#millennials #Medicare #RetirementSavings #HealthCareSpending
Millennials may be a long way from Medicare eligibility.
But they need to care about it now, lest it runs out of money, or pays fewer benefits, when their time comes.
“Previous years’ surpluses, stowed away in a trust fund, will cover the (funding) gap until 2029. After that, Medicare Part A will be able to cover 88 percent of promised benefits, rather than 100 percent,” writes Liz Weston, a personal finance columnist for Her column was published March 3, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Weston also writes that the younger folks need to figure out ways to cut health care spending in general.
Let’s break down the situation. First, as Weston writes, some in Washington are itching to cut Medicare, which provides relatively affordable health insurance to the 65-and-older demographic. Depending on what happens in Washington, health care costs could go up for millennials as they age. “Without a sturdy Medicare system, health care for older Americans could quickly become unaffordable,” Weston writes.
Also, young people in the private insurance market – those who do not have decent insurance benefits from their employers – should think about buying individual insurance policies now. Sure, you think you are young and won’t get sick or injured, but what if you do? Plus, they are relatively affordable for young, healthy folks. Also, having a health insurance policy young may make it easier for you to get health insurance when you are older.
Young folks tend to spend less time thinking about eventualities when they get older, so they tend to spend more and save less. The earlier in life you start saving, the more comfortable you’ll be when you get older. Also, retirement won’t necessarily come when you want it to. Companies reorganize frequently, and jobs you think are indispensable today could be gone tomorrow.
“Millennials already have enough burdens. They earn less, have a lot less wealth and owe a lot more in student loan debt than previous generations did at their age,” Weston writes.
So what’s a young person to do? First, have a bona fide, regular savings plan. Even if you can only put, say, $5 a week into it at the beginning, do that religiously. As your income increases, add more. Any raises you get should go into that fund, so, as your income increases, you can learn to economize on living expenses. Whatever you do, don’t touch that money until many years down the road.
Easier said than done? Perhaps. So you have to make a point of doing it, perhaps sacrificing some immediate pleasures to ensure you are keeping your promise to yourself.
As your savings increase – when your fund builds to a point that keeping it in a bank account seems unprofitable – find a trusted investment adviser who can guide you through the different investment vehicles for each stage of your life. Unless you are a financial professional, trying to manage your own investments can be risky. Obviously, some risk is warranted, but good, objective advice on the type of risk for your situation is essential.
Then, think about how you use your time. Are the things you spend your non-work time on enriching you? If not, there are many vehicles out there that, with a small investment of time consistently, can make you money. To check out one of the best, message me.
Young folks need to worry about Medicare, if they want it available to them when they reach that stage of life. So, pay attention to what happens in Washington. But, also, set up your own life so that no matter what happens, you’ll have the best life you can get when you reach your parents’ or grandparents’ ages.


#happiness #CreateHappiness #optimism
Happiness doesn’t just happen.
It is created.
Sometimes, as author Ellen Petry Leanse tells us, we have to hack our brains to create happiness.
She discusses the topic in her book, “The Happiness Hack.”
She writes that we have to overcome distractions, create real connections, find more calm and master new habits.
Though technology has many benefits, it also creates many distractions, she writes.
It’s been said that some people aren’t happy unless they are miserable.
Workplaces are filled with people who constantly complain, and try to drag happy people into their pity pots.
There’s more gloom and doom out there than most people can stand. Some take vacations from social media to get a break from it.
Part of being happy is being optimistic. It’s also appreciating the good we all have in our lives.
Certainly, circumstances will knock us off course. We may experience illness, death of someone close to us, economic hardship etc. But we have to fight to overcome circumstances and regain our happiness.
We all can think of things we would like to have to enhance our happiness. Yet, not having those things immediately should not deter us from appreciating the good things we already have.
Perhaps our circumstances are such that we believe we are not where we think we should be. If your economic circumstances are that way, and if you are willing to look at a different path, message me.
Leanse uses in her book a quote from an unknown source that says, “ When I was in grade school, they told me to write down what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment. I told them they didn’t understand life.”
Such wisdom is rare among grade-school pupils. Yet the idea is spot on.
We all have different definitions of happiness. Some can find happiness no matter the situation. Others can find despair even when their lives are quite good.
No matter what makes you happy, look for it. Find it. Perhaps you don’t know what will make you happy. That’s no reason not to look for it.
Don’t just look for it. Create it. Look at all the positives around you. Don’t let the negatives, or negative people, affect you.
If you have a job, find things about that job, no matter what they are, that you like about it. Focus on those things. Certainly, there are tasks we must do that don’t create happiness, but one can push through those to focus on what makes us happy.
The distractions will come, as Leanse points out. But don’t let those distractions taint your overall happiness. Happiness is not just there for the taking, it’s there for the creating.


#robots #AmericanJobs #efficiencies #CreativeDestruction
Do you believe robots, or manufacturing in other countries, are killing American jobs?
A recent article in The Guardian carries the headline, “Robots will destroy our jobs – and we’re not ready for it.”
Economist Joseph Schumpeter describes technological change as “creative destruction.” Actually, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the U.S. labor force in 1950 was 62 million. By 2000 it was 79 million and it’s projected to reach 192 million by 2050.
These bits of information come from an article by Walter E. Williams of Creators Syndicate. It was published Feb. 21, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Though the ‘creative destruction’ process works hardships on some people who lose their jobs and are forced to take lower-paying jobs, any attempt to impede the process would make us all worse off,” Williams writes.
It’s tough to understand the value of technological progress if you’ve been shown the curb from your job. Many people have lost relatively good-paying jobs, and been forced to take lower-paying jobs, if they were lucky enough to find a new job at all. The recession of 2008 has taken a toll on many.
The Williams article tells of the 62 million in the work force in 1950. Back then, progress was definitely slower. People could count on the jobs they had to be around for as long as they wanted to work. Some of those jobs were hard, either on the body, mind or both.
Back then, many workers were represented by unions, which helped impede some process innovations and efficiencies to keep more people working.
Today, fewer workers have that kind of representation, and the number keeps decreasing. Workers are essentially on their own to plan their careers.
As a result, in many cases, careers come to a premature end, and workers are left figuring out what to do next.
But just as technology has been, by and large, a good thing for the U.S. and the world, having workers determine their own destinies can also be a good thing, if you want to look at it differently.
It’s been said in several different ways that hardship creates opportunity. Though the opportunity may be difficult to see if circumstances have dealt you a difficult blow, they are out there for those willing to look for them.
If you have lost what appears to be a good job, and are not yet ready to retire, there are many ways out there to make money other than through a traditional W-2 job. To check out one of the best, message me. You might even see a great way to help your friends overcome difficult circumstances.
The U.S. has moved over the centuries from a primarily agricultural economy, to a primarily manufacturing economy, and is continuing to move into a more technologically based economy. You, as perhaps a temporarily displaced worker, can’t do anything to fight that. In fact, no governmental entity can do anything to fight that. If we try to impede innovation here, someone else somewhere will innovate, leaving the U.S. in the dust.
So the next time you try to blame robots, cheaper overseas labor or other advances on your circumstances, remember that you can’t stop those things. You can only look for ways to help yourself to a better life.
That may require a change of mind-set, or departing your comfort zone, but ANYONE can do it. If you don’t find a solution immediately, keep looking. You just might meet the person who will show you how YOU can change your life for the better.