Economic Climate Change: Cincinnati

The year 2009 was devastating for Ohio businesses and families. In a matter of weeks, Ohio businesses that had been struggling since the start of the 2001 downturn filed for bankruptcy and hundred of employees lost their jobs. Ohio’s economic plunge was second largest in the nation. Once 19th in the nation for median income, Ohio plummeted to 35th. So how are we doing now?

According to the 2016 ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index, otherwise known as Rich States, Poor States, Ohio currently ranks 18th in the nation for Economic Outlook. In 2009, Ohio ranked 45 out of 50. The ranking is a forecast heavily influenced by what happens through the legislative process at the Statehouse in Columbus. In other words, states that spend less and tax less have higher growth rates than states that tax and spend more. How do we compare with other states? Utah is ranked first followed by North Carolina and North Dakota (perhaps we should change our state’s name to North Ohio!) and Vermont and New York rank last.

In the State Economic Performance Rankings, 2004-2014, Ohio ranks 49. To understand the variances requires understanding the performance variables involved and can be found in the full PDF report.

Since 2000, almost 443,000 private-sector jobs were lost in Ohio, and the rebound has mostly occurred in the Cincinnati and Columbus areas. New jobs, however, have not kept pace with the level of salaries lost. While the rich didn’t get richer in Cincinnati, the richest 5% still make almost 16% more than the bottom 20% whereas in Columbus the richest 5% just make 8% more. (Source)

Job growth in manufacturing has moved overseas, Millennials invest in education before home buying, and our aging population is concerned with health care and home services. It’s no wonder Americans are angry this political season. Cincinnati people have survived worse times than now and with the right people in office willing to spend less and tax less we can continue being one of America’s great cities.

The Art of Wearing Two Hats

As you know, at DLMM we wear two hats. Daily money managers to some, and providers of small business accounting services to others. Against all odds, we are discovering that wearing two hats does amazing things for the business and for our clientele.

The daily money manager side of DLMM was founded in 2011 when I began to notice that my mother needed help with her finances. When I offered to help, she refused. Said she was doing just fine with her finances, thank you very much. And that was that. But it got me thinking. My Mom’s situation was likely being played out in many homes in and around Cincinnati. On reflection, I knew I had the financial background and the heart to make a difference for elders and for other children of aging parents.

There are many reasons I wanted to help my mother with her finances. I know bad people prey on the elderly; they’re easy targets and are more likely to have a savings account to exploit. As we age, balancing checkbooks and auditing insurance claims and medical bills is frustrating. We forget to pay bills and incur late charges.

I learned that we are living 8+ more years than in 1970, and families that used to live close-by mom now leave to pursue careers in larger cities. It’s also more common that both spouses work and are overwhelmed with their own lives to the extent that they don’t have time to monitor mom’s (or dad’s) financial picture.

Still, always mindful of my own mother’s situation, I was determined to make sure that our seniors and their busy children, as well as the investment advisors, wealth managers, law firms, accountants, long-term care facilities and retirement communities connected to them have a reliable person tending to daily money matters.

This was the vision that created DLMoneyMatters. I’m proud of my company’s success and grateful for the knowledge that comes from earning my CSA (Certified Senior Advisor). Interestingly, these business relationships led to re-embracing my other hat—the accounting one.

Over the coming months, we will celebrate our wider business model—daily money management plus small business accounting—with a complete site redesign and brand refresh. We’ll miss the hand drawn logo and doodle notes, but trust our new look to be as warm and friendly. Stay tuned for sneak peaks. We welcome your comments on the coming changes.