N.H. among top states to build nest egg

A recent report by U.S. News & World Report has named New Hampshire the second best state in the country to build a nest egg prior to retirement.Creating an index based on data including per capita income, annual growth in home prices, state and local tax burden, unemployment rate and treatment of capital gains, U.S. News gave the Granite State a score of 39 out of a possible 42.Citing New Hampshire’s low unemployment rate – currently at 5.8 percent – the study said New Hampshire’s “state and local tax burden, expressed in terms of taxes as a percentage of income, is just 7.6 percent. Only four states sport better numbers in that category. All told, the Granite State performs well across all categories, but its housing market keeps it out of first place. Between 2010 and 2013, home prices there are expected to appreciate by 1.1 percent per year, according to Moody’s Analytics. While that’s still a healthy amount, it’s not good enough to catch Wyoming.”Wyoming was ranked number one, with a score of 40, primarily because of its “loose” tax code (Wyoming residents don’t pay a state income tax or capital gains tax, according to the report) and an expected home price appreciation of 4.5 percent between 2010 and 2013.Ohio was ranked as being the toughest state in which to save for retirement. Higher than national average unemployment, expected drops in home values, and high state and local taxes were noted as detractors.In New England, Vermont ranked some 10 places below New Hampshire at 29, having a much higher tax burden; followed by Massachusetts (26), with higher taxes and unemployment than the Granite State; Maine (25), with a comparatively low per capita income of $37,225, Connecticut (24), with high taxes and unemployment; and Rhode Island (22), with a July unemployment rate of 12 percent. – CINDY KIBBE/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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