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One is outdated email addresses.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.