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?

MIND Your Diet

MIND diet is associated with better cognitive functioning independently of brain pathology, suggesting that the MIND diet may contribute to cognitive resilience in older adults.

Dhana, Klodian et al. ‘MIND Diet, Common Brain Pathologies, and Cognition in Community-Dwelling Older Adults’. 1 Jan. 2021 : 683 – 692. — https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad210107

So, what is the MIND diet?

The traditional Mediterranean dietary pattern includes mainly whole, minimally processed plant foods including cereal grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and fish with small amounts of meat, milk, and dairy products and a regular modest amount of alcohol.4 The DASH diet emphasizes fruit, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and includes whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts, and is reduced in fats, red meat, sweets, and sugar-containing beverages.4 Combining the two diets, the MIND diet emphasizes natural, plant-based foods, specifically promoting an increase in the consumption of berries and green leafy vegetables, with limited intakes of animal-based and high saturated fat foods.

What Are the Components to the MIND Diet? — https://jandonline.org/article/S2212-2672(15)01251-4/fulltext

I became aware of the MIND diet earlier this year. It’s nice to know my dietary pattern has a name.

Internet Use in Retirement and Cognitive Function

Focusing on a sample of 2,105 older people from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland who have been retired since 2004, researchers examined retirees’ cognitive function in both 2013 and 2015. They specifically focused on a word recall test, where individuals were asked to recall a list of 10 words immediately, and then again five minutes later.

Results found that, on average, people who used the internet after they retired were able to recall 1.22 extra words in the recall test compared to non-internet users. However, retirees who used the internet were also more likely to be male, younger, better educated, and have been retired for a shorter period. They also appear to be in better health — even though they drink and smoke more.

Lancaster University. “Using internet in retirement boosts cognitive function.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/09/210920100910.htm (accessed September 20, 2021).

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.

Biden fires head of Social Security Administration

President Biden on Friday fired Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul, a holdover from the Trump administration, after Saul refused a request to resign from his position.

Biden fires head of Social Security Administration — https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/562342-biden-fires-head-of-social-security-administration

There will be more changes coming to social security.

Higher taxes, no doubt. But also improved benefits for those in need if I’m reading the Tarot cards correctly.

It’s Time to Revisit Social Security’s Early and Delayed Claiming Formulas

A study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that the delayed credit is still about right, with the exception of the highest earners, who tend to outlive actuarial averages and reap the highest extra benefit. Conversely, the group hurt the most are low-income filers, who tend to claim earlier and effectively are overcharged for doing so. Moreover, the increase in FRA from 65 to 67, enacted in the reforms of 1983, effectively increased the penalty for earlier files. Claimers with an FRA of 67 will receive five years of early filing reductions rather than three.

It’s Time to Revisit Social Security’s Early and Delayed Claiming Formulas — https://www.morningstar.com/articles/1029357/its-time-to-revisit-social-securitys-early-and-delayed-claiming-formulas

The first sentence from the above paragraph caught my eye. So I went on to the BC website.

People can claim Social Security from 62 to 70, with adjustments to keep lifetime benefits the same, on average, regardless of claiming age. The question is whether the adjustments, set decades ago, are still correct, given the decline in interest rates and increase in life expectancy. For the average worker, the analysis shows that the reduction for claiming early is currently too large while the increase for claiming late is about right.

Higher earners – who live longer and claim later – get a really good deal under the current system.

Are Social Security’s Actuarial Adjustments Still Correct? — https://crr.bc.edu/briefs/are-social-securitys-actuarial-adjustments-still-correct/

People with more money tend to live longer. People who defer claiming social security benefits until beyond FRA (full retirement age) are generally healthier, expect to live longer, and are financially secure enough to delay claiming. If the SSA decides to enhance benefits for early retirees it would be a good thing for a lot of people, especially those who have been severely impacted by the pandemic.

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)

Type 2 Diabetes Risk and…Sardines?

Older people with prediabetes who followed a diet rich in sardines for 1 year show significant reductions in risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with those placed on a similarly healthy diet but without the sardines, results from a new randomized trial show.

 “A 1-year, sardine-enriched type 2 diabetes-preventive diet in an elderly population with prediabetes exerts a greater protective effect against developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular events, by improving anthropometric parameters, blood chemistry profile, lipid composition in erythrocytes membranes, and metabolomics data,” report the authors in research published in Clinical Nutrition by Diana Díaz-Rizzolo, PhD, of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues.

Sardines Linked to Reduced Type 2 Diabetes Risk — https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/951528?src=rss#vp_1

Very small study with very interesting findings.

If I only liked sardines.