Monday, March 12, 2018

A plan to relieve student loan debt by foregoing future social security benefits

Elliott Harding of National Review proposes “a solution to the student-debt and social security crisis” The idea is to forgive some student load debt in return for considerable postponement in eligibility to receive social security benefits.

Rick Sincere, with the Libertarian Party of Virginia and in the past Gays and Lesbians of Individual Liberty, shared it today in his daily paper in Charlottesville.
The plan would set a limit of forgiveness of about $40000, but about 90% of students could discharge their debt. 

Monday, March 05, 2018

Workers with 401(k)'s have a lot less economic "free speech" than people still earning pensions

David Webber explains “The Real Reason the Investor Class Hates Pensions” today in the New York Times.

Reason:  when public pensions are reformed and sustained, then workers have more “economic vote” impinging on only non-worker owners.

401(k) owners are much quieter as investors than are future pensioners.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Enzyme might provide a breakthrough on Alzheimer's

At an Exxon station video on a gas pump, attached to a 7-11 store, a very mundane place for a Sunday morning, I spotted an ad claiming that a newly explored enzyme called Bace could really help Alzheimer’s patients with memory. Here is a typical story in Science Daily. 

I noted yesterday on the LGBT blog how LGBT seniors who do wind up in Assisted Living or nursing homes face rather unsympathetic staff, especially in rural areas.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

"The 4% Rule": How much money do you need for the rest of your life?

I “retired” in terms of my old IT career ending at the end of 2001, at age 58. I had about three times my annual salary saved in liquid assets (at the time I owned no real estate).
I got lucky, somewhat, with family circumstances nine years later with the passage of my mother and the creation of a trust.  The total amount under my control is about 14 times what that annual income had been.
Still Anne Tergesen’s piece on p. B5 of the weekend Wall Street Journal, p. B5, “It’s time to rethink some common beliefs”, with some particular attention to the 4% rule, which is supposed to make a million dollar nest egg last for 30 years.
In an increasingly unstable world, that may be risky.
Also, hear this (after the volatility in the past week on Wall Street), on how dangerous some investing is, even after the 2008 fiasco with credit default swaps and derivatives. 

Friday, February 02, 2018

AARP outlines job hunting mistakes by seniors, with some surprises

The AARP has a valuable slide show on Job Hunting Mistakes by seniors, that is well worth a look, here. 

A couple points stand out. 

One is outdated email addresses.  AOL (which I have) and Yahoo look bad, gmail and Outlook (I use gmail) look good. That’s a little odd, that AOL and Yahoo are not trendy companies.

Another is insufficient digital presence.  But many seniors don’t find a social media presence socially necessary.
It does recommend blogging about your field.  Because mine had been “mainframe programming”, which hollowed out, that would have been hard for me to do seriously. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Should retirees invest in Bitcoin? Only if they have lot's of cash

Should retirees consider investing in Bitcoin or digital currencies?

Michelle Singletary has a stinging column in her “The Color of Money” series, where she interviews several financial planners. 

Generally they agree that in a practical sense, bitcoin seems like gambling and that the underlying “value” is hard to grasp. But digital currency has a huge potential in literally eliminating the need for banks.

Retirees should never borrow to invest in bitcoin.

You can buy bitcoin in relatively few locations, given in the article for the DC area.
There is a coordinated post on the Issues Blog Jan 23. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

A couple of retirement topics emerge from a weekend trip: like the stress test

A couple of observations from my weekend in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

As I left Washington PA along I-70 I saw a billboard “Here is what heart disease looks like.”

Webmd has a reference on this, with 27 slides, here. Note that on frame 13 a young man takes a stress test.  He lends his chest to science because it is hairless.
I also encountered a story about seniors buying national park passes at $10 before the price hits $80 here. 

I also passed a sign near Newark Oh along Route 13 that advertised being a foster parent.