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.

A Moral Cesspool

From zero in 1993 to $1.728 trillion in 2021: this is the predatory financialization of higher education which has enriched lenders, Wall Street and the Higher Education Cartel

America Is a Moral Cesspool, and Student Loans Prove Ithttps://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2021/07/america-is-moral-cesspool-and-student.html

Way back in the Dark Ages I borrowed a total of $8000.00 and worked summers and during the school years to pay for my college education. It took me ten years of payments at $69.72 a month to pay the loan off. I promised myself no matter the hardship my own children would not borrow money for their undergraduate degrees (medical school different story). There were reasons why I drove a 2006 Ford Taurus for 15 effing years.

One of the joys of aging is you get to a point where you say what you want to say and the hell with everyone else. Charles Hugh Smith is one of us who possess critical thinking skills and will always tell it like it is. Check out his blog.

And this is a perfect time to remind all of my readers that the opinions expressed in this and my other blog are mine alone and do not represent the views of any corporate entity that I may or may not be involved with either in the present or past.

I should play more and work less. https://garyskitchen.net/2021/07/24/stress-reduction/ I’m starting to become more cynical than usual.

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)

Showing Cajones in the Obesity Wars

In Mexico obesity reached epidemic proportions after it joined NAFTA with the United States and Canada in the early 1990s, making processed food more easily available. Diets quickly changed as many people, particularly those on lower incomes, replaced largely healthy traditional staples (corn tortilla, frijoles, Jamaica Water) with highly processed alternatives (hotdogs, nuggets, sodas). Sugar consumption soared and waistlines exploded. In the past 20 years the number of obese and overweight people has tripled, with 75% of the population now overweight.

Mexico also has the sixth highest mortality rate from Covid-19, which has spurred the government to escalate its war against obesity.

Mexico’s War on Obesity Sends Global Junk-Food & Sugary-Drink Giants Scrambling — https://wolfstreet.com/2021/04/13/mexicos-war-on-obesity-sends-global-junk-food-sugary-drink-giants-scrambling/#comments

Dumb and Dumber – Noncompliance with Colonoscopy Post Positive FIT

Results Some 88 013 patients who were FIT positive complied with colonoscopy (males: 56.1%; aged 50–59 years: 49.1%) while 23 410 did not (males: 54.6%; aged 50–59 years: 44.9%).

The 10-year cumulative incidence of CRC was 44.7 per 1000 (95% CI, 43.1 to 46.3) among colonoscopy compliers and 54.3 per 1000 (95% CI, 49.9 to 58.7) in non-compliers, while the cumulative mortality for CRC was 6.8 per 1000 (95% CI, 5.9 to 7.6) and 16.0 per 1000 (95% CI, 13.1 to 18.9), respectively. The risk of dying of CRC among non-compliers was 103% higher than among compliers (adjusted HR, 2.03; 95% CI, 1.68 to 2.44).

Conclusion The excess risk of CRC death among those not completing colonoscopy after a positive faecal occult blood test should prompt screening programmes to adopt effective interventions to increase compliance in this high-risk population.

Non-compliance with colonoscopy after a positive faecal immunochemical test doubles the risk of dying from colorectal cancer — https://gut.bmj.com/content/early/2021/03/30/gutjnl-2020-322192?rss=1

Help me understand human behavior. You get a positive FOBT or Cologuard test and your doctor says you need a colonoscopy but you decide not to follow up and follow through with the scope.

SMH.

We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties – Please Stand By

One question we see frequently – if you have a confirmation email, with a link taking you to a sign-up page, when all the appointments are full, should you expect an email telling you when they become available? The short answer, no.

Oklahoma Vaccine Portal problems persist as Oklahomans scramble to get a shot appointment — https://kfor.com/news/local/oklahoma-vaccine-portal-problems-persist-as-oklahomans-scramble-to-get-a-shot-appointment/

Officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health said about 290,000 eligible Oklahomans are signed up on the scheduler portal. Plenty of people in the phase two distribution plan told 2 Works for You they are having issues scheduling a vaccination.

Senior citizens struggle with state COVID vaccine portal — https://www.kjrh.com/news/local-news/senior-citizens-struggle-with-oklahoma-state-covid-vaccine-portal

Tulsa Health Department posted on Facebook saying, that due to technical difficulties, there is no way for eligible individuals in Tulsa County to sign up.

‘Technical difficulties’ halts OSDH’s vaccine scheduling portal in Tulsa — https://ktul.com/news/local/technical-difficulties-halts-osdhs-vaccine-scheduling-portal-in-tulsa

Friday 1/29

Today began like any other workday. Wake up, coffee, shower, get dressed, more coffee, make the bed, power up the computer. But this morning I did not turn my workstation on. I took the morning off to get my SARS-Cov-2 vaccination shot. Total estimated round trip drive time will be about 3 hours. We’re headed to a mall in Enid, OK (that’s nearly Kansas IMO). This is my vaccine story.

Like the rest of the world we’ve been pretty much cooped up for nearly a year. Getting out of the house for “essential” activities isn’t the same as getting out and doing things. The arrival of vaccines for this horrible virus was good news. This certainly doesn’t herald the end of The Great Pandemic but it’s a hell of a good start. Somehow I knew with governments at multiple points in the vaccination process you just know there will be problems. Keep this in mind and carry on.

The state of Oklahoma is presently in Phase 2 of a four phase rollout. When The Boss and I became eligible for a jab we started hearing nightmare stories about actually securing an appointment. I knew the hiccups at the beginning were due to vaccine supply. The supply side is still a problem but not nearly as big of a problem as the steps you must take to register and find some vaccine. OSDH (Oklahoma State Department of Health) is the agency that set up the state’s vaccine portal. A lifetime ago I managed technology for two different companies and I know what can go wrong with systems implementation. Here we had a website set up by a government agency rolled out to the public with zero instructions on how the process would work. What could go wrong?

Yup, “technical difficulties”.

After hearing horror stories of a crashed website and other “technical difficulties” I waited a few weeks before signing up on the site. When I signed up I immediately received an email telling me I was eligible to be vaccinated. The email contained a link to the appointment scheduler. And that’s when the fun began. No appointments. Nada. Zilch. The instructions on how to use the site were nowhere to be found. After some time clicking around I managed to figure out how the site worked. First come, first served. If you can’t get an appointment come back later and try again.

So I went back to work and left my personal computer up with the vaccine portal website up. Every now and then I turned around from my Day Job Workstation and checked to see if any appointment openings popped up. After several hours of intermittent checking a massive number of slots opened up at a single site, the Oakwood Mall in Enid Oklahoma. So I used the home office intercom and yelled rather loudly:

“Get on the site. It’s number 47. Take the 10:30 am slot and I’ll grab the 10:45. GO!!!”

We both got slots for shots on January 29th. I suspect our experience was a lot better and a lot more successful than for others around the country. In my next post I’ll describe a few of the reasons why Oklahoma is doing a decent job with their vaccine rollout. Decent not good. Keep this in mind too because we haven’t opened up the process to the general population yet.

PS. My worst side effect so far has been an illogical urge to buy a 12 string acoustic guitar. Strange but true.