Wednesday, April 11, 2018

New low cost blood test may detect tendency for Alzheimer's decades in advance

David Nield reports on “ScienceAlert” on a new blood test that can detect a propensity for Alzheimer’s Disease three decades early, by finding plaque markers in the blood.  
It appears that this may be a relatively inexpensive test, along the lines of Jack Andraka’s pancreatic cancer test.

But it is not clear what someone with a positive test would do about it.
There are genetic diseases like Huntington’s with tests that can predict early dementia. 

Friday, April 06, 2018

Employers find they need older workers -- really

Employers are finding that an aging workforce can benefits them, according to a story by Kerry Hannon, March 2, 2018.
Some are willing to transfer older blue collar workers into office positions.
When I was in the main part of my career, there was a mentality that retirement could be encouraged as early as 55.  This is obviously an idea that nation could not afford, due to fewer children being born here and fewer workers and longer life spans.
Furthermore, companies lost the perspective of older workers who had grown up under different situations and challenges (including dealing with a military draft).  When it came time to designing the Affordable Care Act and testing its implementation, the idea of careful stages of systems developments had become less strong than it used to be. 
You can even wonder about workplace maturity and Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.  Had she hired more mature persons running her IT, she might not have gotten into so much trouble. 
Older workers may have a better grasp of how to handle customer service and of the legitimate expectations of consumers for support (like how to manage stand-ins when a normal agent is out).

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Baltimore holds forum on housing LGBT elders

Baltimore Outloud has a detailed story on housing problems for LGBT seniors, with a meeting on March 21, link here
The largest problems may occur in assisted living and nursing homes with foreign caregiving staff that is not concerned about LGBT issues.

The shear number of LGBT people without children in retirement is increasing.
I think there is a tendency, however, for many to be more vigorous and independent in elder years than average because they have had to be so all their lives.

Picture: from 2016

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. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Probate attorneys in DC mum on the great expense estates encounter

WJLA in Washington DC has a story "Losing Everything in Probate Court" (by Nathan Baca, “7 on Your Side” ) about the perils of winding up in probate court.  It is particularly dangerous when a disabled adult winds up under conservatorship or guardianship and then passes away.  It aired on Saturday night, Jan. 13, 2018, an unusual time.

Heirs find that court-appointed attorneys sell assets to pay back their own hefty fees.

The problem seems particularly severe in the District of Columbia.
The broadcast recommended considering revocable trusts as a way of preventing probate. 

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Can a robot give home health care? A startup in northern Virginia tries this

A startup, Infrobotics, in Fairfax VA has invented a robot, “Ruddy”, to assist with in home senior care.

WJLA-7 in Washington has a story about it.

It’s a little hard to imagine that a robot could do all the work of a 24-hour caregiving service that I had to hire in the last year of Mom’s life.

The abrogation of net neutrality may not bode well for startups like this company in the long run. 

You can try this interview with “Sophia” on NBC.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Again, calls for means testing social security come back as another debt ceiling debacle shapes up for early 2018

Nick Sorrentino opines in “Against Crony Capitalism” about social security today, how unsustainable it is, and how rich people shouldn’t collect benefits on workers’ backs.  He claims richer people are collecting more than they put in because of interest rate spreads.  But actually when the system was created, the first beneficiaries had put in nothing.

This Can’t Go On” he writes. Right now, the Republicans run scared in talking about it, until the next debt ceiling debate comes back.

And the Treasury’s “extraordinary measures” could run out by the end of January 2018, even though the media seems too sinful to notice.