Need Retirement Income? – (Life Underwriters Need Not Worry)

The total number of life insurance policies sold rose 8% in the first six months of the year and marked the highest such growth since 1983, LIMRA said. And there were other indicators in that same data that pointed to positive signs: Total U.S. life insurance premium increased 21% in the second quarter 2021, the largest year-over-year increase since third quarter 1987; in addition, it was up 18% for the first half of 2021 compared to the prior year.

Life Insurance Sales Are Up, But for How Long? — https://news.ambest.com/articlecontent.aspx?refnum=313837&altsrc=2

I know who you are and I know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have very much money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that are currently in short supply. Skills that I can and will take to the highest bidder.

The Supreme Commander

I last posted about my upcoming retirement in More Retirement Income Ahead!

I need to start referring to my upcoming retirement as What Retirement?

The Great Resignation

In April, about 649,000 retail workers left their jobs—a record number of resignations for the industry. It was yet another inflection point in a broader trend sweeping workplaces, as employees reevaluate their relationship to work and act on the burnout induced by the pandemic.

Why I decided to quit my retail job and join the Great Resignationhttps://www.fastcompany.com/90658770/why-i-decided-to-quit-my-retail-job-and-join-the-great-resignation

Interesting perspective from an “essential” worker. And the trend is not limited to retail.

Hospitality jobs are unpopular, and raising the wage may not be enough to lure many former workers back. 38% of former hospitality workers report that they are not even considering a hospitality job for their next position. These workers are transitioning out of the industry in search of a different work setting (52%), higher pay (45%), better benefits (29%), and more schedule flexibility (19%). Over 50% of former hospitality workers who are looking for other work say that no pay increase or incentive would make them return to their old restaurant, bar, or hotel job.

Q2 2021 United States Job Market Report — https://www.joblist.com/jobs-reports/q2-2021-united-states-job-market-report
Not just no but hell no.

No wonder my up line supervisor got nervous when I told her I was thinking more about retirement.

More Retirement Income Ahead!

Total individual life insurance policy sales increased 11% in the first quarter, compared with first quarter 2020. This is the highest growth in the number of policies sold in a quarter since 1983. New annualized premium also experienced significant growth, up 15% from prior year, according to LIMRA’s First Quarter U.S. Individual Life Insurance Sales Survey.

LIMRA: First Quarter U.S. Life Insurance Policy Sales Highest Since 1983 — https://www.limra.com/en/newsroom/news-releases/2021/limra-first-quarter-u.s.-life-insurance-policy-sales-highest-since-1983/

I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.

Bryan Mills, played by Liam Neeson in the film Taken

I had my annual wellness visit earlier this week.

5.10 168 130/84 BMI 24.14 O2 sat 98%

CHOLESTEROL 175 mg/dL
TRIGLYCERIDE 69 mg/dL
HDL 65 mg/dL
LDL CALCULATED 96 mg/dL
NON-HDL CHOLESTEROL 110 mg/dL

All of my other labs were normal too.

I have multiple relatives who have lived well into their 90’s. My maternal grandmother lived to 100. I’m going to need another source of retirement income. And for all of my friends and colleagues who never thought I would make it this far…

AST 23 U/L

ALT 7 U/L

GGT 36 U/L (12/2015)

PSA 0.7 (9/2020)

Third Places and Spaces

The term “third place” was first dubbed by Ray Oldenburg, a world-renowned sociologist who wrote The Great Good Place in 1989. In his book, which was a direct response to the privatization of home life that came with the increase in suburb growth, he claimed that if our homes were the “first” place, and our offices the “second” place, then the “third” place was most everything in between- or the more informal places where community gatherings would occur. These spaces are easily accessible by all and serve as anchors to modern society.

The Future Workspace That Isn’t the Workplace — https://www.archdaily.com/960896/the-future-workspace-that-isnt-the-workplace?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=webfeeds&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ArchDaily+%28ArchDaily%29

A nice look at the future of work from Kaley Overstreet. Kaley has a B.S. in Architecture and Master of Architecture from Ohio State Knowlton School and is a Senior Contributor at ArchDaily. Third spaces and places have been happening for some time. The pandemic merely accelerates the trend.

How will your workforce work?

College Presidents Fail to Protect Students from Covid-19 – College Clusterfuck Update 11.22.20

In fact, university Presidents — leaders, let us remember — did not mobilize to protect students from Covid. Frankly, I never thought they did, because I do try to pay attention to these things, but to prove it to myself, I went through 33 pages of headlines for the Coronavirus tag in the Chronicle of Higher Education, all the way back to the first entry on February 24 (“Coronavirus-Themed Party at Albany Draws Criticism“)…

As it turns out, protecting students from Covid was never a top priority for University Presidents. The American Council on Education (“a membership organization that mobilizes [ha] the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice”) has published periodic surveys on what University Presidents consider pressing issues.

College Presidents Fail to Mobilize to Protect Students from Covid-19https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/11/university-administrators-fail-to-mobilize-protect-students-covid-19.html

The author of this article doesn’t attempt to hide his bias or contempt for the so-called leaders of our colleges and universities. I’ve made no attempt to hide my disdain either (sharp eyed readers will note my title above deletes two words from the original article title). The college clusterfuck has been one of my recurring themes:

Colleges’ Opening Fueled 3,000 COVID Cases a Day (College Clusterfuck Update)

“I slept on the floor, and woke up to ants crawling on my bed.”

College Clusterfuck 2.0 – “It’s a Dystopian Hell” – Updated

College Town Clusterfuck

The full article contains some pretty sorrid stuff. Enjoy!

Online education will become the standard operating model for higher education. Thousands of colleges and universities will go belly up. Professor Galloway at NYU says it’s simple math. See Galloway’s comments here: Post Pandemic Changes in Consumer Behavior

There’s Nothing “Radical” About This WFH Plan

This is the latest in a series of major companies having made similar announcements, including Microsoft. But Synchrony’s proposal appears to be more radical in that it:

Allows all its US employees to work from home permanently.

Requires some employees to work from home all the time with no access to an office.

Requires all employees to work from home at least some of the time.

Requires even management with “assigned seats” to work from home at least 1-2 days a week.

In a memo to employees, reported by Bloomberg today, CEO Keane and Synchrony President Brian Doubles explained that Synchrony will have three types of offices:

Virtual offices: employees will work from home permanently, and there is no office they can go to.

Hoteling offices: employees work at home permanently, but if they need to, can book a desk at a nearby office location.

Hybrid offices: employees can work from home but they have an assigned seat at a nearby office where they can work at least three days a week.

Synchrony Financial Disclosed Radical Work-from-Home Plan, Layoffs, and “Office Footprint” Reduction — https://wolfstreet.com/2020/10/20/consumer-finance-giant-synchrony-disclosed-radical-permanent-work-from-home-plan/

I have been a WFH (work from home) warrior since 2006. There is absolutely nothing radical about the plan outlined above. I’ve been patiently waiting all these years for the business world to come around to my way of thinking. To be be clear, a lot of businesses would not adopt WFH without a nasty virus driving the agenda.

Too bad I’m currently a W2 worker. If I was still consulting I would make a MINT advising companies how to do the WFH thing effectively.

And what not to do when you’re on a Zoom call.

The Beginning of the End

Airlines want more from the government printing press.

American Airlines was also the airline that blew, incinerated, wasted, and trashed more than any other airline on share buybacks. Buybacks ceased in the second quarter, but from 2013 through Q1 2020, American Airlines incinerated $13.1 billion in cash on share buybacks. That cash would now come in very handy. 2013 was also the year Mr. Parker became CEO of American Airlines. Delta blew, wasted, and incinerated $11.7 billion in cash on share buybacks over the period; Southwest Airlines, $10.9 billion (starting in 2012); and United $8.9 billion. In total, the big four airlines blew, wasted, and incinerated $44.6 billion in cash on share buybacks from 2012 through Q1 2020, and now the airlines want an additional $25 billion bailout, for a total of $50 billion, much of it in forms of grants, from taxpayers (data via YCharts)

Facing Crappiest Recovery Ever, Airlines Demand New $25-Billion Bailout, for $50 Billion Total, after Having Burned $45 Billion on Share Buybacks — https://wolfstreet.com/2020/09/28/facing-crappiest-recovery-ever-airlines-demand-new-25-billion-bailout-for-50-billion-total-after-having-burned-45-billion-on-share-buybacks/

Just. Say. NO.

A majority of young adults in the U.S. live with their parents for the first time since the Great Depression

In July, 52% of young adults resided with one or both of their parents, up from 47% in February, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of monthly Census Bureau data. The number living with parents grew to 26.6 million, an increase of 2.6 million from February. The number and share of young adults living with their parents grew across the board for all major racial and ethnic groups, men and women, and metropolitan and rural residents, as well as in all four main census regions. Growth was sharpest for the youngest adults (ages 18 to 24) and for White young adults.

A majority of young adults in the U.S. live with their parents for the first time since the Great Depression — https://pewrsr.ch/351SVs1

And to think the number of young people living with their parents was based upon data from July. This percentage will go higher since a lot of kids are moving back home from college earlier than expected.

The problem with college during the coronavirus pandemic is not just what’s happening on campuses and in college towns. It’s also that colleges may end up spreading the virus to dozens of other communities. In recent weeks, as students have returned to campus, thousands have become infected. And some colleges have responded by sending students home, including those known to have the virus.

Last week, after hundreds of students came down with the virus, the State University of New York at Oneonta ended in-person classes and sent students home. Colorado College, North Carolina State, James Madison (in Virginia) and Chico State (in California) have taken similar steps. At Illinois State, Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia, administrators have encouraged some students who have tested positive to leave campus, so they don’t infect other students, and return home.

These decisions to scatter students — rather than quarantine them on campus — have led to widespread criticism. “It’s the worst thing you could do,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s leading infectious-disease expert, said on NBC. “When you send them home, particularly when you’re dealing with a university where people come from multiple different locations, you could be seeding the different places with infection.” – Zach Morin, a University of Georgia student, told WXIA, a local television station, “Once it is open and people are there and spreading it, it doesn’t make sense to send it across the nation.” Susan Dynarski, a University of Michigan economist, wrote on Twitter that “unloading students onto home communities” was “deeply unethical.”

There are no easy answers for colleges, because creating on-campus quarantines brings its own challenges. At the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, one student who tested positive — Brianna Hayes — said that no employee checked on her during her week in isolation. “Feverish and exhausted from the virus, she made four trips up and down staircases to move her bedding and other belongings to her isolation room,” The Times’s Natasha Singer writes, in a story about campus quarantines.

Still, many experts say that the colleges that chose to reopen their campuses despite the risks, often for financial reasons, have a moral responsibility to do better. “Universities are not taking responsibility for the risks they are creating,” Sarah Cobey, an epidemiologist at the University of Chicago, said.

Last spring, the meatpacking industry became a vector for spreading the disease, when it quickly reopened and caused hundreds of new infections. This fall, higher education may end up being a similar vector.

David Leonhardt – The New York Times The Morning newsletter email 09.09.20

Clusterfuck.