Raising a child in America is more expensive than ever, and health care accounts for a big chunk of the bill. And while more kids are insured today than at any other point in history, the higher coverage rate hasn’t translated to lower health costs for parents. Per-capita spending on children’s health care in 2014 reached $2,660 — having increased by more than 5 percent every year since 2010 — due mainly to rising health costs, according to a recent report from the Health Cost Institute.
But it’s a different story in every state. WalletHub’s data team therefore compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 28 key indicators of cost, quality and access to children’s health care. Our data set ranges from share of children aged 0 to 17 in excellent or very good health to pediatricians and family doctors per capita. Read on for our findings, expert insight from a panel of researchers and a full description of our methodology.
Graduation season is a time of big dreams and immense pressure for soon-to-be job seekers across the nation. But finding employment is no small task. And what many job-market entrants ultimately seek is a career, not just a job. They want the attractive combination of a high starting salary and high growth potential in terms of compensation as well as responsibility. They also want stability while doing what they love. The question is how to go about obtaining such things in this über-competitive job market.
In search of answers and actionable information for the Class of 2017, WalletHub’s analysts took stock of the first-timer job market by comparing 109 entry-level positions based on 12 key metrics. Our data set ranges from median starting salary to projected job growth by 2024 to median tenure with employer. Check out the complete breakdown of our findings, expert job-hunting advice and a full description of our methodology below.
Moving your family to a new state is a challenge on its own. Moving them for all the right reasons is another. If you’re looking for cultural diversity, a strong economy and adventure for your clan, Arizona is the obvious choice.
This Southwestern state is the 11th most racially diverse. It also holds the record for having the largest share of its land designated for Indian reservations — about a quarter of the state — occupied by 22 federally recognized Native American nations. If better earning, employment or entrepreneurial opportunities are your priority, Arizona’s economy beats out those of 34 states and earns high marks in categories measuring, among others, GDP growth, share of fast-growing firms and share of high-tech jobs. And you won’t run out of fun options for family activities in the Grand Canyon State — the nickname says it all.
Eco-friendliness and personal finance are essentially cousins. Not only are our environmental and financial necessities aligned — providing ourselves with sustainable, clean drinking water and nutritious sustenance, for example — but we also spend money on both the household and government levels in support of environmental security.
Then there’s climate change. We’ve already seen a rise in powerful land-bearing storm systems and extreme droughts. But that’s just the beginning, as storm surges and other bad weather are expected to cause more than $500 billion in property damage by the year 2100. Climate change will also have a direct impact on our military industrial complex, as nearly all of our East Coast air and naval installations are vulnerable to sea-level rise.
Size matters when choosing a city in which to launch a startup. As many veteran entrepreneurs — and failed startups — understand well, bigger is not always better. A city with a smaller population can offer a greater chance of success, depending on an entrepreneur’s type of business and personal preferences.
Every small city offers unique advantages and disadvantages to prospective ventures. Lower overhead costs, stronger relationships with customers and the potential to become a big fish in a little pond are among the benefits. But the drawbacks come plenty as well. For one, entrepreneurs seeking to cultivate a large professional network aren’t likely to fill their roster in a town with fewer residents. Other restrictions might include limited industry options, a less diverse customer base, and difficulty attracting and retaining top talent.
You know it’s Easter when grocery stores devote special aisles to chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps while the dairy section is perpetually depleted of eggs. Besides Valentine’s Day, it’s the other big “consumer” holiday that’s expected to rake in billions and give every American a toothache. But eating is just one part of the celebration. Most people dye their eggs in bright colors, hide them strategically around the home and let the kids loose for the egg hunt on Easter Sunday. At least that’s the Easter tradition that’s familiar to the roughly 80 percent of Americans who celebrate the occasion in some way.
For Christians, however, Easter is less of a commercial event than a holy experience. It not only marks the end of Lent — a 40-day period of fasting, reflection, prayer and repentance followed directly by Easter Sunday — but it also celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and represents the “new covenant” between God and humanity. In observance of the holiday, many families will gather to attend a “sunrise service”, delight in an Easter feast and continue to share the messages of Christ.
It’s home to some of the wettest places in the U.S., but Washington State boasts enough sunny qualities to make it livable for parents and their kids. This Pacific Northwest state simply has everything a family could dream of: a healthy job market paired with big paychecks, high educational attainment, a natural environment that promotes an active lifestyle and more.
To start off the list, Washingtonians earn the 12th highest per-capita personal income in the U.S. and experienced the fourth highest growth in income between 2015 and 2016. As a bonus, they don’t have to pay state individual income tax. Those who aspire to work for some of America’s biggest and most admired employers will also be pleased to know that Amazon, Costco, Microsoft and Starbucks are all headquartered here, where strong employment growth is expected for the next two years.
Traveling by plane costs an average of $370 per trip. And choosing the wrong airline has the potential to take even more from us. For instance, 26 animals died during air transportation in 2016, and seven major U.S. airlines had at least one pet fatality.
While critical to consider, such factors often fly under the radar due to our focus on price. But finding the cheapest airfare is now quite easy for anyone with an internet connection. So this report centers on those other, overlooked aspects of air travel to help consumers make more-informed decisions.
On April 18, Uncle Sam will once again take his cut from everyone’s earnings this past year. And many taxpayers are already wondering what that haircut on their finances will look like. However, with such a complex tax code further convoluted by the way taxes are imposed on Americans based on their individual household characteristics, it’s hard to tell unless you wrote the tax policies yourself.
One simple ratio known as the “tax burden” helps cut through the confusion. Not to be confused with tax rates, which vary widely based on an individual’s particular circumstances, tax burden measures the exact proportion of total personal income that residents pay toward state and local taxes. And it isn’t uniform across the U.S., either.
Loved by marketers, vilified by media, millennials are at once the most popular and unpopular generation alive. They’re the largest, too, giving them an outsized influence on American culture and consumerism. Today, these late-teens-to-early-30-somethings who are often depicted through negative stereotypes — entitled, parentally dependent, deludedly invincible — are responsible for 21 percent of all consumer discretionary spending in the U.S.
And yet, despite their trillion-dollar purchasing power and higher educational attainment, millennials are economically worse off than their parents. Why? The financial crisis remains a big part of the reason. Millennials have come of age and entered the workforce in the shadow of the Great Recession, significantly reducing their job prospects and earning potential for decades to come. By one estimate, millennials today earn 20 percent less than Baby Boomers did at the same age.
Stress affects everyone. Although we cannot eliminate stress entirely from our lives, we can minimize it by choosing to reside in the least toxic environments. The good news is stress levels in 2016 reached their lowest point in a decade. The bad news is they’re back on the uptick this year.
During the 10-year period when stress was declining, Americans commonly identified “money, work and the economy” as their biggest sources of worry. Today, however, Americans also report increased anxiety over the election outcome, current political climate, uncertainty of our nation’s future and fear of violence.
The Verdict: The American Express Platinum Card actually costs more than its weight in platinum. Standard plastic credit cards such as Amex Platinum tend to weigh about 5 grams each, you see, and platinum was priced a bit over $31 per gram as of Jan. 27, 2017. That equates to roughly $157, or over one-third of the Amex Platinum Card’s $550 annual fee. While this card is therefore unquestionably expensive, the ultimate question still remains: Is it worth it?