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North Shore Dollars and Sense: Financial Considerations in the Bay State's Most Desirable Area

North Shore Dollars and Sense: Financial Considerations in the Bay State’s Most Desirable Area

It’s a great feeling when you stop and realize you’ve just moved to one of the most coveted set of zip codes in the entire nation. The fabled North Shore of Massachusetts is one of the real estate crown jewels of New England. Sprawling oceanfront properties, charming historical homes exuding style and dignity, easy access to one of America’s greatest world-class cities — it’s really an incredible place to live. We don’t blame new arrivals for being excited for this latest chapter in their lives and all the incredible experiences awaiting them. But that doesn’t mean one should allow this understandable excitement to prevent one from prudent financial considerations.

As is the case whenever people relocate, there needs to be an awareness of your new environment in more ways than one. Practical concerns can mean anything from local customs to climate patterns throughout the course of the year. And then there are the brass tacks of money. You are all but certain to encounter a whole new set of financial considerations that are different from the place you have left behind. For one thing, tax structures will take their own shape. Then there is the matter of the basic cost of living and the cost of running a business. Wealth management also comes into play, as access to good local fiduciary services can be key to long-term fiscal health. Getting to know the North Shore area’s financial particulars just makes good sense. Here are a few items to help understand your bottom line a little better.

Tax Structures

Whether you’re coming from another country or just another state in the U.S., every locality and region will have a whole different set of taxation regimes. Massachusetts is no different, and, of course, the North Shore comes with its own structures as well. On the state level, you can expect a 5% flat tax rate. That’s on the low end for New England, and there’s no progressive taxing for high-end earners — a definite plus when it comes to overall exposure in the grater Northeastern region of the United States. Also, Massachusetts is one of just a few in the country that boasts a flat state tax rate, another great advantage to appreciate.

When it comes to property taxes, you will find that they do vary depending on the exact town you’re in. Some will reflect the desirability of the location that the North Shore has come to represent more than others. For example, on the low end, $10-$13/per thousand on residential properties. This can mean places like Newburyport and Beverly. On the other side of the spectrum, areas like Wenham and Amesbury will look more like $15-$19/per thousand. It’s all a matter of researching what those taxes will look like in the particular neighborhood you’re settling down in.

Since you will obviously be making purchases in the North Shore, it’s prudent to be aware of the sales tax structure. The state sales tax rate comes in at 6.25%, again a fair amount lower than many neighboring states. In addition, unlike many other localities, there are no additional local taxes levied into the sales tax system in Essex County. This makes for a predictable sales tax outlook regardless of where exactly you spend in the area. Besides creating a stable field for personal purchasing, those running businesses who need to factor in those sales taxes when pricing out goods and services can also depend on these rates. It makes for a predictable landscape whether you are buying or selling in the North Shore.

Wealth Management

Between the high earning status of much of the population in this part of Massachusetts, and the close proximity to the Boston financial markets, it should come as no surprise that there is a robust selection of excellent wealth management firms here. Dozens of companies in and around the North Shore area handle massive portfolios ranging into the hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars, making them among the largest players in the world.

Many such firms have six and seven-figure minimums for participating in the funds they manage, while some others offer more flexible amounts for entry. The bottom line is that if it’s important for you to have local face-to-face relationships with your money managers, the North Shore area provides a wide range of fantastic choices. It’s just another wonderful financial advantage you can enjoy living in this remarkable part of the country.

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