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.

Where Are The Starter Homes?

Pergens and his wife, Amanda, have a 6-year-old daughter and another child due this month. She stopped working as a pastry chef during the pandemic. They rent a small two-bedroom apartment. “We build all these fancy homes,” Pergens says. “Fancy, fancy houses … and low-income apartments. And there’s absolutely nothing in between.”

The Housing Shortage Is Significant. It’s Acute For Small, Entry-Level Homes — https://www.npr.org/2021/09/04/1033585422/the-housing-shortage-is-significant-its-acute-for-small-entry-level-homes?

Good article but the analysis is only partially correct. Affordable housing has been an issue for decades. It’s not merely an issue of current economic conditions. It’s a lack of political will and the continuing demise of the middle class. WAY BACK last century our starter home cost less than $100,000 and we had over 1600 square feet 3BR 2B.

It’s no wonder the newest hit show on HGTV is Cheap Old Houses. https://www.hgtv.com/shows/discovery-plus-home/articles/cheap-old-houses-hgtv-show

I Just Had my WOW Moment of the Weekend

WOW!

Protective heterologous T cell immunity in COVID-19 induced by the trivalent Measles-Mumps-Rubella and Tetanus-Diptheria-Pertussis vaccine antigens — Published:August 13, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.medj.2021.08.004

There is a downloadable PDF of the study at the link above. Most of the terminology and research methodology is WAY above my pay grade but the conclusion is still a WOW.

Trends in Consumption of Ultraprocessed Foods (not good news)

The calories that children and adolescents consumed from ultraprocessed foods jumped from 61% to 67% of total caloric intake from 1999 to 2018, according to a new study from researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University. Published August 10, 2021, in JAMA, the study analyzed dietary intake from 33,795 children and adolescents nationwide.

Tufts University. “Ultraprocessed foods now comprise 2/3 of calories in children and teen diets.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/08/210810110955.htm (accessed August 10, 2021).

The largest spike in calories came from such ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat dishes as takeout and frozen pizza and burgers: from 2.2% to 11.2% of calories. The second largest spike in calories came from packaged sweet snacks and desserts, the consumption of which grew from 10.6% to 12.9%.

Frozen pizza and burgers? Is this a problem?

Findings  In this serial cross-sectional study of nationally representative data from 33 795 US youths aged 2-19 years, the estimated percentage of total energy consumed from ultraprocessed foods increased from 61.4% to 67.0%, whereas the percentage of total energy consumed from unprocessed or minimally processed foods decreased from 28.8% to 23.5%.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2782866

We are doomed.

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.

ATTENTION PLEASE (it ain’t over)

In a sick twist of capitalism, this sharp decrease in patient volumes through the emergency department and occupying hospital beds, while non-emergency operations were put on hold, lead to decreased revenue for hospitals and physician groups.

With a lack of revenue and a lack of foresight for the possibility of further surges and the arcane and length process of applying for hospital credentials, that lead to hospitals cutting staff including nurses and physician groups cutting hours and pay or even firing physicians.

COVID Isn’t Over, And Why That Will Impact Everyone — https://tnicholsmd.medium.com/covid-isnt-over-and-why-that-will-impact-everyone-ce94766669df

We have staffing shortages in our hospitals that include not just physicians but nurses, respiratory specialists, etc. Dr. Nichols calls this “a sick twist of capitalism”. I disagree. It’s just capitalism. Capitalism worked well for several hundred years, but times change, and systems eventually become corrupt. Corrupt systems then attract corrupt individuals or gradually corrupt unsuspecting souls to perpetuate the system. Welcome to to the world of Predatory Capitalism. Eat or be eaten. Capitalism lacks compassion.

Whew. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest back to our original programming.

Be virus aware even if you are vaccinated. You might consider masking up again while indoors, amongst crowds, etc. The situation is worse in different parts of the world. Be aware of the situation where you live and where you travel. I was in a local shopping mall for the first time since some time prior to March 2020. A small minority of us were wearing masks. The vast majority of shoppers were behaving as if the pandemic was over. It ain’t over.

I did notice that masks were on sale. You might want to pick up a few before the price goes back up.

But so many people remain unvaccinated that, nationwide, cases have more than doubled in recent weeks — a jump driven not just by Delta, but also the country’s lapsing of mitigation efforts and people traveling and reconnecting socially. Even states like Massachusetts that have comparatively high vaccination rates have started seeing upticks in cases.

How Delta is pushing the U.S. into a new phase of the Covid-19 pandemic — https://www.statnews.com/2021/07/19/delta-vaccines-new-phase-pandemic/?utm_campaign=rss

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.