The New Reality of Old Age in America – Washington Post


Source: The new reality of old age in America – Washington Post

The present standard of retiring somewhere between ages 60 and 70 is not going to be sustainable when half the population lives to 80 or 90 – which is already realistic today – let alone 100 or more. It’s just not possible. If you’re like me, you don’t intend to retire at 70 or maybe not at all, but it’s nice to know we have the option. Future generations won’t.

John Mauldin

I refuse to extrapolate the stories of two families profiled in the linked Washington Post article but will readily admit the author may be on to something.  The cartoon was not part of the article but ran in my local newspaper’s Sunday Comics.  So I put the two together and the picture is anything but funny.

So what happens when you  look at sales figures for RV’s in the US?  Yeah…wow.

I guess it’s pretty tough out there for some.  The sad thing is it’s going to get a lot tougher.

The Retirement Myth.  It’s a new hashtag.

I found some pretty sound advice here.  Scroll down to the bottom of the article.



A Lesson About Debt

Source: Michael Hudson: Are Students a Class? | naked capitalism

“Debt is not just a credit instrument, it is an instrument of political and economic control.”

Matt Stoller

Every now and then you stumble upon an article that effectively changes your world view.


“This Is A Ridiculous Joke” – An Abandoned, Rotting Vancouver House Is Listed For $7.2 Million – Zero Hedge

Source: “This Is A Ridiculous Joke” – An Abandoned, Rotting Vancouver House Is Listed For $7.2 Million | Zero Hedge

Welcome to peak insanity.

You might ask what does this have to do with underwriting?  Great question.  Here’s your answer:

Back during the savings and loan crisis in the US (yes, I’m old) I remember seeing lots of lender initiated life insurance applications to cover mortgage debt.  The applications were made years after the loans were on the books.  One app sticks in my mind.  Like any good underwriter I asked for and received a financial statement.  The valuation of the real estate seemed high to me.  I told the underwriter to decline the case based on inadequate finances.  I was questioned on my decision.

One of the properties (there were multiple properties listed on the balance sheet) was in the same city the underwriter lived in.  I said go drive by the house and you tell me if you think it’s worth $800,000 based upon appearance and location.  The next day he walked into my office.

“It’s an empty lot.”

Hey, at least there are buildings on this $7.2 million property in Vancouver!