FA Insights is a daily newsletter from Business Insider that delivers the top news and commentary for financial advisors.
Medicare costs are going up for higher income earners (Social Security Administration)
The Social Security Administration announced 2016 Medicare costs are going up for individuals who earned at least $85,000 and couples that earned more than $170,000 during 2014. Premiums for most retirees will remain at the 2015 level of $104.90, but will increase by $230.80 for the highest earners, or individuals making $214,000 and couples who earned more than $428,000. Additionally, higher income earners will pay between 35% and 80% of their total doctor visit costs while everyone else will be charged just 25% of the total cost.
Employees are taking better advantage of their benefits (Bank of America Merrill Lynch)
The latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch Plan Wellness Scorecard found that employees are taking better advantage of the benefits offered by their employers. According to the scorecard, usage of Health Savings Accounts during the first half of 2015 jumped by 40% compared to last year. Additionally, one-third of all HSA spending came from millennials, up from just 9% five years ago. Those employees making contributions to a 401(k) increased by 44% over the first half half of last year, and that was fuelled by a 40% gain in the use of auto enrollment. Roth IRA contributions were up 21% during the same period, according to the scorecard.
The Swiss National Bank still thinks the franc is overvalued (Swiss National Bank)
The Swiss National Bank kept its Libor rate at a record-low -0.75% while maintaining its target range of -0.25% to -1.25%. The central bank once again noted that its currency, the franc, was “significantly overvalued,” and it said it would remain active in the foreign-exchange market “to influence the exchange rate situation, as necessary.” The Swiss franc is weaker by 0.6% at .9890 per dollar.
Apartment vaccancies are up in Manhattan (Bloomberg)
Apartment vacancies in Manhattan climbed to 2.87% in November, the highest level in more than nine years, according to a report from appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate obtained by Bloomberg. However, hat didn’t stop prices from rising. The report noted the median monthly rent rose 3.9% year-0ver-year to $3,361. The continued price gains have caused tenants to seek smaller, less expensive units. Miller Samuel found the median rent in non-doorman buildings climbed 3% to $2,727 while their doorman building counterparts edged up just 0.4%.”We’re hitting the point where affordability is really becoming a much bigger issue than it has been in the past,” Miller Samuel president Jonathan Miller said.
Advisors on the move (Think Advisor)
Wells Fargo Advisors has landed a $1.1 billion team from UBS Private Wealth Management. According to Think Advisor, the Blosser-Reeder Group, headed by Rick Blosser and Ryan Reeder, moved to the Wells Fargo’s Westwood office in Los Angeles. Elsewhere, Matthew Gall and Jim McDermott are leaving their resepective offices at Wells Fargo Advisors and Oppenheimer & Co. to join Raymond James in Chicago. Together, the two bring $110 million in assets and $1.5 million in annual fees into the fold, Think Advisor reports.
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