The happenings "inside" the Wisconsin State Treasury and across the street at the State Capitol

Archive for September, 2012

FAQ: How do I cash a US Savings Bond, and do I have to pay interest on a bond?


You can cash a US Savings Bond at most banks and credit unions. However, some bonds have to be cashed at a Federal Reserve Bank. You can visit the US Treasury Department at www.treasurydirect.gov to find out more.

Also you do not have to pay either state or local taxes on the earned interest. Note: You will receive a Form 1099-INT in the tax year that the US Savings Bonds are redeemed and you are responsible for all of the accumulated interest and it is taxable on your federal tax return.

Search for missing bonds on our website by clicking here!

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FAQ: How can I get an EdVest distribution sent to me?


If you would like a distribution sent to you, the account owner must complete an EdVest Distribution Request form (PDF).

Note: If at the time the account was opened the account owner selected the Redemption Option, then they can call 1-888-338-3789 to request a distribution or they can log in to Online Account Access. Note: (Distributions done online will be sent by check to the address of record.) An account owner may add the Redemption Option feature at any time by completing the EdVest Account Change Request form (PDF).


The Economy & You #52: Food for Thought


As I read various articles about education, the economy, manufacturing and the like, I come across interesting facts, opinions, and perspectives. While by themselves, they do not provide enough for one specific article, I do believe the information should be brought forward. The information should provide the reader some food for thought and possibly a starting point for further in-depth discussion.

Here are a few things that caught my eye.

Green Jobs and Job Creation

In 2011, according to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, there were almost 200,000 people who has jobs specifically in electric power generation. Of those, less than 4,000 of those were in wind and solar electric power generation. In fact solar had less than 600 jobs.  For all of the investment and talk about green energy as a job creator, it can be argued that they produce few jobs. The bulk of jobs is in fossil fuel electric power generation (nearly 120,000) as would be expected. One important note, these jobs are just the people who work in the actual industries and not in sectors like manufacturing, construction and transportation. The question to be discussed is how important is the green energy sector to job creation?

Family Status and Future Income

Delinquent fatherhood has a significant negative impact on our economy. According to research by EMSI, children of delinquent fathers are less likely to graduate high school than children from two parent families, and this results in lower lifetime earnings. The lower lifetime earnings is estimated to be nearly $83,000 per child. With children of delinquent fathers being estimated at 19.7 million, the annual average loss in productivity is $34.8 billion to the economy each year.

Jobs Calculator

The Federal Reserve of Atlanta produced an interesting tool, the Jobs Calculator.  According to its website, the Jobs Calculator calculates the net employment change needed to achieve a target unemployment rate after a specified number of months. The calculator allows the user to adjust the target unemployment rate, the number of months, and the assumed growth in the labor force. Go take a look at www.fbratlanta.org/chcs/calculator/behind_jobs_calc.cfm.

Will the U. S. Postal Service Close Up or Just Retire

There are numerous stories talking about the impending demise of the U.S. Postal Service. Members of Congress have forwarded the idea that to trim staff, postal workers should be offered buyouts up to $25,000 for retire early. They may want to rethink that idea. Over 80% of postal workers are between the ages of 45 and 64. Less than 5% of postal employees are under the age of 35. This means that if no new (i.e. younger) employees are brought on, a large portion of the postal service could retire within the next ten years.


Treasurer’s Top 5: Portage County


Old Main Street Stevens Point, Portage County
Courtesy: dreamsofyesteryear.com

This week, we travel to Portage County.  Here’s a look at the Top 5 people and businesses there with unclaimed assets. Do you see anyone on this list you know?  If so, have check out  www.wismissingmoney.com and search their name to make a claim.  They can also call 855-375-CASH (2274)

Portaqe County

Wilhelmina Saretzky

Karen and Peter Leahy

Elizabeth Wagner

Amy and Dennis Fuller

Comfort Suites

 


Money Matters: How to Prevent Top 5 Financial Regrets, Buying a House #3


This post is from our friends at Learnvest.com and offers a great deal of information on how to avoid the top 5 Financial Regrets.  This week, We focus on Buying a House.  The past two weeks, we examined Habitually Overspending and Inadequately Saving.  Over the next several weeks, we will take a close look at all 5 Top Financial Regrets.

  • Habitually Overspending
  • Inadequately saving
  • Buying a house
  • Not buying a house
  • Not saving enough for retirement

When reading through these regrets and solutions, make sure to keep in mind what’s right for you in your situation.  People are different.

          3. Buying a House

It’s the other side of the coin: regretting taking the plunge and buying a house. Since we don’t imagine people are regretting having somewhere to live, it’s likely that this regret stems from having what is called an underwater mortgage, a situation that one in three United States homeowners is currently struggling with.

  • This means that they owe much more on the house than it’s worth in the current market, so they can’t sell it unless they have the cash to make up the difference on hand. This situation, in which the homeowner can’t afford the mortgage payments but also can’t afford to sell, often leads to foreclosure.

    How to Keep It From Happening: To prevent homebuyer remorse, you need to buy only when it’s right for you (see above). If you’re already in the unfortunate situation of having an underwater mortgage, we present your options here. For some people, strategic default–simply walking away from the house and leaving the mortgage unpaid–is a viable option, but that depends where you live and on your individual situation. To consider whether it’s right for you, read this.

 


FAQ: Why does Wisconsin have Unclaimed Property laws?


In 1970, the law was created to help Wisconsin residents to find their missing funds. After 1 to 5 years of inactivity, most Wisconsin businesses are obligated to turn over all unclaimed money, stock, and safe deposit box contents to the State Treasurer’s Office. This allows businesses to alleviate some of the expense and liability associated with carrying unclaimed property on their financial records as well as allowing the residents of Wisconsin to receive their unclaimed property.

Search for yours now!

English: Great Seal of the state of Wisconsin

Image via Wikipedia


FAQ: Are there terms to withdrawing EdVest money?


Yes there are some terms and provisions when withdrawing money from an EdVest account. For instance for WI resident accounts if the money is used for qualified college expenses the withdrawl is WI state income tax-free. However out of state residents may be subject to state income taxes.

On the issue of non-educational withdrawals the account owner is able to withdraw money for non-qualified purposes, but the earnings portion of this money will be subject to federal and state taxes plus a 10% additional federal tax.