What Retirement?

Coronavirus Shock Is Destroying Americans’ Retirement Dreams

For older people, the coronavirus crisis has been an appalling shock. Many can’t travel or see grandchildren. Even buying groceries is a risk. Their life savings are melting as the global economy shuts down and financial markets plummet. The pain may be particularly acute in the U.S., where Americans rely on a retirement system that was broken well before a pandemic dashed it to pieces.

COVID-19 – Your Daily Dose 03.11.20

I’ve been reading a lot of COVID-19 news articles.  Here are a few of my favs.

In South Korea, public health officials screened about 100,000 people and detected over 7,300 cases. So far, the death toll is 50, which translates to a case-fatality rate of 0.7 percent. That’s still seven times worse than seasonal flu, but it’s far lower than the initial reports from China.

Most Important Coronavirus Question

 

Impact of the epidemic in the U.S.

Now that new COVID-19 cases are being detected in the U.S. every day, it is too late to stop the initial wave of infections. The epidemic is likely to spread across the U.S. The virus appears to be about as contagious as influenza. But this comparison is difficult to make since we have no immunity to the new coronavirus.

How big will the coronavirus pandemic be? An epidemiologist answers.

 

Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, is among those arguing hospitals need to change course.  “It’s just not sustainable to think that every time a health care worker is exposed they have to be quarantined for 14 days. We’d run out of health care workers,” Nuzzo said.

Self-quarantines will lead to health worker shortagesSelf-quarantines will lead to health worker shortages

 

Alcohol consumption in later life and reaching longevity: the Netherlands Cohort Study

Key points

  • The highest probability of reaching 90 years of age (longevity) was found for men and women drinking 5– < 15 g alcohol/day (or 0.5–1.5 glass/day); the exposure–response relationship was significantly non-linear in women.
  • Usual drinking pattern and binge drinking were not significantly associated with longevity, but the risk estimates indicate to avoid binge drinking.
  • The estimated modest risk ratios (RRs) should not be used as motivation to start drinking if one does not drink alcoholic beverages.
Results

 

We found statistically significant positive associations between baseline alcohol intake and the probability of reaching 90 years in both men and women. Overall, the highest probability of reaching 90 was found in those consuming 5– < 15 g/d alcohol, with RR = 1.36 (95% CI, 1.20–1.55) when compared with abstainers. The exposure-response relationship was significantly non-linear in women, but not in men. Wine intake was positively associated with longevity (notably in women), whereas liquor was positively associated with longevity in men and inversely in women. Binge drinking pointed towards an inverse relationship with longevity. Alcohol intake was associated with longevity in those without and with a history of selected diseases.

 

Alcohol consumption in later life and reaching longevity: the Netherlands Cohort Study

Hormesis?

Craft breweries, adaptive reuse, and neighborhood revitalization in: Urban Development Issues Volume 57 Issue 1 (2018)

Source: Craft breweries, adaptive reuse, and neighborhood revitalization in: Urban Development Issues Volume 57 Issue 1 (2018)

The month isn’t over yet the events of the past few weeks already make this a memorable year. My contract with a large insurance company that shall not be named ended. I was with the client for nearly ten years. When I tell people I’ve contracted with a single client for ten years mouths drop open. In the gig economy this is about as rare as rare gets. Who contracts with a single client for ten years? Friday January 10th was my last day. Two days later I was in Lynchburg Virginia. Sometimes life moves quickly. When you get to the same stage and age in life as me you’ll come to appreciate the memories more and more with each passing year. But this trip was special and I want to capture and share these memories before they fade away. For me every day is another opportunity to learn something. Here’s what I learned from five days in Lynchburg.

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” Mark Twain

It’s Nice to Get Out of the House

I’ve been working from home since 2006. Seriously, I don’t get out much and when I do I try to practice my social skills. Working alone at home, or being face down in your smartphone (which makes you dumb), or severe anxiety where you need your benzos, all can erode what little you have left of social interaction skills. The Boss knows this all too well. The last business trip was over 2.5 years ago and placing me in a situation where I have to interact with others can be dicey.

“Be nice.”

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“Be professional. Don’t be yourself.”

“The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else.”

ee cummings

The Boss knows at the minimum I’ll try to behave. Hopefully I passed the audition.

Staying in a Nice Hotel and Eating Out is Pretty Awesome

I had an excellent stay at the Virginian. The hotel was a block away from my new client’s office and the room was stocked with bottled water from local springs and a Keurig coffee maker. I did what I always do when I arrive in a hotel room with a coffee maker. I check the coffee supply for correctness. As I suspected the K-cup selection was all wrong. I had four servings of DECAF. I immediately went down to the front desk with the K-cups in hand.

“Mr. Lee, is there a problem?”

I handed the coffee to the front desk employee and stated in a low firm voice,

“This is so wrong.”

The very nice young woman at the front desk agreed and allowed me to exchange my four K-cups of DECAF to the real caffeinated kind. I also left a note next to the brewer for housekeeping to restock with only real coffee NO DECAF. The rest of my stay went quite well. The room was comfortable, quiet, and I had plenty of coffee.

Eating Restaurant Food Causes Obesity

I arrived in Lynchburg late on a Sunday evening and the only food available at the hotel was at the rooftop bar. There was local craft beer on tap. I ate there three times during my stay. When you work from home you eat a lot of leftovers. Some days you eat leftover leftovers. By the time Saturday rolls around you simply have to go out to eat. Taking all of my meals outside of the house this week was awesome despite needing to loosen my belt a notch by Wednesday. The team treated me to dinner at The Depot Grille, a renovated old train stop that had nice local craft beer on tap. Before I left town I was introduced to The Water Dog which was more of a Millennial type establishment that had even more nice local beers on tap. After seeing the (beer) menus I thought to myself I could live here.

Despite the proximity of some fine eateries I took most of my meals at the company cafeteria. This company amenity should never be taken for granted. I had plenty of good food, freshly prepared at reasonable prices. When you’re on business expense this is kind of important to avoid any potential criticism of your spending habits when someone else is paying. So the accountants will be happy I found Benny’s.

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I had forgotten how easy it is for me to put the weight back on. Over the years I’ve moved away from the standard American diet (SAD) because it was my diet that was the proximate cause for ballooning up to 370 pounds. It might have been more but I stopped weighing myself at 370 (for obvious reasons). For this trip I relaxed my dietary preferences and ate whatever I wanted to. I haven’t weighed myself since the trip ended but my belt fits again at its usual belt hole. I’m easing back into my usual dietary routine. And I have no regrets about passing on the fried tofu sandwich at The Depot Grille. I didn’t want anyone to think I was a vegan.

“Look for the human connection as you make your journey. Connect us to the people who connected with you.” William Zinsser

There are Really Nice People in Lynchburg

During my week in Lynchburg I met some very nice people. The people you work with are just as important to your happiness as the work itself. I ate lunch at the underwriter table in the company cafeteria all week. I figured I needed as many contacts as possible once I started work in the system and needed guidance. I may work by myself from home but no one ever works alone.

It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.

Muhammad Ali

The Boss has told me change is good and my new adventure will be good.  I know she’s right.  And I am thrilled with the opportunity.

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