The Myth of Retirement

Prices in the three production stages that are the furthest up the pipeline (Stages 1-3, red, green, gray) have all jumped by over 20% year-over-year. Prices at production stage 4 (black), up 12.1% year-over-year, are inputs for final demand prices, which are inputs for consumer prices.

Final demand prices are what consumer prices will encounter pretty soon in their consumer prices. Stage 4 intermediate demand prices will follow. And prices in productions stages 1-3 are further behind, but they’re true whoppers, and they will provide massive pressures on consumer prices for months to come:

Up the Price Pipeline, Inflation Rages at 20% — https://wolfstreet.com/2021/09/10/up-the-price-pipeline-inflation-rages-at-20/#comments

Prior to the 1950’s, there was no such thing as retirement, as the term is used today. A 1950 poll showed that most workers aspired to work for as long as possible. Quitting was for the disabled. Also, remember that in 1935 when the government was determining the appropriate retirement age for social security (65) the average adult male died at age 63.

The Baby Boom generation is also living longer than the generation before it. Chances are a married couple age 65 will have one spouse live into his or her early nineties. That is nearly 30 years of living off of one’s savings and Social Security if one retires at age 65. The math does not work for this many people. For so many to have golden years, there needs to be gold (money) to support them.

Trust Company Oklahoma May 2016 The Retirement Myth — https://www.trustok.com/our-latest-quarterly-newsletter/

Thinking about retirement? I’ve been thinking about retirement for quite some time and the thought of not working doesn’t appeal to me. There will come a time when the 40+ hour workweek will be no longer doable. But for now that time is far off in the future. The math in retirement will not work for the majority. I see inflation all around and my planned retirement income streams and savings will not last as long as hoped if everything costs more. Retirement math now is simple. If you can, work longer and save more.

Where Are The Starter Homes?

Pergens and his wife, Amanda, have a 6-year-old daughter and another child due this month. She stopped working as a pastry chef during the pandemic. They rent a small two-bedroom apartment. “We build all these fancy homes,” Pergens says. “Fancy, fancy houses … and low-income apartments. And there’s absolutely nothing in between.”

The Housing Shortage Is Significant. It’s Acute For Small, Entry-Level Homes — https://www.npr.org/2021/09/04/1033585422/the-housing-shortage-is-significant-its-acute-for-small-entry-level-homes?

Good article but the analysis is only partially correct. Affordable housing has been an issue for decades. It’s not merely an issue of current economic conditions. It’s a lack of political will and the continuing demise of the middle class. WAY BACK last century our starter home cost less than $100,000 and we had over 1600 square feet 3BR 2B.

It’s no wonder the newest hit show on HGTV is Cheap Old Houses. https://www.hgtv.com/shows/discovery-plus-home/articles/cheap-old-houses-hgtv-show

Wait Till 70 for Social Security? Nope

Schroders surveyed pre- and post-retirees 45 and older and found that only 10% planned to wait until 70 to claim benefits.

Wait Till 70 for Social Security? No Way, Say Most Americans: Survey — https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/06/24/wait-till-70-for-social-security-no-way-say-most-americans-survey/

It is painfully obvious to me that the majority of Americans are claiming benefits at both early and full retirement ages because they need the money and can’t afford to wait until age 70. Only healthy elders on financially sound footings will be deferring social security payments until their later years.

Yikes!

Flaming Lips Play the World’s First Space Bubble Concerts in OKC

“It does prevent that thing where people start to get drunk and the music is loud and they start screaming into each other’s face, which is the way that the COVID-19 is most spread. … Not screaming bad, but that’s just how conversations are when you’re at big gatherings,” Wayne Coyne said. “You can be in a Space Bubble with your friends that came to the show with you who you’ve been with your whole time and you know aren’t sick.”

In response to COVID, Flaming Lips on the verge of playing ‘the World’s First Space Bubble Concerts’ in OKC — https://oklahoman.com/article/5680749/in-response-to-covid-flaming-lips-on-the-verge-of-playing-the-worlds-first-space-bubble-concerts-in-okc

Two sold out shows this weekend. The video is from the “test” concert October 2020.

Watch the video and your opinion about Oklahoma will forever be changed.

American Democracy is in No Imminent Danger — Benjamin Studebaker

In 2014, I finished an MA thesis at the University of Chicago. In that thesis, I argued that as economic inequality increased, American politics would return to the sharp political divisions of the 1930s, with both left-wing and right-wing radical movements popping up all over the place. Recently, I finished a PhD thesis at the […]

American Democracy is in No Imminent Danger — Benjamin Studebaker

A very interesting and thought provoking article. Enjoy.

Every Day is an Emergency – Psychiatric Bed Shortages Nationwide

The pandemic and the parallel economic crisis have fueled new concern about access to mental health care. An estimated 40% of American adults are have a condition involving mental illness or substance abuse. In June, federal health officials reported nearly 11% percent of adults surveyed seriously considered suicide during the past 30 days.

‘Every day is an emergency’: The pandemic is worsening psychiatric bed shortages nationwide — https://www.statnews.com/2020/12/23/mental-health-covid19-psychiatric-beds/?utm_campaign=rss

We are just ten months into the Great Pandemic and I fear conditions will get worse before they get better.

Movie Theaters Got Annihilated in 2020

Through 2019, the way movie theaters tried to deal with this structural decline in moviegoers was by raising ticket prices, offering big comfortable chairs to justify those ticket prices, installing bars with overpriced beer and food, and cranking up prices for popcorn and sodas. Fewer people paying a lot more money was the trick to maintain revenue growth.

And because going to the movies got so expensive and because much cheaper options have increasingly been available on the big screen at home, the number of tickets sold continued to drop. Go figure.

After 17 Years of Falling Ticket Sales, Movie Theaters Got Annihilated in 2020 — https://wolfstreet.com/2021/01/10/movie-theater-ticket-sales-after-falling-for-years-got-annihilated-in-2020/

The local movie theater which closed in March 2020 has yet to reopen. I doubt they ever will.

“There are people close who are in need”

Several churches joined forces to distribute food on Friday as part of the “Simultaneous Free Food Giveaway.

“The Rev. Derrick Scobey, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, helped coordinate the event, partnering with World Vision and Joey Abbo, chief executive officer of the Needs Foundation. The humanitarian aid organization and the foundation supplied the food that was distributed on Friday.

Oklahoma churches, leaders join forces for ‘simultaneous’ food distribution — https://oklahoman.com/article/5678143/oklahoma-churches-leaders-join-forces-for-simultaneous-food-distribution

If you have the means to help please help others in need.

Failure to Launch – 2020

Failure to Launch was a movie released in 2006 starring Matthew McConaughey. Failure to Launch 2020 version is summarized in this chart:

Failure to Launch 2020 – Over Half of U.S. Young Adults Now Live With Their Parents – https://www.visualcapitalist.com/us-young-adults-living-with-their-parents/