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.