Too many people think that long-term care planning is just a decision about whether to purchase long-term care insurance. However, long-term care planning is so much more. It is a discussion about how you will fund this expense, where you will receive long-term care, and who will provide the care.
Ask a D.C. insider what’s the best way to solve the debt crisis. Nine times out of ten, they’ll recommend taking on more debt. That’s how things operate in the Potomac swamp. Up is down, right is left, digging yourself into more debt is the best way to get out of it. But it wasn’t always like this. In fact, there used to be common sense when it came to the economy. So where did it all go wrong?
Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you have to stop working. Especially now that you have all the time in the world to do what you really want. Entrepreneurs don’t only come out of Silicon Valley. They come from all walks of life, from all different ages. If you’re retired and want to stay active while you relax, then find out the steps you need to take in order to start, manage, and grow your next small business.
Every year millions of Americans wait until the last minute to prepare and file their taxes. Regardless of whether you’re one of these people, there are still things you need to be aware of before you send those forms in.
Austrian economics does more than tell you what happens when the government disturbs market forces. In the hands of knowledgeable investors and entrepreneurs, it can tell you exactly what to expect from the market. Market behavior depends on how people behave. And how people behave is central to the Austrian perspective.
The U.S. dollar has been the world's reserve currency for almost a century, and already there are signs it may be in decline. But that doesn't mean it's not still valuable. On the contrary... As Chris Mayer explains, there are many reasons the U.S. dollar will remain relevant on the world stage for years to come. Read on...
The government will do whatever it takes to make sure it has enough of your money to fund itself. On the surface you might think that means enduring a grueling audit. But the IRS and the government is more than willing to ignore your privacy in the cold relentless pursuit of the money they think they deserve. As they get bigger and bigger every year, the smaller and smaller your paycheck becomes as they leach off it.
World War II might have dragged the country out of the Great Depression, but it did so at a great price. Central planning took center stage, and politicans and bureaucrats suddenly knew what was best for America, the economy, and your life. On top of that, they replaced the free market with a new economic system… Creditism.
If you’re good at something should you be penalized so others have a chance at success? Should award winning actors and actresses be barred from future Oscar ceremonies to give other men and women the chance to succeed? Success should always be rewarded and encouraged. But what happens when you have a government that wants to even the playing field and take away the spoils of success. Gregory Bresiger finds out...
Argentina is suffering the ravages of government debasement of the currency -- i.e., inflation, the process by which government pays for its ever-increasing debts and bills by simply printing more paper currency. The expanded money supply results in a lower value of everyone’s money, which is reflected in the rising prices of the things that money buys.
Its acceptance is as widespread as its justification is important, for it provides the rationale for the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented monetary expansion since 2008. While critics may dispute the wealth effect’s magnitude, few have challenged its conceptual soundness. Such is the purpose of this article. The wealth effect is but a mantra without merit.
Baron Rothschild, the famous French financier, was once heard to say that he knew of only two men who really understood money -- an obscure clerk in the Bank of France and one of the directors of the Bank of England. “Unfortunately,” he added, “they disagree.”
The saga of All Saints could soon be coming to a community near you. Thanks partly to the scandal surrounding the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, the agency has proposed a new set of rules for a huge number of social-welfare groups that claim tax exemption under Section 501(c)4 of the tax code.
Nihilo ex nihilo fit. Out of nothing, nothing comes. First put forward by ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides in the fifth century B.C., Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine later used this axiom to prove that the universe needed a “first mover” to get things going. Even if the whole thing began with some kind of “Big Bang” moment, it still needed a banger to bang it. Who? God, of course.
Economic theories don’t lend themselves to laboratory testing, so the work of a national appraisal firm is especially enlightening. A new study lends support to the Austrian business cycle theory, which says that the less government is involved, the faster a market will recover.
What positive steps can we take? The energy that is now expended by well intentioned, freedom-seeking individuals on the destructive course of politics can be turned into powerful steps that will have a positive effect on the future. All are moral, right and just. None require aggressing. Consider the following...
The first principle in dealing with government is: Don't be awed by it. What little the government achieves is almost always due to the voluntary participation of its citizens. Those who don't want to help the government can go their own ways without running into much trouble.
National Treasury Union President Colleen M. Kelly recently described the 2014 IRS budget allocation as “woefully inadequate.” But the agency has not proven itself to be an efficient steward of taxpayer dollars. Here are ten ways the IRS lost the trust of the American people.
It’s easy to be negative about the U.S. economy these days. Find a glint of silver, and folks come running to point out all of the dark clouds looming about. This, of course, is what we got last week when the monthly jobs report was released from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Folks pooh-poohed the number of jobs and whining that they’re not enough or that it’s less than a bunch of economists thought that it might be. But you know what? Stuff ’em.
Given how poorly states like California and Illinois have funded the pension funds for their own employees, one would think that this would stop dead in its tracks any plan to have the government assist in managing private sector funds too. The spate of recent activity, however, suggests otherwise.
The financial world is plodding along like a drunken sailor avoiding debt collectors by keeping no cash in his wallet. It’s not the kind of calm that’s going to last or end well. But the storm will have to wait until after the Olympics.What a game! We’ve never watched ice hockey closely before. But watching […]
President Obama crowed in his State of the Union speech about the economy, even mentioning “a rebounding housing market.” Maybe he was referring to friends in high places, like the seller of Penthouse One in New York, which just closed for $50.9 million, all cash. Millions of mere-mortal homeowners likely wanted to throw something at […]
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office is acting in a bipartisan way to cover up the biggest single threat to the bipartisan political alliance that is stripping America of its wealth: the United States Congress.There is no question that the following policy is bipartisan. Democrats and Republicans in Congress are completely agreed that the following information […]
Amidst all the revelations about how the American people, many of whom are absolutely convinced they live in a free society, have their telephone calls, emails, website visits, and who knows what else under surveillance by their own government, let’s not forget the massive infringements on financial privacy that have gone on for decades.Consider, for […]
The exercise had an awesome name, inspired by the movies: “Quantum Dawn 2.”On July 18, scads of U.S. banks, stock exchanges and government agencies took part in a digital fire drill — a practice run in the event all of Wall Street came under massive cyberattack.This isn’t the first time banks have come under an […]
The faces of the Detroit bankruptcy are the thousands of pensioners whose promised benefits are suddenly part of the restructure negotiation. When Motown filed for Chapter 9 last July, the city had $11.5 billion in unsecured liabilities. The vast majority of this was pension and health care benefits owed to retired city employees.The images of […]
The Largest Company in History:“The United States Corporation of Government (USCOG)”I follow global social and commercial networks, looking for entrepreneurial opportunities.Innovation surges when industry and government models change. Buggy whips. Landline phones. Railroads. The Soviet Union. Apartheid South Africa. All marked social and commercial innovation, both bad and good.We are witnessing a new form of […]
The dream of virtually every American is to retire as early as possible. Who doesn’t want to have each and every day to do exactly what he or she wants to do?
Sure, for some people, that would be work. They like having somewhere to go every day, being valued for their services, and the interaction with fellow employees and customers. But most people, provided they have enough money to live on, would just as soon hang up their timecards and play gin poolside.
The retirement plans of millions were ruined by the 2008 stock market crash, not to mention the real estate crash of the same year. If their stock portfolios didn’t take enough of a beating, Ben Bernanke’s zero interest rate policy will keep them punching a clock for years more, long after their backs, knees, and patience are crying out to call it quits.
According to a Gallup survey, the average retirement age is up to 61. That’s a four-year increase from 20 years ago. The average working American now plans to work until age 66. That’s up from age 60, which was the plan back in 1995.
“Because most of the uptick came before the 2008 recession, this shift may reflect more than just a changing economy,” Gallup’s associate editor Alyssa Brown wrote in her report on the study. “It may also indicate changing norms about the value of work, the composition of the workforce, the decrease in jobs with mandatory retirement ages, and other factors.”
That’s putting a positive spin on the data. But it’s hard to imagine people working longer if they don’t have to. According to Gallup, 37% of nonretired Americans claim that they will quit working after age 65. A decade ago, that percentage was 22, and in 1995, only 14% guessed they’d be retiring after 65.
Is it possible that work is now more fulfilling for so many more people? Were so many employers discriminating against willing 65-year-olds a couple decades ago? Puh-leez! People are working longer to keep food on the table and a roof over their head.
Besides not having saved enough, today’s would-be retiring baby boomers have more debt. The Census Bureau reports that from 2000-2011, the largest percentage increases in median household debt were in the 55-64 age bracket (up 64%, to $70,000) and the 65-and-over bracket (more than doubling, to $26,000).
And while many were taking on more debt, median net worth (assets minus liabilities) for all age groups fell. In 2000, median net worth was $81,821. In 2005, median net worth had jumped to $106,585, before dropping to $68,828 in 2011 (in 2011 constant dollars).
Even retirees who made all the right moves are hurting. Ben Bernanke doesn’t much care about a guy like Forrest Yeager, who told The Wall Street Journal a couple years ago that his $45,000 nest egg wasn’t throwing off much to supplement the $1,500 a month he receives from Social Security. Yeager, a spry 91 when featured by the WSJ, figured his money would last only another six years if rates stayed low.
In 1985, when Mr. Yeager was 65 years old, taxable money market funds were yielding 7.71%. A one-year CD was yielding 8.53%. Yeager could count on his $45,000 to throw off nearly $320 a month extra. The highest one-year rate in the country is around 1%, meaning his nest egg, untouched, would throw off less than $40 a month. Money market rates are even lower.
“Americans who have done everything right, have worked hard, saved their money, and stayed out of debt are the ones being punished by low interest rates,” says Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas president Richard Fisher.
But while Fed official Fisher describes savers as doing the right thing, Charlie Evans of the Chicago Fed says, “It seems to me if we could somehow get lower real interest rates so that the amount of excess savings that is taking place relative to investment is lowered, that would be one channel for stimulating the economy.”
Les Miserables actress Frances Ruffelle is a girl after Evans’ own heart. “I’m not a saver,” she says. “If I had a savings account, I would spend it. When we were kids, we were always told to save our money for a rainy day, but I think, Life is too short for that. Enjoy it. Enjoy it with your friends and be generous. What’s the point of keeping it there for a rainy day in case you die tomorrow?”
A person will think that way when rates are so low.
Lifestyle coach John Strelecky says you shouldn’t worry about saving for retirement. “Spend more time doing the things you want to do now, because you don’t know about the future,” says Strelecky.
“No matter when that two-minute warning ticks off, you could say you did what you wanted to do with your life,” he said. “Don’t wait until you’re 65 to start spending your money to live a rewarding life.”
After all, one in five men doesn’t make it to age 65, and of those that do, nearly 30% will suffer from life-threatening cancer, stroke, or heart attack. As Lord Keynes famously said, “In the long run, we are all dead.”
It would be nice to know what day exactly we’re to pass on. Unfortunately, we have to plan for a long life even if we don’t get one. After serving under Gen. Patton in World War II and working for Eastern Airlines, Mr. Yeager retired in 1982 with plenty of savings, but he and his wife “lost our butt” in the 1987 crash. Despite his money running short, he told the WSJ that he was going to Las Vegas to have fun.
Bernanke’s legion of Ph.D.s at the Fed dearly wishes those saving for retirement and those in retirement would do their part to decrease the gap in aggregate demand. If you don’t need a big-screen TV, buy a few shares of Apple. Let loose a little. You can’t take it with you. We’re all in this together, says President Obama. Don’t be ambitious and save in order to take care of yourself. The economy needs you now.
Of course, this is all nonsense. Nothing is more human than being self-reliant. To be free, one must take care of oneself, and that means saving for lean times — call it a rainy day, retirement, or what have you.