,324

  1) San Francisco/Oakland/Berkeley, California – $84,026



Based on a survey of 3,500 people, Fidelity updated its 2023 Retirement Assessment Report and the news is not good. Fidelity uses a stop light to portray America’s retirement readiness. For 52% of people, the light is flashing yellow meaning they are not on target and need to make changes as soon as possible. Even worse, the light is actually red for about one-third of those surveyed. While inflation and a declining market over the past year share some responsibility, investors are saving less and investing more conservatively.

Many expressed a regret in investing too aggressively…think tech stocks, bitcoin, etc. Fidelity recommends saving 15% of the paycheck for retirement and all generations are well below this number: Millennials saving 9.5%, Gen Xers saving 11.1% and Baby Boomers also saving 9.5%. Segmenting this a little more, couples are saving 11.1% while singles are only saving 8.4%. One of the biggest problems is that too few have a plan with 47% of Baby Boomers and a whopping 60% of Gen X saying they lack one. As Lewis Carroll wrote in Alice in Wonderland, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will do.”



For the past several months, the Treasury Department has been using extraordinary measures to pay America’s bills. Sometime this summer they will lose the flexibility to pay bills without increasing the debt ceiling. Republicans want to get the Democrats to lower future expenses (not including Social Security), while Democrats want Republicans to present their budget to contrast their views with President Biden’s proposed budget.

Both parties provide their own spin on these positions. Raising the debt ceiling has nothing to do with budget discussions or cutting future expenses. Instead, it is about paying for the programs and expenses that past Congress’ have approved and need to be funded. This game of chicken is most unfortunate. The two sides need to get this done as the idea of America defaulting on its debts and obligations would lead to disastrous economic consequences.



A recent article released by Zillow Research[1] showed that single women’s homeownership declined for the first time in six years. From 2015 -2021, single young women began buying their own homes at a similar rate to single young men. The pandemic wiped out that progress especially as women left the workforce to take on caregiving responsibilities.

Skylar Olsen, Zillow chief economist, put it this way: “Despite women showing remarkable resilience in returning to the workforce, single women’s homeownership took a heavy hit in 2022. With rising and volatile mortgage rates furthering affordability challenges, the road to affordable homeownership remains an uphill battle, and it may take creative solutions or even doubling up in a home to achieve that dream.”

Zillow Research looked at 50 metro areas and single women have found the highest share of affordable listings in Pittsburgh, St. Louis or Detroit. Zillow compiled a chart showing the “Share of Listings that Single Women can Afford Compared to Single Men.”[2]  Read below to see how several Florida metro areas fared:

  • Tampa – 90%
  • Miami – 84.26%
  • Orlando – 75.68%
  • Jacksonville – 63.5%

Though young women’s homeownership has slipped, the current rising interest rate environment has made homeownership challenging for all young buyers. Despite the challenges, homeownership remains the American dream and sign of prosperity.



     1 Olsen, Skylar: “Sisters Making it by Ourselves: A Recent History of Labor Force Participation, Attaining Home Ownership, and the Current Ability of Women to Own it Alone,”  March 24 2023 https://www.zillow.com/research/single-women-homeownership-32352/

     2 https://zillow.mediaroom.com/2023-03-24-Gender-gap-widens-Growth-trend-reverses-for-young-single-women-homeowners