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A shortage of personal savings due to fewer bank loans to business owners could put the future of the entrepreneurial sector at risk.

Overland Park, KS, United States - September 9, 2014 /MarketersMedia/ --

Unless small businesses have easy access to more sources of commercial loans, the entire small business community in the USA could be headed for extinction. That is one of the shocking revelations that some small business industry analysts are pondering after a recent Gallup poll showed that the decline in the personal savings rate is tied to a simultaneous decline in business startups.

Meghan Robinson, CEO of Sunovis Financial, helped to put the issue into perspective. What happens is that small business owners that are turned down by banks for loans resort to spending their hard-earned savings in order to fund business startups. Many American entrepreneurs even tap into their precious retirement savings. That puts them into a precarious position in terms of their personal finances. But it also means that fewer new businesses get off the ground, which is bad for our whole economy.

The US Census Bureau reports, for example; that the pace of business startups has been slowing for more than three decades. The number of businesses that close each year is also rising and has hovered at just under 10% for about 30 years.

When fewer new businesses open but a significant number of existing businesses close each year, that leads to the net-negative impact on the business landscape. In 2008, America hit a critical benchmark. That year the number of business closures exceeds the number of new business launches, which meant that the USA was losing not just jobs but also entire businesses.

Gallup recently published research from data compiled at the Brookings Institute that shows that the sharp decline in business openings may be closely tied to a similar decline in the personal savings rate. Thats because small business owners consistently turn to personal savings to fund startups. One Gallup study reported that 77% of them have done so in 2014 while another focused on micro-businesses revealed that nearly 80% of those owners funded their business launch with personal savings.

Gallups analysis further confirms that when the savings rate declines that usually means that the numbers of business startups a few years later will also decline. Many economists believe that banks have a responsibility to make it easier for entrepreneurs to borrow the money they need during this critical time in Americas economic recovery, to stem that loss of businesses.

The obvious and best way to reverse this disturbing trend is to open up more lines of funding for small businesses, Robinson says. The Small Business Administration is an excellent source of small business loans, for example, as are the many reputable private lenders in America who tailor their loan products in order to meet the needs of the small business owner.

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Name: Meghan Robinson
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Address: 7500 College Blvd.
Phone: 855 243-7191
Organization: Sunovis Financial, Inc.

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Although the term retirement income replacement ratio sounds formidable, its actually a simple, understandable concept that doesnt require any fancy math. The ratio helps you zero in on your retirement savings goal and periodically measure your progress as you move toward your target.
Will you need 60 percent, 75 percent, 90 percent or even 100 percent of the income you have in your last year of work to maintain a desirable standard of living after you retire? The answer to this question is your income replacement ratio - the percentage of your pre-retirement earnings that will provide you with the same standard of living in retirement. For example, if your pre-retirement income is $50,000 but your income after retirement is $35,000, you have a replacement ratio of 70 percent ($35,000 divided by $50,000).
Setting the foundation of your plan
With the ratio, you can estimate how much income you may need for a comfortable retirement and how much money you need to save to supplement your expected sources of income - which may be some combination of Social Security, pension benefits, personal investments and post-retirement employment. If these income sources fall short of your goal, you can increase your rate of saving or take other actions to close the projected deficit, such as planning to reduce living expenses or moving to a lower-cost locale in retirement.
What research tells us
One recent study from the Employee Benefit Research Institutefound that many people may need between 60 percent and 80 percent of their final working years income to maintain their lifestyle after retiring - and long-term commitment to an employer-sponsored retirement plan is key to meeting that goal.
Why dont retirees need 100 percent of their working income? Lower taxes may be one reason. When a person is no longer employed, there are no Social Security payroll taxes to pay. Federal income taxes are usually lower because Social Security benefits are either partially or fully tax free for many retirees, and extra deductions are available for people over age 65. In addition, many people no longer need to save for retirement, and those who have paid off debts before retiring or eliminated work-related expenses, such as commuting costs, also have a greater share of their income available for spending.
However, one increasingly important unknown is the rising cost of medical care. Already, medical care has been taking a bigger bite out of retiree budgets as health care expenses have risen; some employers have reduced or eliminated medical coverage for retired employees; and life expectancy has lengthened. In addition, retirees have faced higher contributions for Medicare benefits and increased premiums for Medicare supplemental insurance policies.
The outlook for future retirees
While recent retirees and those nearing retirement may have adequate replacement income, the situation may not be so favorable in the future. For instance, the increasing financial strains on Social Security caused by the nations aging population may lead Congress to alter the system at some point in the future, perhaps reducing Social Security benefits or increasing the age of eligibility. As a result of these trends, future retirees may have to rely more on income from personal savings and investments than todays retirees.

A Health Savings Account (HSA) is like a personal savings account, but the money is used only for qualified healthcare expenses. The account can be set up with you as the sole beneficiary, or for you plus your spouse and/or dependents. Established in 2003 as part of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act, HSAs allow people with High-Deductible Health Plans to pay for current healthcare expenses and save for future expenses on a tax-favored basis. Here, we look at the eligibility requirements, pros and cons and other important details about Health Savings Plans.


To be eligible for an HSA, you must be enrolled in a special health insurance plan called a High-Deductible Health Plan, or HDHP. While these plans have high deductibles, monthly premiums are typically much less than for plans with lower deductibles, which makes them appealing to people trying to minimize up-front costs associated with healthcare. HDHPs are intended to cover serious illness or injury, and with the exception of preventive care (such as annual physicals, child and adult immunizations, and screening services), your annual deductible must be met before any plan benefits are paid.

According to federal guidelines, you can open and contribute to an HSA if you are:

  • Covered under a HDHP on the first day of the month
  • Not covered by any other non-HDHP plan (with some exceptions for certain plans with limited coverage, such as dental, vision and disability)
  • Not enrolled in Medicare
  • Not claimed as a dependent on someone elses tax return

The IRS establishes guidelines (adjusted for inflation) for HSAs and HDHPs each year, based on individual and family coverage. For 2014, all HDHPs must have a minimum deductible of $1,250 for individuals and $2,500 for families. The out-of-pocket maximum (including deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance, but not premiums) cannot exceed $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for families. For more on this, see Rules For Having A Health Savings Account (HSA).


Health Savings Accounts offer a way to save for - and pay for - healthcare expenses. There are many advantages to having a Health Savings Account, including:

  • Others can contribute to your HSA. Contributions can come from various sources, including you, your employer, a relative and anyone else who wants to add to your HSA.
  • Pre-tax contributions. Contributions made through payroll deposits (through your employer) are typically made with pre-tax dollars, which means they are not subject to federal income taxes. In most states, contributions are not subject to state income taxes either. Your employer can also make contributions on your behalf, and the contribution is not included in your gross income.
  • Tax-deductible contributions. Contributions made with after-tax dollars can be deducted from your gross income on your tax return, which means you may owe less tax at the end of the year.
  • Tax-free withdrawals. Withdrawals from your HSA are not subject to federal (or in most cases, state) income taxes if they are used for qualified medical expenses.
  • Earnings are tax-fee. Any interest or other earnings on the assets in the account are tax free.
  • Funds roll over. If you have money left in your HSA at the end of the year, it rolls over to the next year.
  • Portable. The money in your HSA remains available for future qualified medical expenses even if you change health insurance plans, change employers or retire. Funds left in your account continue to grow tax fee.
  • Convenient. Most HSAs issue a debit card, so you can pay for your prescription medication and other expenses right away. If you wait for a bill to come in the mail, you can call the billing center and make a payment over the phone using your debit card. ¬†And, you can use the card at an ATM to access cash.


There has been "an overwhelmingly positive response" from the supply side, Mr. Enchin said.

"We're always looking for ways to market our clients' parking," said Natasha Richard, business development and marketing co-ordinator at Vinci Park, which operates 2,600 parking lots in 13 countries, including 50 in Toronto.

"We started out with a few test lots with WhereiPark and it took off so well that we've continued to use them."

On the demand side, growth has mostly been organic, Mr. Enchin said.

Diana Shedletsky said she has recommended the app to her entire office after they moved locations earlier this year.

"I found something within a five-minute walk of the office and significantly cheaper than I expected," Ms. Shedletsky said. "It's a very smart idea."

Without WhereiPark, Ms. Shedletsky said she would have relied on word of mouth or driven around until she found a spot, in which case she "definitely" would have ended up paying more.

WhereiPark doesn't charge its customers to list or book a spot, but takes a cut -- between 50% and 100% of the first month's rent -- when a spot is booked. It also gives parking operators the option to use WhereiPark to collect monthly payments, in which case it charges a small additional fee.

"There's no upfront fees or costs to list our spots, so there's no risk or downside if we do not fill the spot," Ms. Richard said.

Mr. Enchin describes WhereiPark as a "pretty lean operation," which includes two employees besides its founders. For the time being, Mr. Enchin and Mr. Zuker are funding the business out of their personal savings, despite a lot of interest from potential investors.

"A surprising number of people are coming up to us and saying, 'Hey, I saw this, how do I invest?' " Mr. Zuker said. "But we decided for now we're not in fundraising mode."

WhereiPark won't reveal its user numbers or demand projections, but parking is a $25-billion business in North America that has attracted major investors such as the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan. Mr. Zuker said he doesn't know of any other companies that connect buyers and sellers of monthly parking spots.

"Industry veterans have told us that we're onto something great and that we're creating value for them," Mr. Enchin said.

"It's amazing to hear people who have been in that game for so long tell us that what we're doing makes a lot of sense and has merits."