Saturday, July 14, 2018

"Know your customer" rules at banks could trip up retirees or estate holders

Here’s an important article by Telis Demos and Michael Siconolfi explains how “know your customer” forces banks and financial institutions to verify information of  all account holders and possibly question some transactions, as with trusts, if they look improper. 

This would seem to set an example in the future for Internet hosting account holders, I wonder.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Seniors and volunteer village associations; nursing home and home care staffing undermined by immigration crisis

A couple of stories for senior “lifestyles”:

The Boston Globe, in a story by Robert Weisman, reports “For some seniors, a cultural shift and vital volunteerism”. 

The article reviews “village associations” which help seniors live independently, especially in Boston and on the cape or coastal Massachusetts. They do cost something to join.  They seem to give help in, for example, the inevitable break down of systems (appliance, heating) in seniors’ homes, storms or emergencies, as well as other matters such as social activity and security.

And the front page of the Sunday New York Times July 8 features a big story by Jordan Rau, “Nursing homes routinely mask low staff levels”, at least in New York State. This is particularly the case on the weekends, where some are almost deserted and where some patients have no family visiting them. The article doesn’t get into the difference between Skilled Nursing, where Medicare pays, and long term care, where it doesn’t.  But even SNF’s sometimes have problems, especially when family is distant. The problems are likely to get worse because of Trump’s crackdown even on legal immigration. A large portion of personal care aides are immigrants, although reputable agencies, assisted living centers and nursing homes do check on legal status.  But the people could get even harder to find. In my mother’s case, most of the caregivers were legal (often for many years) immigrants.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Another writer on the FEE site implicitly warns current beneficiaries of Social Security

Brenton Smith has another warning article about the pressure on Social Security on Foundation for Economic Education, link here. Paul Ryan has called it “the most predictable crisis in history”.
In this article, the Social Security administration reportedly partially agrees that raising FICA taxes would “help”. 

Smith, like the previous writer, refutes the idea that the money was borrowed or spent on other federal programs.
Even back in 2009, Obama had criticized “kicking the can down the road”, but the possibility of means testing even for existing beneficiaries seems to grow.

Update:  July 16

Business Insider has a similar story now. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Social Security could have to cut benefits suddenly, according to Trust Fund Report for 2018 (as interpreted by some)

A bold article by James D. Agresti on Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) and Intellectual Takeout, takes the position that Social Security really is a welfare program (which technically the Supreme Court said it is in 1960), “Social Security has been swelled, not looted”.  Population demographics – longer life spans and fewer children (after the baby boomer generation) is the basic mathematical cause.
It links to the Social Security Trust Fund report for 2018, which warns that expenses (payouts) will exceed intake in 2018, and become insolvent by 2034.
The report notes the actuarial deficit, which could require an immediate benefit cut of 17% for all current and future beneficiaries, or an increase in FICA taxes of 22%, or some combination of the two. Oddly, there has been no coverage of this development in mainstream media in the past few days, given all the distractions.  It's pretty obvious you could put means testing into such a balance (either based on other income or total accumulated wealth). 
The writer mentions the privatization proposals during the Bush years but seems surprisingly dismissive.

Update: June 30

Charles Blahous has a similar article on FEE, "Seven Social Security Myths". 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Elder Pride exhibit in Baltimore shows older gays understand history much better than millennials

Today, the ElderPride pavilion in Druid Hill Park at Baltimore LGBT Pride weekend showed that eldergays understand the long reach of history a lot better than most millennials.

Today’s young adults really often don’t get how things were, like in the days that we had the Vietnam era draft, student deferments, war protests.  They also don’t understand how earlier anti-gay policies were seen as intrusions on individual privacy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Alzheimer's risk may be increased by rapid brain development in youth; Y chromosomes may protect some men from dementia

Here’s a rather shocking article from “The Scientist” by Sukanya Charuchandra, “Aging[Related Diseases May Be a Natural Result of Human Evolution”, link
The theory is that fast-track developments in the brain to enable performance up through the reproductive years may make the brains more vulnerable to early deterioration after reproduction si impossible, especially with Alzheimer’s.  That sounds like plaque formation may result as an aftermath of earlier development.
There were some comparative studies with chimpanzees and gorillas.
Furthermore, however, Y chromosomes contain some genes that may help protect some men but not women from plaque formation. Previously, the higher incidence in Alzheimer’s in women has been attributed mainly to longer lifespans.
Back in 2010, I had been told by one assisted living center (when looking for mother) that 70% of the Alzheimer’s unit residents were women.
Jack Andraka retweeted this story Tuesday. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Conservative sites claim that China is plotting to undermine dollar and destroy US retirees

This site sounds a little bit like Porter Stansberry stuff, but Augusta Precious Metals is claiming (out of self-interest) that China is scheming to undermine the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, greatly undermining the portfolios of many retirees.
Here is the link

The advertorial was sent by email by “RedStates”.  Yet the threat to reserve currency seems to say mostly in the world of conservative websites.